WHY ME, GOD? When Tragedy Strikes


A few months ago, Joshua and I sat down to write out some goals we had for the upcoming year. Since it's been one year since the whirlwind of rehab/recovery hit our family, we figured it was time to reassess a few areas of our life, and marriage, that needed attention. One of those areas, for me, is writing. So, I committed to at least trying to publish something every week. Previously, I've enjoyed sharing what God had been teaching me. It was likened to studying: when I learned something in class, I would go home and study by writing out what I remembered from the lesson in class and then I'd continue by writing out my answers to the homework questions. Doing so helped me seal in my brain, what I'd learned audibly in class. Likewise, writing what God has spoken to me helps me seal those lessons on my heart. Obviously, not all of those lessons I share with you right away. But, when God calls me to share... I'll share! 

June 26, 2017 {Journal Entry}

10 AM. Day 13 of Joshua being in rehab. Two days until we're expected to be fully moved out of our loft. The home we've built for the past 4 years. 

Alone, I'm crying myself to sleep afraid of what the future holds and confused about who I've been married to the past two and a half years. My parents tried to get me to come stay with them but I refuse to leave for fear of it all being true. So, tonight I'll sleep here on the floor where I'll toss and turn until my alarm sounds reminding me of this new reality; time to get up and go to work before coming home to pack up the remnants of a life I once knew. I can't believe this is happening. This happened. Why is this happening to me?? 

August 31, 2017 {Journal Entry}

Why did Joshua choose drugs? ... Why did Joshua lie to me? ... Why were we asked to leave the church?... Why did all of our mentors abandon us when we were asked to leave the church? ... Why did God let all of this to happen to me? ... 

When tragedy strikes, it's a human response to call out, "WHY ME, GOD?!" And truthfully, I'll never claim to know 'why' when it comes to anything the Creator chooses to allow. To this day, I still find myself swimming in a sea of speculation. Can I tell you -- man-oh-man -- the stories I've written in my head are Oscar worthy!! Looking back on various trials in my life, I can recall many times asking God, "WHY ME!". Maybe you could relate to a few of my  personal, "Why, God?" moments: 

Why did my Grammy die from Lymphoma Cancer? 

I thought if I prayed enough, she wouldn't die. Why did she have to die?! 

Why did my high-school sweetheart breakup with me days before we were to go to college, together?

I thought you said he was the one?! Why would you promise that and then rip him away from me, God?!

Why did my virginity get stolen from me?

I didn't want to give my virginity to him! I thought you'd protect me, God?! 

Why did she say those things about me?

I never said that! She took it out of context completely!  Why did they believe her and not me? Why did you let this happen, God?!

Why did you let them kick us out of the church?

This isn't Your heart. I'm your child, why did you let this happen to us, God?

I still struggle to see His glory in some of these areas... trust me, I'm not sharing this with you because I've overcome and have arrived... there's no winning streak here! As in, I'm not writing from a place of complete victory or even total surrender (though total surrender is a goal). I'm writing from somewhere in-between. Some days I wake up and I'm fully surrendered knowing God has used those obstacles, past, present, and future, to teach and grow me in ways I wouldn't experience otherwise. And there are other days I wake up and whine my way through the day, "Whyyyyyy meeeee GODdddddd !!!!".  

'WHY ME?' isn't the right question.

'WHY NOT ME?' is the question. 

I wish I could tell you at what point those two statements clicked for me. It was definitely a process to get there. But one night, it all started to fall into place. I was working through the STEPS program at The Village Church - Plano (soon to be Citizen’s Church - heyooo!! #fastestshrinkingmegachurch) and our group leader asked me a very pointed question: 

{Loose translation of what was said:}
Me: "I don't know why God let all of this happen to me. Like, what did I do to deserve this?!" 
Amber: "I totally get where you're coming from. But, I love you enough to ask you a tough question. Can you show me where in the Bible God promises you won't suffer?" 

Ohhhhh I did NOT like her at that moment. But, needless to say, that shut me up pretty fast because I knew she was right. (To be clear, her intention wasn't to shut me up!) Her intention was to help me learn to reframe my obstacles through the lens of truth. This became a pattern for us, an in turn a pattern in other relationships in my life. Helping those around us reframe our obstacles through the lens of truth -- not feelings. That looks a lot like this: What do I think about XYZ situation versus what do I know to be true as found in the Gospel? If the two don't add up, something is flawed in my thinking. 

So, let's take a look at the previous, "Why me, God?" questions I shared with you and look at them through the lens of truth: 

Why did my Grammy die from Lymphoma Cancer?

We can't possibly have a definitive answer. But what we do know is we aren't promised forever on Earth. We are promised Eternity in heaven (Ephesians 2:8-10). 

Why did my high-school sweetheart breakup with me days before we were to go to college, together and subsequently live happily-ever-after?

Yes, when I was 15, God spoke to me and told me JOSHUA is the one. I was certain that applied to my high-school sweetheart, Josh. But, God had a bigger plan. A plan that would take me through THREE relationships with men named Joshua, before I found my Joshua. In 1 Samuel we read about the story of King David. He was anointed way before he took the throne as King of Israel. David still had to walk through trials and serve in various service roles before he could step into what God had called him to. 

Why did my virginity get stolen from me?

True, I didn't want to give my virginity to him! But, I wasn't seeking after God at that point in my life. Instead, I was seeking validation from the world. I'd rejected who God said I was and accepted the lies of the enemy. Had I chosen to actively seek the Truth versus settling for false identity, I might not have sought validation in an Earthly relationship because I'd have recognized my worth in the eyes of my Heavenly Father. 

Why did she say those things about me?

While someone else's actions can hurt us, God knows our hearts (Hebrews 4:12). 

Why did you let them kick us out of the church?

Despite how I might feel about the pain of being removed from a church community, I must resolve to turn to the truth. And, what I know is true is this: God has called me to be a minister of reconciliation and as a result, it's my responsibility to seek forgiveness for what I did to cause dissension in the relationship (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). 

As TRUE as all of that is - I (you/me/we) don't always want to admit where we may have fallen short. It's far 'easier' to cry out to God and point the finger at everyone else, displacing blame on those around us while ignoring what God wants to cultivate within us. What if... just, what if... despite it all... 


In Mark 14 we see Jesus in Gethsemane. He takes Peter, James and John with him and begins to tell them, "My soul is deeply grieved and overwhelmed with sorrow, to the point of death;". Sound familiar? After Jesus leaves His friends, he cries out to God, "Abba, Father! All things are possible for You; take this cup [of judgement] away from me; but not what I will, but what You will." (March 14: 34 and 36 AMP). He was pleading with His Heavenly Father to take the burden of dying on the cross away from him. BUT, if it had to be done, He would do it. 

We aren't Jesus, though. So, you may be asking yourself, "Okay, Kaitlyn, but I'm not Jesus. The crap that's happened to me isn't my fault. So, what's your point? And don't tell me Jesus suffered too...." 

Well, Jesus did suffer.
And Jesus did cry out to God.
In agony, from the cross.

Jesus prayed, "ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" that is, "MY GOD, MY GOD WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?" (Matthew 27:46 AMP). Theologians may disagree with me, but this may have been Jesus', "Whyyyyy meeeee, GOD!?!?" moment. 

Asking, "Why me, God?" isn't abnormal. One could even argue it isn't wrong. It's a part of the human experience, right? I think where many of us tend to go wrong is in thinking that's where the conversation stops.

"Why me, God?" is a question.
A question, by definition, means: a sentence worded or expressed so as to elicit information.

We'd be remiss to think our question shouldn't, or wouldn't, be followed by an answer. Where many of us fall short is in seeking the response to our very plea… so, what’s God telling you in response to your “Why me, God?!” question?







Wimberley's new EP, "Desolate Places," features two new songs, "Lament" and "My God." These songs remind us of our ability to cry out to God, even in the depths of our sin and brokenness.