If I could describe how I feel these days in one word it would be DISAPPOINTED. I have gone through a spectrum of emotions since my girls died, but disappointment seems to be the most intense so far. I just can't seem to shake the very real feeling that God let me down.
I have been struggling for months, emotionally wrestling with being honest with God about just how disappointed I really feel. I feel ashamed of being so disappointed. After all, He is the God of the universe, creator of the heavens and the earth, He gives and He takes away. Who am I to question him? I tell myself on a daily basis that God didn't take my girls, He saved them, and that death is simply a sad fact of this fallen world...no one is exempt, not even my babies. But what I understand to be true has not traveled to my heart. When I sit alone, wrestling with my grief, I can't shake the indisputable fact that God could have saved my girls but didn't. He could have stepped in, but instead He stepped back. At least that is how it seems to me.
So I found a book. Disappointment With God by Philip Yancey. I needed something to help me make sense of the extreme disappointment I feel toward God for my daughters' deaths. Something to help me see again the God I love, the compassionate, trustworthy, and powerful God I gave my life to twenty years ago. The God I entrusted my children's lives to, the God I entrusted my life to, my heart to...the God I never thought would let something like this happen.
As I read I was moved. The book is profound. It does not explain away the reality of my disappointment with God. It doesn't talk down to me as the peon human who cannot possibly understand God's ways nor tries to make me feel guilty or judgemental. Instead, it teaches. It digs into the Word. It showed me how God is not positioned away from what happened but directly in it. He didn't step back. He jumped right in, or better stated, He jumped right ON...on the cross...and suffered and died and rose again not only so that I can have hope, but so that I can also be confident in His knowledge of my pain, His experience of my pain. God is not outside of my suffering. He is in it with me. There is no pain I have felt that He has not. Every tear I have cried for my girls He has matched. And He does not want it this way either. That is why He came, so that there will be an end to all this very real pain and suffering and death and disconnect...and comfort in the meantime.
Philip Yancey writes with regard to Hebrews Chapter 2,"Yes, it's true that Jesus is in control--but it sure doesn't look like it: 'at present we do not see everything subject to him.' That one sentence encompasses all unfairness: all war and violence, all hatred and lust, all triumph of evil over good, all illness and death, all tears and groans, all the disappointment and despair of this chaotic world. It may be the 'truest' sentence in the Bible." Jesus is in control, everything is subject to Him. He has made right every injustice that was done to my girls, He has rescued me from my suffering...I just can't see it yet.
But what of my pain though? I still hurt. I still miss my girls. I still feel angry and disappointed. I am still so devastatingly sad. I guess that is the real issue. Not my understanding, but my pain. Why does God let it hurt so much? I don't really have an answer yet. My hunch is that love comes at a cost. In order to feel the true joy of love we risk the pain of loss. Jesus himself cried out on the cross, "Lord, Lord, why have you forsaken me?" Even the Son Himself expressed disappointment with God. Not because he was bored or lonely or because He forgot what God had asked of Him, but because He was suffering. Maybe He too wanted to know why it had to hurt THIS much? I am not sure. I have to look into this more. I will write more on this later...