• Julie Busler

I Was Alone

After my mom died, I drove home from college for Thanksgiving. I entered my childhood home, not knowing how we’d celebrate with life being startlingly different, but optimistic nonetheless.

Something immediately felt wrong - all the lights were off and no one was home.

I was alone.

Upon calling my dad, I learned he had taken my young sister out of state and I had no idea. I slid down the wall I was leaning against as tears fell down my cheeks. Where was God when my dad got in the car and drove off while I drove home? Where was God as I sat there in the dark?

I can say with confidence, He was right there with me. I didn’t know it at the time, but all these years later, I can look back with different eyes. Sometimes, in the midst of grief, we know without a shadow of a doubt that God is with us. We just know. But, I’ve also experienced the times when I literally had no idea where He was. I felt completely forsaken.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.” Psalm‬ ‭22:1-2‬ ‭

If you are in a situation right now where you feel abandoned, let me be a voice in your life that tells you that you are never alone. Maybe no one has ever told you that. As one who understands what it feels like to be utterly alone, I’m so glad that by the grace of God, I endured, “Because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us...” (Romans 5:3-5).

If the outcome of those years I simply endured has been hope, then I am thankful. Hope in Christ has never disappointed me, for it has been a secure anchor for my soul.

With bright hope today - a hope that steadies me and directs my thoughts to the beautiful unseen - I believe it was from a heart of love and mercy that God allowed me to experience that lonely Thanksgiving. “For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow.” Lamentations‬ ‭3:31-33‬

Today, as I snapped a photo of the family God has surrounded me with, every single face shined with redemption

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