My heart is aching from three blows today.

First, realised that a special friend really doesn’t support me as much as I thought they did in my decision to work with asylum seekers.

Second, a friend from my youth passed away last night.

Third, I am in shock over the riot at the Regional Processing Centre in Nauru.

Three blows. Feeling battered.

And there’s nothing I can do to change any of it.

I can’t make my friend see things through my eyes. I have to accept that although they have supported me on the surface, because we’re friends, that there are some pretty deep differences between us.

I can’t bring my friend back or relieve the pain her family is feeling. I can only remember her for the beautiful, creative person she was. There is a hollowness in my soul and although we rarely saw each other in recent years knowing she is gone leaves a very big gap.

I can’t say much about Nauru except to affirm that although I do not in any way condone the actions taken by the transferees there I do understand why they got to this point. So much hard work done that has been lost and must be done again.

So where is faith in all this?

Faith is not a crutch as some would argue. All I want to do is fall in a heap and cry.

Faith is not an escape from reality. The blows are real and fully felt.

Faith is the foundation. God is my rock.

Life has battered me today. I will go one feeling battered for a while. But God is still there. The rock in the storm.

How does this help?

Just knowing that there is a rock to cling onto when life is tough is good. Just knowing that when life shifts and changes around you, when the world tilts and you have to see life from a crazy angle, that there is someone who doesn’t change is a comfort.

God doesn’t take away the pain of any of this. Believing in Him doesn’t somehow make it all disappear. I know that none of this has taken him by surprise. The reality of His presence reassures me that He is with me in this and with those I love and feel concern for in each of these three situations.

As a very wise person wrote: Faith is the assurance of the things we hope for, the conviction of things we cannot see.

And so I have faith.