A few years ago, our little family was thrown into upheaval when I thought I was about to lose my husband to cancer. The onslaught of what-ifs, the grip of fear, and the tortured limbo of not knowing were hard realities to face. Thankfully, the questions from that season have been answered, and from that battle, we came through victorious.  Lessons were learned, hard questions were asked, and we have a fresh dusting of gratitude sprinkled over each moment. It was as if treasure had been lost and then miraculously restored, and years later we are still reveling in our wealth.

At the time, we thought it was nothing more than a routine exam – just to ensure everything was fine. My husband left for his checkup as his normal buoyant self. I heard nothing, assumed everything was fine and waited expectantly for the ‘all clear.’ When he returned home, his normally cheery demeanor was clouded over and troubled. The doctor was deeply concerned and advised him to see a specialist immediately. I was terrified. What does this mean? What do we do? Where do we go? How soon can we get him into a specialist? The questions were piling up faster than we had answers to organize them. 

The situation was only further complicated by the fact that there wasn’t a lot of ‘immediately’ where we found ourselves located. We lived in the mountains of Peru, and for serious medical attention/needs, we had to take a trip back to the United States. The local doctors spent the day making phone calls and confirmed there was not a reliable lab or oncologist where we lived at that time for what he needed. Their recommendation was for him to head to the USA immediately. 

Our resources and connections were limited and adding to the toll of a foreboding forecast, we had to send him away for clearer answers and a diagnosis. We went from thinking things were fine one moment to putting my husband on a plane within 48 hours with me left behind to wait with our 3 small kids. 

The questions began and banged like obnoxious visitors at the front door. How are we going to get through this? Am I going to be a widow now? What if this is it – am I going to raise our three kids by myself? Kids? What am I going to tell our kids?!?! 

As the time rolled on, heaviness descended on my heart. More questions came, and no answers. Finality would be at least bearable as long as I knew…..but not knowing was rapidly becoming part of my undoing. Slowly, steadily, God’s still small voice broke into my frantic thoughts: 

You know where to go for answers. 

I needed answers, and the only place I knew to go, that God was calling me to go, was on my knees. I put on some worship music, and weeping, I began to unload my heart. There were no words left to utter, no magical understanding and no resolution either. Just the crushing weight of sorrow in the middle of a lot of unknown questions. Sobs came out of me like a pent up wave seeking release. My cry was my prayer, I was beyond words. I saw myself walking around a treacherous pass on a mountainside, and the way forward seemed impossible. I turned to look behind me, and the way I had just walked through seemed equally impossible. As I turned back to where I stood, there was God. Right there, with me. In the midst of questions, sorrow, uncertainty and the middle of my unknowns, I finally knew: God was with me, and God was enough.

The tears subsided, and an all encompassing peace descended. I had to hold onto God, he was the only one who could lead me forward from here. 

Worship leads us to stillness of soul, and stillness of soul leaves our questions silenced, and in the silence, adoration breaks forth. We have to make time for adoration to break forth in the middle of questions. Questions needing answers can’t be our trump card. We might have to wait forever for answers……mystery will always be with us. But, we can’t wait forever to adore him. We must remember, we must remember. 

Why is it so easy for us to forget? Why is it so stinking easy for us to get caught up in the questions that each season brings, and it takes mountains of discipline, and sometimes crisis to get us quiet and humbled? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know that we are in a long line of good company. The Israelite’s were commanded to make altars to remember God’s faithfulness. David wrote out his questions, complaints, revelations and adoration all through the Psalms. Jesus told his disciples while taking communion to remember why they were taking the bread & wine. It seems a lot of our curiosity and questions can be answered with this simple discipline: Remember. 

So, when you are faced with all the questions, Remember God’s goodness. Remember he hasn’t failed you.

Remember he is still writing your story, our story. Remember that the way ahead and behind may be intricately complex and full of uncertainty, but remember who accompanies your every step. Remember you are loved. Remember that you are victorious, even if your victory has not yet come. Remember to be still and let adoration break forth. Remember God is with you, and God is always enough. 

Reflective Questions: 

  1. What questions are you wrestling with today? 
  2. How has God been good to you?  Remember His faithfulness and thank Him for it.  
Joy Allen

Joy loves to encourage people in their walk with Jesus. Her favorite life lessons come from leaning into the hard stuff to glean the gold, while trying not to freak out in the middle. She is a coffee snob, who Ioves to bake, gather friends around the table and is happiest in comfy pants. Joy and her family recently relocated to Northern California after working overseas for 15 years. She is a freelance writer, encouragement coach and writes regularly on her blog, joyallenwrites.com.

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