One Sunday in March(throwing up in my brain as I write that, because somehow it’s been five months and I’m even more of a mess now), one of my pastors preached about being disappointed with God, and it broke a four month dam of tears.
I cried in October when my friends lost their baby. It messed me up so bad that I didn’t cry again until that Sunday, and I hadn’t realized until then that my recent inability to cry or pray or feel things boiled down to that.
My friend who was sitting beside me hugged me as we stood up and sang, and when we were dismissed she asked what was going on. I whispered “Everything.” A more articulate answer would have been, “One something that I just realized touched everything,” but I was too busy looking for the fastest way out the door while passing the fewest people.
The Wednesday after that Sunday, I tried to tell my Lifegroup. All of them assured me that our friends were so strong and fine, that I didn’t need to worry so much about them.
No one understood that that wasn’t the problem.
Of course I loved them and hurt for them and hated that this happened to them. But I agreed; our sweet friends are indeed strong people who love the Lord and they were healing as well as anyone can. I was proud of them and knew they really would be fine. That’s not what was wrong.
In September, Katie and Jordan found out that Will would almost definitely not make it to full term, and even if he did, he wouldn’t survive.
So I prayed. I prayed long and hard and expectantly, every single day. I’ve never prayed so much for someone else, and I’ve never believed so firmly that God would say yes. There was zero doubt. I wasn’t asking, “Please God let Will live,” I was saying, “Thanks God for whatever you’re about to do. Please give everybody peace and patience while we wait for it.” I knew God was about to come through and show off to all the doctors who said there was no hope.
On October 4th, they got news that no matter what they did, Will couldn’t live.
Everyone else started grieving. I got even more hopeful. Annoyed that God wasn’t acting faster, but hopeful nonetheless. Doctors could say whatever they wanted; God would come through. It would be huge and people would praise Jesus for it.
On October 26th, Will was born. He lived for three minutes.
So I cried.
That day I was crying for Katie and Jordan.
That Sunday in March, I was crying for me.
I was in a season of asking. If you wonder whether you truly trust God, I definitely recommend getting a ministry job that requires you to raise support. It will do things to your heart that nothing else can and I love it so much. One day I’ll write more on that, but for today, you only need to know that it involves a whole lot of asking and trusting and waiting.
In the fall I had asked so hopefully, for something so big, for someone else. And God had said no.
Now I was asking God, and consequently dozens of people, to provide all my financial needs for a year. And in the middle of it, it wasn’t going well. I hated everything about the process, I was way behind on all of my deadlines, I was crippled by depression, and I couldn’t grasp why it was so hard.
That Sunday in March, everything clicked. And then I fell apart.
Sobbing with my Lifegroup, the only words of explanation I could get out were, “I can’t ask people for anything, because I can’t ask God for anything, because he wouldn’t save Will.”
Fast forward to Mothers Day. Katie tells me she’s pregnant again.
Three weeks later, I asked God to help me meet a big support raising deadline. He said yes. Hope grew.
Then two weeks later, Katie had another miscarriage, and that was the first of four days in a row where four different things I asked God for all fell through like dominoes.
On the fourth day, I called my mom and declared, “God’s gonna do what he wants. It doesn’t matter if I ask or not.”
July was the worst month of an already hard year, probably because you can’t just stop praying and expect to feel good about life. But I couldn’t pray. I couldn’t even say, “God, you’re good, and I don’t understand you right now and have no words to talk about it, so please just give me some grace until I’m done being mad at you.” I had nothing left.
But then August came.
This is too long already, and I’m too tired to write well anymore tonight. Here’s the end of the story though before I finish the middle this Thursday:
Yes, God does what he wants.
And what he wants is good.
You can listen to the above mentioned sermon here while you wait.