Have you ever had a moment like that? Where you feel as though God has abandoned you? That there is nothing but hopelessness in front of you? I’ve felt that way many times in my life. The first being when my beloved Nana passed away when I was still in high school, and then my grandad just 6 weeks to the day after. There is a grove of pine trees in an almost perfect circle behind our ancestral home where I would go to hide from the world. The day my Nana left this earth, I went there, and I screamed at God for hours, till I was hoarse. When I went to live with a foster family because I reported my stepfather for sexually abusing me and they removed me from my home, I screamed at God because I didn’t think it was fair that *I* was the one who should leave my home, my mother, my siblings.
Most recently has been the loss of my granddaughter, Amelia. Her mother refuses to allow us to see her because she and my son went through a bad breakup. I have not seen her since she was 3 months old, and then during the holidays her mother sent photos almost daily and had planned to allow me to attend her one-year birthday party in March 2021. In late February, she cut off all ties once again and blocked me from contacting her. I was/am devastated, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it but pray.
Disappointment, discouragement, and despair are all forms of loss, when we are grieving for a longed-for outcome that didn’t happen. It might be failing to get a new job, the end of a relationship, the inability to obtain something we have longed for. It is especially painful when that disappointment comes after intense, heart-felt, faithful prayer. Where you just know God will answer your prayer and it seems the answer to your prayer is a great big fat “NOPE, not today.”
The feeling that God has forgotten us, that we aren’t important enough for His time, it hurts like hell – and it can leave you discouraged, angry, and cause you to wonder why God would deny us in such a manner when we have done everything He has asked of us. I know that’s exactly how I felt in those instances. Why should I continue to go to church? Why should I continue to pray? What good was any of it doing? I didn’t have anyone to open up to about my feelings. Shame kept me quiet for so many years about the sexual abuse, I felt I would be judged and told it was somehow my fault. When friends would ask how I was, my standard response was, “I’m fine,” even though inside I felt as though I was dying, I was resentful that all of my friends had “normal” lives, had their grandparents, and God took my normal from me and the only two people who brought me any happiness.
The 5 Stages of Grief
I think we all know the Kubler-Ross model of grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance) which is used in many therapy settings. Anger is an important stage of any grieving process. It is a healthy expression associated with disappointment, and many people benefit from therapy to work through and process their anger after a loss.
Expressing your anger towards God is nothing new, not some new phenomenon that has recently come to light. The Psalms are FULL of outpourings of pain and despair, directed at God. The Psalms also demonstrate the complexity and messiness of humans, including all the feelings, anger, and frustrations we feel with God when we are disappointed.
Psalm 13 reveals that we can indeed be real, raw, and honest with God about our emotions, our frustrations, and our disappointments when we feel forgotten and abandoned by God. One of the best talks I had was with my foster mother, a therapist, who helped me to understand that my feelings were valid and how I could express those emotions in a healthy way to find a greater sense of serenity. She allowed me to open the lid on that anger that I had kept buried inside. A trained Christian therapist will not shame you for your anger: they will listen with empathy and non-judgment to support you in expressing your emotions. They will create and offer you a space to share your emotions and help you make sense of your loss, sadness, anger, frustration, and despair.
If you are struggling and wrestling with anger and bitterness, feel abandoned and rejected by God, consider how Christian Therapy might help you towards expressing those feelings that, in time, can lead to a more hopeful future.
Therapy Online, On Demand, When YOU Need it
Christian Therapist On Demand is an online teletherapy app that connects therapists to individuals who seek to incorporate their faith into their counseling experience. All sessions take place using a smart device. There are Individual, Couples, and Group Therapy sessions available. Start your free trial by downloading the app today from iTunes or Google Play.
Connect with Christian Therapist On Demand
You don’t have to work through your grief alone. Reach out to Christian Therapist On Demand, and if you just need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to bend, feel free to contact us on any of our social media accounts. We are always willing and able to listen. With love my friends – you are not alone.