Then & Now This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     Lauren, you wrote that you think God doesn’t exist, and if He does, then He is cruel and uncaring. I want to tell you that He is right by your side, and He cares about you and your grandma more than anyone can understand.

My dad died of cancer when I was five, and God used this to bring me to Him. When my grandfather died, I felt God’s arms around me and his comfort. My grandmother has Alzheimer’s, but God is still there.

Sometimes we wonder, If God exists, then why do all these bad things happen? They happen because people are not perfect. We were meant to be, but we decided to disobey. God is just, so there has to be a punishment. In the United States, when a person breaks a law, they are punished. It is the same with God. But God has not abandoned us. He still loves us more than we can imagine. He provides us with mercy and grace, which comes through his Son, Jesus, who loved us so much that He died to save us. That is an amazing love. He also gives us a promise that when we believe, He will be with us. The world is dying, but one day Jesus will return and give everlasting life to those who put their faith in Him and asked for His forgiveness. He is a loving, compassionate God.

When you follow Him, He will never leave you. You can pour all your anger and sadness out to Him; there is nothing that will make Him stop loving you. When I read your story, I wanted to cry because you are hurting and have no hope. Let me tell you that God knows you very well and wants to comfort you.

You may think I’m crazy. You don’t have to believe that what I say is true, but I want you to know that I am praying for you, and that God does care. He knows the hurt you feel.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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