As I pleaded with God to stop her, he was strangely silent. I thought I had enough faith for God to answer this plea. But she was gone.
That day blurred into the next. Days turned into weeks, then months, and still she did not return.
I began to question my faith. If faith “as small as a mustard seed” could move mountains, my faith must be pitifully small.
Okay, God, if I don’t have enough faith, then I am going to cling to hope. I hope that you bring my daughter back.
One day I felt the Lord speak to my spirit. He gave me this acrostic for hope:
So my journey of hope began, wrapped in the words of Romans 12:12, “Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder” (TMB).
The Christian band, Casting Crowns recorded a popular song, “Praise You in this Storm” which became my theme song. I had to focus on something other than my grief.
Learning to trust God in a new way was scary. Many days were ruled by tears and questions instead of being graced with hope and faith. But as God began to do a new work in my heart, I realized I had let my daughter become an idol. I was so focused on having her back home, I grieved myself into depression and despair.
How do you praise God when you definitely don’t feel like it? Continuing to praise God, even when I didn’t feel like it, came through obedience. The day I realized I would be okay even if my daughter never returned was a day of hopeful freedom.
I still hung on to the hope that she would return, but my emotional and spiritual well-being did not have to be anchored to that scenario. With Christ as my anchor I had the hope I needed to make it through the storm.
©2015 Cindy Richardson