disappointment with God.

i still remember sitting in my little christian school third grade classroom, where we daily took prayer requests.
even after all these years, my prayer requests for my mom to "feel better" appear in my mind as vivid as ever.

i was just a child.
full of child-like faith and hope.
and yet, my prayer wasn't answered. 

my mom died in 1993 so suddenly that we didn't even have a chance to really plead, or hold prayer meetings, or have enough faith.

she was just gone.
and there was nothing we could do about it.

as i grew up and spent more and more time in church, listening to sermons and trying to be a "good" christian, i believed the deeper my faith and the more sincerely i asked God to answer my prayers, the more apt he would be to listen and answer.

and yet, i kept coming back to my mom, and her death, and my prayers that were not answered. 
and it didn't make sense. 

it all felt a lot like manipulation. 
"God, you owe me a, b, and c. look at my faith. i really believe you can do it. scout's honor." 

but what do we do when he doesn't answer?
when people die, and relationships end, and families fall apart.
and there is no resolution or silver lining. 
and we are left...disappointed (to say the least). 

how does faith and trust continue when it doesn't seem like God is responding to our faith? 
or life completely blindsides us with tragedy we didn't even have a chance to have faith for? 

i frequently wish i was the christian who had all the answers. 
who could map out the plans of God and explain away all hurt and suffering.
but unfortunately, i'm just a human and the mind of God is lightyears beyond me.

i do believe though that this faith we have is a mystery. 
and that same mystery that causes us to question, is the same mystery that makes faith worth holding onto.
it makes it beautiful and so much bigger than us.

but i guess today, what i keep coming back to, is that for all of you who suffer, all of you who have experienced loss and tragedy, all of you who question and doubt...

true faith is not afraid of admitting disappointment or anger or rage. 
maybe someday clarity will come or maybe it won't. 
but we are all in the same place.

navigating the questions and doubts and joys and tragedies together.
praying. trusting. hoping.
even in the midst of all our disappointments.
trusting that God knows exactly what he's doing with us.

*a lot of my thoughts today were inspired by will gray's story.
a man i have never met who has taught me more about faith through suffering than just about anyone.
read his story here.


  1. Chills up and down my arms. This is so true, so heartfelt, so thought-provoking. Really, really gorgeous, Hannah!

  2. Preach, lady. There's so much good truth in here - you're a great writer AND a great photographer.

  3. Hannah, I'm Kim's friend (and Will's). Thank you for loving him and sharing his story. He will be greatly missed. And thank you for the honesty of this post.

  4. Hannah, this is beautifully written, girl. All too often I wish I had all the answers to life's questions, but the reality is I don't think I could handle knowing the answer to everything--that doesn't mean I don't have my share of "why's" that I so badly want to ask Him! But, like you said, "i'm just a human and the mind of God is lightyears beyond me." That is the truth and it really makes me feel more in awe of how great our God is! :)

  5. Well said (and very sweet of you to share Will's story)

  6. I'm majorly creeping your blog right now, and I just love this post so much. It really hit home with me. I have to tell myself constantly that His ways are not my own, and that it is all about Him and not about me. How comforting it is to know that He holds all the answers even when nothing makes sense.