Dear God, Where Are You? {A Guest Post from Lysa Terkeurst} Plus a Giveaway!

 I am very honored to welcome this guest post by Lysa Terkeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministries… 

“Mom, I didn’t make it. Please pray for me. I just feel confused about God.”

I felt my daughter’s deep hurt as clearly as if it were my own. I know what it feels like to want something so badly and have that dream shut down. That door closed. That opportunity slipped away.

She had been talking about trying for this special achievement at summer camp for 3 years. But she wasn’t old enough to try until this year, her 4th year at camp.

She met every challenge and could see the goal in sight … until it was time for her to light a large campfire with only three matches, one small square of newspaper, and a few sticks of wood.

She struck the first match and held it to the newspaper but it didn’t ignite. She struck the second match and held it to the newspaper. It still didn’t ignite.

She stared at the third and final match. Knowing a big part of the challenge was teaching the kids how to communicate with God and fully rely on Him, she’d been praying through every stage. But now, she didn’t just pray—she cried out to God.

“Please help me, God. Please,” she mouthed as she struck the third match. She held the flame to the paper and watched in complete disbelief. The matchstick burned but the paper did not.

As the final match burned out, she lowered her head in defeat.

Nine girls tried for this highest honor of finishing the challenge. Three girls didn’t make it, including my daughter.

When I picked her up a week later, she asked if we could process this situation. What bothered her most wasn’t not getting the camp honor. What bothered her most was not experiencing God’s power like the other girls.

They all had stories of God answering their cries for help in amazing ways through the challenge.

“Mom, I didn’t get that with God. Why?”

It was one of those questions you don’t want to mess up in answering.

I asked her to recall every step of her challenge so we could intentionally look for God’s hand. I listened intently for anything unusual and unexplainable.

When she got to the fire, I found it. There was no reason her newspaper shouldn’t light. None at all. Everyone else’s paper lit.

“Honey, that can only be explained by God intervening. He was there. He was listening. And we just have to trust there was some reason you shouldn’t have continued that challenge. We may not know that reason, but we can certainly trust God was protecting you … loving you … revealing His power to you.”

She put her head on my shoulder, “You really think so Mom?”

I whispered, “I know so.”

I know so because I trust the truth God has given me. Truths like these are anchors that hold me to the reality of who God is.

He is the One in whom I find comfort and reassurance: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)

He is right here with me in the midst of my trouble, I am not alone: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 (NIV)

He is the One who can use my tears to water the soil of my heart so that it can one day be a harvest of joy: “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.” Psalm 126:5 (NIV)

Yes, I know deep hurt. But I also know deep hope. So, I whispered it again, “Yes, sweetheart, I know so.”

Sometimes God’s power is shown as much in preventing things as it is in making them happen. We may never know the why. But we can always know and trust the Who.

About Lysa:

Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author, National Speaker, and President of Proverbs 31 Ministries. You can read her daily blog at or hear her encouragement through the Proverbs 31 Ministries’ radio program played on over 1200 outlets. She loves that the first four letters of Messiah spell a “mess.” All of the messages Lysa speaks and writes about come from her awareness of what a mess she can be. Most days you can find her writing from her sticky farm table in North Carolina where she lives with her husband Art, her five priority blessings named Jackson, Mark, Hope, Ashley, and Brooke, 3 dogs and a mouse that refuses to leave her kitchen.

Sometimes it’s hard to understand why God prevents something when we want Him to provide it. If you’re looking for a friend to help you process your emotions in the hard times, Lysa does this in her gut-honest new book, Unglued. Click here to get your copy today. Or, leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a free copy of the book! I’ll draw two random winners on Friday, August 24. Please watch here for a post stating the winners as you will be responsible for contacting me if your name is chosen!

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  1. Dawn says

    Thankful for the reminder that sometimes we don’t get what we want but we can trust that there is always a purpose everything.


  2. says

    I love the country song “unanswered prayers” but I think the title is wrong. God always answers our prayers, just sometimes the answer is “NO” and we don’t understand why. Sometimes we never know why, sometimes we do. What a great experience with your daughter. Keep up the good work!


  3. Rachel says

    I just heard about this book earlier today and want so much to read it! Oh, I hope I win this giveaway. :)


  4. Holly says

    Would love to win! Lysa’s books are always so inspiring and I can’t wait to get my hands on this one too.


  5. says

    What a great story and what a great learning experience for your daughter! We all need to “Trust in the Lord with all our hearts, and lean not unto our own understanding.”

    And I would love to win a copy!

    href=””>Why I changed my mind about Homeschooling


  6. Lora Reynolds says

    I just finished reading, “Made to Crave” by Lysa and loved it. I would love to win a book from her, I am ready to read more of her books!


  7. says

    Thank you for this encouraging post today. Our oldest son who has walked with the Lord his entire life recently separated from his wife and is not speaking to us. I do know God is faithful to all His promises and that He loves my son and daughter in law more than I but it is very difficult. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of Lisa’s book. Blessings!


  8. Jeannie says

    I love Lysa’s writing style and her candid stories- they are such an encouragement. I can’t wait to read her new book!


  9. Rhoda says

    Thanks for the great reminder that God always hears & answers, even if it’s in ways we don’t understand!


  10. Jess Miller says

    What a great answer for her daughter. I hope I have the ability to say the right thing in situations where it really matters the words you choose. Would love her book!


  11. Jennifer Blaine says

    It is so hard for us to remember that God is always in control. Even when things don’t go our way.


  12. Cassandra says

    Oh I would love to win this book! We are actually starting a book study with it after Labor Day, so this would be just perfect! Thanks so much for this post Lysa.


  13. Jean says

    What a wonderful reminder of God’s sovereignty and love. How easy it is to feel defeated in this world when we forget who God really is and His love for us.


  14. Heidi says

    I am currently trying to understand God’s blessings in trials and His guidance even as an adult. Great post and loved reading helping her process the hurt to see God’s Hand.
    I am looking forward to doing this study as well, so would love to win the book! The excerpts are so “me”!!


  15. Kathy T says

    I can’t tell you how much this book would speak to me right now. If I don’t win, I will have to find a way to get it in the future!


  16. Suzanne Shelby says

    Would LOVE to have this book…..I had the emails No More Unglued mornings coming to my inbox last week or the week before, loved them!!


  17. Seekker says

    Thank you so very much for this timely article! I’ve been struggling with helping a friend who constantly struggles with his inability to see or hear God in his life; he believes that God’s word doesn’t apply to him; that God has not worked on his behalf ever since he turned his live over to Christ 25 years ago. He has come so close to giving up so many times; it is SO heart rending. The only thing I can do is continually ask God for His help and wisdom in ministering to this friend. God has always been gracious and I know will always be. My prayer is that my friend would come to KNOW it in his heart, mind and spirit, too.

    Again, thank you so very very much for this timely article. It has recharged my batteries, so to speak, in being able to continue ministering to my friend.



  18. Kassi says

    Thanks for this post! It was exactly what I needed to hear, and what a couple of my daughters have just experienced. Thank you for the opportunity to read the book.


  19. Katy McHolm says

    I have heard about this book in so many places in the last three days – I look forward to reading it!


  20. Darcey says

    I would love to win this book. I really liked the post today. Really touched me where I am right now. Thanks


  21. Susan F. says

    Sometimes it is much more important to have the faith than it is to earn the achievement. :)
    Sounds like a good book.


  22. Robin says

    I just read an entry about Lysa’s book on Ann Voskamp’s blog yesterday, and it was so encouraging. I would love to win her book and read more especially since I have felt “unglued” myself the past week :)


  23. Christy Dias says

    Maybe this would be helpful in finding my way back to God, as I have lost his touch and have so many questions due to a severe chronic illness that I just can’t accept… I so long to be the wife and mom I used to be.


  24. Karen Stann says

    My daughter and I did Lysa’s “Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl.” Another fantastic read and study. Would love to win her new book.


  25. Vicki says

    This post really spoke to me just now. This past year has been very difficult and confusing, but I know Jesus is and aways has been with me. This book would be a blessing. Thank you for the opportunity to receive it! Blessings…


  26. Aanna says

    Who wouldn’t want to win this book? I heard her speak on KLOVE the other morning. What a great communicator!


  27. Rachel Maier says

    I was just reading about this book on Amazon! It looks like a great, much-needed book. I’d love to be the winner!


  28. Dawnette Thomas says

    Sometimes I need to sit back and detail my day to not only see His power but His blessings as well. I need to remind myself to look for Him in the small moments not only the big. Thank you for your words of encouragement. God bless you.


  29. Crista says

    There is something that I want very much and I have been praying for it to happen for a long time, but it still hasn’t happened. I question if it is because God doesn’t want it to happen or if it is because He isn’t feeling my prayers. I would love to read this book.


  30. Sharon Warner says

    I’m trying to type this through the tears, thanks for the inspiring story. I am standing for something VERY special and had just about given up. This posting was a kick in the pants to keep believing. Thank you.
    I would love to read your book.


  31. Ashleigh says

    What a great perspective and what a wise woman and mother! I’d love to win a copy of her book and hear more insights like this.


  32. Angie Hutchison says

    Thank you for bringing Lysa’s blog to my attention. I’m going to check it out. I would love to read her book.


  33. Tina says

    Oh! This was the book I was hearing about on the radio and couldn’t remember the name of it when it was done! I’d love a chance to win too please!! Thanks!


  34. Alison says

    Great post! The message is so true, but often hard to remember in the midst of trials. Thanks for this opportunity!


  35. Ginger says

    I just told a friend of mine about this book yesterday. I would love to win it. Thanks for the give aways!


  36. Carrie says

    That story reminds me so much of my adopted cousin! One day he looked at his Mom and said “Mom, was I really left in a train station?” She looked at him and said (and I’m paraphrasing) “Yes, but God had a plan for you. He knew on that day that your Daddy was going to fly the whole way around the world to come and get you so you could be a part of our family.” He looked back at her and said “Yeah, I’m pretty awesome, aren’t I?” :)


  37. Angela says

    This was really encouraging to read today, as I really needed it! Both of our trucks are broke down right now with no money to fix either one. This would be a great book to win. Perhaps there is even more encouragement to be had.


  38. Kimberly says

    I love Lysa. Met her at a conference she did at my mother’s church. Loved reading her guest post on one of my favorite blogs!


  39. Linda D. says

    This was a great encouragement to me today and a reminder that we don’t know why we have the pauses or stop signs in life. I have asked God why many times about various different things and some day I may know some of those answers and the rest I just have to leave in His hands. God has our best interest at heart!!!


  40. says

    I needed this today. I need to feel God’s power in a mighty way right now, but my paper isn’t lighting either. Thank you for posting this and giving me that spark of hope today.


  41. says

    I have been praying for years to reconcile with my adult daughter and that prayer has not been answered, at least, not in the way I had hoped. I am sure that God knows.



  42. Cheryl Sammons says

    I’m sure more than ever, that whoever wins is meant to win. A very inspiritional story. Things are done in His time, not ours. Thanks!


  43. Erin M. says

    Loved the story. Been through several challenging things in the past few years where God’s answer seemed to be, “Wait!” Definitely not an easy place to be but I am learning to trust God and not lose heart!


  44. Charlotte (Shay) Brewer says

    I have a son who has had that exact same situation happen to him. He has a sister who always seems to “get” everything. He works and works and works and doesn’t “get” it. I keep telling him there is something up ahead something so amazing and it is these times this “missing out” moments are going to help him get there. He still struggles so much my heat just breaks.

    This book looks amazing and I can’t wait to read it!


  45. Beth Bender says

    Would love a copy of this book because I seem to be like her daughter, praying so hard for something and feeling like God does not care.


  46. Bonnie says

    my sister and I were just talking about this book we both want to get it:) I’m not sure if you’ll read this but I have a challenge for you homemade marshmellows……


  47. Rhonda says

    I was encouraged by todays post and I pray that I was an encourager to my girls in their you and now in their adulthood.!!


  48. Cordelia says

    This was so encouraging. I teach 6th and 7th grade girls for Sunday School. I would like to share this with them.~Blessings


  49. Krista P. says

    Thank you for such a timely and much needed post – I certainly needed this reminder today, and it has made me so much more at peace today than i have been in the past few weeks. I would love to have the opportunity to win and read her book!


  50. Leah y. says

    Would love to read this. We have been in hard times for about 5.5 years now. I have yet to see a light at the end of the tunnel and I feel like I am coming unglued, or having a mid life crisis.


  51. Mandy says

    So good to hear of parents teaching their children to trust in the Lord ESPECIALLY when the going gets tough. Do not think God why have you forsaken me. Think footprints in the sand:)


  52. neel says

    This post has been a timely piece of work for me. i, too, have been experiencing delay and going through a long waiting period to achieve my goal. God does have his own way of working things. Thanks.


  53. Melinda T says

    This book couldn’t have come out at a better time! I definitely have been feeling unglued and need help focusing on what matters and what I can do to/with the situation.


  54. melanie says

    when I first heard of this book, it didn’t seem to me that i “needed” it. but as i looked a little closer at myself, i realized maybe i do come unglued…more often than i want to admit! now the book certainly has my curiosity up…thanks for the giveaway!


  55. Janet Gernand says

    I hope that I win this book! It looks like something I REALLY need to read! Thank you for offering us this chance Heavenly Homemakers!


  56. Kathy B. says

    I first heard of Lysa Terkeurst last spring when I read Made to Crave and did the Bible study at my church. It had a huge impact on me! So I ordered Unglued as soon as it was released! There’s a lot of good stuff in her books so don’t rush through them!


  57. Leigh says

    love this – it’s so hard to understand what’s happening when our world feels like it’s falling apart…


  58. Hannah R says

    It can be extremely difficult to process when God doesn’t answer as we wish or in our timing. I have been understanding and realizing the value of trusting Him through everything more than ever this last year. He is so good!


  59. Melissa says

    Lysa spoke at a women’s retreat at our church a couple of years ago. Her words are so true and strong and inspired by God. Would love to read this book!


  60. victoria says

    through a serious of recipe searches i stumbled on to your blog. my thoughts about your latest entry differ from all the others i see here. i trust that as a learned woman you have the capacity to continue reading and will leave the tiniest of spaces open to hear what i have to say. in some very rational bit of your being, do you not think that saying god has a plan and that’s why the paper didn’t light is a taking the easy route? for the life of me, i cannot reconcile otherwise intelligent people with saying that wether something goes according or not according to their desire, it was simply the will of god. that type of thinking discounts our very brains entirely. the paper didn’t light because it didn’t light! scientifically, i’m sure there is a very good explanation why your daughter and two others could not start that fire. when you don’t understand the reason behind something, it is perfectly alright to say “i don’t know.” when your daughter succeeds at something, do you not want to be able to praise her success as something she really did? on her own? apart from a god who decided that your daughter’s success fit into his overall design and so he granted that success, on that particular occassion? if not, why then strive at all? for anything? i want my daughter to approach life with passion, gusto, ambition and when she has moments of success, i want her to be able to revel in it, not to give away her hard work by saying that god simply wanted her to have that success. likewise, when she fails, i want her to be able to take responsibility for that failure, to pursue understanding so that she can give it another try, armed with knowledge. i desperately wish that i could cushion every bruise, emotionally and physically, that my child will endure. we know that is impossible. so while you teach your daughter that a belief in a higher power should be where she puts all of her wondering, i will teach my daughter that “of course there is a reason that something did or did not happen.” there is always a reason even if our understanding is limited.


  61. Blima says

    That was beautiful. Really touched me with the complete faith you have in G-d. I don’t know if I would have felt the same. Good moment with your dd.


  62. says

    How cool to see your guess blogger is a person I receive blog posts from. I stumbled across the prov 31 website by sheer accident (I believe it was God ordained) a couple years ago. I really like Lysa’s writing style and have wanted to read her new book. Thanks for doing the drawing.


  63. Steph says

    Looking at the description of this book, it looks like something I could certainly use–I know I’m short on sleep as momma of a 3.5 year old and 3 month old, but there are times I wonder how I can turn into such a a crazy person!


  64. anne says

    I read a chapter from Proverbs everyday! This woman identifies with this awesome book of wisdom, I would like to read her book.


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