Anger, Guilt, Surviving Adultery and Divorce

I’m Mad at You, God!

Have you ever been mad at God? Before you give a self-righteous answer, let’s be really honest. Has God ever disappointed you?

I’ve been mad. God disappointed me. I decided following God was a waste of time and energy. I decided that I could be a part-time follower of Christ like a large part of the American culture, going to church on Sunday and indulging in the sinful nature throughout the week. I made the decision that God’s way didn’t work out so well.

You see, twenty years ago God brought a man into my life. It was not love at first sight, but it was a love born out of a commitment to Christ. It was a slow progression in which we both saw God at work. It was a love that came from a friendship centered on a love for Christ. After much prayer and seeing God’s hand in every circumstance, we stood before God and man and committed to love each other, to forsake all others.

Fifteen years later, he broke those vows. He walked into the arms of another woman, leaving me hurt and betrayed. But, I knew that God was the healer of all things. I chose to forgive, to allow God to take this hurt and humiliation and use our marriage as a testimony of His restoring power.

But, my offer of forgiveness was rejected. My heart was trampled again. My life collapsed around me, and I suddenly found myself a single mom of three kids, struggling to survive. I was treading water with every ounce of energy I could muster, but I could barely keep my nose above the water.

And, I was angry with God. Why would He tell me to marry this man if He knew I would eventually be betrayed? I could have chosen a man on my own, and it couldn’t have turned out much worse than His way! Why should I continue to serve God if the results of my obedience were hurt and betrayal? I thought blessings came to those who walked obediently before God!

With those questions swirling through my mind, I decided to do life my way. I would continue going to church, but I would live on my terms. I ran straight into the arms of another man—an incredibly funny, attractive, successful man who was experiencing the exact same hurt and pain as me. It was so good to laugh again, to hear that I was beautiful, to feel special. But, there was a still small voice beckoning me. The more I turned to this man, the louder the voice became.

“Get your security from me,” it whispered, day after day.

The harder I ran, the louder the voice became. The more I tried to escape, the more relentless the voice became. I couldn’t outrun the voice. It was chasing me down, pursuing me, fighting for my affections. The voice was doing everything I had once begged my husband to do—and it wouldn’t relent!

Finally, the relationship with this man fell apart. I could no longer fight the voice calling me to return. I threw up my arms in surrender, knowing that God had caught me. I realized that at the core of my being—my very foundation for life—was my relationship with Jesus Christ.

As I look back on those days of anger with God, they have become some of my sweetest memories. When I was unlovable, He was more than loving. When I was unfaithful, He was still there. When I ran away, He left the flock and came looking for me—the one lost sheep (Matthew 18:11-13). When I needed someone to fight for me, He pursued me relentlessly. And, when I—the prodigal daughter—returned home, He was waiting with outstretched arms (Luke 15).

I’ve often heard people say that we shouldn’t ask God why things happen, but we should simply trust Him. I’ve heard people say that we shouldn’t be angry with God or disappointed in Him. Let’s start by saying we are human. Those are emotions that God gave us!

Have you read the Psalms? Repeatedly, David—the man after God’s own heart–cries out to God asking, “Why?”

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? Psalm 22:1

Or, what about Job? Didn’t he complain to God about the injustice of having everything taken away from him?

Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Job 7:11

What about Jesus? Didn’t even Jesus experience the same emotions?

And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). Mark 15:34

Do you hear Jesus’s words on the cross? Why have you forsaken me? That’s exactly what I was crying out to God! I was experiencing pain so immense I couldn’t bear it! I felt completely forsaken by God—betrayed. I felt as if He had failed me, broken His promise of blessings for obedience.

And I couldn’t keep silent! I cried out against Him. I complained against Him. I ran from Him.

What was the result of my anger? Here I am years later. I have experienced God’s restoration in my life. He has lifted me from the pits of despair and given me a new heart, a new love, a deeper faith. I can say with Job that before these trials came upon me, I had only heard of God—but now I have met Him face-to-face (Job 42:5).

I have met the Great I Am—stood on holy ground in His presence! When I was in need, He said, “I am Jehovah Jireh, your provider.” When I was hurt, He said, “I am your healer.” When I was lonely, He said, “I am your friend.” No matter what my need, He says, “I am…”

And, I stand in awe of who God is, of what He does through times of trial. I walk forward each day with a stronger faith, a new level of trust in God. When faced with new trials, I can more easily accept them knowing that I see in part, that His ways are higher than my ways (Isaiah 55:9). I can say with confidence that He will make all things work together for my good (Romans 8:28).

Are you angry with God? Let Him have it! And then, let Him love you right back into His presence!

Advertisements

23 thoughts on “I’m Mad at You, God!”

  1. I’m a new follower of your blog and want to tell you how much I appreciate your vulnerability with this last writing. I, as I’m sure many others, can relate on some, if not all, levels of what you experienced. I was married for 18 years (divorced for 10 years), and when it ended I gave up on the only, one true love of my life, God. It was if you wrote this blog based on my life. I now have the most precious relationship with God; my strength and rock. It was not until this happened that I found a fulfilling relationship with a man again. His mercy and grace are amazing When our eyes are focused on Him and we no longer live for what we “know”, He blesses us beyond measure. Thank you for sharing your love for God and your story,

    1. Gwen, Thank you so much. Your encouragement left me in tears. I prayed at the outset of this journey that God would use it for His glory, that He would give me a ministry from the pain I was experiencing. It is amazing how He works! He has opened doors as only He can do, and I am overwhelmed with the opportunities I am finding to be a light in this lost world. All I can do is fall to my knees in worship!

      I am so excited that God has brought you full circle–as He always does! I love in Job where scripture says that the last half of his life was even more blessed than the first. God never allows us to suffer pain without bringing something new!

      Thank you for joining me on this journey! God bless!

  2. I totally get being angry with God, because that’s exactly where I am at the moment. I am angry and feel abandoned by Him. Every time I get hopeful that things will turn around something happens to hurt me even more. I wonder why I am wasting my time pursuing Him. He hasn’t comforted me in my tears and loneliness. He hasn’t given me hope, He’s not loving. I am questioning everything about Him, especially His goodness & love for me. There is just too much suffering to see anything good in this situation for me, yet my ex-husband seems to be doing wonderfully well. I give up trying to understand. I’m glad that you have experience restoration, but it’s very different from what I am feeling.

    1. Diane, I am so sorry for your pain. I can feel the anguish in your words, and I wish I could explain. I have been contemplating just this week why some of us are so blessed while others continue to suffer what appears to be defeat after defeat. I do not understand, but I know His ways are higher than my ways. I’m struck by two things. First, when we question and doubt, it can be an avenue to a deeper faith than we ever dreamed possible. Second, is it possible that you are so blinded by anger and pain that you are missing the little ways He is caring for you? I don’t know you, and I hesitate to ask that question. But, I know that I did not begin healing until I extended forgiveness to the other woman–something I could not do but something He did through me. My entire spirit changed in an instant. The other thing I remember so clearly was surrendering–telling Him that I didn’t like this path and I didn’t understand why He had allowed it but I would willingly walk the path if He would do a mighty work in me and through me.

      God is after your heart. I beg you to surrender it fully to Him and to the unwelcome journey you are on. I know He will be faithful!

      Lord Jesus, I lift Diane up to you today. I beg you to show her a glimpse of your tender love and care and mercy today. Show her that you are here, that you care, that you hold every tear she cries in your hands. Help her to know that you are close to the broken-hearted and that you bind up their wounds. Make yourself real to her as she continues on this journey. Be her faithful guide and her resting place. Hide her in the shadow of your wings until these calamities have passed by. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen.

      1. Hi Dena, there is a lot of anguish, and pain. I feel sick inside, the suffering and the loneliness never seems to end. I know His ways are not our ways. The more I try to get to know God, the less I understand Him and the further away from Him I feel, and the more depressed I become.

        As far as extending forgiveness to both my ex-husband and his girlfriend. Its hard when its thrown up in my face how happy they are. And the one time I did run into her on the street, (she was a neighbour) we got into a fight and she told me she did me a favour by leaving with my husband. I do not see them anymore, they have finally moved away after 2yrs. I don’t know how to deal with the hatred I feel towards them both. I have prayed over and over for Jesus’s help to forgive in His strength, because I cant do it in my own strength….again nothing. I’ve tried to busy myself with other things, I’ve tried to make new friends, to move on. Abandonment is all I feel. I’ve tried crying out to God, praying and worshipping, if anything things have become even more difficult.

        I thank you for your prayers, because mine just don’t seem to be heard.

      2. My heart aches for you, and I wish I had answers. I am certain that seeing your ex-husband and his girlfriend has been incredibly painful. I am reminded of David fleeing from his enemies, crying out to God that the evil just seems to succeed while he is running for his life.

        I am a firm believer that victory in the Christian life starts with being transformed by the renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2). Scripture tells us to think on things that are lovely, noble, true, and right (Philippians 4:8). 1 Corinthians 2:16 tells us that we have the mind of Christ. The key is to teach your mind to flee the negative thoughts and replace those with thoughts that center on Christ. Then, when your mind is focused on God, you will be able to live in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).

        In the early days of betrayal, I could not open my Bible or pray, but I found that I could listen to music. I kept (still do) praise music playing in my home/car 24/7. The lyrics often spoke to my heart when I couldn’t read my Bible. When a negative thought came to my mind, I tried to replace it as soon as I recognized it with an encouraging scripture (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28). As my heart began to soften and I began to surrender, I began to open the Word and pray.

        Negativity and depression cannot co-exist with praise. David’s psalms often start with depression, but the depression is always chased away by praise. As our minds become more attuned to God, our hearts soften. When our hearts soften, God can begin to do a mighty work. He promises that the pure in heart will see God. Perhaps we have to have a heart transplant before we can even see his hand working around us.

        Find something small–anything–that will focus your mind on God. Make a small move–anything–that will draw you closer to God. God is there. He does care. He wants to move in and bless you. He wants to be your healer and redeemer. Let Him transform you by the renewing of your mind.

        Please know that you are in my prayers!

    2. I feel u on that! This situation I’m going thru is hard for me also. I’m so angry with god right now & keep asking out loud “y god y” I’ve lost so much weight in the past week, I can’t sleep, I’m driving every one bonkers becouse I’m so depressed. I’m even driving my self crazy.
      I said he wasn’t real ither but bottom line I no he is! N that upsets me more but gives me a relief at the same time..
      Uuuugh

      1. I don’t know your circumstances, but I know God! Surrender. Tell Him you don’t want this, but you will take it–if He will use it to change you into the person He wants you to be. Dare Him to do something amazing in you so He can do something amazing through you. Believe that His plans for you are to prosper you and not to harm you (Jeremiah 29:11) and that somehow He will make all these things work together for your good (Romans 8:28).

        He won’t disappoint you….

  3. Dena:
    Your transparency in your writing is wonderful. I have to admit right now I am struggling with anger toward God right now. I feel like evil always wins. I know at a certain level thats not true but it feels like it. I have watched a person in my life repeatedly get away with stuff. Seems to never reap what they sow.

    1. Wayne, I know your heart aches, and I continue to pray daily for you. God is your defender, and He WILL bring the truth into the light. It doesn’t always happen when or how we want, but it happens in God’s time and God’s way. Let Him hear about your anger. Cry out anguish. He will comfort you. He will reassure you. And, in His time and His way–when He has accomplished His purpose–He will set things right.

      Praying for you!

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

  4. The Work of Waiting for God

    Dena, I have read your article on ‘The Work of Waiting for God’ from Crosswalk.com. I so interest me. it is so because the experience you have shared is that of marriage. I totally agree with the stand you have taken, especially those of being patient and quiet. However, this is what i am right now finding it difficult to practice in my marriage. I am married for 18 years now and have 6 children.

    For the 18 years of our being together me and my wife are experiencing torments, spiritual and temporal because i believe that marriage should be or is a unit of God’s kingdom on earth that should seek to worship and serve God in holiness and blessings will follow while she believes the other way round. Because of this she has refused to take her position as a wife and mother. She takes no responsibilities as a wife and mother. Right now, for over a month, she has abandoned the family in search of money. I always wish and tell her to leave the family/marriage for me and the children have no benefit from her as a wife and mother. The experience is horrible. I am in Abuja alone working with no wife to take care of me and children are in my home town with no motherly care. Now for these 18 years I feel I have been patient and most of the time quiet waiting for God to act. But right now i quarrel with her on phone calls and text messages and i want her to leave. I know this is adversely affecting my relationship with God but i find it difficult to be quiet.

    My greatest worry and the consequences of what is going on is i can see the work of the devil fighting to destroy the kingdom of God on earth by destroying my family – father, wife, children and the people around us – just like it is doing to other families on earth. I believe with your article you have passed through this too.

    I will be very grateful if you can help.

    Julian Makeri, Abuja, Nigeria

    1. My heart aches for you as I understand the pain of a broken marriage. I also understand the immense pain of divorce. I wish answers were simple to give, but they aren’t. I agree completely that marriage is a representation of the union of Christ with His bride, the Church. Marriage is designed to make us holy more than happy. Marriage is designed to teach us to intimately connect with another as we should connect with Christ. And, it only works properly when both parties are 100% committed to Christ and to one another.

      If I were to give advice–which I feel so unqualified to do–I would start with self-examination. It’s easy to look at the other person’s actions and point out their mistakes. But, God told us to get rid of the beam in our own eye before we pick at the speck in someone else’s eye. If I were in your shoes, I would start asking myself questions: Am I truly loving my wife as Christ loved the church? Am I willing to give up myself for her? Have I modeled Christ in our marriage? Am I loving unconditionally? Am I holding past mistakes against her? Do I have anger and bitterness in my heart against her? God will hold you accountable for your actions. If you find anything in your heart that could be contributing to the situation, confess to God and your wife and change.

      When you have taken a deep and prayerful look inward and you know that you are pure before God, then you can listen for God’s direction in the situation. God’s perfect plan is for our marriages to last a lifetime. However, God knows that we live in a sinful world. Sometimes one (or both) parties walk away from God’s path. When that happens, only God can give the direction. I wish God could/would reach down and make wandering spouses return to Him, but then we wouldn’t have free will. Our obedience would not be from a heart of love but out of compulsion. So, instead of making the wayward spouse conform, He promises to protect and provide for the faithful spouse. If God tells you it’s ok to walk away (which He DOES sometimes do), then be obedient. If He tells you to stay, continue to love unconditionally and pray, then be obedient.

      Satan is working to destroy families. What I can promise is that He will not be able to destroy you or your kids if you choose to walk in total cooperation with Him. He will provide for and protect you all–and your faith will grow greater than you ever dreamed! Cling to Him and His restoring power!

      Lord Jesus, I pray for my friend as his heart aches and he is seeking direction. I pray that you would soften his heart, help him to get rid of even the root of bitterness that might be growing in his heart. Help him to be pure in heart so that he might be able to see you, to hear your voice and your direction. Give him the ability to love his wife as you love the church. Help him to model an unconditional love for you, obedience in the most difficult of times. Let your peace that surpasses all understanding guard his heart and mind in you. Pour out your spirit on him. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

      1. I am most grateful for you quick reply. I again agree with you that one must first ‘get rid of the beam in our (his) own eye before we(he) pick at the speck in someone else’s eye’.

        In examination of my conscience, in according to Christ’s teachings, I all the times consider myself as Christ that must love and sacrifice even to death for my family especially my wife. As a result, for over 8 years i have made psalm 128 my daily morning prayer with particular reference to the first verse, ‘Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways’ and the accruing blessings that follows. The desired blessings in this psalm spur me to have the fear of God which first point of call is in my marriage/family.

        Thank you for your player; your article have given me the courage to ‘wait for God’s time’. We are in Lenten period and in line with your prayer i am asking Christ who borne great pains for me to give me the grace to, comparatively, bear the little pains in my marriage.

  5. I just ran across your blog and I am so grateful that God led me to this entry. I was afraid to google..I’m angry with God…but your words let me know immediately that I am loved and covered by God’s grace. Thank you for allowing God’s love to pour out of you in these words. I needed this reassurance this morning. Many abundant blessings to you!

    1. Miriam, My time of being angry with God is truly some of my sweetest moments in my relationship with Him! I promise that you can let Him know you are angry and hurting, and He will pursue you relentlessly! He loves you unconditionally, and He wants to be your security, your peace, your everything. Hang in there! God bless.

  6. I, too, feel like God doesnt love me. I have one i can turn to for help, love and assistance. I am laching out at people. All i pray for is a job to survive and a good man to love and support me.

    1. I am so sorry for your pain. If I can offer a word of advice, stop looking for a man. Focus all your heart on getting to know the Savior. Let him heal you, love you, change you. Then, he will take care of all the details. He loves you more than you could ever imagine. He’s just waiting for you to surrender, to seek him. You will be amazed at his tender mercies poured out on you!

      1. God can handle it! He’s not mad at you! He loves you more than you could ever imagine! He wants you to express your anger and your fear and your doubts! Go read the Psalms to see how often David let God have it. You are cherished!

    1. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that you are God’s masterpiece, created to do great works in him that he has planned long ago! Don’t let Satan convince you of anything less! You are a priceless creation, fearfully and wonderfully made! Your beauty emanates from your heart. Let him transform you from the inside out!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s