Letting Go of Asking Why

Continued from here.

Since I made the life decision to stop asking God why, my suffering has become simpler – not easier, but simpler. When I ask God to give me answers that I am incapable of understanding, I grow confused. In that confusion, I question whether God really loves me. This places me in a tug-of-war with the Source of my comfort. I pull Him closer as I seek comfort and healing but, at the same time, I push Him away in my frustration and anger at not understanding why. Push and pull. Push and pull.

Since I stopped asking God why, I have removed the barrier that drives me to push Him away, enabling me to hold Him close as I pour out my soul to Him. The suffering is not lessened, but it’s also not compounded by conflicting feelings toward the only One with the power to strengthen me as I walk through places I don’t want to go.

My go-to song has become Twila Paris’, Do I Trust You?:

The question is not whether I understand why God is allowing me to suffer. There’s no answer in that moment that’s going to make me welcome the pain. Instead, my question is whether I trust Him. Will I trust Him when I’m wrongfully terminated from my job? Will I trust Him when I’ve prayed for my loved one 1,000 times but he’s still suffering? Will I trust Him when I’ve done everything I know to do, but I see nothing changing in my circumstances? Will I trust Him when absolutely nothing about my situation makes sense?

I have resolved that my answer is yes, not because I feel like trusting God but because I choose to trust Him. I sing along with Twila Paris at the top of my lungs until I push through my resistance and sense God’s comfort infusing me with peace that surpasses all understanding:

I will trust You, Lord, when I don’t know why.
I will trust You, Lord, til the day I day.
I will trust You, Lord, when I’m blind with pain.
You were God before, and You’ll never change.
I will trust You.
I will trust You.
I will trust You, Lord.”

To be continued…

[Graphic: YouTube video of Twila Paris’ Do I Trust You?.]

 

I Will Trust You Lord

sinking_shipContinued from here.

I have been struggling for several weeks to find my way out of a deep emotional pit that has both physically and emotionally worn me out. I have earnestly prayed throughout this time. I have sought God’s leading. I have steeled myself for following God, no matter what. And I have gotten back up again and again to follow God in the midst of emotional pain that runs so deep that I cannot put it into words. I have looked for a way out, and God led me to it through an oldie but goody – Twila Paris’ song from the 1980’s entitled Do I Trust You, Lord?

The bottom line is that either I trust God, or I don’t. If I trust God, I will keep getting back up and following Him, no matter how many times that I am knocked down. I will keep believing that He will restore me, even when I am so blinded by the pain that I cannot see the blessings. I will keep forgiving the people who are unknowingly pouring salt into my wounds as they judge me in my brokenness. I will keep extending those people grace, even as they continue to hurt me. I will keep loving them. And I will keep loving and giving to others, even as I am tempted to withdraw from everyone to lick my own wounds. I will continue to prioritize what God cares about, not because I feel like it but because I trust God.

The cry of my heart has become the climax of Do I Trust You, Lord?:

I will trust You, Lord, when I don’t know why.
I will trust You, Lord, till the day I die.
I will trust You, Lord, when I’m blind with pain.
You were God before, and You’ll never change.

I will trust You. I will trust You.
I will trust You, Lord.
I will trust You. I will trust You.
I will trust You, Lord.

I will trust You. I will trust You.
I will trust You, Lord.”

Trusting God, even while blinded with pain, is the way out.

To be continued…

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace in a tuxedo playing the violin on the tip of a sinking ship. Courtesy Bitmoji.]

 

Do I Trust You, Lord?

shrugContinued from here.

While I can choose not to judge the wounded and broken, that does not prevent others from doing this to me. I have been reeling for weeks as God is healing my post-traumatic stress at a deeper level. God is allowing the iron in my soul to surface so he can heal it, and it’s a painful process. Being judged for falling short of others’ expectations when it’s taking everything within me to stand upright (or even to stand at all) has been extremely painful, and I have been struggling with how to hold onto my faith and keep believing that God is working all of this pain for good.

I am spiritually mature enough to know that there’s no Plan B – either God will come through for me, or I’ll spend the rest of my life flattened. At this stage of my relationship with God, it’s not an option to walk away from Him, nor is it an option to stop following Him. And yet the weight of the emotional pain has been unbearable for weeks, with some Christians in my life heaping judgment on me when it’s taking everything within me simply to keep getting back up. How do I keep pressing on and following God amidst all of this?

God blessed me with KLOVEclassics.com, which has me listening to Christian songs that blessed me all the way back in the 1980’s. One particular gem has become my anthem during this incredibly painful season in my life: Twila Paris’ Do I Trust You?

I will be graduating soon with my Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, so I particularly relate to this lyric:

I know the doctrine and theology, but right now they don’t mean much to me. This time there’s only one thing I’ve got to know: Do I trust You, Lord?”

I know the “go to” Bible verses for suffering and pain. I know that God will work this all for good. I know that God’s ways are higher than mine and that He is good. However, knowing all of this “doctrine and theology” isn’t much comfort to the wounded child inside – the little girl who experienced so much trauma and who, even after many years of therapy and healing work, is awash with deep-seated pain as God surfaces the iron in her soul to heal her. And that “doctrine and theology” isn’t helping as some Christians in my life – the very ones who should be extending me grace and praying me through this pain – are instead judging me in the place in my deepest vulnerability.

So, in the place between knowing what the Bible says and experiencing pain that threatens to break me … when the “doctrine and theology” aren’t making a difference … where is the way out? It’s found in a simple question: Do I trust you, Lord?

To be continued…

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace shrugging her shoulders with a thought bubble showing an emoticon shrugging its shoulders. Courtesy Bitmoji.]