How I Handled the Hardest Day of My Life

I was sixteen and on my way home from a week-long summer camp with some of my best friends. Everything about my life seemed perfect, and I couldn’t have been happier. I was laughing, joking around, reminiscing without a care in the world.

Then my cell phone rang. It was my sister.

“Mom’s in the hospital. The doctor says something is terribly wrong with the baby. They have to do a caesarean section immediately. We’ll pick you up as soon as you get home and take you to the hospital.”

Those were the tragic words I heard coming through my phone. Tears immediately began streaming down my face as I realized my baby brother (the one I had been hoping and praying for) had very slim chances of survival.

The next few days went by in a blur. Before I knew it, I was holding my dying baby brother in my arms. As I sat there with my family in the cold hospital room, I couldn’t believe what was happening. I tried my best to cherish those final moments and soak up the beauty of his adorable face through my tears.

The moment we were all dreading came and little baby Matthew breathed his final breath. He was now in heaven, and I was absolutely heartbroken. I had never experienced anything so painful. Even all these years later, I consider that day to be the hardest of my entire life.

Faced with a Choice

In the days, weeks, and months that followed, I was faced with a choice. I could pour out my heart to God, cling to His promises, and trust in Him for healing. Or I could grow bitter and angry. I knew what I needed to do.

Instead of choosing bitterness, I chose to trust in God. I chose to believe that His ways are perfect and that He was using all things (including my brother’s death) for my good and His glory.

Though my feelings often told me otherwise, I chose to hold on to promises from God’s Word like this one:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28).

Choosing to trust in God during that time was not an easy thing to do. I had so many questions that I knew would probably never get answered.

Questions like:

  • “Why did he have to die?”
  • “Why did You allow my mom to get pregnant if You knew he was going to die?”
  • “Why did You answer our prayers by giving us a baby?”
  • “Why does this have to be so painful?”

Despite my questions, feelings of sorrow, and confusion over the whys, I learned three very important truths.

Truth #1: Trusting in God is a choice, not a feeling.

In the wake of Matthew’s death, I learned that I have to choose to trust God despite how I feel. It’s easy to trust in God when life is going the way we want, but when life is hard, trusting in Him is so much more difficult.

I have to choose to trust God despite how I feel.

I’ll admit that I still struggle with this. I have to constantly remind myself to choose to trust in God and His Word despite how I feel.

I bet you’ve heard this familiar verse. Would you listen to it carefully again?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths (Prov. 3:5–6).

God will direct our paths and show us His plan for our lives if we fully and completely trust in Him.

Truth #2: God is always there for me.

Through this situation I learned that God will never leave me. He is always there and will bring peace and comfort if we choose cling to Him. Even though my heart was breaking, God gave me incredible amounts of peace and comfort. I felt so confident that God was working in the situation and that He was very present in my life and my family’s during this time.

The Bible says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10).

God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He will strengthen and help you if you choose to trust in Him.

Truth #3: God will strengthen you for the hard stuff.

The next time you are going through a hard situation, remember that God is sovereign and loves you so much. He desires for you to trust in Him and find peace in His promises. He wants to offer you the strength to make it through those hard times.

Let’s talk about it.
Are you struggling to trust in God with a hard situation in your life?
What have you done in the past to find peace and comfort in God?

About Author

Bethany Baird

After a brief experience in the modeling industry, Bethany’s eyes were opened to how self-absorbed and lost her generation of young women really are. She and her older sister were inspired to start a blog (www.GirlDefined.com) and wrote a book Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity and Identity. Their passion is to help young women find God’s truth about beauty and womanhood and the freedom that comes from living a radically different life for Christ.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

  • * Requests or gives personal information such as email address, address, or phone number.
  • * Attacks other readers.
  • * Uses vulgar or profane language.
  • Charis Chen

    Ugh I cried reading this. Thank you, Bethany! I lost a baby brother to a miscarriage and also so many major disappointments these two years and this speaks so much to me. Thank you thank you thank you 💓💓💓

  • Hosaena

    These three truths are so powerful! Its hard for me to trust God sometimes, when things are going bad, but then I dwell on passages such as Romans 8:28: and that gives me such comfort, that one day this hard situition will be for my good and be to God’s glory. I’m glad someone else is in charge so I don’t have to be! Thank you for such a wonderful post Bethany!

  • Kelsey

    I have found these points to be very true! The closer I cling to God, the more peace I have. And hard times really do draw me to Him.
    It’s hard to watch my family battle cancer with my mom from 1,000 away. But God has be SO good! He’s provided for me, he’s given me a refuge and a comfort when I’m tempted to fear the future! Thanks for sharing this story!

    • Kelsey

      *miles

  • genesis herrera

    Recently I’ve begun to trust in God a lot more and it’s been helping me grow deeper in my faith and trust in him. But recently my family had a huge fight that still has me rattled up a bit. I won’t go into details, but it has me so angry at my parents for one minute screaming their lungs out and the next being lovey dovey like nothing ever happened. The fight had me feeling like my dad just doesn’t love me enough to have me stay and has me wondering how many family fights its going to take until we’re ripped apart for good? I’m hoping and trusting in God with this situation. But I’m also white knuckling my way to refuse to hold onto this anger at my dad after 8 years of trying to forgive him. It’s so hard and painful not to be angry when you can see your parents being fake after a huge fight that almost ripped us apart for good.

  • future police

    Super touched by this. Thanks for writing it. ❤️

  • Kaitlyn Ickes

    Looove this! There are so many things we think are about FEELINGS when they are, in fact, about choices we make ❤️

  • Sarah

    Thank you so much for this!

    • Maria-Simona C.

      I’m so so so sorry to hear your struggles, Sarah. My heart goes out to you and your family. You will one day be reunited with your grandpa again. <3

    • Jan

      Wow, what a testimony of God’s grace and the fact that “all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purposes”. Rom.8:28. I love that God doesn’t despise our pain or is even intimidated by our “anger” towards Him. But, He waits patiently and keeps calling us back to Him. Look at the blessing in casting your cares upon Him-you’ve met a new group of friends to come alongside you and mentor you, you are being restored in your relationship w/Him and others.. Thanking God for your growth..because I have been where you’ve been…

  • Carletta

    This message spoke to me as well I lost my daughter Monique in 2010. It was really hard because she has 2 sons whom my husband and I are taking care of. We decided to help there Dad out it was a bit much for him to do by his self. My 2 grandsons has help me and my husband heal but don’t get me wrong I still so miss her every day. But we trust God we know he knows what he doing.

  • Maria-Simona C.

    “I learned that I have to choose to trust God despite how I feel. It’s easy to trust in God when life is going the way we want, but when life is hard, trusting in Him is so much more difficult.

    I have to choose to trust God despite how I feel.
    I’ll admit that I still struggle with this. I have to constantly remind myself to choose to trust in God and His Word despite how I feel.”

    These words just shook me to my core and reminded me of what God is currently teaching me. I have been a born-again, active Christian since I was a little girl, and I thought I had enough faith. But my heart has been wounded multiple times, and although it has healed, the side effect of the scars has been my issues with trust. I didn’t learn until recently that I say I don’t trust certain people, but the one I was truly withholding my trust from was the Lord. I have repented of that, and my family & friends are trying to assist me in trusting the Lord and walking well. It is difficult, but my life is getting better because of it.

    (BTW, Bethany, I did not realize this until now, but I actually watch you and your sister’s YouTube channel, Girl Defined! You ladies are fantastic and anointed!)

    • Jan

      “I didn’t learn until recently that I say I don’t trust certain people, but the one I was truly withholding my trust from was the Lord.”
      Whoa! That just so resonated w/ my heart just now. I now know how to pray and confess to God..wow,wow,wow. Thank you for that, Maria!

      • Maria-Simona C.

        Praise God!!! Glad to hear it, Jan!!! <3

  • Hannah

    Thank you so much for this post! It was very encouraging for me! 4 years ago my baby brother passed away, he lived for 11 day, we knew he would pass away shortly after he was born unless God healed him!❤️ I’m so sorry that you loss your baby brother too! How you felt sounded exactly how I felt when my brother died!❤️

    • Sarah

      Oh I am so sorry I can not even imagine losing a brother!

  • Ashley Bellew

    You do not know how much this helped me!! My mom went to a regular appointment. My dad got a phone call and left immediately. They were gone for two hours. I knew something was wrong. When they came back they told us she had lost the baby. The baby we had been praying for. Her sixth pregnancy after five perfectly healthy pregnancies. I asked God ALL of those whys. This has been the most comforting and relatable thing I have heard so far. I encourage anyone and everyone to listen to I Will Carry You by Selah. It was another very comforting thing for me. Thank you Bethany. I know how hard it is to share a loss with others. The baby was a boy, named James. This has helped me in many ways. Thank you 🤧❤️

  • Zia

    My hardships seem so petty compared to yours, and I am beyond grieved that you had to endure this. But…God is good yes? ❤️ I am a HS senior trying to sort this whole college thing out. I’m the oldest, so of course all the trial runs and practices are on me. I feel like everyone else has it figured out and I’m left to tread water alone. But I know that’s not truly the case. I’m all mixed up in the financial aid, FWS, and up to my neck in scholarship applications not to mention the regular school work I must do. I’m an exhausted blurry mess of stress, overwhelmedness, and confusion. If you feel lead, your prayers would be so greatly appreciated. ❤️ Much love, Zia

    • Hosaena

      Praying for you Zia! May God grant you peace and comfort in your struggles!

  • Jan

    Thank you for validating that while you did trust in God, it was a choice, but that it didn’t negate that you still had to process your grief. I lost my husband last February, Feb.27,2017, after he suffered a spinal cord injury from a fall. For the 5.5 months that he did survive, there was an incredible amount of strength that God provided me to get me and our 4 daughters through that tough time.
    I say thank you for the validation, because so many believers who watched me walk through the situation w/my husband and saw how “well poised” I was during the memorial service and even yet today, they accused me of not being “real”. Because I didn’t break down every 5 minutes in front of them and always kept a smile on my face when I did see people, they think that I have am not “processing grief correctly.” Believe you me, there are days when the grief is still overwhelming and even before at the beginning of his injury I shed many tears, but when I remember the small miracles that God did perform in the middle of our tragedy and the strength that He gave to stay focused so that I could be helpful, that is what gives me hope and keeps me going.
    So, thank you for your realness, your authenticity.