Carolyn Weber, author and former agnostic, did not go to Oxford University to pursue God, but that was where God finally captured her heart. Growing up in a "culturally" Catholic home, the concept of a personal God who cares for you was something that is far from her.
Her father left them, only to return at sporadic, unannounced intervals, violent and despondent. Her mother was overwhelmed and worked at a low-paying, entry level job. Everyone had to pitch in to make ends meet. Carolyn was working long hours while going through school. On the outside, she was a model student - captain of the cheerleading squad, student council president and a straight A student. No one knew that she had to manage her father's outbursts or put her mother to bed late at night because her mother was too drunk to get up the stairs.
When she gave her life over to Christ in graduate school, she felt as if a combination lock on her heart finally clicked open. Being saved by God's grace and truly changed her life.
Trauma not only helps us to draw close to God, by participating in other people's trauma, we can help disciple and bring people to our Lord. It gives us the opportunity to share love and compassion with others.
Carolyn had her share of trauma when she faced an emergency C-section during the birth of her twins. Both Carolyn and her husband were drawn closer to God through that process and they know that He is with them.
"The kingdom of Heaven is at hand" - at any moment we can choose to be with God. He has never left. We are the ones who walked away. When we choose to be close to Him, we will find that He has always been there.