Prayers: Working through Hurt, Pain, Anger, Truth

Hey God, I Want to Talk

“You’re a son of a bitch, you know that? She bought her first new car and You hit her with a drunk driver. What? Was that supposed to be funny? “You can’t conceive, nor can I, the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God.” says Graham Green. I don’t know whose ass he was kissing there, ‘cause I think you’re just vindictive. What was Josh Lyman, a warning shot? That was my son. What did I ever to yours but praise His glory and praise His name? There’s a tropical storm that’s gaining speed and power. They say we haven’t had a storm this bad since You took out that tender ship of mine in the North Atlantic last year. Sixty-eight crew. You know what a tender ship does? Fixes the other ships. It doesn’t even carry guns. It just goes around, fixes the other ships and delivers the mail. That’s all it can do. Gratias tibi ago, domine. Yes, I lied. It was a sin. I’ve committed many sins. Have I displeased you, you feckless thug? 3.8 million new jobs, that wasn’t good? Bailed out Mexico. Increased foreign trade. Thirty million new acres of land for conservation. Put Mendoza on the bench. We’re fighting a war. I’ve raised three children. That’s not enough to buy me out of the doghouse? Haec credam a deo pio? A deo lusto, deo scito? Cruciatus in cruern. Tuus in terra servus, nuntius fui. Officium perfeci. Cruciatus in crucerm. Eas in crucerm! President Jed Bartlett, West Wing, Season 2, Episode 22: Two Cathedrals

The above is a scene taken from the TV series the West Wing. The Presidents executive secretary, and long-time friend, Delores Landingham, has been killed in a car crash by a drunk driver. The story of the beginning of their friendship is told in flashbacks. She worked for his dad at the college young Jed also attended. The relationship with his father was very strained and it was stated, as well as, implied several times that his father was often very abusive. Bartlett was a devout Catholic which, in itself, did not sit well with his dad. Jed chose the religion of his mother instead of the religion (Protestant) of his father. Though out his life he felt he was never smart enough, good enough, could not do enough, work hard enough, win enough elections, or get enough votes to win his fathers approval. Mrs. Landingham became his friend at a time when he needed someone who would be truthful and not hurtful, someone who would care and not coddle, someone who could listen without judging--she was exactly that and he valued her. Needless to say, he was not taking the death of his friend well. After the funeral of Mrs. Landingham the President ask the Secret Service to get everyone out and to seal the Cathedral. He then stood alone in his grief as he spoke to God out of his pain. He had an honest and angry conversation with God. Because of the nature of the flashbacks one can also see a double meaning. The President--the man, was crying out to God, his heavenly father and to his earthly dad as well.

The Consequences of Our Decisions

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?” O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer…you made me trust in you….do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. (Taken from Psalms 22, a Psalm of David, NIV)

Have you ever been at the breaking point in your faith? Where you are physically and emotional drained from all of life’s challenges; where your frustrations have reached a feverish pitch and you feel like you just can’t take it one more second; where you feel like you have fallen into a hole and when you reach out to God and instead of a hand reaching back you feel the ground under you shake; when you are in agony and don’t know where to turn; when everything that could possible go wrong is going terribly wrong; when you cry out to God for a miracle you so desperate want or need and nothing happens; when you think there is no one who is there for you; when the pain of all the hurts through all the years come crashing down on you; when you start to lose your faith; when you begin to wonder if God really love you; you feel helpless, and asking, waiting, and claiming seem just out of reach; you cry out, “God are you there“? I know I have. The silence of unanswered prayers is deafening. `

Each of us who have struggled and have come to God placing before him our pain ripped hearts and souls have far too often felt nothing, solved nothing, and heard nothing. Then there have been times when I have cried out to God through my hurt, pain and struggle and come though feeling that He somehow touched me to let me know everything would be OK. The still small voice, the little whispers allowed me to relax and lay my troubles in front of Him and leave them there. And, I would soon find that He actually never left me. I entered feeling helpless and came out feeling strong. I learned that it was during these times that, if I looked and listened, I had the opportunity to see God’s help and deliverance. It is during these times that I see God’s tender mercies and I witness the strength He can and will provide. Sometimes I am left with the consequences of my decisions. I don’t always recognize it for what it is, or right away, but looking back I almost always see the one set of footprints in the sand.

Bad Things Just Happens

Of course, there is the age old question…why do bad things happen? Then, there are those wonderful age old answers”. Everything happens for a reason”, “God’s plans are not always known to us”, “It’s all part of God’s plan”, “it’s all for the best”. These all sound so reasonable. We say them for many reasons---because we think they are true, because we are trying to be helpful, and sometimes because we don’t know what to say. Most often we say them because we think they are comforting words. Let me assure you, when someone is hurting because they have loss someone dear, these words are not as comforting as one might think. When someone is battling a serious illness these words may not be very comforting. And, when someone has hit bottom for whatever the reason these words are not comforting. My personal pet peeve is “look at the sin in your life”. Now most people will soften it a little, but the message is still the same. True or not, it is not something that someone who is suffering in the worst possible way need to hear. It may cause the pain to go deeper and become unhealthy.

I got the news of my mother’s death while at a work conference. The news was given to my supervisor and then I was asked to come with them outside of the conference room. A dear friend and co-worker was near and followed as well. As the words were delivered to me they sounded like they were being spoken from far away. My friends stood behind me and place her arms around me. She either knew or sensed that my knees were going to become jelly. It was not what she said to me but the fact that she said very little. She was just there with me through everything. She made sure my husband and kids were OK. She offered a touch or a hug. She let me talk and she listened. She was close without hovering. But she never once said those senseless statements that offer little comfort.

Sometimes things happens because they are supposed to, and sometimes things just happen.

Hey God, Can We Talk

I have a coffee mug with Charley Brown saying “Hey God, I can’t sleep can we talk? It is one of my favorite mugs and I use it often. But the one thing that that little saying reminded me is prayer is not a mysterious practice, prayer is simply communicating with God—talking to Him, then taking the time to listen. I believe that some of the most powerful prayers are those spoken from the heart, freely, spontaneously, and in our own words.

If you bring forth what is within you, that you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” As attributed to Jesus Christ in The Gospel of Thomas

I realize that the example I used at the top of the page may be a little extreme for some but for others it may feel familiar as you, too, may have walked that path. The writer of this episode did, in my opinion, a brilliant job and Martin Sheen did an exception job in his delivery of the lines. Again, President Bartlett had lost more than his secretary. She was a dear friend, one who had been at his side from his college days when she first worked for his dad. She was friend who would tell him the truth and he valued her.

Take Away Points to Ponder

I hope you find some good “take away” points from this, some that I would like to offer are:

  • God is not waiting for you to work yourself up to a place of good enough or smart enough just jump right in wherever you are and allow Him to stand close. He is listening to our spirit, to our outcries, to our rants, rave and rumblings and to our anger and ftrustrations.
  • If you have been hurt by people, by religion, the church, if your faith has been called into question by well meaning people of God, or if you grew up in in an environment where you were taught to fear and not question you may have landed in an unhealthy place.….I do not believe that is who God is.
  • I read something recently about a young woman who was at a place in her life where she felt it was just too hard and she didn’t know how to pray anymore. She asked her friend “will you say my prayers for me?” Don’t you just love that story? Do you have anyone you can ask when you seem to be coming up dry to say your prayers for you? Would you be willing to be that person and say the prayers for someone who ask?
  • Here is one I particularly like…. “The great people of the earth today are the people who pray. I do not mean those who talk about prayer; nor those who say they believe in prayer; nor yet those who can explain about prayer; but I mean these people who take time and pray. They have not time. It must be taken from something else….something else that may be more important, but they put prayer first, and group other items in life’s schedule around and after prayer. These are the people today who are doing the most for God; in winning souls; in solving problems….we do not know who these people are but they are out there….” From: Quiet Talks on Prayer by S. D. Gordon.
  • I like this because in a way these people are living their faith and beliefs at a level higher than most of us can ever phantom. They do not argue about what they believe or don’t believe; they do not defend their faith, the church they attend, the denomination, their faith; they are not disrespectful of others opinions or thoughts; they are open minded and listening even if they disagree; there hearts are open and they feel it an honor to service without recognition. These people, I believe, pray as the Spirit of God inspires and guides and they do it with love.
  • Have you ever known or come in contact with someone that moved you by the intensity of their faith. Not an outward “look at me” kind of faith, but the subtle almost covert kind of living where you see their kindness, love, sharing and strength. They may be physically plain or beautiful, plain spoken or eloquent, well dressed or threadbare, highly educated or barely able to read but there is something about them that you want to know more about. They inspire others just by being. Living close to God makes them who they are.

And remember this…Even Jesus, as he faced crucifixion, cried out….And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, Iama sabachthani?” that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? St. Matthew 27:46

Final Thoughts

FYI, I almost forgot. This is what Jed Bartlett said in Latin “I give thanks to you, O Lord. Am I really to believe that these are the acts of a loving God? A just God? A wise God? To hell with your punishments, I was your servant here on Earth. I spread your word and I did your work. To hell with your punishments. To hell with you?” (from tv.com)

When I first read the translation I cringed, ever so slightly. Then I thought about the times my own children said things in anger and how it hurt. I hurt more for them than I did for myself. In that moment I knew that there was not much I could do to ease their pain but when they were ready I could offer a hand or a touch, but they had to be ready to receive it.

At that moment, I imagined God as a loving parent hurting, and loving, and patient. It also helped me to see that my anger and my questions are expected because it is one way to learn and experience. I will continue to question and sometimes I will be angry but through it all I know my loving parent will be there…sometimes participating and sometimes standing back. Prayer is a great mystery and I will say this again, as I so often say, “as hard as it is, I sometimes wish it was that easy”.

Every time I see the West Wing episode I references earlier it gives me pause. I really thing about prayer and what it really is to communicated with God. I think about those times when I was angry and why. I think about feeling close enough to Him to really hear that still small voice or the whispers that come to let us know if we are on the right path or not. I think about what it means to surrender the outcomes and release the burdens. I think about how to accept life, to let go of my need to struggle and how to relax into things and situations the way they are. I think about saying “thank you” instead of “why me”? I think about the fact that many times I don’t share the truth with Him knowing that He can see my into my heart and hear my thoughts even before the are spoken.

Love to all,

Nonna

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Comments 32 comments

Curiad profile image

Curiad 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

I have never watched the show you speak of, But your words and thoughts about God are awesome. The article is well written and gets your thoughts across well!

Voted Up!


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago Author

Thank you Curiad. I am so happy your stopped by read and left a comment. I really want people to know that God is with us.


Eros T. Shaw 4 years ago

I love it.....Everyone should know God loves them in whatever state their in. He loves us...and of course I'm his Favorite!!!!!!!


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago Author

I am so glad you like it and I thank you for reading and leaving a comment. Yes, you are God's Favorite!!!!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean

Hi Nonna, sometimes we have to remind ourselves that we are mortals (subject to death). Death hurts and sometimes the pain drives us out of our minds, as evidenced by that story in your hub. However, in our saner moments when we take time to count our blessings, we see God's mercies everywhere. Thanks for pointing us to the prayer solution.


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago Author

Oh MsDora, how many times have I cried out to God in anger because of choices I made then realizing that He is there, still loving me. Prayer is the one constant that have gotten me through everything....the good times and yes, those terrible, aweful times. Thank you MsDora for stopping by reading and leaving a comment. Be Blessed today.


radhikasree profile image

radhikasree 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

Praying to God pays us very well for anything. Our worries, sorrows and tensions all can be relieved to some extent with the help of prayer. Nice hub.

Up and beautiful.


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago Author

radhikasree, I grew up hearing my grandmother say "God has big shoulders so you can take everything to Him in prayer". As a child I didn't quite understand but as I grew and started to have my own worries, sorrows and tensions I now understand. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving an encouraging comment and thank you for the voted. Very much appreciate you.


Tracy Hrycyk 4 years ago

Thank you SO much Dee - I really needed a read such as this today. Much love and many hugs.


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago Author

Tracy, many hugs and much love back to you. I believe it is so wonderful that we can go to God in whatever condition or state of mind we may be experience and know that He is there loving us. Thank you for reading and commenting....you are so much appreciated by me.


ShalahChayilJOY profile image

ShalahChayilJOY 4 years ago from Billings, Montana

Touched my heart so deeply. Who hasn't been there...so many are still stuck in the anger, the rage..I thank YHVH that HE brought me out of that storm more than once..truly awesome hub. Bless you.


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago Author

ShalahChayilJoy, I thank you so much for this wonderful comment and also the wonderful fanmail you left. So many people just didn't get what I was trying to say here and because of your comment I think I now know it is they have never experienced the raw pain that only our Father can love us through.


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 4 years ago from Somewhere in the West

A wonderful hub and well written. So many times we get angry at God and murmur and complain and be fast and out of place and question Him. I think we ought to remember JOB he was a man so upright and yet God tried him it doesn't have to do with if we are GOOD or Bad. We cannot tell God what or how to try us with.

He is in control of the ship he holds the helms of our mind ,body and soul and we ought to understand that if we keep complaining we won't enter the promise land.

May God help us to accept unwanted things in our lives to overcome obstacles that just might set us off tract.....

Be bless and keep couragious in Christ


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago Author

If we could all be like Job..... I know I am not but I also know that God is there with me no matter what.

Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Very much appreciated.


Born2care2001 profile image

Born2care2001 4 years ago from Asheville NC

Dear Miss Nona!

I do not know when your mother passed but it is clear that this moment is still very much in your heart, as it should be.

Over the years since my parents passing I have come to see life (and death) much differently. Today, I see them both as a mystery. I believe God (however you view his Deity) to have given us two things to uncover this mystery. One is the power to choose...everything! How we think, how we feel and react and how we perceive the physical, mental and spiritual. The second thing we have is a spirit that emanates directly from and communicates directly to the Source of all Being!

Your last paragraph proves these two points. You said, "I think about those times when I was angry and why. I think about feeling close enough to Him to really hear that still small voice or the whispers that come to let us know if we are on the right path or not. I think about what it means to surrender the outcomes and release the burdens. I think about how to accept life, to let go of my need to struggle and how to relax into things and situations the way they are. I think about saying “thank you” instead of “why me”? I think about the fact that many times I don’t share the truth with Him knowing that He can see my into my heart and hear my thoughts even before the are spoken."

Guess what? You have always had these thoughts, since day one and before. They were tools given to you long before you were in your mothers womb. Why? Because you are connected and will never be disconnected, no matter what!

Everything else is a mystery.

Thank you for this hub and for being the living person you are. You are not and never will be...alone!

Peace be with you my sister!

Sincerely,

Rev. B. Stuart Noll

also known as Born2care2001

Bruce


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago Author

I think it safe to say that somewhere in my spirit I knew you are a Rev. Noll....LOL and I've never met you.

I lost my husband to a heart attack when I was 28 he was 31. My mother was there to show me how to walk through the hurt and pain since she to had lost her husband, my dad, at a young age. Four years later I lost my mother and shortly after my both my aunts (only a few months apart). In a very short period of time I lost everyone who were dear to me. Yes, I know what it feels like to be angry with God and then realizing that He actually never left my side.

Through these experience God really did "make my feet like hinds' feet". Every time a situation seemed out of control I would sing one of two songs "In the Garden" or "I surrender All" and peace would come.

I wrote this hub for my neice (because I know she reads everything I write) hoping that it would help her to find a way to forgive her mother (my sister). My sister struggled with alcoholism for years and needless to say her children felt the affects of this awful disease.

Based on the responses I have gotten....it spoke to others in some way. But for my neice...she called me a few days after she read it and ask if I "would say her prayers for her". She using one of the stories I provided in the hub....

Yes, Rev. Noll aka Born2care...I know I am not alone. I feel His presence with me always and many, many times I see the one set of footprints in the sand.

Thank you so much for your loving and caring comments. I do appreciate hearing from you always. And now I know there is a great spiritual connection beyond the fact that indeed we are all connected and just need to realize that within each of other is a perfect self without dysfunction.

Blessings to you.


RIP Dr Bees World 4 years ago

Hey Nonna - just wanted to tell you I have left hub pages and took my work with me, it's just not a good place for me on the journey that I am on. I wish I could communicate like you do. I totally identify with Jed Bartlett, and have had a similar conversation with God recently. I will have to watch that series (I hope it is on netflix) - I was too busy working and achieving to watch TV. Absolutely love your work. Everything I read helps me so much - you are the earthly angel I was supposed to learn from in my darkest hour. Thank you Lord to Dee aka Nonna! God Bless you woman, and keep up the great work. I admire you greatly.


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago Author

Dr. Bees....I am so very sorry that you are leaving. I have not been doing much on hubpages this summer because of another commitment but I really enjoyed reading your work and your comments on my hubs. Bless you in all that you do, in every way and every day. Would love it if you would email me.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Nonna, very interesting read. I believe God gives us pain and the rest when we stray from the path of goodness and virtue. It is an indication that we are doing something wrong. I've often seen my prayers being answered in various ways that I had no idea about. Prayers work wonders.

Voting up and beautiful.


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago Author

rajan jolly, thank you very much for the votes. Yes, indeed, prayers work wonders. I, too, have seen my prayers answered in ways I did not expect and I am always in awe of the ways my prayers are answers.

Thank you for stopping by, reading and leaving a comment. You are very much appreciated.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I read the first sentence and I knew where it had come from. I loved that show and that episode was incredibly brilliant. Every one of us could relate to the President and his struggles at that moment.

This is a brilliant hub with so much to consider and internalize. Keep writing; we need more works like this floating around the internet.


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago Author

Thank you so very much billybuc for your words of encouragement. Thank you for stopping by to read and leave a comment. You are appreciate more than you know.


roshall profile image

roshall 3 years ago from Ohio

great writing skills and as one who believes in God deeply all things happen for a reason you have to deal with it learn and keep the faith. He is all loving and merciful.


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 3 years ago Author

roshall, thank you so much for reading and commenting. Loving God is such a wonderful priviledge. Knowing that He loves us is awesome.


ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

Dee aka Nonna,

I love this hub. You speak many truths and ask us to think about our own relationships. I am always moved more by those who walk the walk rather than talking the talk. Thank you for another thoughtful and provocative hub. So many seem to get caught up in the artificial aspects rather than focusing on what really matters. V+/Share.

Many Blessings,

Kim


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM

Dee aka Nonna, Even Mother Theresa questioned God toward the end of her life with the same questions. If you are such a good and just God why his there all this suffering and poverty in the world? She even questioned the existence of God. So I think everyone goes through this phase or a time in their lives when they question God. I don't think it is unusual. I don't know what the answers are, but that is what faith is all about. Believing when there is no hope, believing when we think our prayers are not heard and not answered. That is what faith is.


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 2 years ago Author

Thank you suzettenaples for reading and leaving such a thoughtful comment. I agree....you said it...Faith is believing when there is not hope, and continue believing when we think we are not being heard. Thank you! Thank you.


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 2 years ago Author

ocfireflies/Kim: Blessing back at ya, My goal is I want to walk the walk more than talk the talk. I want to continue my journey of learning and discovering. If someone see something that inspire them.....yea! thank you for your wonderfully lovely comment and for the votes.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 22 months ago from Southern Oklahoma

When I was younger, I often wondered where God was when I needed him. As I grew older and looked back on my life, I realized that God was there with me all along. I think things happen for a reason, of which we may never know, but God does have a plan for all of us.


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 22 months ago Author

sgbrown....I know what you are saying. I still question his presence....I know he is there, but there are moments that I just do not feel it. That is why I will often just sing when I am in one of those moment.......

Thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment....You have no idea how much it means to me.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 22 months ago from Home Sweet Home

i always pray when i need help and it did helped me through


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 22 months ago Author

Prayer......is so calming. And you are so correct it will help get you through whatever you need help with......

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