The Day I Stopped Asking God, “Why?”
Updated: Mar 29, 2022
A few months into my separation from my first husband, I was at the neighborhood pool with a friend and her infant son. It wasn’t my weekend with the girls, so I did my best to stay busy and hoped the hours would pass quickly. My ex lived in the same neighborhood as my parents, which was where the girls and I were living, but run-ins never occurred between us … until this particular Saturday. I remember daydreaming about what the girls were doing without me – how they were sleeping and eating, if they missed me, and all the thoughts that typically taunted me, each one carrying its own bag of unhelpful emotions. I heard a familiar sound and looked up to see the girls riding in a stroller through the entrance gate. Thankfully, the place was packed and my friend and I had found a covered patio all to ourselves. I experienced one of those fight or flight moments where I wasn’t sure if I should just bolt before anyone was the wiser or if I should camouflage myself in the crowd. Unfortunately, my body wasn’t as responsive as my mind and I found myself in a bit of a paralyzed state. My friend saw them too and kindly gave me some space to navigate this uncharted territory.
I heard a cry ring out from the back of the stroller and it took all the self-restraint in the world to remain unmoved and not lunge for my baby. The girls were 2 and 3 years old at the time. I could tell things were unraveling for him and he had likely misjudged what an undertaking it is to do anything with two babies in public. In the split second of my watchful eye over this unsettling situation, I knew the Father was showing me what I had been asking of Him for all those months. I would reason in prayer that if I could just know what they were doing and if I could just somehow be close to where they were without being noticed, maybe I would have the answers I needed to quiet my heart. And there on that pool chair, just a few families over, He had answered my prayer and it was the most painful moment of my life.
I had wrongly imagined that a secret window into their time with their father would help me to get through their absence, but seeing his discomfort and hearing their distress was torture to my soul. I instantly understood that God had been protecting me all along from knowledge that would shatter my mother heart … and I’m certain it broke a piece of His Father heart as well. Isn’t that always what happens when we beg Him to tell us and show us things we could never possibly handle? Questions like: “Why do I have to learn this the hard way? Why is this getting more difficult for us? Why don’t You step in already and do something?
It got very quiet for me as I realized how alone I was in this moment … stranded in the grave of my self-pride, self-assurance, and the demands I had placed on my relationship with God. He had decided the questioning part of this season was over and I had to concede.
As I took the long way home, I surrendered the part of me that believed I was capable of surviving this lifetime with knowing more than what God had allowed for me to know. I confessed to Him my weaknesses and relinquished my self-imposed right to information that was beyond what my heart could process. My own logic had failed me again and I understood that I couldn’t endure the suffering caused by hearing my children cry and then being unable to respond to their needs. I acknowledged that what I interpreted as His silence was actually His mighty shield. It was a head shake, hands on my shoulders, Father to daughter moment of His love covering over all my wrongs … and that’s a soul-sobering encounter. I simply told Him, “You were right.” And it felt so liberating and healing all at once … and all the questions vanished that very second and never returned.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Isaiah 55:9 As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.
Ecclesiastes 7:13 Accept the way God does things.