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By Elisabeth Corcoran
A dear friend of mine was hurt -- very hurt. Physically she will get back to normal soon enough, but emotionally and spiritually, she will never be the same again. This has hit me possibly harder than any other evil thing that has brushed through my life before. I have felt a sadness the past two weeks that was new for me. It stemmed from three places -- the smallest being the realization that this could actually happen to me. I am not untouchable, immortal, after all (only took me 33 years to come to that conclusion).
The next factor contributing to my depth of sadness is simply utter pain for what my precious friend went through, is going through, and will carry with her for the rest of her life. I can only begin to imagine and construct in my mind what I think she must be feeling, and it saddens me to my core. I can literally feel my heart hurt when I think about it.
But the largest dynamic is the one that has surprised me the most. After almost eighteen years of being a truster of God, I have found myself disappointed and, yes, even angry with my Creator. This has never been an emotion I have felt towards Him. But If I am to believe that He is sovereign - and we are to believe that wholeheartedly - then I must grapple with the fact that He had the choice to stop what was going to happen to my friend, but He chose not to.
The basicness of this lesson seems almost obscure.I have heard of evil before. I have known of evil before. I have watched evil unfold before my very eyes on television before, fiction and reality, but I have never seen the hand of evil so up-close before. It was almost as if I didn't really know it existed until now. Because surely God allows evil on a daily basis and I surely knew that before this moment in time. But I don't think I really knew it. And that has been the issue that has plunged me into near-depression for two weeks. That has been the haunting voice that has kept me on the verge of tears. That has been the thing that leaves me going through my life like when you find yourself at your destination but only your subconscious was driving and you have no idea how you got there. That has been the nagging concern that has stopped me from praying because I remember I'm not speaking to Him just yet.
I've never, ever felt this way, this disconnected from the One who I thought would always protect me. It occurred to me that I didn't know His heart and character like I thought I did. But then something is beginning to change...very slowly, I might add. To be brutally honest, I've been questioning His intentions toward those who are His. I used to think that He is always loving, always faithful, always good. But I doubted His love, faithfulness and goodness, as I pictured Him sitting by and watching my friend be violated.
What I am just now allowing myself to feel.is that His heart was breaking infinitely more than mine. That is lesson number one for me.
Lesson number two is from the book of Job. A friend of mine, who has held me up emotionally and spiritually during this time, pointed out this passage to me. After everything had been stripped away and Job was violated in almost every physical and emotional way, he had this to say of his God, "I know that You can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted. Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. Please forgive me." I have been wrong. That is my other lesson. In our pain, can we be honest with God? Absolutely. No point in lying.He already knows what we feel. But I'm beginning to realize that I crossed the line. During this grieving period, which is not over I'm sure, I was irreverent. I was forgetful. I forgot the truths that I know. The enemy whispered things into my mind that I allowed to sway my thinking.thinking that had been built upon almost 18 years of God's word and personal faith experiences. The enemy wanted me to doubt God's love, and he got me to do so. But, in spite of my pain, I am going to choose this day not to do that anymore. Life is hard. What a cliché, so allow me to rephrase -- life can be absolutely horrifying and heartbreaking and fragile and fatal, but (she says with shored up conviction), God is good. God is faithful. God is love. That is what I know. That is Truth. That is what is going to get me through, and I pray that will be what is going to pull my friend through. God is Love. Even when we can't see it. Bottomline.
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