As we pulled out of the driveway, I was very aware of my bad attitude. I’d been giving and giving to my daughter, and the only thing she’d been giving back to me was sass and attitude. I knew that taking her to Sacramento for the Revolve Tour, a conference designed for teenage girls, would be good for her, but I didn’t want to go.
Lynn and I had been asked to speak at Heart for the Fatherless, a local adoption conference, the weekend before. The Revolve Tour had come to Portland that weekend and I would have much rather have driven her there instead of this longer trip.
As we drove the 12 hours down, I began to realize that I had completely given up hope that our daughter would ever come around. She had broken my heart way too many times, causing me to want give up even trying to be close to her. To continue seemed too painful. I felt like all was lost and that all of the blood, sweat and tears I had been pouring into her for the past few years were all for nothing. Her choices broke my heart, becoming so high-risk that, as I looked at her potential future, I felt only a sense of dread and sadness.
As the worship began, I looked around at the crowd and sharply felt my own emotional distance from God. Everyone around me seemed to be enjoying worship, except me and of course my daughter, who at that point didn’t seem to want anything to do with God or me. Part of me wanted to abandon myself to worshiping God, but I was still angry with Him and hurt that He had chosen this situation for my life. Despite my pain, however, I finally let myself enter into worship.
Almost immediately, I heard God speak to my heart.
“You’ve given up on her. But I haven’t.”
It was true. I had given up. During that time, the moment Bri would start making good choices, she’d freak out and the downward spiral of poor behavior soon followed. I’d see a ray of hope shining through only to soon feel as though I was staring down a tunnel at the light of a train barreling full-speed toward my face.
God’s words convicted me to look beyond the present circumstance and gave me hope to believe that, despite how things felt at the time, He was at work behind the scenes. His words gave me the strength to keep going, even if just for a little while longer.
Maybe you, like me, feel like there’s no hope. I’m here to tell you that, despite how dark and hopeless your situation may seem, God is there, working in ways you may not know. How many times do we factor God out of our situation, only because humanly speaking there seems to be no way out and no way through?
Here is a great reminder to help get us through those tough days:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:1-2
God is there, even when it feels as though He has abandoned us. We can trust Him in the storm.