God is with us

Where Was God?

"The Lord is my shepherd..."

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:1-4 NIV

There is one big question I have had in my mind since the memories returned. Where was God? When I was being sexually abused and assaulted for many years, where was He? Why didn’t God stop what was happening?

This question has been a barrier between me and God since the first memory resurfaced. It was then the anger began to build and the hurt started to develop. How could my God, whom I had been serving since I was 17, have let such unspeakable things occur in my little life? Then, let it destroy my adult life.

As I began the uphill battle of recovery from years of abuse and assault, I began to question God even more. I lost my job. I could not fully provide for myself. I was so depressed and messed up I was in no shape to marry.

I lost out on my chance to have children as my thirties slipped away and I had to have a hysterectomy. I have lost a decade of my life to recovery, and if you add it to the years of abuse it leaves a fraction of my life left untouched. Why God? Where have You been? Why didn’t you stop it when it started?

Last week I told my Christian therapist I still can’t read my Bible. I don’t understand what it says. It doesn’t make sense. I asked him how I was supposed to grow closer to God if I can’t read the Bible.

This has been going on for a long time. I have never truly read and understood the Bible. I have memorized verses, read the entire Bible, but I have not comprehended what God is saying to me through it.

He asked me one simple question. “What is standing in your way?”

After several silent moments, I finally replied, “I’m mad at God. Where was He when everything was happening to me? My whole life is a mess because of it. It’s not fair.”

My therapist replied, “You’re right. It’s not fair, but do you really think God is to blame?”

My immediate reply was, “Yes! He can stop anything! Why doesn’t He?”

Calmly my therapist and I talked about how I felt and why. We continued this week discussing it and the fact Satan has been trying to convince me God didn’t love me enough to stop it.

The end result was truly not a surprise to me, yet I wasn’t ready to admit it. God gives all of us free will. Our perpetrators had free will too. They chose to sin and to sin against us by abusing and assaulting us. God did not intervene because if He interferes then He is not allowing man free will to choose Him or sin.

God despises sin. When Jesus was on the cross bearing all of our sins, God turned away because it was too much. He is God, He could have saved His own son’s life, but He didn’t so you and I can have a relationship with Him.

God loathes the fact our innocence was taken away. He cries with us when we cry, and He hurts when we hurt.

Today during my therapy session when we’d worked through me knowing Satan was playing with my mind and God really was there when I was abused. It was my perpetrator’s sin and evil of this world causing me harm.

However, I still wasn’t at peace. I left my therapist’s office angry. I was driving fast, honking at other cars, mumbling under my breath at every single stupid stoplight I hit on my way home.

Finally, when I got home, I sat on my couch with my legs pulled up. I cried out to God. “What am I missing? I understand why You didn’t interfere and I’m sorry I blamed You! What’s still wrong?” Tears began streaming down my face.

God whispered to me, “I don’t blame you for your thoughts. I love you. I never stopped loving you. Stop beating yourself up and accept my comfort.” I sat on the couch, crying, and allowing God to hold me and comfort me until I felt at peace.

Then, I looked up and said, “Thank you God. I love you too.”

God was there. He is still here. He has never left, and He never will.

He is the only One who truly understands how we feel. Will you allow Him to comfort you?

Father God,

It is hard to comprehend You were there when I was sexually abused and assaulted and You didn’t stop it. I know You allow man to have free will and it is the free will and evil which hurt me. Thank you for never leaving me, and for comforting me now. Help me continue to turn to You on this journey.

Amen

 

© 2018 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.

4 comments on “Where Was God?

  1. All of us ask that question, so thank you for being honest. “The Shack” helped me see my question in a different light – those who hurt me were also hurting and used their free will to lash out. Somehow God loves us all and never abandons us – even in the midst of the abuse.

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  2. I’ve always struggled watching and reading “The Shack”. Maybe I should try it again with my new perspective. I’m glad you have resolved the issue for yourself.

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    • Caroline S. Cooper

      I couldn’t finish it. The Shack I got halfway through but it started to bring back memories of my own sexual abuse experience. Also didn’t connect with the representations of God, our Lord, and the Spirit. But I know many people were moved by that book. Susan, this is a great article. Thanks for sharing.

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      • Thank you Caroline. I pray you can find some resolution to your abuse history. All abuse (trauma) needs to be worked through or it will always come up in us in one way or another. Physically, emotionally…until it is resolved. It is why I work so hard in my own trauma therapy. I pray you seek someone to help you through your own abuse.

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