The Other Side of Why

Sharon JaynesTrusting God, When You Don't Like Your Story 36 Comments

My son, Steven, and I sat on the floor in his room playing a card game. This summer was proving to be the best ever. Our golden retriever, Ginger, had just delivered seven adorable puppies, Steven was enjoying his sixth summer of life, and after four years of negative pregnancy tests, God had surprised us with a new life growing inside my womb.

But as Steven and I sat cross-legged on the carpet, I felt a warm, sticky sensation run down my leg. A trip to the bathroom confirmed my greatest fears. Later that afternoon, the doctor voiced the weighty words, “There is no heartbeat.”

What do you do when heartbreak slams into joy? When your soul cracks open and there just aren’t enough tears? When hurt steals your hope and you want to give up on life? When deep soul lesions make a mockery of your faith?

I wish I could tell you I left the doctor’s office quoting Romans 8:28 about how “all things work together for good” (ESV). I wish I could tell you that I calmly accepted the loss of my baby with faith, trusting that even this was somehow part of God’s plan. I wish I could tell you I spent the rest of the day singing “It Is Well with My Soul.” But I didn’t do any of those things.

I went home, crawled in bed, and pulled the covers up over my empty womb and broken heart. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, especially God. And what I did say to him wasn’t very nice.

How could You do this to me? If this is how You treat those You love, then just forget it! You answered my prayer only to take it back! Why me? Why this? Why now?

Job was a man in the Bible who also had a lot of questions for God. In one day, his enemies killed all but a handful of his servants and stole all eleven thousand heads of livestock.

Then a strong wind collapsed his son’s house and killed all ten of Job’s children. We read the story of Job already knowing how it is going to end—the Lord not only restored what Job had lost, but “gave him twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10 NIV).

But can you imagine what it was like to live through it in real time? Job was stuck in a bad story and he saw no end in sight. He had no idea why it was happening. He didn’t know God would give him twice as much as he had before. All he knew was loss, disappointment, and pain. That might be where you are right now, stuck in a story you don’t like. But hang on, God’s pen has not slipped. He’s still in control. There’s more to come.

My favorite line in Job’s story comes at the very end. Job says to God, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5 ESV). That is my prayer in every difficult circumstance of life. I don’t want to simply hear about God; I want to see God and have communion with Him in the midst of it.

Sometimes we have to let go of our plans to take hold of God’s purpose…and it’s always good. A houseful of children was not how my chapter of infertility and the loss of a child ended, but I can still say it had a good ending. God has made me fertile in so many other areas, and I wouldn’t change a thing. And when women come to me trying to make sense of the disappointments in their lives, I can say, “Come, sit with me. Let me tell you a story.”

And I know He can do that for you.

Lord, there are some parts of my story that still ache, and perhaps that ache will never go completely away. However, I know that You can use every tear to water the seeds of hope in someone else’s life. I release my pain to You, and I wait open handed for Your purpose on how to use my story to help someone else. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What is one difficult chapter in your life that you feel God is calling you to share with others? Leave a comment and let’s chat.

Many of us have heartache in our lives. Our mistakes, the pain others have caused us, and circumstances outside our control taunt us every day, though we long to turn a new page. When You Don’t Like Your Story: What if your worst chapters could become your greatest victories,  challenges us to ask: What if God doesn’t want us to rip out of difficult stories but repurpose them for good?

What has been done to you and what has been done through you doesn’t disqualify you from God’s best for your life. It qualifies you for an even greater purpose than you would have ever known without it. So sink deep into God’s life-changing truths. The next chapter is just beginning. Includes an in-depth Bible study for individuals and groups.

Also available: Downloadable video sessions.

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Comments 36

  1. I thought I had it rough as a kid surviving my parents’ divorce and the hard cold nature life took on after. I thought I could find an escape in marriage with someone who loved me. Little did I know the pain that awaited me there….the revelation of the addiction….not just once or twice, but three separate times over a 5 year period. And at the end of it all to hear him say – I didn’t love you, not the way that you need for marriage. To watch him walk away. To be left alone in the cold. When your soul slams into the very bottom of that cracked empty cistern of unwanted. What do you do? There are no words for that kind of pain. There is no one who can help, who can meet you in that place – no one but God. His work is not as fast as we want it, but it is faithful. His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness. He will bring you through to the other side. Hold on to Him for in Him we live and move and have our being. Hold on to life.

    1. So sorry for the loss of your marriage Carey and that you experienced the horrible ache of being told your husband no longer lived you. I, too know how heartwrenching it is to be discarded by a husband. The pain is like no other. After we had been married for almost 25 years his porn addiction led him down the dark path to adultery during a time of separation. BUT GOD became my living hope, husband and friend like He had never been before. He is the reason that I can stand on the other side of betrayal with forgiveness for my ex and hope for a better future!
      I will be praying that you remain close to the one true lover of your soul. May He continue to pour out upon you His mercies each morning! Thankful that you found refuge in him during such an awful season!
      Bless you!🙏

    2. So true, my friend. I’m living the painful consequences everyday of my poor choices. But our God is the great Jehovah Jireh,our Provider, Healer of all things. In Him I have my being and live for Him in my waiting. He is worthy of our Praise.

  2. I appreciate your openness and vulnerability in telling your story. I’ve felt broken for a long time because I am now in my 60s and still single. I always wanted a family, but God didn’t have that plan for me. I devoted myself to teaching and loving my students. But then 14 years ago I entered a new stage and was no longer teaching. I floundered. I came to realize that my identity was so wrapped up in teaching that without it I didn’t have an identity. It has taken many years and much counseling, but I can now say that my identity is in being a daughter of the King of Kings. I’m so thankful that when I was bitter and resentful to God, it didn’t change His love for me. He relentlessly pursued me with His love. As I grow older and face new complications and difficulties, and as I lose more and more of my independence. I know I can count on one thing. God will never fail me. He will always love me. I will always be His child.

    1. I was just listening to my daughter who is 28 and never been married or has any children say to me MOM, I want a family I’ve been patient but I don’t want to be alone when I get older. My heart feels for her and you Bethany! I tell her the same things: GOD will never fail, HE loves her and She is HIS PRECIOUS DAUGHTER.
      Your post along with others have such power and you all demonstrate such Faith.
      When we can’t seem to understand what GOD is doing, we trust HIS HEART
      HE wants good for us and HE IS GOOD!

    1. I am so grateful for you sharing your story as I am at that place in my, wanting to cry but the tears won’t come. I am a labor delivery nurse for over 20 years. Last year I was diagnosed with a giant cell tumor of my wrist. I had surgery and regain 85% function of my right wrist. After returning to work the L&D unit was closed. Last week I had a CT scan and a biopsy which confirmed the tumor had return, so I will need a 2nd surgery. I am grateful that I was able to get a teaching job, but still worried that I will be doing surgery just starting a new job.
      Some days I feel hopeful but other days I in disheartening.
      Need a lot of prayers to get though.

  3. Hello Sharon,
    Thank you for sharing your story that continues….. giving hope.
    31 years ago, divorced, never wanting my biggest fear to happen, Adultery. I would Love to be married again, For it’s not good for man to be alone, I’ve prayed to the Lord so many times.
    When? Life isn’t easy and I continue to pray with hope that Mark 11:22-24 will be!
    My Parents are gone, no children and Thankfully, my Niece and I are talking again, but that ebbs and flows. Her Mother and I don’t talk because my Parents gave me there home after I care gave them for 22 years. My Sister is on her second Husband, has cheated on both and has everything, wealth , never enough for her. I’ve prayed for healing, written her a note gears ago with no response about forgiveness.
    I would Love to be Married again!
    And to have a Family of my own, even tho I’m now not able to have children.
    I’ve been Faithful in not having Sex for those many years, but would love to again with the Husband that I’m praying for…..

  4. Thank you Sharon!
    I’ve had heartache that made me bend over in pain. Hurts, lonely times, disappointments, loss of family…I pray God will use these times to minister to others!
    You spoke at our church in September.
    Pleasantview Baptist in Arlington, Tx

  5. Where do I begin? First I want to thank you for sharing your stories. You have been a blessing to me in so many ways. I have so many stories of Gods’ faithfulness. Married at a young age 18 and 19. Accepted Christ as our Savior at age 29 and 30 through a path we would never have imagined. Moved from good jobs to a farm. Sigh . Had a miscarriage. House burned down, lost everything. But able to build a better one PTL. Two years later barn and contents and some animals burnt down. But able to rebuild bigger and better with lumber from the farm and lots of help. PTL. Husband went home to be with his Lord at age 61 ( married 41 years). Two years later, son’s wife was cheating on him and other problems and he committed suicide. Husband number 2 came along (first and second husband had same aunt and uncle – crazy huh). He made me laugh again. Now after 16 years of marriage in 2020 he had a stroke and has been going downhill and is now in a nursing home unable to walk. But through it all God was always always faithful and provided. And yes, you grow through all these trial. Waiting to see the rest of the journey and what God has for my future. Listening for the trumpet call and His soon return! Praise the Lord.

  6. I can relate I had a still born child and a deal Miss charges it’s hard but he will be there for you with in it all.

  7. GM. My story has gone on for more then 10 years. I thought it would have come and gone by now, but it hasn’t. The Lord gave me a promise and I have yet seen it come to pass. At 21 my daughter told me she like women, still saying today breaks my heart. Shortly God told me she would return to Him, she has not yet, then a few years ago she married a woman. This whole situation has broken my heart in a million pieces. But God has taught me how to love unconditionally when at first I was so angry and hurt. My hope and dreams were gone. I was in a dark place and it was difficult to talk to my husband about it, but my FATHER gave me Sisters who listen to me felt my hurt and kept me and my family covered in prayer. Me and my daughter still talk and visit each other. I have learn how to love the young woman and treat her with respect. My heart desire is to see them surrender their lives to the Lord and live for Him. I want to continue to grow in my faith that my FATHER knows what HE promised and HE loves me even in this dark place.

    1. Nancy, I understand your pain and heartbreak as my daughter also chose this path. I get so overwhelmed emotionally just to think about it because I know this isn’t what God wanted for her. I still hold on to faith that God will deliver her from this lie as well as others. She barely communicates with me which is frustrating as while as tiring. Just today I was thinking that I am tired of pursuing her but I love her and I long to have a relationship with her. U r fortunate to have sisters that u can discuss this with. PTL for that. I am alone as my husband is deceased which is another heartache. God is still good and in control. I am waiting to see my daughter delivered. I pray that u continue to keep your faith in God for your daughter’s deliverance as well. God’s going to do it!!! There is nothing to hard for GOD!!!

  8. My biggest trial was when my grown daughter was run over and killed by an ex boy friend. My heart was broken but God showed me a way to help others by being a facilitator for a bereaved parents grief support group. My mission is to empower parents who have lost children to learn to grieve with hope.

  9. my son was killed in a car accident in october 2021. he was only 19. i dont know why this happened but i do know that God is carrying me through this. i have my days where i miss him terribly but i also still feel that this is a dream. our family is struggling with our loss but i do know God has a plan for all of this, i dont know what it is but i do know that God will prevail.

  10. Thank you for this devotion. I lost my beloved husband to cancer 2 months ago. I’m doing what needs to be done each day but the thought of living without him is so painful. He was only 71 and we had so many plans. Our last good time together was on our 49th anniversary. We were planning to take our whole family to Hawaii next year for our 50th. I’m just so sad.

    1. Claire – am praying for God to heal you & give you His peace which the world doesn’t give. I lost my husband too at only 62 years old & my life is very difficult now in every area. We just have to trust Him with all our hearts now.

  11. I know the pain of loss oh so well. In 2016 I was recovering from my second spinal fusion which came after a work injury, when my husband had a massive heart attack, leading to triple bypass surgery. He never recovered and a month later he died. I realize that God is yet writing my story, and I am still releasing my pain. I am still trusting Him to replace my ashes with beauty and my mourning with joy.

    1. Tammy, I glad your entanglement with a Narcissist has ended. Sarah Jayne wrote “what had been done to you and what has been done through you doesn’t disqualify you from Gods best for your life.” Now you can help others. God showed me last year my 32 years of marriage is to a person with Narcissitic tendencies….. not easy. I too am much wiser and aware and my eyes are wide open.

  12. Sharon Jaynes,
    My condolences to you on the loss of your son. There was a reason why God didn’t want your son to meet you. I’ve lost friends along the way to death, I didn’t understand at the time why HE let it happen. As it says, paraphrased, in the Bible, God sees the whole picture. We just see a small portion of what God sees in our lives and those around us.
    This is my attempt to console you and let you know that we care and I’ll be glad to be an ear if you want to talk to me.
    Peter Burnham

  13. Our adult son is an alcoholic and our lives have been turned upside down. We don’t understand why but we understand the promises of our merciful God. Prayers appreciated.

  14. I am divorced and am praying for a new husband who will have the same faith in Jesus that I do. Maybe it will happen and maybe it won’t. I will be fine either way. My one and only child/son had been into drugs and alcohol for 11 years now. I have learned that I can love him and not enable him. I pray for him every day and know that God can restore anything. God loves him much more than I do.

    1. I had a daughter on drugs for 20 years. It was a nightmare for me. Every time the phone rang I thought it was a call telling me she was dead. I won’t lie there was days I wanted to give up but I didn’t. Today she is doing so good and thriving. God is the healer.

  15. This Christmas will be 6 years since I watched my 23 year old son, Josiah, die from a blood clot in his lung. To see your child’s eyes begging for help one moment to holding him, knowing that he’s seeing Jesus face to face for the very first time. After staying in a pit for 4 years, the Lord began to stir my heart to saying “Yes” to helping others the way that He helped me. I began a blog called “To Josiah and Back” and a business in which I make Memorial Gifts to remember the ones who’ve gone ahead of us. Thank you Sharon for sharing your story.

  16. Please pray for restoration and reconciliation for me and my husband Sam, of almost 27 years. He left in July and I’m praying that God will change his heart and bring him back home. I pray God would restore Sam back to Him and our family and that He would restore us back to each other. I’m believing for a miracle.

  17. Thank you , I needed this. My son 52 recently passed away from covid pneumonia. His whole life since 7 yrs old has been sharing God with friends and others. He leaves a great legacy of believers. I can’t come to grips or reality that he is gone. He lived half way across the US from us and we only saw him once or twice a year. So in my mind he is alive and well there .

    I know reality will set in at some point that I won’t see him again here…but I know where he is ( heaven) and that we will be together again. But for now my heart aches for my blessed son. It just doesn’t seem right for children to go before the parents.

  18. Sharon thanks for sharing your story and always being transparent. I love the girl friends in God so much. I have mixed emotions about my husband. We have been married since 2004 and 2 months after we married he had to have a bypass. So we are both in second marriages. I love my husband very much. Presently he is suffering from dementia and on dialysis very weak and no motivation to do anything. My husband is ill mentally and physically and I understand but I have asked why because I remember how we use to be. But my God is faithful and when I blow it with my husband and I always apologize and ask my father God to help me but it’s very difficult. Not sure of the future but I know who holds my future. Pray for strength and patience daily. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and the fact that my husband has struggled with sickness our entire marriage. I am grateful even though I have some medical issues but im able to do a lot yard work housework and landscape which I love doing and I thank the Lord I’m able to enjoy it. Pray for me as I pray for you. Better food choices not a lot of junk. Patience with husband.

  19. Married to a pastor, being in the ministry with him for plus minus 27 years after being marrued for 32years,the man left me for the youth leader who was a divorced woman with 2 children, but the grace of God kept me, today i can honestly say that all things work together for the good. GOD did noit hurt me, He kept me all along

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