Why You Might Have to “Forgive” God

I love this quote.  

It’s honest and exactly how I felt after Dominic was killed.

Like any healthy human relationship, forgiveness is a key component in allowing us to grow closer to those we care about.  Intellectually, I believed that God is perfect, and could do no wrong.  I could agree with all the scriptures I had read since I was a child that told me God cares for us with an everlasting love.  But what my heart felt was that God had done Cathy and my whole family an injustice.  As long as I held onto those feelings, I knew I could never move forward.

So one evening alone at home, I simply said these words out loud:  ‘God, I forgive you.’

When I was finally able to let go of my ‘justifications’ for feeling angry at God, something inside of me shifted.  There were no heavenly rays of light breaking through the clouds, but I could tell that much of the mental turmoil I had been struggling with was being replaced with a quiet peace.

The thing is, I knew deep down that God did not need to be forgiven.  The forgiveness was meant for my sake.  It opened my heart to begin to listen and allowed me to receive more of what God wanted to teach me about who He really is.

~Warren Ludwig, Jewels in the Junkyard

It may be an affront to our religious sensibilities to even suggest that we “forgive” God.

But it is a bold rendering of the betrayal my heart felt.  Why MY son?  Why ME?

It’s true-as long as I held onto the reasons God had “done me wrong”, I was unable to lean in and trust Him again.

Like Job, I thought I had Him figured out and could hold my own in a debate with the Almighty One.

But also like Job, when confronted with His holiness, perfection and majesty, found all I could do was cover my mouth.

And when I shut up long enough to hear Him, His voice brought comfort.

He [Christ] said not, ‘Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be trevailed, thou shalt not be dis-eased,’ but He said, ‘Thou shalt not be overcome.’

~Julian of Norwich

I no longer feel betrayed.  

I still don’t like this life.

I would never have chosen this life.  

But I will trust the One Who made me to carry me through it. 

i made you and i will carry you

 

 

 

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

4 thoughts on “Why You Might Have to “Forgive” God”

  1. This is so good. We don’t forgive God because he did something wrong. But losing a child feels wrong. It goes against all our expectations, and we feel deeply betrayed. The process of accepting, submitting, and trusting is the same as forgiving. It’s letting go of my “rights” and my anger, just like forgiveness. And it’s slow going, for me at least.

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    1. Slow is the word! And I’ve found that for me it was not a single magical moment, it was a series of moments nearly like a child running out of steam in a temper tantrum. As they become more weary of fighting, they slowly, slowly give in to the caresses of a concerned parent. I pray that the Lord meets you where you are and gives you what you need. ❤

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  2. This is exactly where I’m at…feeling betrayed. I somehow know it’s holding me back and keeping me from being able to “lean in and trust Him again” but I just dont know how to do it. I’m constantly brought back to that point of Why?? Thank you for being so honest and open with your blog, it encourages my husband and I so much and it opens the door for us to dialogue about our feelings which is so good for us instead of keeping it all inside.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so sorry for your pain and your loss. This is a hard, hard journey and it takes a long time to even begin to understand what the questions and feelings ARE, much less to work on them. Why? is part of that. Some folks phrase it differently, but it really boils down to our current reality colliding with our previously held ideas of what reality should look like or would look like.

      I’m thankful the blog helps your heart navigate these treacherous waters. I pray that as you keep bringing your broken heart to God, He will overwhelm it with His love, grace and mercy and that you will once again be able to lean in. Don’t beat yourself up for doubting. He loves you and will be there when you can trust again. ❤

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