I wanted to know where God was when I had already been awake for three days straight and had to follow an ambulance three hours north to a bigger hospital.
I wanted to know where God was when my child was attacking me in a hours long violent rage, day after day.
I wanted to know where God was when my son had strings of seizures which landed him in the ICU for three days, while I begged God to let him wake up.
I wanted to know where God was when I was on my hands and knees for the fourth time that day scrubbing shit off of the walls and floor.
I often wondered if my faith just wasn’t good enough, if I had done something to piss God off. I wondered if God was just too busy answering trite prayer requests for things like nice weather for someone’s party. I questioned the very concept of prayer.
I begged, I pleaded, I cried, I cursed God out.
And then, one day, things began to fall into place. I didn’t see it at first, as life was crashing down around me from the sheer magnitude of his needs, of my health deteriorating, and struggles my other children were facing.
There have been many situations where I have been overwhelmed and I have begged, pleaded, cried, and cursed God out, and in all those times, God has shown up in dramatic ways, possibly because I would be too hard-headed to see it otherwise.
I threw fits at God and I questioned the concept of suffering and why things happened and came up with no satisfactory answer or theories (and I still haven’t). I even questioned atonement theories, although again I’ve not come up with any epiphanies on that one either.
But today, as I was driving up to the facility where my son lives now to visit him, God spoke to me. Not audibly, for I would wonder if I had schizophrenia too if that happened, but with God’s presence and my own thoughts.
When I placed my son in that facility, I grieved hard, although I felt that I did not have the right to because my son was still alive, he just had to live in an institution. I still grieve, it still hurts. I see things in the store that are some of his favorite things, and they make me cry. Sometimes I even pick the things up and hug them as if my son is present in them. He isn’t, but I wonder now if maybe God is. Is God present in the dinosaur pillow I picked up off the shelf at Walmart and hugged while I cried.
I have been visiting my son at least once a month since he left. He is flourishing and living his best life in the facility he lives in. He’s thriving on being in a heavily structured environment. My son is a different person. He’s happy, he’s secure, and he loves his mommy. Just like that, on my drive up there this morning, I realized: through all the grief, and all the pain, in the past, the present and the future, this is my son’s healing.
The healing didn’t happen the way I wanted it to, where God just waved some kind of magic wand and everything was different. Instead, God allowed for circumstances and the right people at the right time to get him a safe and secure place to live where he could thrive.
Healing is a process, not a one-time event.
My son is experiencing his healing.
Thanks be to God.