As a mental health worker that sees predominantly children, the cases that come before me can be so harrowing that it takes everything in me to keep a straight face and be the safe place for the child to process their emotions.
8 year old girl beaten and put outside to sleep because she didn't scam enough money for her family. 9 year old girl molested for four years. Siblings watch as mother gets pistol whipped for not cooking the right dinner.
I really don't watch the news much because I feel I see enough hardship in my office. But when I do I hear of teenage girls going missing, the police are inactive it seems, and my government is focused on soliciting my votes through underhanded, undercurrent means.
I believe that God is loving and perfect in His ways. I do believe He cares, is just and also merciful. So what, what do I do with this seeming imbalance. I don't have deep theological insight, what I have is trust.
I trust Him
It's a frank statement that I believe is self containing. It doesn't mean I don't have moments of extreme agony where I fall in His arms in utter desolation. It means that His arms are always there. It's not that I haven't cried in frustration with why questions. It's that I know that each tear I cry He holds a record of.
And even when He is unbearably silent and it seems I am talking to the ceiling, the alternative ways of coping seem so weak and futile that staying on the floor in my room speaking to what seems like silence makes more sense to me than bitterness, drugs or disbelief.
The thing is He is moved with compassion and He works things out for the best even if I don't see it. I think of Joseph as the best example... or David... or Abraham... okay there are a lot of them.
You know the story, Joseph was in jail for something he didn't do. David was living in caves because the King was mad. Abraham was roaming with no clue where he was going, but it worked out. God had a plan.
I know the scriptures: "He has plans for good." "He works all things together." "Rejoice in the Lord always." - words God reminds me of when I lose my balance and my footing is unsure. That is what God does. What I am referring to is faith that acts as a bedrock, solid, consolidated and tightly bound.
It's an unshaken surety and conviction of trust in God's nature. My faith is a state of being. I am not shutting out reality, instead, I am confident and assured, even when things look bleak.
This definitiveness in my certainty of God is what carries me back into that counseling room.
Because sometimes there are those moments when the eight year old girl gets out of the house and away from the situation, the man who molested the little girl gets saved, and the mother and children get out and start afresh. God-perfect in all of His ways.
Stacy-Ann Smith - is a third grade teacher and a child therapist. She is involved with youth and children's ministry and has a heart to work with young women teaching them the ways of the Lord. She serves as a board member of the Kingston and St. Andrew Foster Parent's Association
Stacy-Ann Smith's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/stacy-ann-smith.html