What Do You Do When?

What Do You Do When?

plane crashing with smoke trail behind it

Photo by Rob Potter

February has officially ended and March is now upon us and flying by fast. It’s in the beginning part of this month that can be a good time to step back and look at how the year is going so far. This is far beyond waning resolutions and failed diet plans. With only two months in, this time is more of an opportunity to take inventory at where your year is pointing so far. With only sixty-something days in, the year is still fairly fresh.

However, there’s a lot of us that 2018 hasn’t felt so fresh and hasn’t been so good to thus far. With high hopes of fresh starts, 2018 for some has come with some smacks, disappointments and overwhelming blows that nothing can prepare us for. Instead of flying we find ourselves flailing. Several dear hearts in my world have recently been dealt heavy loss, death, heartbreak, health issues, pet departures, job losses, and other unexpected life blows that can easily derail the heart and raise question marks. When life happens, so do the question marks.

  • What do you do when you’ve done the right thing and the wrong thing happens?
  • What do you do when every effort to change has been derailed?
  • What do you do when the loss is so great it feels the heart can’t go on?
  • What do you do when it hurts so bad you can’t even breathe?
  • What do you do when it looks like it will never change?
  • What do you do when it can’t be undone?
  • What do you do when you’ve messed up and it is your fault?
  • What do you do when it feels like God has not come through?

What do you do when?

I do not have the answer to this.
I do not have the answers, but I can honestly say I’ve been there. When there are more questions and hurt than answers or hope, hiding those thoughts does not make it go away. It’s tempting to shut down and give up. It’s tempting to hide. Hide the anger, hide the confusion, hide the out-of-control feelings and hide the doubt. We can hide our inner question marks from our loved ones and those around us and pretend like we’re okay, but the questions still remain. When every inch of our body feels betrayed by our Maker but we cannot say the words, it’s easy to bury the questions and hide.

The thing is, hiding never works.

Whether you believe in God or not or feel like you don’t have an ounce of faith left, God already knows how we feel. To think that our doubts and our anger are something he doesn’t already know about is foolish. It’s not easy to turn our eyes upwards when it feels like the very one responsible for our situation or has the power to change it, won’t. But it is in the honest and raw communication with our Maker where the answers lie and the change begins. We want to know why when God wants to know when. He’s looking for us to open up to Him and ask.

Give yourself permission. Give permission to ask the things you’re not supposed to ask. Give permission to say the words out loud. Give permission to rage if needed. Don’t live there, but denying the frustration and fear of the unknown does not make it go away. Give permission to ask the tough questions.

Go ahead, ask. Don’t hide and don’t hold back. He’s a big God, He can take it.


Girl looking into sunburst

Author Ashlee Bratton

Ashlee Bratton – author of the book “Life Before The Lottery: Living Beyond The Bucket” is a professional photographer, freelance writer, and (when she has to be) a speaker-of-the-tough stuff with a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and master’s degree in business administration.

Along with completing 29 of the 30 things on her 30×30 bucket list, her writing contributions include numerous publications such as Vail’s EAT magazine, creating a 56 page Visitor Guide for a mountain ski town, blogging and guest blogging, being featured in multiple newspapers and e-zines, and various other projects.

Currently, she keeps her camera in hand in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, is a complete and total foodie, and takes plane rides for fun. She likes things that go.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *