Turning to God When Things Don’t Go Your Way

What do you do when things go wrong? You had some plans or an idea of what your life might be and then things are completely derailed. Maybe it’s illness, a death, or doors that are closed where you thought they would stand wide open.

Surely you can think of a time or two, or more, when things really changed for you. How did you respond in those moments? Did you get angry? Blame God? Turn to alcohol or food or television or another means of “escape”? Did you fall into despair? Or did you take what you were given and keep on going, doing the best with what you had?

The stories of the saints are full of men and women who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. God didn’t deal the saints a perfect hand. They didn’t make it to heaven by having a lovely life and never facing any difficulty. Instead, the saints faced many frightening, excruciating, or impossible trials. And rather than throwing in the towel, they kept right on going.

St. Therese of Lisieux

Think of St. Therese. From a young age she desired to serve as a missionary. After living a holy childhood and growing in her relationship with Christ, she decided to become a Carmelite nun. If you think that people who do good things have good things happen to them, then you might assume that by giving her entire life to Christ and His Church she would be rewarded with a nice, comfortable life. But that’s not how it works, is it? Like many saints before her, St. Therese got really sick. She was so sick that her dreams of becoming a missionary and bringing Catholicism to the far reaches of the world were shattered.

But did St. Therese give up? Did she wallow in self-pity? Did she get angry—maybe, but if she did it was only for a minute. Because she didn’t let suffering stop her! She embraced what God had given her and fervently prayed for the missions and all those who served the missionary Church. After she died at age 24, she became a patroness for the missions without having been a missionary herself.

St. Patrick

Chances are you are familiar with the basics of Saint Patrick. He brought Christianity to the Irish, taught about the trinity with a shamrock. But if you dig into his story a little deeper, you can see how very much he turned to God in the midst of great strife.

Patrick was born in Britain and as a young teenager, he was kidnapped from his family’s home by Irish raiders. They took him to Ireland where he was enslaved and forced to work herding sheep. After six years of captivity and forced labor, one might lose their trust or faith in God. But Patrick didn’t let his dismal situation pull him away from his Heavenly Father. Instead, he turned towards God in his time of need and placed all his trust in him.

At age 20 he was reunited with his family. If I was freed from captivity, you can bet I would never want to return to the place and people who had mistreated me. But Patrick heard a call from God to go back to Ireland and bring the Catholic faith with him. And he heeded that call, traveling far and wide, baptizing and preaching the Gospel. Because of him, Ireland converted from a country of pagans and Druids to a fiercely Catholic nation. He saved the souls of those who treated him so brutally.

St. Therese and St. Patrick are just two examples of many, many faithful men and women, saints and martyrs, who have not shrugged under the weight of suffering. They have embraced their crosses with bravery and strength. I think of St. Louis who carried on after the death of his beloved wife, St. Zelie, and succeeded in raising a family of holy daughters (including a saint)! Or St. Monica who never gave up praying though her son, St. Augustine, had strayed far from his faith. Or St. Gianna who didn’t give in to sin though it meant giving up her life. What a blessed example of perseverance they give to us as we face our own heavy crosses. Whatever you are going through today, the saints have been there and they have persevered. You can, too, with God’s grace.

SPECIAL WEDNESDAY PREMIUM $365-$599 LEVEL – This week is our Give From the Heart winter pledge drive. Consider supporting Relevant Radio at the $365-$599 level to receive a very special Irish marble Rosary and St. Patrick medal as our gift to you. This exquisite rosary features green marble beads, a Miraculous centerpiece and an ornate Celtic crucifix in a satin-lined gift box. You will also receive a St. Patrick medal from Drew Mariani that traveled with him to many holy sites in Ireland.

Make your $365-$699 gift today and receive these beautiful gifts. Thank you for your generous support of our mission!

Give now!

St. Gregory Recovery Center
Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.