You never think that the things you see on the news would happen to you or someone you know. But they do.

I never thought I’d see a high school 20 minutes away from mine where my two best friends were enrolled on the news after a stabbing. But I did.

I never thought I’d have to attend a student in my high school’s funeral. But I did.

I never thought I’d be standing in the hospital bathroom crying, asking God not to take my grandma (and He didn’t, thankfully), but I did.

Sometimes things happen that you’re not too surprised at, such as when my parents divorced.

These things happen, but why? We find ourselves questioning the trials of life. I know I do. And we find ourselves saying, “Why are you doing this, God?” We think we’re being punished. But that’s far from the truth.

The way I see it, it’s a learning experience.

We are put through these trials to be made stronger. And when we are facing the hard times in our life, we can look to the moments that brought us joy. Walking across the stage at graduation, getting accepted to a university, seeing your best friend get baptized, watching those same best friends at that high school get engaged. Those are moments of joy in my life.

In those moments of trial, fear, and doubt, we can look to the cross and our failures are lost, like they say in Glorious Ruins by Hillsong. When the mountains fall and the tempests roar, He is with us.

And because He is with us, we can take up that cross because we are stronger.

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