Thursday, June 12, 2014

On Days When the Plan Seems Really, Really Messed Up

After I wrote my last post, I realized that it's still missing something.  There are days that are not so bad, and days that are fantastically wonderful even in the midst of whatever struggle someone is going through. But there are also days (and too often those days can stretch into months and years) where there is just darkness in the struggle. Then what? Because I want to realize that He is faithful in the darkest times where nothing makes any sense at all and it all hurts, not just in the times where things are good despite not getting what I want.

Thankfully, I haven't spent much time in that place lately. This post will be written more from a point of looking back rather than current experience.  And that may be the only way to write a post like this, because in the middle of the worst of it, how can there be the kind of perspective that allows for seeing a plan? The problem with seeing God's plan in the darkness is that everything is all one big mixed up mess.

When everything hurt, and hurt terribly, I wondered why God was either causing this pain or didn't care enough to fix it. I couldn't figure out what could possibly be the purpose of leaving me alone. Was it because I just wouldn't make a good wife or mother? Was it because there was a greater plan? Why did He think I cared about a greater plan, when all I wanted was for the pain to stop? Why was He causing so much pain and sending so little relief?

Looking back, I realize that I attributed everything to God and His plan at that time. It was horrible.  God seemed to have a seriously messed up plan. I didn't see that His plan had nothing to do with the pain and suffering.  He was not the cause of my being alone. It wasn't His plan for things to hurt so bad. The suffering, death, sin, natural disasters and all the rest are not actively a part of His plan.  He allows them, but He doesn't pull the strings for them to happen. Cancer is not part of his plan. Children dying is not part of His plan. People killing each other through either negligence or malice is not part of His plan. Parents abandoning children is not part of His plan. On and on the list goes.

So much suffering is senseless, and leaves us grasping at all kinds of painful reasons as to why we have to go through such things.  We want to know why.  There has to be a reason, doesn't there? If something is going to be that awful, there has to be something that we did to deserve it, or some reason that God doesn't love us, or some reason that it will all be okay in the end.

What I am finally realizing and have been talking about some here is that the author of death, confusion, chaos is all about the senselessness of it all. The Author of Life, however, does have a plan in the midst of it.  He has a plan to redeem every tear.  To take every moment of the senselessness and make it deeply meaningful.

I don't think it's His plan to break us beyond recognition.  I think that the breaking is going to happen to all of us as some point in our lives.  The question is, do we seek Him and His plan to not only heal us, but to restore us to His original plan for our lives, or do we turn from Him and remain broken?

In the middle of the pain, I could not figure out why God was causing me so much pain and I remember lashing out at Him a lot.  From my perspective now, I wonder how I could have blamed Him for it all.  Just as I am writing this, it occurs to me to wonder about something.  You know how anytime that we are angry, hurting, etc, we lash out at the ones closest to us?  Maybe the reason that it all seemed like God's fault at the time is because He was the One that was closest in the middle of it all.


  1. This is so beautiful, and so well-written. I really think this sense of wondering "WHY God?" transcends many different lives, situations, and struggles. Thank you for sharing this--prayers for you, and so glad that today is not a dark day.

  2. Hmmm interesting thought at the end! I feel the same way in regards to my lash out moments it is usually toward God first, then JJ, then my mom, oh yeah and then myself for lashing out at those I am closest to.

    It is what we do with the pain that matters and that is what we should be most concerned about once we recognize our brokenness or the pain that we're in. I love your distinction between the author of death and the Author of Life!

  3. Love those last two sentences. I've never thought about it like that, but it makes a lot of sense.

  4. I'm glad you put this on "paper", this is what we ended up talking about last week at my infertility group. One of the realizations that helped me stop being angry at God was that the IF we are experiencing is part of the consequence of sin and evil in the world, not Gods fault. Love your conclusion! Beautiful.

  5. Sorry for not commenting in awhile! I've been reading though and loving what you're writing. This in particular - I think what you're saying here is sooo important and so hard to remember!

  6. Yes, yes to all of this, but most especially to that conclusion. I think you are absolutely right about this!

  7. I love this post! I just found myself saying "yes" with every new point you made. Thank you!