Wednesday, September 29, 2010

impossible

being the wife of a pastor,

i cross paths with
death and sadnes
more often,
i think,
than average.

visiting people in hospitals,
hearing the saddest of stories,
feeling anger and
confusion.
the injustice and unfairness.
of parent's losing their
baby.
of babies losing their
parents.

i was taught to believe
in a big God.
who is the epitome of
love.
and goodness.
and compassion.
who conquers the
impossible.
and is merciful.

but as i prepare to take
rob's suit to the drycleaners
once more,
i have to say that
i'm questioning.
i question if it's all true.
i doubt that God is good.
that he is stronger
than these extraordinary mountains.
i can't understand how there could
ever be any higher reason
that we "can't understand
this side of heaven".
i don't believe we will
ever understand on
either side of heaven.
my heart breaks again and again,
for families i cannot help.

but deep down,
i know it.
i've felt it.
i've seen it.
God has been
good
to me.
He has been
merciful to me.
i've been outstandingly blessed.
and i'm grateful for every single
moment i've had.
i know what it is
to feel despair,
to feel hope.
i've felt the hand of God
protect me,
and help me
when i've been undeserving.
i know what it is to be loved,
truly.
deeply.

i'm holding to what i know,
even in my doubt.
i'm holding on to my family
who is a constant and ever increasing
joy
to me.
and i'm holding
with stubborn hope
to the truths that are still true
even when i'm not sure.

and i will never regret
the abandoning of what is
reasonable
(or rather unreasonable)
to live this tragically wonderful
life i was
made
to live.

3 comments:

Being Beth said...

Wow, Caroline, what a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your journey so honestly.

I too spent 30 plus years in professional ministry and saw so much suffering, brokenness, devastation. I also remember the doubts and the paradox between a God who is love, light, goodness and a God who is silent, seemingly distant or aloof, who allows death, suffering, and evil.

It's good and healthy to have these kinds of doubts and to grapple with these questions. It's a sign of your growth and maturing.

You wrote, "i was taught to believe
in a big God.
who is the epitome of
love.
and goodness.
and compassion.
who conquers the
impossible.
and is merciful."

I bet you didn't realize that in this paragraph lies the key to understanding the what's and the why's of what God has allowed you to see; the heavy and painful burdens of those God has entrusted to your care and asked you to help shoulder. When I read that paragraph, I smiled. Bad stuff makes you doubt and question your faith and it makes you doubt and question God.

You see, as you said, you were TAUGHT TO BELIEVE. Being taught is but the first step. Your parents belief, your pastors belief, your churches belief, your husbands belief, all the things you've been taught about God -- is not YOUR belief. Until you see and experience the sufferings of life (or as you so eloquently wrote "this tragically wonderful life") you'll never see for yourself just how big, good, compassionate, merciful, and involved God is in each of these tragic situations.

Doubt is important. It's really a gift. It's part of being a disciple. If you remember the disciple Thomas, Jesus was comfortable with his doubt. In fact, the doubt led to revelation, which led to belief -- personal, solid, unwavering faith.

Bottom line of what I'm saying is embrace your doubts, don't be afraid or ashamed of them, expect a revelation, and you will find as I and others before you have, that God is a big God, the epitome of love and goodness and compassion who conquers the impossible and is merciful. And then you'll teach your children to believe, and one day they'll doubt, and you'll smile...because you'll know the treasures that are buried in their doubt.

Prayers and all of God's blessings on your journey, Caroline.

Nancy said...

That is beautiful, Caroline.

So honest, so real, and so wonderful.

Thanks for that!!

laurakatherin said...

Thanks for such an honest post!

It is comforting to know that God is bigger, even then our doubts. He works in them and through them and I think is pleased when we lean on Him during them, like your doing.

I take comfort in Romans 8:18:
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."

The best is yet to come! He's coming back!