I’ve got a lot of questions.
I’m not always the best Christian. In fact, I may be the worst. Truly. My sin and my flesh would embarrass most everyone reading this, but I’d venture that if you were honest with yourself, yours would, too. I am nothing if not honest and I reckon you already know that.
Last week, I wrote about how angry I was with God about what was happening with my Mom. I realize by stating that publicly, I opened myself up to a plethora of platitudes (and I got them). I was honest about my feelings anyway.
I was mad because I know the level of faith my Mother has and it is unfair to think of her struggling with something that was supposed to finished. I was mad because it shouldn’t happen to people like my Mama, or my sister in law’s Mama, or children, or… or… or… (this list goes on and on). Perhaps anger is an immature reaction, but nobody else gets to decide that for me. As human beings, we go through the stages of grief on an individual basis.
Grief and acceptance of circumstances are an emotionally draining, life sucking roller coaster of doubt and pity; you will be bruised, you will be beaten up, you will hurt, and you will be broken. These are just the facts.
Last week, we were bruised and bloodied, and all I could do was beg for some good news. I remember saying, “I just need it to not be as bad as they think it is.” and that was the best I could muster. My Mama, though, she was not defeated. She KNEW we were getting good news yesterday. See, that’s the kind of faith I’m talking about, and even if we didn’t get the news she wanted, she still would’ve had it. “He is still good.” she would’ve said, and I’m sure of it. I’m just not sure I would’ve been able to agree.
I wish I had the kind of faith that made me agree.
These are the kinds of things I really obsess over and spend a lot of time turning over and over in my mind. Why did my Mom get good news yesterday and yet, so many other folks don’t? I don’t have those answers. I want them, I want them so badly for the people I love and care about who are going through this, and for people that I don’t even know. I want something more tangible than ‘bad things happen to good people’ and ‘it rains on the just as well as the unjust’ because I’m just not satisfied with those answers in the face of imminent, horrible pain, suffering, and loss.
Maybe not being able to ‘trust God’s plan’ makes me a bad Christian. I remember talking to my brother a couple of weeks ago and I said, “Mom said that God’s got this.” and Tommy said, “Does he?” and all I could say was, “I don’t know.”
I don’t always know, but I scrape my way back to the foot of the cross and I beg Him to love me, flaws and all, doubts and all, rebellious flesh and all, questions and all, and He does. I will open up my most broken parts and tell you that sometimes I question if God is even there, I get frustrated and upset, I’m not good at church, I’m not good at (always) being kind, I’m less than stellar with my potty mouth, I do things that would probably be a stumbling block to most of you reading this, and I am honest about them all. I don’t hide anything about who I am and I can’t hide anything about who I am to God anyhow.
That being said, I am clinging to the news that there is no cancer in my Mama’s kidney’s with the greatest trepidation and the most sincere hope. She told me she believed God would heal her, and I’m hesitant to say that’s what happened (or is happening) because so many other people believe and the healing never comes. But, I can tell you that I saw those scans with my own eyes and an oncologist looked straight at her and said the words ‘advanced cancer’ and then there was literally nothing on a PET scan a few days later. I can tell you that with certainty because I lived it. Whatever was in those scans last week was either never there or was removed and I don’t know which it was, but I will certainly breathe a sigh of relief and thank God through it all.
And you better believe I’ll hug my sweet Mama’s neck just a little bit tighter for as long as I possibly can.