Insight: Life is filled with events that impact our lives, we may choose to deal with them, bury them, forget about them, or pretend they did not even happen, but it doesn't change the fact the event happened.
When a painful event happens and we bury it and allow ourselves to forget about it, we may be saving ourselves some pain at that time, however just because something is buried does not mean you don't suffer from it. When these things are forgotten the pain attached to them continues to grow and starts impacting you in negative ways. It is in these moments we need to ask God to reveal these things to us, so that we can process them and deal with them effectively.
Issue: I used to be really close to God, however in the last few years as I look back all I see is pain and misery. Where was God in that painful time? Why wasn't he there for me? If God really loved me he would have been there.
Insight: I am so sorry that you have had such a difficult time in your life over the past few years. There are several reasons why bad things happen in our lives, however God is everywhere, all the time, even if we don't see it. It reminds me of the footprints poem.
I believe that our thought processes always go in a negative direction if we are not actively watching our thoughts and directing them in a positive direction. 2 Corinthians 10:5 states, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." We as Christians need to watch our thoughts and make sure that they line up with the truth found only in Jesus Christ.
I myself have experienced times when I have felt like I was abandoned by God, but now as I look back I can see exactly the moments he picked me up and carried me. Life is not easy and there will be times in our lives that are painful, just know God is always there and he waits for us to reach out to him. I have found that a change of perspective helps dramatically. For example, the poem describes a person who can only see the footprints. Now if that person had looked at what happened from a side view, the person would have seen Jesus carrying them. It is amazing what a change in perspective can do when examining your life. The best way to get a fresh perspective is to talk to someone you trust, and listen to their view of what is happening. Another great thing to do is talk to God. Ask him to show you where he was in those dark times. He will reveal it to you.
I strive to help others by being a safe place for others to ask questions and pose issues they face.