Monday, August 26, 2019

I Cursed God Out And He Responded With Love

Hey Friend,

This is the first year, in a long time, that I haven't seen the inside of an operating room.  I've been celebrating by enjoying walking outdoors in God's creation.  I've been stopping to smell the roses.  I've also been serving God, with thanks, for bringing me through all the surgeries as well as holding my hand through a divorce, mental illness, losing my job, and a scare with the dreaded "C".  It has felt good to feel healthy for a change.

That's why I was happy to be able to participate in our church's mission project - Project Classroom.  Thursday found me happily loading 90 colorful gift baskets for teachers as well as classroom supplies in my SUV.  I had fun working with two women I had just met, carting the baskets and supplies in to the delight (and some tears) of teachers who were getting their classrooms ready.  It felt good to be able to bless others. 

Thursday was a red letter day...and then came Friday morning.  As soon as I put my feet on the floor and went to stand, my knee buckled and I had a terrible stabbing pain on the inside of my right knee.  I knew I had felt that type of pain before, in my left knee, and I prayed it wasn't what I thought it was.

As the day wore on and the pain became worse, the tears started to flow. Once again, I was in an invalid state - unable to walk at all.  I felt an anger, like I've never experienced before, rise up like an erupting volcano from the bottoms of my feet to the top of my head.  I was furious.  "Really, God?" I shook my fist at Him.  "Is this what I get for doing your work??  I guess no good deed goes unpunished?" I snarled with angry sarcasm.

I rarely curse, and I haven't ever said "F-you" to any human being, but suddenly I was filled with such inexplicable anger.  I had weathered and persevered through six previous surgeries with LONG recuperations and I felt like I had maintained a "God is good" attitude.

I had praised Him for restoring the years the locusts had devoured after a long, difficult marriage and equally painful divorce.  I clung to Him in the not knowing times of medical tests, and biopsies, and uncertainty of where I'd get the funds to pay for necessities.  I faith weathered the storms.  Not easily, but I made it through.

But in this crucible moment all trust, all faith, all clinging to "God is good" went out the window and I raised my fist and screamed as loud as I could, "F-you God."  I didn't do it just once, with each time I yelled at Him, I shook my fist harder, and my voice rose a few decibels..."F-you God...F-you!!"  Over and over I screamed and cried and shook my fist at Him.  I have never felt such rage in my life.  I wondered if I was losing my mind??  Was I having a nervous breakdown?  Who, inside me, was yelling these words?

I wish I could say, a cathartic peace came over me.  Far from it.  I was good and mad and utterly miserable to my husband, my mom, well-meaning friends.  I was downright nasty.  I didn't feel at all like myself, but I couldn't change my attitude.  I didn't want to change my attitude.  Platitudes and Christian cliches made me even more incensed.  I had lost myself and an ugly person had taken my place. I'd hit the brick wall and had come to the end of myself.

The orthopedic doc at the Urgent Care confirmed a torn meniscus.  I'd need an MRI to asses the degree of damage.  Two of my previous surgeries were for meniscus tears.  More icing.  More elevating.  More sitting and waiting would be my destiny.  I had been here, done this, and was in no mood to do it again.  I slept fitfully. My husband slept in the other room.  Even the dog didn't want to be near me. I can't say that I blamed him.

Sunday morning dawned and the first words out of my mouth were, "I certainly wouldn't go to church even if I could walk."  But, I looked at my husband who had made me breakfast and like the Grinch, I felt a slight softening.  Tears welled, but wouldn't flow.  After breakfast, I called my mom and apologized for how awful I had been the day before.  She said that she forgave me and she loved me.  More softening.

My husband sat beside me on the couch where I had sat for weeks and months in the past and he reached out his hand.  I remembered how he had held me up in the shower and had gently washed my hair when I couldn't put weight on my leg.  What seemed like so long ago in the past came flooding to the forefront of my mind.  "I'm so sorry," I said, with tears in my eyes. "You don't deserve this."  

While he was at the grocery store getting supplies for the week.  My sister-in-law shared how she had been angry with God.  More than anything she would love the companionship of a good and caring man.  I had that.  God had blessed me with that. My stone cold heart softened slightly more into flesh.

Later, a good friend who was recuperating from surgery, reminded me just how difficult it is.  She had cursed at God and was wondering the same gigantic "WHY??" She didn't know how she was going to pay for expenses with being out from work for so long.  My husband had a good job.  I didn't have that worry if it came to surgery.  God had, indeed, blessed me. More soft flesh.

My friend and I made a pact to dust off our gratitude journals and each day we'd talk and share what we had listed for the day.  All of a sudden, I didn't feel so alone.  God had given me a companion to walk through whatever was to come.  God blessed me, yet again.  In addition, He showed me how I could bless someone else. 

Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love.  No power in the sky above or the earth below - indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8: 38-39) 

This scripture about super-glue kinda love came to mind after we talked.  My friend had reminded me that God's shoulders are broad enough to handle my anger...even really ugly anger.  I don't know that I've ever REALLY put that part of my faith to the test.  I didn't think that I could be THAT angry with just wasn't right.  I feared that He would be disappointed with me and would give up on me, or even worse, disown me. 

Could God take or accept my cursing Him??  I am great at "doing guilt".  But what I WASN'T feeling, surprisingly, was guilt that came in the form of condemnation.  I felt remorse for what I'd done and said.  I asked God to forgive my heinous behavior.  And then I sat with it.  Tears of remorse came...but NO condemnation.  

Could God love me and care for me even at my very ugliest?

Therefore, there is now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  (Romans 8:1)

I had really put this verse to the test.  

I'm still sitting here, waiting to get an MRI, waiting to see if we need to cancel yet another vacation??  I don't know what the upcoming days and weeks will hold, but this I know:

God loves me and NOTHING can ever separate me from His love.  There is NO condemnation, only Love.  

What an awesome God I have who loves with no conditions and no boundaries.  His love is unfathomable.  When God says He wants to have a relationship with us, He can handle a good and honest, no holds barred, relationship.  That's what I gave Him - a strong piece of my mind.

In return, He gave me a big piece of His heart. 

Dear Heavenly Father,  Please forgive me for my anger and my ugly behavior.  I praise you that I can come before you with all of my gritty, honest feelings and emotions, and you love me just the same.  I praise you for your promise that NOTHING...absolutely nothing can separate me from your love.  Help me to fathom the depths of your love for me.  Thank you for dying on the cross that my heinous sins would be washed white as snow with your blood.  Without you, Lord, I am a dead man walking.  With you Lord...I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Keep this always at the forefront of my mind and heart. If it be your will, heal me, O Lord. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

What about you?  Have you ever gotten REALLY angry with God?  Do you trust that He will never abandon you?  What does it mean to you to be able to be in true relationship with God, through Christ, His Son?  Will you share?

Be blessed...

ps.  And the WINNER of the (In)courage Devotional Bible is Robin B.  Congrats' Robin!! Thanks to ALL who subscribed.  If you like what you've read here today, might you consider SUBSCRIBING to receive weekly encouragement?  Just go to the SUBSCRIBE tab above.  Be sure to click the link in the confirmation email that will come in your inbox.  Thank you!

**With the uncertainty that lies before me, I may take a short, two week blogging break.  Prayers are welcome that I could go on vacation instead of to the OR. Prayers for God's strength either way...**