Since 2009, I have had a heart cry of, “God, Where were YOU!?” I have often felt a crisis of faith, saying, “Why even pray? You only answer if You want. Bad things happen to good people.”
I didn’t always feel this torment. And, trust me, torment it is. I am a God believer. I believe in the realness of Jesus Christ. Not because I was taught it, but because I experienced HIM. I know He is real. Since He is real, I truthfully feel failed by Him. I know He is big enough to handle this emotion I have. I just wish that I could work through it and get my faith back.
I have SEEN God move mountains metaphorically. I have traveled the world, financed by prayer. I have prayed for people and seen them healed. I have been prayed for and been healed. I have seen people set free from demonic influence. I have been set free from demonic influence in which I was NEVER THE SAME AGAIN. This is the minimum of what I have SEEN the Lord do since he rescued me from drugs and alcohol in 2002. No, I didn’t “find God,” because I was an addict. People say, “Everyone finds God in jail.” No, God runs after prisoners because He loves them. He is always seeking, searching to reveal Himself. I was finally at a place of brokenness after a DUI, two times in jail, terrible withdrawal, and so many evils that I’m not even discussing at this point. I was able to SEE Him and I finally said, “Come in.”
After this intense conversion, Jesus showed up daily to reassure His realness to me and restore my sanity. So now, ten years later, I am tormented by doubt, fear, and “Where were YOU!?”
I heard of a Christian who went through a deep, dark depression. They said something to the effect of, “Had I gone through this when I wasn’t a believer, the days would have been darker. I wouldn’t have made it through. Because of God, there was hope.”
I’m not like that. I have the immediate reaction of, “Where were YOU!?” I am FOLLOWING You. Why are you ignoring me? Why are you letting me hurt? I AM your follower. I believe in You. Why are you NOT BEING FAITHFUL?” The hurts and pains I went through apart from Him do not cause me to question Him. It’s the hurts and pains that happen while following Him.
I’ve been seeking Him out. Because, like I said, He is real. Denying His existence is not an option. When my mom doesn’t give me something I ask for, it doesn’t make her unreal. It means she said, “No.” It doesn’t change her existence.
With all that being said, my pregnancy was amazing. I had a few setbacks, but for the most part, and I give credit to the Lord, it was a dream. We all have deep desires that may not make sense to others, but they are ours. The only thing I thought of during my pregnancy was making it through the pushing pain, watching the doctor pull my daughter out from me, and handing her to me. I imagined her messy and crying and holding my beautiful daughter, making the pain worth it. I never considered that a c-section was an option…and I trusted God for this.
When Ella could not fit down the birth canal, as my body shook in pain and I clung to the rail on the side of the bed, I heard the words, “C-section.” I grasped the rail with both arms, lying on my side, shaking, crying, in pain that I can’t describe. I moaned with each contraction trying not to be one of those, “crazy, screaming ladies.” Yes, I had an epidural, but it was turned down to a 2 so that I could feel the contractions in order to push. The doctor told my husband that after two hours of pushing, the baby hadn’t budged and I was going into exhaustion. It didn’t appear that Ella would come any other way. She said, “Push for ten more minutes. If she doesn’t budge, we’ll turn up the epidural and take you for a c-section. Talk it over with your husband.” I looked in Scott’s eyes with tears streaming down my face and we agreed it would be best. I felt such sadness. I felt such let down. I cried and cried as my epidural was raised, while I was still going through intense contractions less than a minute apart and about a minute long. Scott was quickly outfitted for the surgery room.
As I was wheeled into surgery, I bawled. The doctor gently and lovingly asked me, “Why are you so upset?” “I feel like it’s my fault. I feel like I’m failing. I feel like I couldn’t push her out.” She said, “Dawn, she cannot fit. This isn’t your fault. Babies have to come out one of two ways.” As I was pushed quickly into surgery, the music in the room became louder. Three words echoed from the radio, “ I Found God..”
“Where were you?” by The Fray was playing. I was so comforted at that point by the Lord. I felt a Divine peace wash over me. No, this wasn’t going the way I expected, but even in my brokenness, my questioning God, He was meeting me in His own way. He was saying, “I am here, I am listening. I am IN this.” Sometimes it’s hard, because I know He can change my situation, but He chooses not to. Knowing He is here, though, has brought comfort to me. I know that doesn’t bring comfort to everyone, but it does for me and it keeps me seeking Him. The chorus of the song has always spoken deeply to me.