I have a story to tell. I struggle with telling it, not wanting to become yet another loud voice screaming into an echo chamber of ideas. But it needs to be told and if you will listen I hope it will be a story of restoration and freedom to you.
I am a stay at home mom of 4 boys. My husband and I have been married for 12 years. We have fought long and hard for a marriage that means something. He is my greatest gift.
A little over three years ago my body began to fall apart. I had to have 3 surgeries—one of them a disk replacement in my neck. I developed chronic migraines and the suffering that came was relentless. It didn’t gently stretch but rather ripped apart the fabric of my soul. It didn’t make it a little bigger to carry a bit more virtue. No, it decimated it, leaving in its place a black hole that swallowed all that my soul knew to be true. One year ago this September I looked at my husband and said, "I don't believe in God anymore. I don't know how I can. He has abandoned me in my darkest hours. I cannot believe a loving God would ‘cause this for His glory,’ because if he did, he has a self-esteem problem and I don't want to be a part of it."
This was the message I had inherited growing up: God caused suffering so we could show others how steadfast in our faith we were and then people would respond, "Wow! That's amazing! God is so good!" WHAT??!? I abandoned my post as a Christian and as devastating as the break up was, I didn't know how to stay in that place of belief anymore.
This suffering left only questions—questions of self, the Divine, and purpose. Questions if left unanswered leave my soul empty, without hope, permitting my soul to transmit its pain to others (cf. Richard Rohr) and causing a trail of wreckage in its wake.
Only suffering can break that which the soul never intended to give up.