Sigh. Warning to you all: this is an ugly, possibly even sacrilegious post. I'm trying to edit myself a bit, but even the edited version is pretty bad. Proceed at your own risk.
I'm glad I waited until today to write this, because frankly I was so upset last night I'd probably have posted gibberish and possibly even some words that would make you want to avert your eyes. However, waiting means that while my thoughts are (a bit) clearer, they've also been numbed and I'm not sure I'll be able to even post what's really on my mind. It feels like my thoughts are surrounded by a thick layer of cotton (thank you self-defense mechanism) and now I'm barely able to latch onto them to get them into words articulately.
Nothing major is wrong in my life, no worries there. Well, that's not exactly true, but compared to so many people, I'm doing just fine. No, the problem is with a few of the blogs I've read regularly for ages, tragedies I don't understand, and unanswered prayers. The one step forward a million steps back? That's me, spiritually speaking. I do NOT get God, and I'm lost. Simply lost.
It has been brewing in me for quite awhile, but exploded last night when I read of the loss of the12 year old son of a blogger I have read for ages. Always, death hurts worse when it's sudden and completely unexpected, and couple that with the fact that he was my daughters age and, well, I lose it totally. Very close to home, know what I mean? Last night when I read of the tragedy I literally sobbed off and on for hours and raged against God. I was devastated. Not because I knew him, I didn't. Never met his blogger mom either. No, I was devastated because I know that the family is Christian, in actions and not just words. I know they've probably prayed multitudes of times for their son's safety and protection. Yet, he died anyway. Drowned.
Why? Why were their prayers discarded, unanswered? Oh, I know the right words to say. God's plan. Sovereignty. Bigger picture. But still, it begs the question: why do we pray at all then?
What about the promises of answered prayer in the Bible? If God already has a set plan, what's the use asking Him for anything? Either it's in the plan or it isn't. We don't get a say, apparently.
And how do I ask God to heal a cold or help me make a decision, when I know He's letting little Ashley (another blog) suffer, despite the prayers of thousands? Other blogs I read: Emerson, Sara, Heather, Jonah, to name just a few...so many prayers being prayed for all of them, yet still so much suffering, unbelievable pain, and death. I know each of these people are being prayed over diligently by hundreds, if not thousands, yet they continue to suffer greatly...how do I find the faith within myself that somehow God is going to find ME worthy of answered prayer? How do I trust Him to save me from my afflictions, when He obviously isn't doing that for them?
Please understand, I know how this sounds and I know all the stock answers, but I just don't care right now, I just don't. I don't see God answering prayers, I just see Him letting everyone down. And you know what? If that's who He is, a God who is sovereign who has a plan for us that contains both good and bad, and that He is going to let that plan play out regardless of our pleading and petitions, that is fine. I can get my head around that. BUT. Don't you tell me that He answers prayers of faith and will change His plan accordingly. Because my eyes are telling me differently.
I am angry. SO very angry. So angry in fact that I just deleted a few paragraphs that would probably send any Christians reading this away from my blog forever. I'm just struggling here. I have always struggled with the bigger questions, even as a child, and apparently I always will. Because I'm always questioning, I've never found much faith within myself, to be honest, and I suppose that's why I'm so easily shaken when others aren't. I have also always had an unusually high level of empathy for other people and their situations, and some time ago I realized that's probably a character trait given to me by God, ironically. In situations like this, it almost destroys me. I can hardly breathe.
I can't pray like regular people. Oh, I talked to God last night, if that's what you want to call it. (I yelled at Him for the longest time. Thank goodness I was home alone!) But regular, everyday prayer is so difficult for me. I. DO. NOT. TRUST. GOD. There, I said it. I don't trust Him! How do I pray to Him?
Sorry to put all this yuck out there on you. I really am. I am just so disillusioned, so angry, so hurt. I want to be like other people who trust God through all things, but I am just not. I want to believe He hears and answers prayer, but I just don't right now. And frankly, I'm not sure what to do about any of it. Please know that I don't expect answers from you, I wouldn't put that responsibility onto anyone. Just trying to work through some bone-deep issues here, and it might get ugly. Please, look away if you want to. I wish I could.