I haven’t been writing all that much lately. I put way too much pressure on myself to try and say something profound each time I write. Lovely husband says I should just write anyway. He said that a few months ago. So here I am.
I think I feel this pressure to be okay when I write. I mean, sure I struggle with my faith in God at times, but I don’t write about it until I can tie it up in a nice neat bow at the end. Because it doesn’t seem encouraging to say “I don’t know where God is.” The end.
You ever notice how best-selling stories of faith and overcoming ALWAYS end with the redemption in the story? The “I’m angry with God” parts are, at worst, completely left out or at best skimmed over – a stepping stone to the redemption. I’m all for redemption stories; after all my faith is based on one. But what happens when the story doesn’t end in redemption? But Jennifer – you may say – what about life after death? God will redeem and reconcile all to Himself. I will give you that hope, but it is not a comfort in a raw moment where you are watching your mother cry and suffer with some sort of pain that she can’t even articulate – and you can do nothing to ease that suffering and you wonder how much longer she must endure.
It’s these moments that I don’t know where God is; that I don’t want to hear anyone try to make it okay with Christian platitudes. Because sometimes, it’s just not okay. Sometimes life is awful and unfair and there is no pretty answer to make it all okay.
I am learning that God still meets me in the ugly, and that doesn’t mean it’s warm and fuzzy or that things get “fixed”. But He’s there. Just like I can sit with my mom in her suffering, when she has no idea that I’m even there. Just like I can try to stay in the moment with my kiddo when s/he is having an all out melt-down and can’t hear a word I say. Would it be nice to hear God and have His comfort in those moments? Absolutely! But it doesn’t happen that way a lot of times. Sometimes I feel alone and I doubt that God is there and I wonder at God’s goodness in a world with so much suffering. And there is no pretty bow to tie it up in. It’s just the way it is.