A lot has happened in the month since I last wrote. My stepmother died a few days ago. She was married to my father for 38 years–since I was three. Together, they raised five children who gave them twelve grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. And yet she died without a single family member by her side.
It’s not their fault–far from it! Trust me, if there was a way to squeeze all 25+ people into her hospital room, they would have done it. But no, the reason for the isolation was: she was dying from COVID-19.
Nobody was allowed to visit, not even the few family members who had already been infected and recovered from COVID. She was on a BiPAP for a while, and we were able to talk to her via FaceTime. My kids and I spoke with her just hours prior to her being put on a ventilator. I thank God for that.
I left Texas in the summer of 1997 and hadn’t been back home for Christmas since. Last year, I decided on a whim to go home for Christmas for the first time in 23 years. We got to see her, my dad, all my siblings, nieces, and nephews. It was the first time my kids had met some of their twenty-something cousins!
Later, I mentioned to a friend that I don’t know why I just decided to go when I had to charge the whole trip on my credit card. She said ominously, “Well, maybe there was a reason.” I immediately hoped the reason was a good one, but I was wrong.
Exactly thirty days after her diagnosis, I got the call from one of my sisters that she was gone. Of course I mourned, she was my second mom. I was also super concerned about my dad. Later that night and into the next day, my mourning had turned to anger.
Why, after being surrounded by her huge family all these years, had God allowed her to die without them present? Why would he allow her to die this horrible death instead of as an old lady, peacefully in her sleep? Nobody wanted this and she certainly didn’t deserve it! Oh, I was angry!
Then I wondered, is this okay? Is it okay to be angry at God? Is it a sin?
My pastor was out of town with no cell service, so I turned to Brother Google. I found an article which let me know it is absolutely okay to be mad at God.
You see, God already knows our heart. So even if we don’t tell him we are mad, He knows if we are. There are many people in the Bible who were angry with God–Jonah, Job, and David to name a few. They serve as examples that it’s okay to be angry and honest with our emotions. After all, God is the one who gave us our emotions in the first place!
The following is directly from the article I found because it is just so good. I hope it helps someone as much as it helped me.
1. Run Toward God, Not Away
When we are angry, the last person we want to face is the very one who frustrated us, but the worst action we can take is to cower away from God, stewing in our anger. He always wants to meet with us, regardless of how we feel towards him.
2. Say So
When we choose to run toward God, we still need to fight the temptation to gloss over our real emotions. If we are feeling angry, frustrated, or impatient, we need to say so. By not hiding away how we really feel, we are trusting the Lord with our hardest and often the most tender parts of us. The more honest we are, the more room we give God to work in and through us.
3. Beware of Bitterness
Bitterness starts with anger. While it is not sinful to feel angry, allowing that anger to be unchecked and lodged away can lead to nasty, long-term effects (Ephesians 4:26). Anger can be dealt with quickly, but bitterness is anger that has taken up residence in our lives and wrecks us from the inside out.
My anger has subsided a bit. I know God’s ways are higher than our ways, and we will never understand everything this side of Heaven. I only have to keep trusting and holding onto His promise that, even though my feelings and emotions towards Him may change at times, His love for me never will.