Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bigger Picture Moments: On Asking God Hard Questions

Three miscarriages in a row.

The last one thisclose to the second trimester.

There's been so much heartache in the losses of these babies,  these dreams and these hopes that it's left me questioning God:

Where are you, God, while I'm grieving our sweet baby?
Where were you when my baby stopped growing inside me at nearly eleven weeks? 
Why didn't you stop the baby from dying?
Or, God, why let me be pregnant for so long with so many good signs of healthy pregnancy only to birth my baby at 12 weeks and some days?
Why even let me get pregnant at all? Why not just keep us from getting pregnant if our baby was going to die?
Why give me a desire for more children if we can't have more children?

I've asked all of these questions, sobbing in the arms of my husband, or while sitting with friends over coffee or scribbling notes into my journal.

Why?

But I was scared to ask them to God. I didn't want to give these questions voice in prayer; I'd chided myself over my lack of faith until a colleague pointed out during a staff meeting right after this last miscarriage that Jesus welcomed questions.

It doesn't scare God or make Him angry when I ask questions, really tough and messy questions that showcase my messy, heavy heart

My colleague even went so far as to say that God cares less about the questions I'm asking and more about the fact that I'm simply coming to Him, seeking Him.

So I began asking. And He began answering, that following Sunday, in fact, during a sermon our pastor was sharing from Isaiah 51: 12-13:

"I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mere mortals, human beings who are but grass, that you forget the Lord your Maker, who stretches out the heavens and who lays the foundations of the earth ..."

But in God saying that, He doesn't point His finger at me, shaming me, saying: "Who are you to question me?!"

Rather, He says to me, Who am I that you can trust me? If I stretched out the heavens and lay the foundation of the Earth, how much more am I able to care for you?

The same God who put those stars in the sky is the same God who knows what never has happened but what could have happened and what won't ever happen as well as what has happened and what is happening now and what will happen -- that God.

I don't know any of that, and I'm not sure I want to know. I don't know God's reasons, and I'm not sure I want to know them.

But I know who God is.


He's the God who loves us so much He sent a piece of Himself wrapped in flesh to an imperfect world.
He's the God who doesn't give his children snakes when they ask for bread.
He's the God who sends His Word to speak into my hurting heart.
He's the God who sends His Church to love and comfort and walk with the hurting.
He's the God who hears even the deepest groans of our hearts and sends us a counsellor who intercedes for us.
He's the God who made a way for selfish me to be with perfect Him forever.


And knowing who He is has answered the questions raging in my mind  -- just not in the ways I expected. 

But in ways that give me rest and peace and hope. 



Simple BPM
Share your Bigger Picture Moment HERE!

6 comments:

  1. Kari Jobe
    Love Came Down lyrics

    If my heart is overwhelmed
    And I cannot hear Your voice
    I hold on to what is true
    Though I cannot see

    If the storms of life they come
    And the road ahead gets steep
    I will lift these hands in faith
    I will believe

    I'll remind myself
    Of all that You've done
    And the life I have
    Because of Your son

    (Chorus)
    Love came down and rescued me
    Love came down and set me free
    I am Yours
    Lord I'm forever Yours
    Mountains high or valley low
    I sing out and remind my soul
    I am Yours
    I am forever Yours

    When my heart is filled with hope
    Every promise comes my way
    When I feel Your hands of grace
    Rest upon me

    Staying desperate for You, God
    Staying humble at Your feet
    I will lift these hands in praise
    I will believe

    I'll remind myself
    Of all that You've done
    And the life I have
    Because of Your son

    Love came down and rescued me
    Love came down and set me free
    I am Yours
    I am forever Yours
    Mountains high or valley low
    I sing out and remind my soul
    I am Yours
    I am forever Yours

    I am Yours
    I am Yours
    All my days
    Jesus, I am Yours
    (X2)

    Love came down and rescued me
    Love came down and set me free
    I am Yours
    I am forever Your's
    Mountains high or valley low
    I sing out and remind my soul
    I am Yours
    I am forever Yours
    (X2)

    Yeah, I am yours, I'm yours, I am yours
    Jesus I am yours

    so...I'm reading your post...and getting very emotional - not knowing what to say. American Idol is on (which seems more trivial and ridiculous the more I'm reading). Then one of the girls sings this song - and I just melted. I wanted you to be hearing it!! Thanks so much for sharing your heart and your faith journey so bravely. I don't know much, but I know the bigger the questions, the deeper the faith. We worked very hard to teach our kids that faith doesn't mean having answers, but having the courage to ask the questions... Love, love, love it when you write for yourself!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh friend. This is so beautifully broken and honest and heart laid bare. Yes, we CAN go to Him with doubts and questions and wonderings and He doesn't turn us away or shame us. He simply loves us where we are and continues to show us who He is the more we run to Him, even when it's hard. There's a hug waiting to wrap you in my arms tomorrow, to listen and love and just be Jesus in the flesh. I'm so grateful for the God who gave us friendship and brought our lives together. I love you, Hy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes He wants us to come to Him even with the questions.

    If a song can be instrumental in healing...the song Adrienne shared above was one for me...it was released in 2010 by Brian Johnson...then Kari Jobe in Jan 2012. I would listen and sing it outloud as a prayer. powerful.

    Rest and peace my friend.
    Love you
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's a pretty crappy God that would do that to his "children". Would an earth father do that - not if he was worth anything at all. Otherwise that earth father would be rightfully accused of child abuse. Because we don't understand something we allow ourselves to be brainwashed by the church. Wake up - God is useless as you perceive it. If God can "make something good" out of these tragedies - why couldn't he have stopped them in the first place? Think, girl, use your brain - don't follow blindly some stupid doctrine thought up to manage your thinking - think for yourself. You say that I don't know what I'm talking about - well, I do. I lost 6 babies to miscarriages - one time was a set of triplets. I know the pain - it is with me every day and I'm wll over retirement age.

    Where was God at Newtown??? People say, oh God won't give you more than you can bear - what a crock. What good father would push his children to the edge and over? And they say God will comfort you in tragedy - now that's a nice thought - he looks down on Newtown and say - oh, let the babies die, then I can comfort the families. Again - abuse - plain and simple.

    I feel your pain - we wanted 9 kids - we ended up with three - and I'm grateful for every moment of their lives - and for our three grandsons - but God had nothing to do with it - it is nature and sometimes bad things happen - but I never cried to God for help - I knew that the god as portrayed by the church is useless, cruel, heartless and mean - no thanks - I can find better help in nature - in the healing of a stream, or the peace of the ocean. I hope you stop being led around by the nose like a dumb animal and think for yourself. Rejoice for what you have and hope for the future - don't rely on self-righteous bigoted church people for your peace.

    ReplyDelete
  5. If you didn't come to God with questions where would that leave you? And I feel the same way about questioning faith. The hard messy questions always have an answer with the Lord.

    Also- Hy... Your faith is strong, but the Lord's faith in you is stronger. Love you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I just want to say that I'm here, and I'm reading (both your post and the comments), and holding your hand as best I know how, though I can't say what I'd really like to say since it's probably not kind to the commenter above or useful to you.

    Instead, I will say this. Since, as you know, I'm not of your church or faith, I don't know if this opinion is useful to you. But just know it's only meant as an opinion, and to be comforting - nothing more or less. If it fails to comfort, feel free to ignore it. I don't think you need to be afraid of the questions. You don't have to prove your faith to anyone. Your relationship with God is yours and God's alone, so if you have questions for Him it's nobody else's business. You don't need to force demonstrations of faith out of fear of others who will judge, because it's not for them to decide. As Adrienne said, the deeper the questions, the deeper the faith. I don't think pretending the questions aren't there is any kind of a demonstration of faith, and probably affords only a superficial relationship with the Divine, at best. But if you ask these questions - and I mean REALLY ask these questions and hold out for answers that TRULY make sense to you (and not in any kind of roundabout mental gymnastics way, but in a way that truly, honestly brings peace to your heart) - and your faith survives that, well that sounds like the strongest possible demonstration of the strength of your faith and your commitment to your relationship with God.

    In any case, I'm sorry you're going through such a difficult, sucky time. I imagine it really must shake you down to the core to not only suffer such loss, but to feel betrayed as well, such that core pieces of your identity come into question. But, whichever way you come out of this, I know you are incredibly strong and capable and you will come out of this in time. Just know that there are countless people who love and hope to support you, even if we might not have the right words to say.

    ReplyDelete

There's nothing better than good conversation ... but not while talking to myself. Will you play a part in this discussion?

AND will you pretty please have your email linked to your account or leave it for me so I can respond?

Thanks for taking the time to make these thoughts into conversation.

ShareThis