Amy Carroll » Growing Spiritually » How Could This Happen?

How Could This Happen?

How could this happen?

So often that’s our first question when something occurs that rocks our soul… that doesn’t make sense… that sends a stab of pain into the center of our heart.

How could this happen?

It’s been the question in my mind and mouth the last two mornings as the waves of two events shook my underpinnings. The once-settled dust of Big Questions scattered and flew in the winds of tragedy.

On Tuesday morning, I heard Lysa TerKeurst tell our team through sobs that her marriage was ending. If you haven’t already, you can read her post Rejection, Heartache and a Faithful God.

This morning I turned on the morning news to the shocking scene that all of America knows of by now– a baseball field littered with the bodies and blood of our politicians.

How could this happen? thundered over and over in my heart in the past two days, and I’ll bet you feel the same grief. The same confusion. The same anger over things that should not be.

I have to admit that I’ve come a long way just to ask the question. In my pre-break up days (with perfection), I would have tried to find the silver lining. I would have tried to slap a label on it that seemed to shove everything back in order. I would have pulled out a few falsely shiny platitudes and scattered them like poisonous seeds. I didn’t deal well with pain and senselessness and fear.

But I’ve learned to take David’s advice. “Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62: 8)

Instead of hiding our tears, tremblings, and terrible questions from God, let’s run to Him with them. Let’s bust down the door of His divinely offered refuge and bring it all in with us. There, in the warmth and comfort of His Presence, let’s pull out each sharp-edged query one by one and ask Him. Not with an accusation or a clenched fist but with the  tear-stained and trusting face of a child.

And then let’s listen because He still speaks. Let’s listen to His Word. Let’s listen to His Spirit. And then let’s rest in the love of our Father Refuge and in the sometimes-mysteries of His ways.

He loves us. He really does. Lysa reminded us and so did many on the news today. He loves us, and He’s not afraid of our questions. He wants to fill our seeking hearts, not always with the answers we want but always with the comfort we need.

Run to the Refuge with me today, and let’s seek the Lord together, asking the questions and praying for all those in the middle of the maelstrom.


In a season of terrible grief after I lost my precious friend Linda to breast cancer, God sent two of His people to me with books that answered lots of my questions and gave me comfort where there were no answers. I highly recommend these if you’re suffering and grieving.

A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss by Jerry Sittser

Where Is God When It Hurts by Philip Yancey


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  1. Amy – this kind of confusion is what I am experiencing right now. Yesterday morning when the sun was shining and the birds were singing, I boldly proclaimed as my FB status- “It’s a beautiful morning and God is in control. That’s all I need to know.” I hummed through my day cheerfully…. until a sobering conversation in the evening turned everything on its toes. Needing some space, I drove straight to McDonald’s for a mid-life crisis chocolate shake to help me process all I had just heard. After finding a quiet spot, I spent time just sitting and asking, “Why?”, while honestly listening for an answer, because I know it’s okay to ask.. I came to Him because there was nowhere else to go, but also because only He can ultimately fix what’s broken and keep it that way.

    I still don’t have any specific answers today, but I do have the assurance that I am not alone, and I do know that God’s got this. I enjoyed reading what you wrote because it sums up what I’m currently feeling. Thank you!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      I’m so sorry you’re hurting, Beth. Praying for you right now knowing that God holds all the circumstances in His hands. My heart is with you.

  2. Alison Bruce says:

    Dear Amy,

    Thankyou, your words have pored oil on troubled waters. Like a lot of people, I am beginning to feel nothing but despair in what is happening in our world, here in the U.K. we have been rocked by recent senseless events of terrorism and more recently the Grenfell fire disaster, these in themselves are truly heartbreaking, but what we are now seeing are people turning on each other, from the man and woman on the streets to our politicians, I pray that these people very quickly find the love of God in their lives in order the evil can be overturned and the negative energies can be turned into something positive for HIs greater good.
    My heart breaks for Lysa and her family, but in her blog, she continues to lean and trust in the Lord, we all need to do the same. Please give her my love and prayers, and also to all of you, her friends, supporting and surrounding her at this time.
    God Bless. ???

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Alison, my heart has been broken too as we’ve watched the news of what’s happening in the UK. After living with my family in Oxford for a year when I was fourteen and a summer in Scotland living on YWAM bases, I have a deep love for your country.

      I totally agree with you about, Lysa. I marvel that God has so woven leadership into Lysa’s DNA that she was teaching and leading us through how to process her pain even as she was feeling it, always pointing back to Jesus.

  3. Thank you Amy for a timely post!

  4. The Word tells us, God is a very present help in time of trouble. We look to Him and we are strengthened.
    Praise God He lifts us up out of dispair! He is ever faithful and caring.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Yes! Thank you, Nancy.

  5. Thank you, Amy! I needed this today. Trusting God and that His plan somehow makes sense, in a senseless world.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Senseless… yes. It’s a comfort to know that God holds it all in His hand.

  6. What a beautiful writing and a beautiful reminder that God is always with us and wants to know what we are going through and wants to comfort us. Thank you………..

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Hugs to you, Deanna!

  7. Amy, you have no idea how much I needed this today, but God did because it was at the very top of my email list when I got to the computer today. Thank you for this perspective. It really helps me weed out some of my own perfectionistic tendencies and it has just come to me with perfect timing as I deal with some uncertainty and a long wait. Thank you for speaking His words today. They are very comforting. The image is absolutely beautiful and it speaks volumes to me today as well. Psalm 62:8 reminds me of another one that God keeps taking me back to – Psalm 91:2 – I was say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God in Him I will trust.”

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      I’m so thankful that we’re on this journey together to break up with perfect, Leslie!

  8. Amy,
    This is so beautifully said. Thank you for expressing our hurt so “perfectly”. (Could not resist). God is indeed faithful at all times and I cannot wait to see how He will use the hurts you mentioned for His glory and our good.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      You’ve let Him shine so brightly through your pain, Denise, and I know Lysa will be the same!

  9. Mike Fowler says:


    As always, thank you. Thank you for sharing your heart, hurt and all. You have written what I cannot and have turned me to God again for answers. I agree, we may not like the answers, but, it is what God has planned. We must lean on Him at all times through the good, bad and ugly times of our lives.

    Thank you again.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      I love you, Mike! Thanks for being a constant source of encouragement in my life. When you lost Heather, you went through the worst any mother can imagine. I know it still must be painful everyday, but I see how your love and compassion for others who are hurting has grown. In leaning on God, you’ve shown us that He’s truly The Redeemer.