My post today will be different than usual. I want to share an article my 17-year-old daughter wrote for her English class (with her permission). I’m sharing it to offer encouragement for difficult days.

As the article suggests, we don’t always understand why things are happening at the time. What God allows may not make sense. But if we trust His plan and His purpose, we will find peace.

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                                              Understanding Why

I believe everything happens for a reason.

Ten years ago Arkansas was not my home. At seven years old, moving away from your best friend felt like the end of the world. I was not concerned about the fact that my step-father’s work was slowly but surely going out of business and he would soon be without a job. No, that meant nothing to me. All I could think about was starting a new school, in a new town, with new people. Over the years I tried to keep in touch with friends from Texas but of course lives change and we all drifted. I always wondered what my life would be like if I had grown up there, if I would be different from the person I am today.

It wasn’t until recently that it all clicked. I understood why God moved us here. Not only was I 300 miles away from my best friend, but I was also 300 miles away from my alcoholic dad. This meant no more staring out that apartment window, hiding the fear of daddy not returning. This meant no more funny smells, no more fighting, no more car wrecks. But this also meant secrets. Secrets about what was going on in Texas as my sister and I grew up in Arkansas sheltered from it all.

Daddy always called from weird numbers at random times. He never told us he was in jail, or in rehab, or in the hospital for fighting. He didn’t admit until after he was off the streets that he had been homeless for two years. We somehow pried it out of mom though. We wanted to know what was going on, why he never kept his promises to visit.

At 17 years old it was scary to see this man for the first time in five years. He wasn’t my daddy anymore, he was a stranger. I felt seven again, telling my sister everything would be okay, as we attempted to snap daddy out of the seizures. I felt helpless again, babysitting the ones that should’ve been babysitting me.

But I believe this all happened for a reason. I believe God was protecting my heart from the pain, disappointment, and fear that I would have lived in everyday. I believe he used my screwed up dad to make me rely on Him as a heavenly father. I believe that man daddy hit, was killed to teach me the consequences of drinking and driving. I believe I have learned to love the people that hurt me the most and forgive, when they mess up once again.

Tragic things will happen in life, without a doubt. So instead of dwelling on them I look for the reason why, for I believe there is always a reason. Lousy circumstances no longer control my outlook on life. They simply flourish the good parts of it.

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