Self Discovery = God Discovery?

July 27, 2011

First, I would like to preface by saying, Hey all, my name is Ana Carvalho and I am a rising junior. I haven’t met a lot of people in TCF or know a lot of people by name, BUT I do have a passion for this group and what its presence has done not only for me but also for the Tufts community as a whole. TCF has, at random times, been a rope out of the bottom of a deep hole for me. I know with all my heart that our fellowship is a gift from God.

Now I want to continue my post by explaining its purpose. I want to tell you all about my grandmother’s death. I have been wanting to do this for a long time, but hadn’t had the strength yet.

Here we go:  About five weeks ago, I lost one of the people that meant the most to me in life. The funny thing is that I used to say to myself that if God ever took my grandmother before I saw her again, I would stop believing that He exists.

On Friday June 16th, my mother came into my room with tear-stained cheeks and told me that my grandmother Arlete who lived in Brazil had just returned from the hospital and was in critical condition. I did not think much of this, because I had faith that God would never let my grandmother die before I could say a proper goodbye. I had a good night’s sleep that night, and the following night, until around 7am on Sunday when my mom came into my room and sat on the edge of my bed. My alarm had just gone off and I was about to get ready for work, when she said in a meek voice that I had never heard come from my strong mother: Your grandmother died. I cannot begin to explain how I felt upon hearing those words, but my first thought was “There is no God.”

I spent that entire Sunday and many days that would follow coming in and out of bursts of desperation and endless crying and screaming. I was weak and lost. My grandmother, one of my strongest pillars of hope, was dead. But look closely and here is where you see God’s hand. During one of my moments of anger, while screaming bloody murder up to heaven, I said to Him, “All I wanted was for you to take care of her.” ¬†Then very quietly, in a moment that even as I recall it now I am filled with an indescribable sense of peace and tranquility, He whispered, “I did.”

Here is what I have understood of myself and of God through all this pain and agony: our plans are not His plans. We may think we know what is best for us, but only He knows, and if we give ourselves completely to God, He will take care of us. Imagine yourself as a baby that hasn’t conquered full motor coordination yet. You’re crying, kicking and screaming, and just as you think that you have been forgotten, He scoops you up into His arms and nurses you to sleep.

I have never known the pain that I am currently experiencing, but I have never felt God this way either. Everywhere, I see Him.

I cannot say that I no longer have issues with my faith, or that suddenly I am the perfect, devoted Christian. What I am trying to say is that in the midst of drowning, I have constantly found a hand to pull me out of the water in God. No one else has been able to help me or give me the comfort that God has given me.

All that I have left is a question, How do people recover from great tragedies without God? I am thinking that the answer is simple: They don’t.

3 Responses to “Self Discovery = God Discovery?”

  1. forallthatisbetter said

    What an encouraging post, Ana. :) Thank you so much. I love how He whispers sometimes and that’s all we need.

    – Charmaine

  2. nesbeda said

    Thanks for sharing this Ana! I am encouraged to hear that ways that God met you and spoke hope in the midst of tragedy. I have been reminded recently (also by some of Anisha’s musing on her blog) that God does not promise that things will be easy but he promises that he will be with us through the most difficult times. May you know God’s presence as you continue to mourn and grieve and know that he is holding you in his loving arms and has never let you go.

  3. Vanessa Lin said

    Thank you so much for sharing, Ana! I love you and will continue to be praying for you. I miss your beautiful smile and voice :)

    “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong” – Ephesians 3:16, 17.


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