From two Thursdays ago...
For the first time in my life (at least that I can really remember), I have started to struggle with feeling like God is giving me the short end of the stick. In general, I am a pretty Pollannaish person. When it comes to big picture thinking, I can look past heartache and see how whatever is happening is not unique to me, that everyone has crappy stuff happen in life and that it is not about God singling me out just for kicks.
To be quite honest, the last five years of my life contain more drama than I would really like . Two international adoptions, one major natural disaster, the terminal illness of my dear mother in law, the sudden death of my husband's grandfather, and the somewhat expected death of my grandmother. More recently, as my husband's grandmother's health declined, we've stepped into a more involved role in her life and ultimately have spent the last month walking beside her as she passed away. My husband's dad ended up in the hospital while all of this was going on with blood clots and while okay now, it certainly added to the stress at the time. All of those things were done with my kids in absentia as D and I spent a lot of time about 2 1/2 hours away from our home. (Insert a big sigh from me for added stress.)
And in all of that, I've really managed to not get to crabby at God about it. I hated my mother in law's death and kind of had a bit of a pow wow with God about it several months after her passing, but during the thick of it, I was too consumed by the moment to really think too much. And afterwards, His answer to me about it was decisively quick, leaving me no room for conversation. And with Conleigh's adoption, being stuck in one office for over 15 months was maddening. So maddening that I had a bit of a prayer crisis about it mostly because praying seemed like a mute point. But God of course used that to teach me how prayer is more about the process than the end result. And I seemed to understand how the situation was more about an inefficient government than about a God who was out to get me.
This week though my dad had a cancerous mass removed from his colon. And for some reason, the question of "really, God?" came almost immediately. "Isn't it enough that we've been dealing with major sickness for the last month?" "Isn't enough that my mother in law died at a young age from cancer?" I'm not sure why, perhaps just emotional fatigue, perhaps just my human heart is finally letting it's guard down a bit. I got lost in it all, caught up with that feeling of why is God choosing to do this to me. And that is where I think most people who doubt God's goodness get stuck. It's not that asking that question is wrong. It's that people stop in to visit God with that question and never leave. They cannot get past that question. It festers and burns. They pick at it like a bad scab but never let it heal. And the gaping hole that was left in their lives by some unforseen tragedy continues to gape and ooze and bleed. And as I said before, I don't think I've ever really gone down that road. Until this week. I'm not sure where I am with all of that. I don't doubt God's goodness for a moment. And I don't believe that the things that happen in this life that are painful are born of God. Instead I believe they are a result of sinful people who mess things up with their choices or the work of a crafty devil who triest to deceive us into hating God. But I am a bit weary of it all and am finding myself wishing that God's Sovereign hand would intervene a bit. And I think I'm a bit ticked that it hasn't.
My "really, God?" moment seems to have passed. Probably more related to the fact that the doctors think they have removed all the cancer than my heart really processing it. I dislike that I am probably connecting comfort with the care of God because I don't believe that God shows His love for us by making us comfortable. And I dislike that I am letting my joy be a bit situational because I believe that joy is not about our circumstances. But I am thankful to not be sitting under a dark cloud of emotion. And I am thankful that the drama seems to have subsided although my dad still has a ways to go before he feels back to normal and before my mom will be able to get back to her normal routine.