That is me…going round and round and round. Flying, suspended, arms and legs dangling, really not sure when or where she will land. Daring to ask God the difficult questions. There is no way to “church up” this blog.
Reader caution advised: If you are uncomfortable with questioning the Christian status quo or with God being placed in the line of fire…just. stop. reading.
Why all the rants lately? Take it down a notch. Boy, she’s really got a bee in her bonnet.
My italicized words in my blog are often delivered in my head in the voice of Jim Gaffigan. Actually not Jim…but Jim’s high pitched disapproving voice of someone questioning the bizarre things he comments on like cake or hot pockets. Feel free to read from here forward in this way. My blog will be funnier and surprisingly, make more sense. .
It feels dishonest to have such a public story and leave a heavy veil draped over the other side. The questions, the doubts, the ugly days…the tantrums. Being true to self means sharing both sides.
One friend likened me to a toddler throwing a kicking, screaming tantrum; all the while the patient parent is holding the flailing child until she finally, exhausted, gives up and surrenders. The analogy holds true: I have been daily kicking and screaming questioning the goodness of God and where He is in the midst of the mess of this life. Not even really my life–but LIFE life. So I was not offended by this image…it’s true. Then of course the patient parent reference was to God and He has been patient with me and allowed me to really do a middle of the mall throw down.
I’m not ready to give up yet. I am okay with the discomfort of the subject. Partly because I know I am not the only one. As a matter of fact I know that the questions I am asking are the very unanswerable questions that have been asked over thousands of years. Some of these questions have been asked and the answers have kept my friends from faith. They are worthy questions. We must respect the questions.
Today my inquisitions may seem a bit irreverent–but I have cleaned them up since they left my personal journal. Knowing I have struggled with this privately–I wondered if I should share publicly…questioning my level of respect for the God of the universe? Then I realized–there is nothing respectful about a tantrum. But when my kids threw tantrums, though not pleasant, they were part of parenting. I didn’t stop being their parent–and didn’t love them less. So I have to go on these principles of love and parenting when trying to grasp life with my heavenly Father. I believe God knows my heart and the place from which I come…and I only know how to speak openly to Him. I identify with David who had a flare for the dramatic…not to claim his drama…I simply seek solace with it. At the end of the day if God can’t handle it…then we have bigger problems.
Here is a sampling of the daily questions I have asked over the past few months or so. There are others, but these scratch the surface. So this would be Wednesday:
God, I am totally convinced you are powerful and our Creator. (Not everyone is…but I am convinced.) But with all the power, please can you explain Uganda? And when I say Uganda I mean the poverty and pain in Uganda. And when I say Uganda, I mean worldwide poverty and pain. Now please don’t hear me say that I think you should make Uganda America…because they don’t need microwaves and touch screen TVs: they need work, food, and shelter. For the love.
And God…here’s the thing, I see and believe and have watched you do miracles throughout history. I have seen and lived out the goodness and gifts of three beautiful children and a rock solid hubby. Those are miracles in my life. So I am convinced that you are able to do big big things. But my eyes have been opened to a darkness and evil that is wreaking havoc on the planet. There is a LOT of sh*t going on down here. Like serious, serious heart-breaking stuff: trafficking of children, sex trafficking, disease and dying babies. There are ugly wars and murders and martyrs. This place is broken.
And, forgive me, but it feels like your give a damn is busted.
Holy cow. She has officially lost it. Did she just quote a Jo Dee Messina song in her quiet time journal?
If you have not deleted this blog thanks for sticking with me. I think the truth is many have wondered where God is in the midst of our pain and crisis. No matter what pain or what crisis–there have been times when we have felt a void. Even silence. And then the unanswerable questions…
I’m there. Here’s the kicker: I am fully convinced this ride will end. I will get off the crazy swings and find my footing. I will find a stronger more solid faith foundation on the other side of these questions. My somewhat plastic understanding of God has recently been shattered. Gut honest, this new understanding of who He is and what He is about is scary and He doesn’t feel safe to follow.
And yet…apathy is my other option.
But I can’t un-see. I can’t un-experience. I can’t forget. I can’t not care.
This story, my pain, the pain of innocent ones, the brokenness of this world, only infuses a stronger desire to know this God I thought I knew. This child is going to keep kicking until she feels the durability and love of something much larger than her life leading her in to a place of rest.
Who’s with me?
May You Be a Blessing and May You Be Real,
7 thoughts on “And Round and Round We Go”
What a fantastic post! I think as Christians we often try to pretend everything is okay even when we can’t understand the things God is allowing to happen around us. I know I had lots of doubts through the midst of an incredibly devastating personal experience. And although, certainly not even remotey comparable to the things in Uganda, it made me question if God’s “give a damn” was in fact busted. What I learned is that He is faithful even when we can’t understand the whys of our situation. Thanks for sharing this story!
Jenni, you are expressing what other Christians have felt but not expressed. Thank you.