Where Else Can We Go? – Asbury University
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Where Else Can We Go?

March 20, 2023

Brianna VanValin ’12
Children’s Pastor, Indianapolis First FMC

Mark 9:24, John 6:68-69

After trying for over 13 months to get pregnant, I miscarried twice the following year. I felt like God had abandoned me. How could I trust Him who seemed so unworthy of trust? I was filled with anger against God and I felt justified in it. I deserved this anger. Of course I didn’t want this bitterness that I carried, but what else was there?

Is God still good, when our world feels like it’s falling apart? Is He trustworthy when we cry out to Him and are met with silence? As someone who is contemplative and leans into the melancholy, I can mull over these existential questions with the best of them. But, at the end of the day, faith is a choice that we daily must choose.

I’m reminded of John 6, when Jesus gives the crowd the ultimatum for eternal life: eating his flesh and drinking his blood. The crowds left in droves after hearing that. The healing and the multiplying food were things they could get on board with, but this was too much. “Are you going to leave too?” Jesus asked his twelve. Peter’s answer became my answer as well,  “Lord, where else can we go? Only You have the words of eternal life.”

I’m so thankful that my story has a “happy” ending, with the Lord giving us four amazing kids. I know not everyone’s story ends in the way they hope. However, I am acutely aware that my trust in the goodness of God must be rooted in faith and not in the ever changing tide of my life’s circumstances. Each day, I have the choice to believe or to despair, and most days there is a lot of both. I’m thankful to be held in the liturgy and prayers of the church to give me words when I don’t have any. And I continue to inch forward in faith, echoing the words of the man in Mark 9, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”