Questions Never Answered

Questions Never Answered

Adam Hoskins [Degree Completion Program] is a twenty-five-year-old part-time student at Tyndale. His life has taken many turns and been marked by deep questions that he felt were always unanswered.

“I believed in God...when I saw the way my parents believed I thought, ‘well it has to be real...if they are every day devoting their lives to praying together and to studying the Scriptures…then what this is has to be real,’ even though I didn’t know what the reality of God was for myself.”

When Adam was twelve, his father died due to a blood clot after falling off a ladder. Being the youngest of three children at the time, Adam felt very conflicted. “Death is something that happens to older people. I was definitely very confused.” The way he saw life started to change.

I felt like I couldn’t really ask or didn’t really understand that I could delve into…the questions that I had.” While the questions remained unasked he felt anger starting to build inside of him.

Many people, trying to offer words of comfort, told him he was now the man of the house. “I had a lot of questions. That was probably the biggest thing that marked my life at the time...I was dealing with them silently because I think part of me felt like there was a subconscious pressure of ‘you have to be strong…for your mom...you [and your brother] are the men in the house.’” Living up to these indirect social and cultural expectations was something he had not encountered before, yet he was beginning to understand this was how life was going to be. Adam felt it was not an option to express his pain and verbalize the questions he had. “I felt like I couldn’t really ask or didn’t really understand that I could delve into…the questions that I had.” While the questions remained unasked he felt anger starting to build inside of him.

At fifteen, going into grade eleven, Adam believed that if he was not going to get answers he would do what made him feel good. Adam began rebelling by getting into by getting into petty trouble at school. Eventually he chose to hang out with the wrong crowds, which were able to influence him because he felt these people understood him in his life struggles. He found  “the crowd that a lot of people really dislike and see as a bad crowd are much more welcoming than the people who have it all together.”

“At that point I was fed up with people choosing for me what I had to believe, or at least influencing me like ‘believe this about God, believe this about your life’...It wasn’t that people were directly telling me, but it was that...I wasn’t asking questions and I wasn’t getting answers for the questions I had.” Adam made friends with someone whom he identified with in these life struggles. Together they would drink and do drugs. He began lying more and more to keep his lifestyle a secret from his mom. “She eventually found out,” Adam said. “She confronted me about it and I would always deny it.”

The inner conflict Adam was experiencing only became worse. “It started to clash with my innate sense of right and wrong because now…this is starting to affect other people.” He would watch while people were being beaten up and robbed. In the midst of that chaos the questions were still echoing in his mind. “I’d be thinking to myself ‘Why? What am I doing?’”

“Freedom for Adam at fifteen would have been...‘I want to figure this out for myself without people talking to me or telling me that what I was doing was wrong’… But there was a deeper sense of freedom, ‘I don’t want to be tied to the things that I do to make me feel happy or to make me feel like I’m okay.’”

Adam said that at one point his mom had had enough and gave him an ultimatum. “She said, ‘Listen, you can either stay here in this house and go to Freedom Village [a home for troubled teens in the US] in January or I will pack your things this very minute, you will sleep outside and you will not come back into this house.’”

Having lost his job and burnt bridges with many of his friends, going to a youth shelter was not an option for Adam. He had been kicked out before and knew the harsh reality of sleeping on a park bench. Adam felt the US was his only option. “There was something about the school that was enticing,…at that point I [thought]…‘you know you need to clean up…I needed help.’”

The first three weeks of the program were some of the hardest weeks of Adam’s life. “I really broke down.” He chose to stay because he knew that the life he was living back in Toronto was unfulfilled and he wanted a fulfilled life. He had questions that he knew could not be answered by going down the path he had been on since his father died. It was during this time that Adam accepted Christ into his life.

While he was in his second year in the US, his sister died at age twenty-two after battling cancer. Adam, whose life had dramatically changed, decided to come home. “When my sister passed I began to just seek the Lord. That was something I didn’t know how to do when I was twelve…I did not want it to be like last time because last time ruined my life. I was basically hearing from the Lord [to] just trust in Him, rely on Him and that He is sovereign.”

Freedom for Adam today is knowing and relying on a source that covers all his bases. “You don’t need material things or a career or status or power to be fulfilled…Freedom is knowing and trusting that your Heavenly Father has taken care of everything for you and being able to live out your life in light of that.”

“I don’t have it all together. I still have questions but even still I know that God is sovereign and there will come a day when I will find out.” end