Dear God, Thanks for Letting Me Cuss at You

By Sarah Simmons | Messy Grace

Mar 10

Have you ever cussed at God? I certainly have.

Check out today’s post and leave Sarah some love in the comments.

Grace is messy,



Dear God,

You’re not who I thought you were.

You don’t want what I thought you wanted. You don’t treat me how I expect to be treated. Sometimes, I don’t know what to do with you. See, I spent years trying to be good enough, trying to be what you deserve.

Shouldn’t a king have the best of everything? That’s not me. I’m sick and I’m toxic. You can’t want me.

But you and I, we see differently. What I call strength, you call fear and self-preservation. What I call weakness, you call beautiful dependence. In your eyes, the best I could offer you was precisely what I wanted to hide. All I could give was myself, broken as I was.

So thanks for letting me cuss at you.

Why don’t you fix me? Why don’t you just wave that *%#$ing magic wand I KNOW you have up there? I called you a liar, would slap your face if you showed it. But you withstood my storms. You were patience and peace, never matching my explosions, meeting me with ridiculous grace. You knew it wasn’t about you, and you were willing to take it. I don’t think I’d understand “steadfast love” if I hadn’t given you every reason to walk away.

Thanks for letting me make my bed in hell.

You’d just come down there after me. We spent a lot of time there, you and I – me in a fetal curl of panic and you patient, rushing nothing. Darkness was my closest friend, the only one I thought I deserved. I never imagined another life. But I couldn’t escape you, even there. You’d sit with me until I was ready to take your hand for the slow climb out.

Thanks for infuriating kindness.

I never deserved it and I knew it. I wanted to protect you from myself. I thought I could push hard enough to make you leave me alone, but you never budged. You weren’t scared. My brokenness couldn’t shake you, still can’t on my worst days. I expected punishment, but you only showed mercy. I expected harsh tones, but you only spoke kindly. It took years for me to listen, to stop pushing back, stop expecting you to set me up for pain. But kindness turned me to face you, called me from hiding.

Thanks for not forcing wholeness on me.

I begged for change, pleaded you to break my defenses by force, to stage the revolution I thought I needed. Why are you withholding healing? Why won’t you fix me? You insisted on tenderness: I will not take what you won’t give. “Fixing you” would require intimacy that would feel like a violation. That process would be more terrible than this. I want you whole, but I refuse to damage you in the process.

Thanks for teaching me to cry.

I remember icy walls of numbness, years of not being allowed the luxury of tears. Warmth made me melt, the slow thaw of spring’s first sun. It was compassion and pain, sharing your affection. You insisted the things that break my heart for others – hurts, betrayal, abuse – should break my heart for me, too. It took so long for the fog to lift. But I learned to feel the highs and lows, to cry when I should, to say I’m sad and come for comfort.

Thank you for the long road.

I hated it, screamed at you more times than I could count, weary of the journey. How often did I want to quit? But you proved too much of your love for me to leave. Where else would I go? I know you’ve got the only words of life.

You knew I still wanted you and the long road to wholeness was the right one. Though the path was sometimes terrifying, I learned the Healer as I was healed. I met the Comforter by being comforted. I resented you for that long road, but I wouldn’t trade it now.

And that’s the beauty of story, isn’t it?

This long ugly road, my bed in hell, screaming and tears and fear – oh, God, I wouldn’t trade it for a second. You’re not who I thought you were – you’re better, infinitely better. See, now I know the one I’ve believed, a deep and real knowing I wouldn’t have without this.

And now you’re teaching me to overcome with a story. And it’s not just for me. A million messy thank you’s can well up in my soul, and I can own this because maybe somebody else will gain permission to live their own long road. And that is worth every moment.



PS – Sorry about cussing at you. I wish I could promise to never do it again.

Still reading? Check out Steve’s latest for The Mighty, “11 Marriage Tips from a Husband with Mental Illness”. Just click here.


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  • paulfg says:

    Real! Thank you ((hugs))

  • paulfg says:

    Reblogged this on Church Set Free and commented:This is a real read (extract form original):

    Thanks for not forcing wholeness on me.

    “I begged for change, pleaded you to break my defenses by force, to stage the revolution I thought I needed. Why are you withholding healing? Why won’t you fix me? You insisted on tenderness: I will not take what you won’t give. “Fixing you” would require intimacy that would feel like a violation. That process would be more terrible than this. I want you whole, but I refuse to damage you in the process.”

    Thank you Sarah – and thank you Steve for posting! Why not pop across and read the whole post – I am glad I did!

    (comments disabled here – join the conversation at Steve’s place)

  • Thank God for this authentic writing! I will confess I’ve been there. God knows us deeply and knows what we’re thinking. It’s interesting how God let Job vent for about 37 chapters before He speaks. I wish every believer felt comfortable enough to be real.

    • Steve Austin says:

      Thanks for commenting, Matthew! I am so glad Sarah is willing to talk about the real doubts and questions we all have at some point in our journey.

    • Sarah says:

      Matthew, you’re so kind! I wish everyone felt that way, too. It’s crazy how we say we believe God knows everything, but we still think we need to dress ourselves up to be good enough for him.

  • Awesome letter. I have written a few of these myself.

  • rtodd50 says:

    Reblogged this on God's Zone.

  • Whooee! This reads like a transcript of the last two years of my life. Things got far messier than I would have believed possible. It’s not over yet, and then debriefing will begin.
    Thanks for sharing out loud what I couldn’t write. Yep, it was just like what you’ve written.

    ‘Amazing grace’ is more like the ocean than a wading pool after we’ve gone through hell. I’m still astounded when I recall, after a particularly ugly scene when I screamed myself hoarse, that still, small, gentle voice. I’d halfway expected to be turned into a grease spot right there on the floor!! I hated His guts-and He let me get it all out…and then whispered, “I love you.” He won my heart all over again!

    Praising Jesus!

    • Sarah says:

      Lessonsbyheart, I love that. How sweet! I feel like He’s just constantly winning our hearts, over and over, with that ridiculous kindness. Thanks so much!

      • Sarah, I had to let you know the impact your post had.
        After the comment above was posted, I pulled out the journal in which I’d been processing my pain earlier. That’s when I realized that the deep, searing pain that’s been my constant companion was GONE! I feel like a woman post-childbirth who remembers that it really hurt, but now it’s over. The relief is overwhelming, for it’s been two years of heart-crushing, soul-wrenching, mind-twisting horror.

        Abba used your words to lift that from me. Thanks again!

    • Steve Austin says:

      My dear, precious, WONDERFUL friend, Tami!!!
      Oh, how I have missed you! My singin’, worshipping, encouraging, WONDERFUL friend, Tami!!!!!

      I’m so sorry it’s been two years of hell. Guess what? Me too. Lindsey and I have walked through the FIRE and I have questioned, doubted, screamed, yelled, kicked, and cussed.

      I’m so glad you’re still here. My whole day has been made, by seeing your comment.

      And I’m glad God still whispers.

      Much love to you, my sister.


      • Hi, Steve! How I’ve missed the community we have. I’ve been watching your progression via posts, but haven’t had the energy to comment – just breathe a prayer and move on.
        On the other side of your trial, how’s your relationship with Abba? Did you learn something new and amazing about Him? Something you wouldn’t have learned any other way? I’m finding that this is the case for me.

        Stay strong, dear brother. So glad you’re doing well.

        In His firm grip,

      • Steve Austin says:

        I’ve missed the community, too, my friend. I’m just so glad to know you’re still here. Even the thinnest thread of grace is stronger than any of my our human striving.
        What have I learned? I’ve re-learned a lot. And I’m learning to un-learn a good bit.

        Tami, it’s grace, grace, and more grace. It’s not cliche’. It’s not sweet and frilly and lovey-dovey. It’s a stubbornness that cries out in the night. Grace is gritty and raw and firm and unshakeable. It’s not milquetoast, mamby-pamby, baby skin stuff. It’s got a grip like a snapping turtle and won’t let go til Jesus comes back!

        That’s what I’ve learned.

        And you? You are more loved, more cherished, more valuable than you could possibly even imagine. Even on your very best day. And on your worst day? Same thing.

        Love to you,

      • Sarah says:

        This comment thread is amazing❤️
        And Tami, wow, just wow. I’m so humbled that these messy little words were used like that in your life. So much love to you!

      • Steve Austin says:

        Sarah, back in the day…in the days of the “old” blog, Tami and I did some blog swaps and connected in a great way. She’s good people. Blesses my LIFE.

  • (Sarah, I printed this post so I can refer to it often. I hope you don’t mind.)

    That I ‘unlearned’ stuff would be a gross understatement. Mostly I had the ‘religion’ kicked out of me. Sad to say, religion destroyed my marriage. All the ‘fluff’ of the average ‘How to be a Nice Christian Wife’ type books I read, in our situation was the WORSE possible approach I could have taken. It’s a whole ‘nother animal when dealing with addiction. I had no idea just how deluded and deceived I’d become. Pretty pathetic.

    The first thing it took out was my relationship with Abba. I had nothing nice to say to Him for a year…if I would speak to Him at all. He was extremely patient, and led me on a journey of discovering how much disinformation I believed about Him. I explained my silence on Lessons by Heart here: https://lessonsbyheart.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/a-time-to-be-silent-part-one/

    I look forward to sharing, but the issue is rather sensitive in nature, and will take much prayer and preparation before I know how to convey what I learned without dishonoring anyone.

    At the moment, I feel like a grapevine in December, cut back to bare branches. I have no idea who I am meant to be, or what’s coming next. All I know is that it will be good. 😉

    Last year, the Lord said, “I know the plans *I* have for you…plans for shalom and not calamity. So far, you’ve lived by *your* plans…then asked Me to bless them. I did the best I could – you didn’t give Me much to work with. Would you like to try Mine now?” Of course I would!!

    So now I am home – alone – blessed with a job that I do from home (only Abba could work that out!), more unsure of what I will be when I grow up than I was when I was a kid. I’m still in free-fall, but confident, for “The eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” I’m in a good place. 🙂 I can’t fall so far down that He isn’t there to catch me.

    One thing I know for sure – after the pruning comes new growth and more abundant fruit. At least I have that for encouragement.

    Thanks for all your kind words…you made me cry!


    PS Larry Crabb’s book, “Shattered Dreams” helped me make sense of the mess I’ve been through. He uses the book of Ruth to bring the light of truth to our darkness.

    Grace, indeed. It’s the Father who schedules heart surgery for His child, knowing the pain involved…and the certain death of His beloved if He relents to his/her cries to be spared the operation. I recommend it to anyone who’s up to their arse in alligators!

    Blessings to you and yours. (((<3)))

    • Steve Austin says:

      I’m so sorry for all you’ve walked through. No churchy cliche’ here my friend. I’m just sorry. I’ll sit in the ashes with ya, if you ever just need a shoulder to cry on.
      Love and grace and peace to you,

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