I think people wonder a lot--sometimes I wonder a lot--if God loves us, then why does he allow bad things to happen to us? If God loves me, then why am I not married or in a happy relationship? If God loves me, why didn't I get into that school or make that team? If God loves me, then why do I struggle with certain issues? If God loves me, then why did he take my mother, my father, my sister, or my brother away?
I hear people and I read articles and comments that say that if there truly were a God, then bad things wouldn't happen in this world. The Holocaust wouldn't have happened, 9/11 wouldn't have occurred; Lady Gaga wouldn't be popular and teachers would be rich. People say that life isn't fair, but the thing is that life isn't fair for anyone, so in a way it makes it fair for everyone.
We may never know until after this life why terrible, awful things like the Holocaust had to happen. We may never know why some children have to die so young and innocent, when they have beautiful lives ahead of them. There are many things we won't know for a long time, but I do know that our God is a just God and a loving God. I know that we are here on this earth not just to have a cushy happy life, but to learn and to grow. And in order to do that, we have to experience things that won't always be very happy.
I believe that everything happens for a reason, even when it all seems to be going terribly. I've seen it so many times in my life. One of these times happened when I was in high school. Since I was five years-old, I'd always been a ballet dancer. It was my love of my life, and while I knew that I probably wouldn't be able to turn it into a career, I wanted to keep dancing for as long as I could. In ninth grade, I remember seeing the high school dance company perform at our school and when I watched them dance I had a dream in my head that I wanted to be on the dance company. It was a small and simple dream, but I would have given anything for it. So when the end of ninth grade and dance company auditions came around, I was so excited to try out. Unfortunately, I didn't make it, and I went home sad and cried myself to sleep. A few days to weeks later, I got over it. I'd try again the next year. I figured it was harder to make it as a sophomore anyways. Auditions came around again the next year, I auditioned, but it wasn't meant to be and I didn't make it again. I was devastated. I remember looking at the list and seeing names of my friends from ballet class who'd made it. I got back to the car with my mom and we both cried together. She knew how much I wanted it and how badly it hurt not to make it. It hurt a lot more the second time around. I never understood why, and I'd pray to my Heavenly Father and ask him why, over and over again. I would have given up anything just to be on dance company.
It hurt when the year started again and I saw all my friends performing on stage in the welcome assembly while I sat in the audience. It hurt to see so many of them come to dance class with their brown sweats and gold duffel bags that I so badly wished I could have. At the end of my junior year, I tried out for dance company one more time. I think deep down I might have known that I wasn't going to make it, but I wanted it so much in my heart, and I couldn't let myself think "what if" for the rest of my life if I hadn't tried out. So try out I did, and I didn't make it. It was probably the hardest the third time around to once again look for my name but not see it on the list. I cried more and I wondered more of why I couldn't just have this one dream, the only thing I really had ever wanted. It was a little bit after around that time that I decided to try and get my Associate's degree from WSU by the time I graduated. Since I wasn't going to be on dance company, my parents could afford it and I had time for it. I took a lot of college credits that summer and actually really liked it and then enrolled in as many AP and Concurrent Enrollment classes I could to get college credit. One of the CE courses I took was fashion merchandising, coincidentally at the same time as dance company. Up to that point, I had never cared much about fashion, beside enjoying reading my subscription of Seventeen magazine and going shopping at the mall every once in a while. I wasn't expecting much out of the class, but after my first day, I was already in love. Every day I had the class I gush to my friends about how excited I was for it and everything I was learning from it. It was amazing how much I enjoyed something I'd never really cared about before. I ended up dropping another class to take Advanced Fashion Merch the next semester because I loved it so much. Needless to say, that class basically changed my life. I dabbled in some fashion design, eventually learned how to sew, and realized that I really did want to be a fashion designer. And now in a week and a half I'm showing a collection at a BYU fashion show. :)
I now know why I didn't make dance company, why I couldn't make dance company. God had different plans for me, and if he had given me what I wanted so badly in the moment, I wouldn't have what I want and love right now. I know what it's like to struggle...and not with just the above story. I wonder today why I'm not dating anyone and I wonder why I've had such a hard time with school lately. I wonder why I had to go through some of the things I did when they hurt me so so badly.
Everything happens for a reason, and I know that God usually has really good reasons. We have to remember that when God says yes to our prayer, he might have to say no to someone else's. Life has it's course, and even when everything seems to be going terribly wrong, it is actually going right. It's always going right.
So when people ask, why God lets bad things happen to us, he lets them happen to us because he loves us. He wants us to feel the pain to relate to other human beings in the world and he wants to make us stronger so that we can handle hard things the next time they come around and so that we can help other who were once in our position.
God is a just God and he is a fair God, and he is also a loving God. Whenever we are struggling or asking God why, let us remember that everything He does is for us, and in the end, we will all be grateful that he let it happen the way He did. :)