If I haven’t mentioned it, I am a lay-counselor at my church. Last week, a lady I’m counseling asked me where was God? Why did He let this happen and why didn’t He stop it?
I’m going to warn you right now that my response maybe a little too much for some of you to take depending on where you are in your journey. Believe me, I struggled with this question on my own years ago and it was not pretty. (see Spiritual Suicide) But I think it is an honest and fair question and one that every survivor asks at some point and NO one should ever make you feel bad for asking it. NO ONE, you hear me?
Let’s start with the basics that all Christians know: God created man with free choice. He did not want robots who followed Him automatically and fulfilled His every whim. God wanted relationship with us. He wanted us to be able to choose Him. (Have you ever had someone befriend you cause their mom told them to or be nice to you because they have to? Neither of those things are very fulfilling. In fact, they leave you quite empty and even a little sad.) So God didn’t want that and who could blame Him. I want true friends, don’t you?
The next part everyone can understand, but you will understand a little more if you are a parent. We do our best to raise our kids. We teach them right from wrong, morals, integrity, kindness, to be loving and helpful, and then we send them out into the world. We, as parents, have to sit back as they make decisions… good and bad, ones we agree with, and ones we don’t. They make some pretty stupid decisions too, but all we can do is give some advice and hope they take it. We did our jobs as parents and now they have free will to do what they want.
So here is the hard part. God taught my dad the best He could. He gave my dad two loving parents, an extended family, he lived in a good neighborhood, had a Catholic upbringing, and a stable environment. So God and my grandparents did the best they could and sent my dad out into the world. The sad part is that my dad didn’t make good choices. He used his free will, ignored his upbringing, and chose to abuse his daughter physically, emotionally, and sexually.
Now this is what I believe from the bottom of my heart and any time I think about this I have a mental image that pops up into my head: God did not want this to happen to me. He mourned just like we would if one of our children were hurt or if they hurt someone else. Jesus was there with me. He was kneeling on one knee beside me with an out-stretched arm, had my little hand in His, and was crying. And for the longest time, I only thought about Jesus crying with me, because I was hurting and that brought me comfort and healing like you wouldn’t believe.
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But here is the thing, Jesus was crying for my dad too. My dad is His son, who committed a grievous crime, one that would leave ever-lasting scars and God mourned that too. It broke God’s heart, just like it would break ours if it was our child committing a crime.
So God did not allow this to happen to me. He gave me dad as many tools and knowledge of right and wrong as He could… just like we do for our children. But my DAD CHOSE to hurt me, my DAD CHOSE to commit crimes against humanity and God, my DAD CHOSE to do the unthinkable.
So this is how I deal with this question. It may not work for you but I HOPE it does. We have a loving, merciful, gracious, miraculous God. And my prayer for you today as we discuss this really hard topic is that you get to know Him as I have. He has taken this horrific experience, used it to heal me and others, and has given me more peace, love, and grace than I could have ever imagined and I wish the same for you.
I picked this song because it was my song as I wrestled with this. It pushed my faith. It felt like my feet were failing and fear surrounded me, but my answer was BLAST this song and trust in God to take me further than I could ever go alone… cause quite frankly, what else did I have?
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11