He Blames God

 In The Full Embrace

My mother was 21 years old when she died from Lymphoma. She was a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I was one year old at the time. On August 15th it will be 35 years that she’s been gone. From what I’m told about my mother, she was full of life. She was caring, compassionate, charming, feisty and charismatic. Her life had just begun. My father and she were looking forward to life together, life that now included a baby girl. Then tragedy hit and changed my family forever.

For many years (sometimes still if I’m honest) I’ve asked God why He would take her from our family. Why He would allow two parents to lose their child and a sister to lose her best friend. Why gift my father with a wife and her with a child only to senselessly take her out of the equation?

I have my days and moments when these questions take hold of my thoughts and send me down a road of trouble. On this road I’ve searched for understanding grasping for it all to make sense.  Just when it seems senseless, it hits me. There is a reason. There is a reason that my parents met, fell in love and got married. There is a reason that God saw it fitting for me to grow up without her. Did life feel harder? Absolutely, but good came from it. I have deeper relationships with my father and aunt that I may not have had otherwise. I had to grow up and mature a little faster than I might have had she been there.

My father hasn’t moved on. He has never remarried. He has never forgiven God. He has yet to find understanding. I’ve tried talking to him telling him the same things that I’m telling you, “Maybe our relationship wouldn’t be as close if she were alive.” To which he responds, “How can you know? Maybe we would have been just as close but it would have been three instead of two.” I can’t argue with that. He’s right; I don’t know how it would have been. But, I do understand something that he doesn’t. God sees the whole picture. He knows what is good and right and He definitely knows better than we do.

I am often struck by the way God gives us understanding. I’ve been learning a lot lately about what God thinks and feels about me, his daughter. He loves and accepts me. I can literally do anything and He will continue to pursue me with the same love and acceptance that has been there all along. Does anyone else feel that way about their children? Could your children do the most horrible things and still have your love? Do you not love them without condition? We love our children the way God loves us and I don’t believe that God did that by mistake (because God DOES NOT make mistakes.)

Being a parent is an amazing privilege, but it’s not all rainbows and butterflies is it? As parents we want to raise our children to be whom God says they are. We want them to mature which is usually met by obedience and we want them to grow. Grow from their experiences, grow in relationship with their Heavenly Father and grow into people that society would be pleased to welcome. In order to get them there we occasionally have to let them learn lessons on their own or take away things that they want and sometimes give them the things that they do not want. So why would we do this? Don’t we have the authority to keep them from the troubles that we’re allowing them to face? Aren’t we allowing them to face some of it because we see the greater good? We’re big picture parents. We can see how things that we allow them to go through will help them in the long run. We don’t do this because we enjoy watching them squirm; we do it because we love them.

Sound familiar? God knows what is best for us. HE KNOWS BETTER. He is older and wiser and far more mature than we will ever grow to be.  He is our parent and just like you and me, He will not give us everything that we want in this world, but He has given us everything we will ever need. He will show us a love that is sometimes tough but also pure, abundant and unfailing.

Often, God allows tragedy to reveal our helplessness and our need for Him. Have you ever noticed that? When horrible things happen, people need something bigger than themselves to either give them hope or to blame. My father is one that blames God. He is full of pride and has yet to humble himself to God, asking for God to bring peace and forgiveness to his heart. Instead the anger and grudge that he harbors gives him a sense of control over a situation that where he had none. That may have served a purpose to see him through immediately after his loss but certainly not 35 years later. Since my mom was taken from him my dad has lost both of his parents, a nephew and a sister. He has had two serious relationships both ending badly. He has been laid off from a job that he had for nearly 17 years and open heart surgery that he was scared he wouldn’t make it out of. Still he stands. Still he stands as God waits for him to kneel.

Much like my son who makes the same choice to disobey every night before bed, my father’s choice to harbor anger and pride will keep him far from the goodness that is awaiting him.  Just as I will continue to correct my son’s heart and guide him towards obedience, God will continue to allow life to bring my father to fork in the road moments with one path leading to the freedom he craves and the other taking him down the same road he’s been traveling.

God allows tragedy but He is always there to comfort and console. We are never alone in our sorrow or struggles. Simply put our troubles reveal how extreme our helplessness is when we don’t rely on Him. Pride does not comfort, God does. Anger does not love, God does. Grudges do not create freedom, Christ does.

I am thankful for the tragedies that have changed my life in a way that have led me to the good news; the good news that I have every intention of sharing with my father and with all of you. God, who loves all of His children, saw the sin of the world. He saw a way to defeat sin and save his children from death. He saved all of us by the sacrifice of one. Why would He allow tragedy to strike His son Jesus that he loves? It’s simple, because there was a greater good at stake. The greater good was seeing the rest of His children have eternal life. The same sentiment is true for the tragedies that strike our lives. What may come as a sacrifice to one leads to the greater good of others. God’s plan for us is good and right.

Losing my mother was a tragedy for my family, but what was gained because of it has saved the lives of several people in it. It is because of that loss that I have come to a place where I can finally understand the grace that was gifted to me and the freedom that it brings: freedom from anger and resentment. Freedom from the responsibility and burden of it all (because the responsibility and burden belong to Jesus and were won by his blood) and freedom from believing that I need to earn the love that I didn’t receive from my mother. Grace has allowed me to see that God wasn’t saying that I am not worthy of a mother, He was saying I am worthy of it all. I am worthy of His love, His acceptance and His goodness. I am worthy of knowing him and receiving His gift and in my book that’s good news.

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