Finding God in the Hard Times | John Ray

Where is God when things go terribly wrong?

John Ray has been my friend for a very long time. He is the pastor of Grace Church of Northwest Arkansas in Fayetteville, a missionary and a spiritual director … and he knows firsthand about suffering.

John says these four things about himself:

  1. “I’m adopted, which has been one of the forming experiences of my life.”
  2. “I am married to a phenomenal introvert. Jane Ray is a fantastic woman.”
  3.  “I’m the dad of four daughters who are all radically different, one of whom we lost when she was 10 years old.”
  4.  “I feel like I won the lottery and didn’t buy a ticket by getting to do what I do.”

John was in the eighth-grade classroom with me when our classmate and friend walked in with a rifle and shot and killed our teacher. His mother attempted suicide not long after. He struggled with the reality of being adopted. And he lost his daughter, Olivia.

But John says this: “If I really find the courage and grace to go into the deepest wounds that I have … God is there. He has never forsaken me, he has never abandoned me, even when the world has been traumatic and evil.”

Photo of John, me and Murchison classmates by Dan Winters for Texas Monthly

Listen in to my friend, John Ray. I hope our conversation is an encouragement to you.



Coming soon! The Grace Guide: Live Your One Beautiful Life

Dear Daughters is a template for those multi-generational conversations and relationships you’re craving.

Dear Daughters is meant to be a bridge between two groups of women–dear daughters and spiritual mamas. Dear daughters are young women in search of spiritual guidance and spiritual mamas are women just a little further down the road with age-old wisdom to share. Each group has valuable insight for the other and the hope is that the reader will invite someone to come alongside them, pore over the included letters together, and pass along wisdom and advice that will make both lives more beautiful, wherever they are in their God story.