In seeking a life guided by God, I have experienced the most profound understanding of Godâ€™s love for me after venting raw emotions. Whether you are experiencing great frustration, grief or anger, when you express these feelings to God, God seems to listen and answer right away. My pastor always tells me, “Get angry at God. He can take it.” This was my experience from late summer going into the fall.
I had to have some surgery done on an out-patient basis in the middle of August. Everything went well and I was feeling good by the fifth day until I received a phone call. It was my then eighty-eight year old mother telling me that she had fallen and had broken her wrist. I wasnâ€™t supposed to drive and the good news was, my husband, Robert, was at a rare meeting in town as opposed to being sixty miles away on a typical work day. We picked her up and took her to the emergency room. More good news was that she had broken the left wrist and she is right handed. That would be the end of the good news.
Four weeks later I received a call that my brother had collapsed on the running trail and needed to have open-heart surgery. One week after that announcement, my mother called telling me that she fell and had broken the other wrist. (No wonder I hate answering the telephone at home!)
My mother is fortunate to be healthy and lives on her own. But with two broken wrists, arrangements needed to be made to put her in a care facility until she could use her arms again. So, for weeks I shuffled back and forth, doing laundry, visiting her, sometimes taking her meals, and making sure she was getting the care she needed. During this time I was also trying to launch a business.
Thank goodness I had my constant companion of ten years, Duffy the Golden Retriever. After coming home from running all of the dayâ€™s errands, I would be physically and mentally exhausted. Duffy would always burst through the door to greet me with tail wagging and full of adoring love and affection. He had gotten me through the most difficult times of my life and this was ranked up there as one of the worst.
My brother came through the surgery with flying colors. After repeated visits to the nursing home, I was more confident that Mom was being taken care of and she was doing as well as could be expected. This was in mid- October. Things were starting to look up â€“ that is until Halloween.
From a weather standpoint, It was one of the most beautiful days ever. But at Â 11PM that night,Â Duffy got sick and wanted to go outside. He tried to throw up and couldnâ€™t. When he came in, he had doubled in size. I called the animal hospital emergency room and they told me to get him in right away â€“ that his stomach had turned. Robert and I raced the five minutes to the hospital. I wasnâ€™t crying, I was wailing. We got Duffy comfortable and were given the options. We decided to do everything to save him which would mean surgery.
I was fortunate to see him. Duffy had been sedated and wasnâ€™t suffering anymore and he recognized me. I got to say good-bye. I knew in my heart that he wasnâ€™t going to pull through. The doctor said they would call us in a few hours.
At this time it was well past midnight. We drove home and I chose to wait out the time on the patio looking up at the stars. I was SO angry with God. I know that I pleaded for God to save him, but I knew given Duffyâ€™s age that it was probably hopeless. As the hours ticked on, I knew that too much time was going by without a phone call. I yelled. I screamed. I shouted. How could God take Duffy away from me now after all that I had been through?Â Why of all times now? I donâ€™t ever remember being so angry at God.
It was 4:00AM by the time the doctors called. They discovered that Duffy had cancer of the liver when they did the surgery. He was not responding well. We had to make the decision to put him to sleep.
After my anger fit at God, the next day I realized that God is a God of mercy. The situation and the alternatives became clear to me. Duffy had cancer. He had been slowing down on our walks and was starting to look old and thin. I could tell that something was wrong. Â With being ten years old, he was already within the standard 9-12 Golden life cycle. If he had lived, he would have suffered as the cancer would continue to take its toll. Â I would have never been able to watch him suffer.
That Halloween, Duffy had the perfect day. He spent the day doing what he loved the most â€“ being with his family, walking and meeting people. Â When itâ€™s our time, we should all have such a perfect day.
I believe that God knows what is best for us. I also believe that God wants us to be real with him. That night on the patio, I was very real.Â These verses came to mind from Revelation 3:15 & 16:
â€œI know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm â€“ neither hot nor cold â€“ I am about to spit you out of my mouth.â€
When we truly let it all go, God answers, usually immediately. Perhaps you are angry at God for something that has happened in your life. Itâ€™s okay to be angry with God, he can take it.
Holding onto the past and holding onto past hurts and resentment will rob you of joy. If your mind is racing and you have a hard time quieting your mind, you need to learn to be still. Here are two resources to help you: Let it Go and Be Still Guided Meditations.
If you want encouragement on your spiritual path, join me in The Guided Life. It’s free.