Psalm 77:3, “When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints.”
Shortly after my second miscarriage, my heart filled with doubt about the goodness of God. Though I had initially experienced a sense of peace, as I moved forward, I had no desire to be with God. Trying to live life apart from God led me to a very dark place. I became an angry person. Everything upset me which resulted in me having a hard time finding joy in anything. My job became miserable. My husband walked on eggshells. I tried to read the Word, pray; and spend time with God, but the thought of Him just made my heart sick. I didn’t want Him. Every time I read the Bible, I saw how God had control of fertility, and it made me angry. Though some of these stories ended well, I didn’t know the end of our story. How can I trust God and go to him when he totally uprooted my dream? He seemed distant and unkind in this particular season of my life.
After many attempts to meet with God, I sat down by myself in a room where no one could hear me. I opened my Bible to the Psalms and landed on Psalm 77. Though I’ve read this Psalm before, it was the first time I found myself in it. Is it really ok to be this vulnerable and honest with God? Is it ok to confess your dissatisfaction with God? This Psalm is unique in that it doesn’t end on a happy note. The Psalmist reminds himself of the Lord’s good deeds, and he will soon praise and have joy, but he isn’t at that place yet. It was then I found the courage to pray. With much anger and sadness in my heart, I prayed out loud to God, being honest about my anger towards him, wrestling with the knowledge of his goodness, and the pain of his sovereignty.
As I continued praying unhindered and untamed in voice and word, I started to feel a weight being lifted from me. The tears stopped flowing, my breathing slowed, and I lay down to sleep. I told God how angry I was with him, yet his response was to take my burdens and give me peace? I then realized God was giving me the opportunity to know him deeper—as if a door I never knew existed now opened for me. It was as if God had been waiting to set me free from this weight but wouldn’t do so until I came to him with it.
This particular experience awoke me personally to a biblical understanding of the God I knew to be true and drew me into a deeper experiential reality of those truths at a heart level. In doing so, I saw idolatry in my heart. I had spent many nights, anxious and restless, trying to create the perfect life in the next season of life. I had weighed myself down with timelines and false expectations. Without knowing it, I enslaved myself to what I thought was the best time to change jobs, or go back to school, and possibly become a personal trainer. I had based my identity on being a mother, and in one moment, lost it all. It was painful to see my sin and idolatry and watch the Lord remove it.
Yet, in God’s wisdom and love, He removed these idols, which poisoned my soul and blocked me from experiencing joy. I’d find real purpose only in Him. Though my circumstances didn’t change overnight, my perspective and countenance did.
Now with no baby on the way and idols identified and removed, I found freedom. It may seem strange, but this is exactly what I needed. I had the freedom to change jobs, become a fitness instructor, and apply to different schools. When God provides us with a child, I will adjust and walk in the good works he sets before me.
In this process, I realized my knowledge of God was in conflict with my experience of God. I tried to cling to what I knew to be true of God’s character, but I couldn’t force myself to feel affections for God. I had to wrestle and confront the elephant in the room. What at first seemed scary and pointless was actually freeing and redeeming. Though life is painful and there will be many more hardships to come, I can see God’s good intentions behind the pain and have hope that he truly works all things for my good.
Do your feelings towards God conflict with your knowledge of him? Hebrews 10 tells us because of the blood of Jesus shed on the cross on our behalf, we now have access to the throne of God. We, his children, can come face to face with the One and Only God without fear and in all humility and be painfully vulnerable with Him. What is the result of coming to God? Does He not invite us to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us, to bring supplication to Him, and after suffering for a while, will he not himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you? (1 Peter 5:7, 10. Philippians 4:6-7).