Why Did This Happen to You?


Why Did This Happen to You?

Honestly, I'm not sad. I'm angry. I'm furious that justice has been so elusive. What has happened is unfathomable and undeserved. I hate that humanity has robbed you of peace. I'm mad as hell that Hell would seek to dim one of the brightest lights. No, it's not sorrow that I feel. It's rage.

As you collect the pieces of your life, a question will haunt you: Why did this happen? It's the same question I've asked countless times. The absent answer usually exacerbates my frustration, but I've learned to lean into the anguish. In our divinely complex and ordered world, it's impossible not to question why senseless, unmerited suffering occurs. The answer won't be simple, but don't fear the question. The question is for your good — not your torment.

Why did this happen to you? Today, I don't know. You also don't know. We don't have the answer to that question, but the answer will come. It's inevitable, because the future will be the answer. The answer will only be found in how you live your life from this day forward. It's only in retrospect that you will be able to know whether this present suffering served to weaken or to strengthen you.

The same misery that causes one person to diminish can empower another. The rain that erodes the beach also waters the fields. The difference is not within the suffering, but within the one who suffers. 

Your future and, consequently, the reason why this happened to you will only ever depend on you. Your decisions, judgement, grit, openness, faith, and character will ultimately reveal the purpose of this bitter but transformative moment in your life. The truth will be found in your response. It will be a truth that you choose, a truth that you build. You get to define why this happened. No person will ever be able to give it to you or take it from you. No one will ever be able to define your life or your worth.

Here in the midst of it all, I'm angry at the past but filled with hope for what's to come. I'm mad that you've been hurt, but I have every hope in your future. Why am I so annoyingly optimistic? Because I know that it will be a future that you build. I've always believed in you. Even in your brokenness, you are stronger than you know. You will overcome this. You will ultimately define this. You will steal back what's been stolen from you; the narrative of your life.

This pain will change you. There's no way around that. Only a heartless soul can experience suffering without changing. So give yourself the grace to change, to evolve. Let that change reveal the person you want to become. It's your life, and you're just getting started.

I love you.

— John