Finding peace when the answers don’t come

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Izzy Healey, a doctoral student at Penn State University, has relied on God to get her through moments of isolation and frustration, especially when answers to prayers don’t come right away. (Kalicia Bateman)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — In a world where we can find answers instantly through a quick Google search, it can be difficult to exercise patience in waiting for answers to our questions. It is even more difficult to exercise faith when some answers don’t seem to come at all.

Izzy Healey, an art education Ph.D student at Pennsylvania State University, has moved frequently throughout her life and has wondered about the direction that she should be taking in her life. She has searched for guidance, often exercising patience when answers come slowly and perseverance when it seems like no answers have come at all. She has chosen to trust God and find peace in the fact that there are some answers that she just might not receive.

Although Izzy chooses to trust God, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t experience the frustration or discouragement accompanying a lack of answers, especially when she’s put forth concerted effort in her search.

“Sometimes we’re going to let those things consume us … and it’s not a bad thing to be consumed for a while by your frustration or your disappointment at not understanding something,” she said.

Allowing yourself to move forward, despite your frustrations and feeling like God isn’t answering you, is difficult, especially when things aren’t going the way you envisioned. In those moments, it is easy to conclude that God isn’t there and that He has abandoned you, but perhaps that really isn’t the case.

“(When things aren’t working out the way you planned) that doesn’t mean that God’s abandoned you, that actually means that he’s very, very aware of you,” Izzy said. “I’ve definitely been in places where I’ve felt abandoned by God … In those moments, I’ve realized that God has something specific in mind (for me).”

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When Izzy moved to Washington D.C. before coming to State College, her life was not going as expected. She felt out of place, she felt alone, and even when attending church meetings, a place where she expected to find peace, she felt isolated and misunderstood – she felt shut off from God.

When she decided to move to State College to attend Penn State University, she didn’t know for sure if it was the right choice, but she trusted that everything would work out. It has turned out to be exactly what she needed. In her darkest moments, the people that she has met and befriended have been able to listen and help her through the mental and emotional difficulties she was experiencing.

“I’ve seen how certain people here in State College, God knew I needed,” she said. “He knew I needed that little pat on the back to be like, ‘It’s okay Izzy, there’s others that have gone through this and they’re OK, and you’ll get through this too.'”

Reflecting on her experiences, Izzy knows that she isn’t alone even after experiencing debilitating feelings of isolation. As she continues to seek guidance from God, she has seen how her life has not only turned out differently than she would have planned, but even better. Even if the path has been difficult, she recognizes the blessings along the way — reminding her that answers do come — and if they don’t, everything will still work out.

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