By our dear sister, Erin Patz
“But God, I’m so young.”
“But God, I didn’t plan it like this.”
“But God, I never imagined planning a wedding and a funeral within the same year.”
I had a lot of, “but God…” moments after my husband passed away in 2013. He was the one who was with Jesus and I was the one still on this earth, even though part of me felt like I died that day too. Being a twenty-four year old widow was never part of my plan. It’s not part of any widow’s plan.
How confident was I in God’s ability to save me? In Daniel chapter 3, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were so confident in God’s ability. They refused to worship the gods King Nebuchadnzzar served. King Nebuchadnzzar told them if they were unwilling, they would be cast into a blazing furnace.
“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you set up.” Daniel 3: 16-18
They were thrown in the furnace and were unharmed. They were so confident in God’s ability. They knew God was fully capable of saving them, but they also knew that even if He didn’t,
He was still good.
God reminded me that no matter how many “but God” moments I had, He was still good. He reminded me that even though it felt like part of me died when my husband died, I was still on this earth and I needed to live and praise Him. It didn’t matter that I was twenty-four years old and only married ten months. It didn’t matter that being a young widow was never in my plans. It didn’t matter that I was so broken and felt so lost. It didn’t matter how much I tried to shake my fist and question God. It didn’t matter how hurt and angry I was. He was still good.
“But God, I’m so young.” – But I am still good.
“But God, I didn’t plan it like this.” – But I am still good.
“But God, I never imagined planning a wedding and a funeral within the same year.” – But I am still good.
God was (and is) still worthy of my praise.
I realized that my plans did not match up with God’s plans, but that was okay because He knows what He’s doing. He knows the beginning, middle, and end of my story, where I only can see the here and now. And He remains good through it all. I had to be constantly reminded that God gives and takes, and He needs to be praised either way.
We want our prayers answered. We want those we love to remain healthy and happy. But if that doesn’t happen, will you believe that He is still good? Will you continue to trust Him?
I know it’s hard and difficult. I know it’s messy and complicated. I know it’s dark and painful. And I know because I’ve been there. I know the feeling of being so broken you have absolutely no idea how God can piece you back together.
But He can.
And I know that believing He is still good is completely worth it. Believing He was still good was such a tough process for my mangled heart. But through the death of my husband I started to truly live. I have experienced God’s faithfulness and love in a truer, deeper, and more intimate way.
I don’t deserve how much God has blessed me and I’m not entitled to anything. It’s been a process, but my “but God” moments have slowly been replaced by “and if not, He is still good” moments. I will never understand everything on this earth, but God does. He sees the full picture and through it all, He is still good.
Now two years later, I’m amazed to see how God has transformed my heart and my life. He has remained good through all my “but God moments” and He continues to slowly, painfully, and divinely piece me back together.
God called my husband home and in a painful process of grief and growth, I found that He really is still good.