“Though there are times it may seem like God is silent, He is never absent.”~Brian Houston
You want to know something that I think irks me the most about going through a hard time? Let me preface this statement by saying this- I am a devoted Christian. I cannot imagine my life without having the Lord by side and knowing that no matter what, He’s still walking beside me. I know He is in control. I know His plan is perfect. I know “all thing work together for good to those that love God“. I’ve been a baptized, proactive believer since I was 14 and don’t hesitate to let people know I’m a Christian. Despite all that, what irks me the most about going through a hard time is this: when I confide in someone how I’m feeling or answer their question on how I’m doing and what they say is “well God has a plan” or “just keep praying” and things to that affect.
I know right? What kind of Christian would be upset about being reminded of God in their life especially in adversity? Here’s why. Being so vocal about my faith (and obviously I’m talking to another Christian), I’m not looking for someone to state the obvious. You might as well say “You have a house” or “your eyes are blue”. Okay yeah I know that. How does that help me??? I’m not outright stating I don’t trust God, or that I’m questioning my faith, or even that I doubt His plan or hate Him. I know these people mean well and especially when you’re dealing with a miscarriage or severe depression, a lot of times people don’t know what to say. I get it. Or they’re trying to act on the scripture about encouraging one another. Who knows. But you see the struggle isn’t that I’ve lost faith. The struggle isn’t that I don’t trust God has a plan. On the contrary! It is this exact knowledge that is creating the struggle. The deep, intense feelings come from knowing God said no or is being quiet when you have no idea why. You thought you were trusting Him, you thought He was blessing you, you thought you had the right mentality and motivation for it… but He said “no”. The tailspin comes from trying to pick up the pieces without a “why” and then saying “now I have absolutely no freaking clue what You want from me!” When it comes to being told “no” to life basics like a career, having a relationship, building a family, buying a house- all basics in the flow of life- and you’re told “no” after multiple other “no’s” it isn’t a lack of God’s presence or knowing He’s there, it’s realizing you have no clue what He wants from you.
Putting it in the perspective of miscarriage and infertility there’s even more of a battle because there are so many ways in this day and time for us women to follow through and make happen the simple essence of our being and that is to grow a human inside of us, birth it, and nurture it until our last breath. That is literally what we’re made to do. All the things that make us female such as breasts for feeding, a uterus for growing a baby, all the ebbs and flows of hormones (peaking in a not fun way once a month) that ultimately contribute to creating and sustaining your baby’s growing little self… it’s all based around having babies. So when you’re denied the very thing God made you to do it leaves an insane amount of questions regarding your purpose, your worth, and life goals. So no- I didn’t lose faith. I didn’t stop knowing the obvious that God is in control.
This might sound like rambling, and if so, I apologize. But I think if you’re someone who has struggled with trusting God but losing your purpose, it’s probably clicking. If you are not a Christian and you are struggling with “why”, PLEASE contact me. I would love to talk with you and answer your questions as best I can because I’ll tell you this- if it wasn’t for my knowledge of and faith in God, I would have completely lost myself. It was because I had a compass that I was able to stay focused and move on passed that grief that I thought defined me and thought I would never be able to live without. Every single time I would prepare for yet another suicide attempt, I would remember God had a plan and that it’d be quite a shame for me to miss out on knowing what it was and experiencing it. And maybe you aren’t dealing with fertility problems. Maybe in general you’re just lost and aimless because of other circumstance. I might not have been through your exact situation, but I will certainly listen and know how deep your feelings run and how hard it is to navigate them.
“Wow, Emily, this is not the post you promised me in your Part 1 of this topic.” Or is it? I did say that I was going to start talking about the process of pulling myself out of darkness, and, being perfectly transparent, my first step was redefining and assuring myself I knew where I was and what I thought about God. It wasn’t until I started figuring this out that I was able to start taking the next defining steps. God was always there. He always is. He says “no” and A LOT it feels like. But it all fits into a bigger picture that ultimately works out better for us. When other people say it, it can definitely sound trite- especially in the Bible Belt where everyone claims to love “Jesus, fried food, and football”. But truth is truth no matter the source or circumstance. Just try to keep this in mind when someone is trying to show you the depth and severity of their feelings. Don’t go with common or safe or most pious. Maybe try “I can’t possibly imagine but I’m always here to talk” or “You are so strong to face this and try to work through it. If you ever need support in any way, I’m here.”
Closing Questions: 1) Did you question God in your hardships or just what He wanted from you? 2) Did you lose faith or just direction? 3) Did you know that some of the most amazing people in the Bible went through crisis and questioned God’s plan? 4) Did you know it’s ok for you to have questions? Let yourself have questions and try to figure things out and what God want’s from you. It does not make you less of a Christian, it does not make you a bad person and God will not blacklist you for it when your heart truly is to seek answers and not just incessantly complain. We can’t go on forever questioning because eventually when there aren’t any we have to accept that, trust God, and move forward. But don’t refrain from asking and trying to work through it because that would be denying your humanity and you’ll stay stuck.