What do you do when those who are supposed to raise you, care for you, and protect you don’t do their job? As a Christian, how do you reconcile childhood trauma with a faith that teaches unconditional love, praying for your enemies, and grace for the even the worst of sinners? In today’s guest post, Tracey […]
I was supposed to be pregnant. After years of waiting, I’d carried a baby just nine weeks before a miscarriage upended everything I ever thought I believed about the way God works. We deserve to be parents! I would yell at the sky. My husband and I were as devoted to one another as we were to God. God had no right to take my baby from me. He owed me big time.
If this was a test, I was failing.
That year I was bitter, angry, weepy, uncertain. Every time I entered God’s presence, I did not find peace or hope or patience. Instead, I came face to face with my own biting disappointment, and the God who had let me down.
Do you remember the iconic scene from Forrest Gump, when Forrest tells the woman on the bench next to him, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.” At 25, I had my entire life planned out. Whom I would marry, how many children I would have, my career, the car I would drive, the places I would travel. It was glorious. I thought I would only pick the chocolates I liked.
Cancer upended it all. In the ugly packaging of cancer came my greatest joy.
In times when I see someone I care about struggling, my default is to revert to my old ways of thinking. My “savior complex” kicks into overdrive and I have to stop myself from looking for the nearest phone booth to change from suit to superhero. Often, I hear some cherry-picked Scripture in my head and think how easy it would be to give a sense of hope that everything will magically be alright, just around the next bend.
But not everyone is looking for a Super Christian. Not really.
I was twelve when my mom killed herself. My parents were divorced. My dad was remarried and lived nearby. My older brother lived in his own apartment, so it was just me and my mom making our way.
She sometimes left me home alone when she went out drinking. I begged her to stay home, but she would only promise to be home by a certain time. My neediness was useless to change anything.
I slept at my dad’s house the night my mom died. More accurately, I moved in. A few blocks were all that separated the houses—a slight but infinite distance. This time the sleepover wouldn’t end. When the sun rose I wouldn’t have a home to return to. Home as I knew it had vanished.
For months, my counselor and I worked toward dealing with my emotions instead of shoving them down into the acid that sat in my belly along with all the bad memories. At the bottom of all the junk in my soul, I found grace, resolve, understanding, and forgiveness — for my mom, for my ex-husband, but most of all, for me.
For years, I believed exactly what Christine Caine’s quote says: God can do in a second what you have been unable to do alone for years.
But it only led me away from Christ.
We wish for it, but unfortunately, God usually doesn’t change our circumstances in an instant.
In times of transition, it’s normal to feel lost or forgotten. But you are not lost, and neither is God. He is right where He’s always been, longing to be with us in our struggle. He wants to wait with us while we look for our new normal. He is never intimidated by our situation and He never gives up on us, even when we lack faith.
I believe in a Jesus who straightened out all the crooked paths we humans devised and made the complicated things simple. I believe in a Jesus who welcomed the little children who longed to be near him. I am one of those little children, who is content just to at His feet.
After Ben’s birth in September 2011, I suffered from severe sleep deprivation, psychosis, and postpartum depression.
It was the darkest time in my life. I was hospitalized for nearly 2 weeks and separated from my newborn for most of that time. The situation was completely beyond my control but I felt so much shame over it. With the help of good doctors and my amazing family I began to recover and finally feel like myself again.