All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.—PSALM 139:16 (NIV)
In the mid-1990s, I took our church youth group to a conference in Washington D.C. During a special session, youth counselors got the chance to hear a message from Steven Curtis Chapman. At the time I had no way of knowing that his words would bring me comfort years later while caring for my husband. Steven compared God’s love for us to that of a mother holding a young child at the doctor’s office as he is getting a shot. The child may cry and look up at his mother wondering why something so painful is happening. All the while, the mother holds tightly to her child, watching with protective love. She knows that while the pain isn’t easy, it will not last.
During the height of my caregiving struggles, I looked up and cried to God, “Why does this hurt so much?” Psalm 139 reminded me that at every moment God is with me and is aware of every event in my life. With that knowledge, I continued to approach God as a child crawling onto his mother’s lap, weathering my personal trials with the assurance that through it all, God’s arms were wrapped tightly around me, holding me safe as my journey unfolded, just as God ordained.