"God is good, all the time.”
I never realized how much this would stick with me.
I never would've imagined that the circumstances I'd come to experience would show me in a deeply personal way that God's promises remain true and are always good.
In January 2016, the youth pastor at my church died tragically from being struck by lightning.
And in the hours that followed hearing the news, our youth group turned into a family. Not one person stood alone.
As tears flowed from grieving faces, everyone in our youth ministry did the only thing you can do: pray.
With arms raised and loud cries, the school cafeteria was filled with the voices of broken hearts crying out to God to make sense of this.
Our pastor was a father figure to some and a friend to many. His hugs always made our days better. And he had a way of encouraging us that would also challenge us to make sure we reach our full potential.
Of all of the wisdom my youth pastor taught us over the years, I was confronted with actually having to live out the lesson that regardless of the situation, God is good, all the time.
Yes, we were shocked and in pain. But something else happened that day.
We were all set on fire for God more than we had ever been before.
Together, we learned to grieve with hope–hope for the future, hope for what could come out of pain, hope for God’s promises to happen. And I believe when you lean on those around you, getting through the hard things becomes easier.
Here are 3 ways that have helped me that I believe can help you too:
1. Find your tribe + love them hard
Being in community helped me a lot because I knew I had a family I could count on who had my back. But even within community, you've gotta find your tribe of people you can be real with because these guys will have your back through thick + thin, and can help you stay on the path that God has given you.
We knew that to walk through this we had to walk hand-in-hand with one another and to keep looking to God no matter what challenges were thrown at us. And because of that, we were comforted in knowing God is good.
2. Cling to Hope of Tomorrow
It’s okay to grieve, but being in community also taught me to grieve with the hope of tomorrow. It's not easy, but it's about becoming willing to let yourself dream and hope for the beauty that can come out of pain, for expecting God's promises to happen for you and others.
3. Remember, You are Made for a Purpose
This bible verse stays with me through everyday life, that regardless of what goes on in your life, each of us has a purpose we need to fulfill.
It also reminds me that God has a plan for us and good intentions in everything he does. Everything that is done through Him will turn out for good because He loves us.
So even when life gets hard or if unexpected tragedy hits, find your tribe, learn to cling to hope for the future and never forget that God is good all the time.
What tough situations have you experienced that have made you better? Are there lies you've believed about God that are robbing you of having hope? Share your heart in the comments below.
follow Maddie on Insta @MADISON.NEWBERY