Thursday, June 10, 2010

Grieving My Faith

I have spent a lot of time and energy feeling my way through how my faith plays into what I have been through. The night of June 30th when my son died, everything that I ever knew to be true about God was made false. I have spent much of my adult life being a faithful servant, who has done nothing but steadily grow a closer relationship with God. I have heard tons of sermons, Sunday school curriculums, bible studies and the like hearing about what a big loving God I believe in, who delivers miracles. He is the alpha and the omega, the omnipotent being, the “be still and know that I am God” deity. But where was he the night of June 30 when my infant son slipped away from us so easily? He didn’t deliver Noah. He didn’t deliver me or my husband. We suffered a tremendous, earth-shattering tragedy that we will live with and suffer from for the rest of our lives. Where was my faith? Was it not enough? What was all that time spent for?

I have settled on the answers (that work for today at least) as to why these things happen. That is a several pages long bit of writing that is too big to post here (that I am still happy to share. Just shoot me a note). The thing that is so painful for me to work around now is pondering what is the point of God if he can’t do what you need in the very moment that you need it most? He can’t save me from the worst that life has to offer. These things will happen and there is nothing to stop it. I have been angry and bitter, either screaming up at him in the heavens or giving him the cold shoulder. There is no booming voice coming down from the heavens that delivers that answers that I need. I am left here in silence to try to find my way through this. It is cold and lonely after having felt so cared for and cradled by God all these years.

It struck me that it really isn’t his fault that I have believed all these false things about him and what he can do. The sermons, Sunday school curriculums and bible studies are written in large part, by people that have never experienced the bring-you-to-your-knees types of tragedy that throws your whole life out of order and makes you question everything. They are writing based on their own life experience minus this critical element. Mob mentality prevails and God gets bigger and bigger with each new writing. Except that that is not who he is, and for those of us struggling to try to figure out where God is after such things happen are left feeling completely let down and alienated by a God that never intended for it to be this way.

They say that when these things happen, God’s heart breaks first. He sees it coming, and has no power to stop it. He also knows what a wedge this will drive between the suffering person and him. Who wouldn’t want to be Superman to someone that they love? He is left to helplessly watch the train go off the tracks, and the consequences prevail.

Today, I am left feeling frustrated and angry by what I have grown up believing about God. I am frustrated with God for not being these things. I am trying to learn who he is now, and to try to love God as he is as an imperfect being. It is like when you get to the place as you grow up that you realize that your parents aren’t perfect. They are human and fallible. Somehow I was able to see that in them and love them anyways. I hope that I can find the same ending here with God but, as it is with most faith journeys, it is going to take some time.


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