What insightful thoughts into such a difficult time all of us can relate to: "Ultimately, when we are angry at God or feel abandoned by Him, we are focusing on the idea that we know better—that things should run according to our plan. Until we let go of this false sense of control and actually submit our will to His, we will be at odds with God."
Have you ever felt abandoned by God? Not everyone has, but in recent days, I have had the opportunity to visit with some people close to me who have or do. I found the conversations both sad and hopeful at the same time. One reason I am happy to talk about the subject is because—brace yourselves—I have felt abandoned by God. Even beyond feeling abandoned, I have been angry at Him as well. I don’t recommend it, but it can happen.
The most personal and specific example in my life was a stretch of time earlier in our marriage when my EC and I had four young kids in the home, ranging from two to eleven years old. During an eighteen month period, we had a non-stop run of heartbreak and challenge. I say this knowing full well that to some of you, our challenges will look difficult, yet to others, they will look like a walk in the park. Everyone faces their own challenges, and they can be wildly different. Our challenges were kicking my butt.
To start off the stretch, we lost a baby to miscarriage. A few months later, my father-in-law passed away from a painful illness. Three months later, my mother died unexpectedly. Shortly afterward, my father suffered a massive stroke that rendered him invalid. Finally, a few month later, my EC suffered a life-changing leg injury that left her confined to a hospital bed for three months, unable to walk for six.
It was during this last event that I remember how I felt. My wife was stuck sleeping on her back in an extra room in a rented hospital bed, fuzzy from pain medications. The kids were upstairs asleep when I decided to go outside for a walk. I was so tired. Tired from playing nurse, tired of trying to keep a business afloat, and tired of taking care of a houseful of kids. I was still mourning my mom and dad, and just trying to keep my own head above water.
I vividly remember standing in our driveway that night and bursting into tears. Not tears of sadness, or exhaustion, but tears of anger. I was angry at God for abandoning us. I was angry that he allowed all of these life-crises to pile up on us without even time to mourn or breath before the next gut-punch came. I felt cheated that our reward for doing our best to live righteously was to be repeatedly pummeled by tragedy. I felt alone and cheated.