How A Catholic Millennial Learned the Value of Redemptive Suffering
Guest post by Caitie Crowley, a Catholic millennial
Have you ever asked how a good God could let bad things happen? Where is God in the midst of suffering? Is there any hope left for me?
On May 22, 2019, Caitie Crowley was an ordinary 24-year-old driving home from work, and then next moment her life would be changed forever. Caitie was in a traumatic car accident on her way home from work and almost lost her life. She couldn’t walk for 10 months. She took that time to write about her experiences and how her faith in God carried her through her pain. Her book, Stepping Up: How Christ Turned My Pain & Suffering Into Hope & Joy, takes the reader through Caitie’s physical struggle of learning to walk again and her interior struggle of learning to walk with God through the cross.
Prior to her traumatic car accident, Caitie was an ordinary 24-year-old girl. She was working at a marketing agency while attending graduate school at Northwestern University. Additionally, dance had always been a huge part of her life. She danced competitively in high school and a year in college, and she continued to place a high importance on fitness, usually working out six days a week. Caitie was dating, enjoying hobbies, and her Catholic faith was also very important to her. She went to weekly mass, adoration, and bible study. In just one moment, except for her faith, all of these aspects of her life were taken.
In her book, Stepping Up, Caitie recounts a vivid description of the accident, including asking Jesus for forgiveness as her car was rolling. She felt excruciating pain and expected to die. By God’s grace, she didn’t; however, she was left with multiple injuries. Caitie was hospitalized for 11 days, was in a wheelchair for 10 weeks, and couldn’t walk without braces and assisted devices for nearly a year. With surgery and therapy, pain and suffering lasted for two years, and she continues to improve each and every day.
“There were many long, difficult days. Days where nothing seemed to change, nothing seemed to get better,” relayed Crowley. “I didn’t know if I was ever going to get better. Despite all circumstances that seemed rather bleak, I knew I had to put my trust in God.”
GUIDE TO SUFFERING WELL
Her book focuses not only on her medical and rehabilitation journey but also on redemptive suffering. That is that even through difficulty there is hope and that even through difficulty God can bring good out of it.
“This book isn’t just for people that have gone through a traumatic car accident. Whether it’s cancer, divorce, a sick child — you can take themes out of my book to help you during your crosses and to say, ‘Even when it seems hopeless, there’s hope,’” described Crowley.
SUFFERING PRODUCES FRUIT
“It’s amazing to think about how I felt then and what was still yet to come. I wouldn’t have believed it if you told me at the beginning,” remarked Crowley. “I realized that God permitted my suffering, but He didn’t cause it. However, He used every drop of it for greater good. I’m confident that He used it for the salvation of souls, the salvation of my own soul, and many tangible fruits that I’m seeing unfold in my life.”
A year and a half after the traumatic car accident, Crowley went on to graduate summa cum laude in information design and strategy from Northwestern University and landed her dream job doing human resource communications at a Fortune 100 company.
HANG ONTO HOPE
Even if you can’t see what is ahead and you don’t see how things could ever get better, through Him, you can find hope when it appears hopeless.
Get the book HERE
Caitie Crowley is a Catholic millennial. By God’s grace, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with her Master of Science in Information Design and Strategy with a Content Strategy concentration from Northwestern University. She is an HR communications representative at a Fortune 100 company and has also done writing for The Catholic Post, FOCUS-SEEK21, Live Action, Human Life Action, and Human Defense Initiative. You can get in touch with Caitie on Twitter (@CaitieCrowley) or via email (email@example.com).