Three Steps to Help Navigate the  Neverending “Why?” Questions that We Experience in Pain

“I was so angry with God for leaving me here like this. I was so angry at Him for choosing to let Jay bail on me like that. I couldn’t understand why God didn’t take the deadbeat dads, the uninvolved dads, the indifferent dads. Why couldn’t they be the ones that died? I saw plenty of unhealthy people just living right along in life, eating poorly and not taking care of themselves, yet Jay died at thirty-eight years old. He didn’t take care of himself either, but why not take out some other someone who didn’t take care of themselves and wasn’t a good dad? Oh how I struggled with the unanswered “why” questions!”

The Death Tsunami: An Unexpected Journey into Widowhood and How I Met Death
Stephanie Jordan
Cross Over Jordan Publishing 2023

When we have faced extremely close loss or a hard pain in our lives, the “why?’ questions can dominate our minds. Why did this happen to me? To them? Why God? What did I do to deserve this? Why didn’t you fix it God? Why didn’t you prevent it, God? And the list can go on and on. We will ruminate on these questions, mainly because they have unsatisfactory answers or no answers at all.

We want an answer to the “why?” because it gives us some sort of feeling of controlling what ultimately we can’t control. If we can have an answer, especially one that appeases us, we then can reconcile the incident and move on with our lives. However, the ability to move on with our lives doesn’t lie within the answer, but within submission. Submission that maybe God knows more and can see things we can’t. God understands the larger picture, and we live with finite experiences.

Here are three steps to help you navigate the “why?” you may struggle with:

Step 1: Trust that God is Sovereign

When Jay passed away and left me as a widow with five children, I could have given plenty of reasons that was the wrong decision. I had five good ones! It took me time to work things out with God to trust that He is sovereign. I reluctantly, at first, started to accept that God knew things that I couldn’t possibly know. Once my heart and head caught up with each other, I fully submitted that God’s timing is perfect, and He promises to complete what He starts here on Earth. I began to see that my experience of losing Jay wasn’t personal against me, it was Jay’s journey with God on this side of heaven that was complete.

You will have to submit yourself underneath God’s sovereignty and be honest with Him about the way you feel. He will nurture your heart. He stays very close to the brokenhearted. He will not leave you. You may not fully understand, but you trust Him anyway because you know He is trustworthy.

Step 2: Control your thinking

The Bible says to take every thought captive and submit it under the obedience of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Why is this practice important? When we experience deep hurts and extremely close loss, our hearts and minds are usually the first to betray us with ruminating thoughts. You may have trouble sleeping. You may not have an appetite. You may feel like you can’t get out of bed.

What does it mean to take every thought captive? When you begin to spiral in your mind, you stop the spiral by consciously engaging in your thoughts. When a negative thought enters, you counter it with the truth of God’s word.
For example:
The ruminating thought is: “God hates me; this is why this happened to me.”
The truth is: “God so loves me that He gave His only son to die for me.”

This is how you take the thoughts captive and bring them under the obedience of Christ. You recognize what is a lie and then counter it with what you know is God’s truth. If you are new to scripture, there are topical Bibles that will help you with specific topics. Google is also useful, though it may lead you astray; look for a trustworthy site like or to find information.

Step 3: Learn to be OK without having answers

If you are anything like me, I have always wanted answers. I drove my mom nuts asking,”Why?” when I was a kid. If she told me no, I wanted a satisfactory answer explaining why I wasn’t able to do said thing. You can imagine that this kind of thinking and reasoning behavior followed me throughout my life. Maybe you are a chronic why questioner as well, and you feel like you are being totally seen right now. My brain is always curious for information, especially if it has to do with being told no.

I have lived long enough to share a life secret with you. You will have to be OK without having answers to many things. Sometimes things just are what they are, and you have to be OK with moving forward in life without a clarifying, satisfactory answer or solution. You will need to have a resolve that you continuously tell yourself,”I don’t have to know the answer here to move on with my life. I don’t like it, but I will not get stuck in a place that I can’t control.”

When this becomes your thinking process, you are able to help yourself enjoy life, even if it is not what you thought it should be, would be, or could be. You remove the pressure off of yourself to be god, and allow God to be God. This is a place of freedom!

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