…… is something I’ve been dealing with lately.
Now before I continue, I need to say that there is no finger pointing contained in this post. I’m not writing about anyone personally. I’m writing about my feelings, which are mine, and mine alone (although some readers will perhaps relate to them).
When I read about good things happening in the lives of my friends, I truly am happy for them, no matter how else I also feel.
Now, where was I?
Oh yes …… misplaced anger.
Has anyone else noticed that there are a boat load of wedding anniversaries in the summer?
Well of course there are. There always have been. Always.
I’m sure that in the past 7 1/2 years there have been just as many as there are this summer. But for some reason, I’ve never noticed them as much as I have this year.
If you’re on Facebook then perhaps you, too have noticed.
It’s been constant.
I dare say that it’s been daily.
Friends wishing their spouses a happy anniversary.
Again, I’m very happy for all of my friends who are married and who’ve had anniversaries this summer. Truly.
But …… all of these posts have started to trigger something inside of me.
And that something is anger, pure and simple.
I’m not proud of that, but it’s there.
With every additional post I can feel another log thrown into the furnace burning within.
A slowly building fire that starting to gain strength and heat.
It’s probably also kind of a greenish color.
Because I’m jealous.
Every time I see a post that says a couple has been married over 25 years, the fire becomes a deeper green.
I don’t feel angry towards any one person.
Not a human person, anyway.
But I surprised myself when I finally realized that I’m angry at God.
Or should I say …… I’m still angry at God.
And getting angrier.
There’s a second thing going on that’s been stoking that angry fire inside of me.
Have you seen a new TV show this summer called, “Answered Prayers”?
If you have, and you’re widowed, then you know where I’m going with this, don’t you?
It’s on TLC and is hosted by Roma Downey. She and her husband produce it.
I know that they are Christians and that they’ve done a lot in faith-based movies and TV. And I’m glad about that.
But this show …… this show makes me angry. Or maybe, I make myself angry when I watch it.
But it seems to me that it tells only half of the story.
The show features 2 or 3 people a week and their true stories about life and death situations that happened to them.
All of these stories have had happy endings. People are brought back from the brink of death, or rescued from sure death accidents …… because of prayer.
And not just prayer.
But “answered prayer”.
God heard their prayers and said, “Yes”.
And these people were healed, rescued, saved, etc.
Happy, happy endings.
But here’s the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say.
God doesn’t always say yes.
Sometimes he gives you a big, fat, “NO”.
But that’s still an answer.
This show makes me feel …… strike that.
When I watch this show I feel the same way I feel when I hear someone say, “If you’d only had enough faith …”; “If you’d only prayed hard enough …”; “If you’d only truly believed …”
Yes, I’ve personally heard all three of those partial sentences. They start out the same: “If you’d only …”.
And they end the same: “God would’ve saved him”.
Is it any wonder that some people turn from their faith, and others never approach faith at all, when their loved one dies and they hear something like that?
Nothing stokes the anger inside of me as fast as those kind of words.
Nothing brings my anger level from zero to a million faster than those people.
And this show, without giving the other answer, without giving the rest of the story, really does make me feel white hot anger.
From my experience (and I can only cite mine) God gives three answers to most of our questions:
“Wait.” Which will ultimately end in either “Yes” or “No”.
God, much like most human parents, sometimes says, “No.”
Yet loves us as much as those who received a “Yes”.
The answer has nothing to do with the love.
I have no doubt that He loves me.
In spite of my anger.
And maybe because of my anger.
To claim that, because people prayed and someone escaped death, God heard and answered prayer …… is to tell already hurting people that God only hears some people.
And he evidently doesn’t hear them.
Who wants to follow that kind of God?
Who can feel love from that kind of God?
And who can give sound Biblical evidence of that kind of God?
That’s not the God I know.
That’s not the God I love.
That’s not the God who loved the world so much that sent His only son to die for EVERYONE.
So, while I’m happy that these people were saved from death …… I’m going to stop watching “Answered Prayers”.
Because it’s time for me to finally let go of my anger.
And because God did answer my prayers that day/night (and thousands of others’).
He said, “No”.
If you changed “anniversary” to “Mother’s Day” and Father’s Day” you’d be telling my story, friend. I resent my peers, too young to have lost their parents. Stupid, right? It’s jealousy and I just stay off FB. It’s too much. These things didn’t happen in our lives because God decided we weren’t appreciating Him.
I hate that you “get” this.
Maybe next year I’ll take the summer off of FB.
Jake would say it this way, “Same!”
Nate and I just had a similar conversation the other day. He gets angry when his friends whine about their terrible life. I’m just mad at the world, that it keeps spinning when I’m not ready to resume with this gaping hole in my heart.
Why?!? Why did God take Jake? Why, do I have to do this alone? Why did God answer “no”?
Thank you for sharing and as I know you know…you’re not alone. Love you friend!
Oh, Amy, I love you, too and am so sorry you know how this feels. ❤
I see people say on Facebook “God is so good. He healed (fill in the blank).” And I wan’t to write– “Would He not be good if He hadn’t healed them?” But I don’t want to be mean on FB!!! I know that they don’t understand because they haven’t lost someone like I have. But I completely understand how you feel!!! It is hard. I remember hearing a woman complaining about having to go home to an empty house because her husband was going to be out of town. I sat there as a new widow and just took it all in. Ohhh what I would have loved to have said to her. I wondered later if it ever dawned on her what she was saying in front of me- who was constantly going home to an empty house.
Exactly! And don’t forget the “God only gives you as much as you can handle”. Really? So if I was weaker the person I love would be fine? Seriously? My God doesn’t do that. Nor does He keep score to see if you prayed hard enough. What He does do for me is help fill my aching hurting soul with His love.
Whenever I see a couple holding hands, kissing, being happy, I’m happy for them; but I still feel that jealousy; no, not jealousy – envy. And I still ask why isn’t Don still here with me? And when I read things people write like “God answers prayers”, “Give it to God”, “God will carry you”… well, did God give Don cancer? Did God cause his cancer to metastasize? Did God decide that the surgeon wouldn’t be able to remove that last 2% on his iliac artery? We were not religious people. Watching Don die, reaching up to to something no one else could see all morning; suddenly saying, clear as a bell after days of not being able to speak, “Well, I guess so…” That made me question my belief system. I don’t know if there anything after this life; I don’t know if there a God, a higher power, anything out there; I don’t know if I’ll ever see Don again… but I pray I do.
I too am seven years out. I watch my sister & her husband and see the love they share for each other. I had that same look in my eye Danny. I miss him & that “feeling” so much. The only thing that keeps me from being too angry is The Book of Life. I was raised in church and was taught the minute we are born the date & time we will depart is written. If this is indeed so, no amount of praying or asking to be spared will make a difference. I do serve a loving God & believe he will carry us through.
Bravo!! My God is Love too.