And He Told Me Not To Fear

When people ask me why bad things happen to good people, I tell them the truth: I have no idea. That’s just life, I guess. God sees things we don’t, and His Will is always perfect.

I also offer the following thought: If we never have darkness, we’ll never appreciate the light.

My year, up until August, had been a lightbulb on the brink of burning out, growing dimmer and dimmer as the months passed. In January, there was general anger and frustration at the state of our country. In February, there was the pre-cancer diagnosis and news of surgery. In March, there was successful surgery, and learning that I was this close to a cancer diagnosis. In April, there was a two-and-a-half-week stretch of nonstop work and a promotion into a job I didn’t really want. In May, June, and July, I struggled with intense work stress and guilt that I wanted to quit after I had just been promoted. In August, I gave a four-week notice to my boss because I desperately needed to change directions, and a week later, my dog unexpectedly and tragically passed away from congestive heart failure.

Star’s death was the final blow.

It was the final flip of the switch that blew the lightbulb. It was a sucker punch to the face, a sledgehammer to the shins. And watching her struggle to breathe, lying in a pool of blood she had coughed up, destroyed me. That, along with getting through my last month of work while waiting to hear back about a job I had been invested in for two and a half months, made August the darkest month of the year.

Yet somehow, in the midst of it all, I was going through a bit of a revival. In the middle of July, when I really started contemplating quitting my job, I sought advice from many people I trust, most of whom believers. And I really, really started seeking God’s voice in this area of my life.

And He told me not to fear.

So I didn’t, and I took the leap, and it was the most exhilarating feeling, putting everything into God’s hands.

And He was near to me in my sorrow over losing Star. He was near to me and my husband on our third anniversary—unfortunately, the day after losing Star. He was near to me as I prepared for and attended my campus visit at the college, and then went straight to volunteer as a counselor at a middle school camp for the long weekend—the day after our anniversary, two days after losing Star. He was near to us in our exhaustion upon coming home to an empty, quiet apartment, rid of all dog-related items. You wouldn’t have known that less than a week prior, we had a happy, beautiful, and seemingly healthy Cocker Spaniel.

He was with me when I heard that I got the job. He was with us as we moved for the fifth time in just over two and a half years.

And He’s with me today, in a new place, in a new job, in a new season of life.

The lightbulb is burning again, and it’s getting brighter.

But I only know it’s getting brighter because I’ve been where it’s dark, and I am thankful for the divine energy that keeps it burning, even when all other lights go out.


Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Natalie Liounis
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  1. Sarah on October 10, 2017 at 10:36 AM

    This so uplifted me in its chronicle of painful-yet-merciful moments. You found peace from waiting and letting go of the fears. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Jen on October 12, 2017 at 1:34 PM

    Thankful you know He’s near to you in the midst of the darkness. Sometimes that’s a hard thing to comprehend, but it does bring light when I do.

  3. Gretchen on October 13, 2017 at 2:09 AM

    So powerful, Natalie. I’m so sorry about your loss of Star. So hard!!!

    But God.
    He never left you during all of these upheavals, and in the process, He built your trust in Him.

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