WARNING: This post is honest, not super pretty and doesn’t have as super great ending with a pretty bow on it mostly because my life is a constant, ever evolving thing and very few things have a clear ending…or a bow. Read at your own risk. If you get offended, guess what, you’re the one reading. So stop. (Winky face)
The first time this happened was the last time we were in hospital. When all the things went wrong and I was 30 weeks pregnant and tired and scared. It was, to say the least, hard. And there was one night when things just felt so bad. I felt like I was drowning and couldn’t quite kick my legs hard enough to get to the surface. The whole thing, it seemed, was coming down, collapsing and caving in around us. Sinking sand in the worst, most suffocating way. I was sitting on a cot next to Stephen’s bed as yet another medical professional offered no hope, no answers and even a little chastisement, and I just held my head in my hands and wept.
Hot, stingy tears. The kind that start in the back of your eyeballs, leak forward and burn everything they touch. The kind that make a trail of bitterness, hot anger and resentment.
And it was all directed at God.
For the first time in my entire life, I can honestly say I was hot pissed at God. I’m not bragging, I’m not lying when I say that no matter what has happened, no matter how sad or upset or scared or irrational or self-centered or conceited I’ve been, I’ve never been openly mad at God. I’ve never, even in my head, posed a question from a place of entitlement toward Him. Call it the gift of faith, call it a healthy realization that I have a teeny perspective of what He’s doing, whatever. I just didn’t do it.
Until then. And even then, I felt the thoughts creep into my mind and it scared me. I knew that giving those thoughts and questions and thus feelings, room to live in my mind was dangerous. But still. There they were. Why? Has he not given you everything? He may be selfish or unaware at times, but man, there is not a more honest and gentle and pure and unassuming person I know. He is giving everything for you, WE are giving up everything, and THIS is what we get? This is where we are? You have the power to heal in one second if you want. IF YOU WANT, God. If you want you can heal him, so why? Why are you saying no? Why are you allowing this? I don’t get it. I don’t get you. I don’t want this life right now. I’m pissed. I am so freaking pissed at You.
The second those thoughts took form of words in my mind, my stomach sank.
Stephen had a really hard time emotionally in the hospital and for a bit after. There was some depression and even some mild PTSD. So one of my jobs, as his partner and his wife, was to help him maintain perspective. To help him kick so his head could stay above water. So for me to go to the dark places I was fighting so hard to keep from, was scary.
I sat there, thinking those things, hot tears leaving trails down my face and this nasty, black, infected ball of bitterness was born in the pit of my stomach.
And I saw, in the midst of all of it, while Stephen moaned and cried and pounded his fists on the bed and clenched his jaw and threw in neck back in pain, that I could feed this thing growing in me, or I could just sit for a second in my anger and then get up and leave.
So I sat. I sat there, letting my internal words ring in the space between me and God, and then I hung my head again and wept more. I wept for the pain, I wept for bitterness, I wept because I got it. I got how people get offended with the One who can heal and curse Him when it appears He’s not showing up. I saw for a second how little I know and how much I know I sounded/was/am like an entitled child whining. I wept because, as I perceived it in that moment, my faith wasn’t what I thought it was. I wept because I felt ashamed and embarrassed for those thoughts. I just wept.
Because the only response I heard or felt from the One I was swearing at and shaking my crooked finger at, was simply, I know.
I know, He says.
…and that was it. No lecture on faith and seeing the unseen and trusting His timing and knowing this was building faith and unity and perseverance and preparation for a baby and the mission field. None of that. No shame. No guilt.
Just an I know.
And that was it.
We slept on and off that night, and the next day things moved along and we left a week later. We left with a PICC line and a JP drain that would still be in when our son was born. We left with more debt than we can handle.
And life went on. And life was even good those first few weeks when our legs were still wobbly and there weren’t answers yet.
And our legs got stronger and we could kick hard enough again and the waves settled down. So we buoyed, and that was great because, man, we do love the water.
And God never got mad back at me. He never punished me. And it turns out my faith and my God are, in fact, strong and big enough to handle questions and pettiness and being selfish and lack of perspective and even some blaspheming.
So, the other day, when I was so tired and frustrated and scared and had a baby alone, and I sat on my couch with my friend and a hot tear or two leaked out and I felt the familiar hot anger, I just said what I needed to and moved on.
Because I don’t get it totally. I don’t. I get, in my head, that this is preparation. That we are in the fire. That all of this is building many beautiful things and one day I will write something lovely about it and walk alongside someone else who is in the fire.
But right now?
Right now I’d rather not.
And, the most assuring thing, God knows. And He’s okay with that.