FREEDOM TO LAMENT
By: Christina Levasheff, Judson’s Mom
I have struggled with the fact that God’s purpose and plan for Judson involved horrible suffering and untimely death at the hand of Krabbe disease. I’ve struggled over the reality that God’s purpose and plan for my life has involved tremendous sorrow and loss. I wouldn’t choose any of this.
I’ve had deep, raw emotions of anger, unbelief, frustration, regret, hurt, abandonment, and even resentment rise within me. But I’ve freely hurled them all at God; I haven’t held anything back. Genuine relationship requires us to be open and vulnerable. God already knows the depths of my heart and the severity of my feelings…if anyone can handle the gunk in my soul…certainly it is God.
However, I think our culture, especially among Christians, often stifles these negative emotions because they appear to threaten faith, reflect a lack of trust, or because they’re messy, ugly emotions. All of this can be true, but I believe our negative emotions actually gain power and grow when they are pushed aside, suppressed, or ignored.
God wants to meet us right where we are. We don’t have to come to him all put-together with seemingly perfected faith…he simply wants us to come…just as we are. In fact, I think he delights in us coming to him with all that we feel, engaging him authentically and honestly.
Long before Jud suffered, one of his favorite Biblical stories happened to be the story of Job (read more in Eyes that See). Job suffered greatly, losing all his kids and his livelihood while enduring miserable sores all over his body. Yet, Job’s trust in God persisted despite his affliction. That said, Job also bitterly lamented his circumstances. In his brokenness, he openly cursed the day of his birth and bewailed his circumstances before God:
For my groaning comes at the sight of my food,
And my cries pour out like water.
For what I fear comes upon me,
And what I dread befalls me.
I am not at ease, nor am I quiet,
And I am not at rest, but turmoil comes. (Job 3:24-26)
Just like Job, “you can say anything to God. Throw at him your grief, your anger, your doubt, your bitterness, your betrayal, your disappointment—he can absorb them all” (Phillip Yancey, Disappointment with God). And as we come to him, just as we are, not as we think we should be, he can transform our hearts and our emotions.