Most people know me for my joyful spirit. I smile a lot. Smiling is my favorite! But last week not so much. I was angry. I was so angry. I felt like breaking dishes, kicking chairs, maybe overturning a table. Punching something. Seriously. I'm sick of cancer, and I'm angry (again) that I need chemo. And it starts tomorrow.
When my brother died almost three years ago, I was angry, too. We were unusually close all our lives. I learned of his passing around 1 a.m. (after a long battle with addiction). Because I didn't want to wake my kids, I wailed on the front porch in the drenching darkness of a thunderstorm. I stomped my feet and beat on my husband's chest. I'd never felt a pain -- and a rage -- so deep. I couldn't save him (though I spent years trying) and God chose not to... at least not in the way I asked Him to.
And then there was the time I got on my knees and buried my forehead deep in the scratchy carpet by my child's crib. I prayed intensely and pleaded for God to remove my toddler's developmental disabilities. I felt angry about my powerlessness to save my son from a life of hardship. And I couldn't understand why God wouldn't heal him. After all, God loves him even more than I do.
God didn't answer my prayers for my brother. Or my child. And He didn't answer my prayers about not needing chemo... Actually, He did answer. He. Said. No.
Not your will... Mine. Trust Me any way...
But God, why can't You just say yes when my heart aches and I cry out to You?
I know I'm not the only who sits in a pit of despair sometimes. You've been there, too. You've cried out...
- Why am I still alone?
- Why won't You "fix" my troubled child?
- Why did I lose my home?
- Why did they have to die?
- Why did You make me this way?
- Why do You allow children to starve and people to be massacred?
WHY? I understand the theological reasons for our problems -- original sin and a fallen world, free will, "to live is Christ," etc. But when it's just you and God and your broken heart, theology feels cold and impersonal. And our God is very personal! He is ever near.
So, what do we do with all this anger and hurt? We lay it squarely at His feet. He can handle our hard questions. And then we need to allow Him to minister to us through His Spirit and immerse us in His grace. He CAN be trusted, and He IS good. Even when we feel forgotten.
Tomorrow, I will cry. Maybe buckets. Because I don't understand. But I do trust Him completely. You can, too. He restored my soul after my brother died, and He has brought so much joy to my life through my special needs child. God will redeem my cancer somehow. And He will give you beauty for your ashes, too.
Don't get stuck in despair. Better days are coming...
Now get me a tissue,
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind." - James 1:2-8
My medical fund can be found on a YouCaring site. Any small donation is a big blessing.