Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Angry at God

It's been an up-and-down, back-and-forth battle.

There are days that have been better.  There are days that have been worse.  There are days that I wouldn't wish upon anyone.  There are days that I scream up to the heavens and say, "Why him?  Why this little boy?   Listen to his screams!  Why must he suffer so?"

There have been days when I felt like someone needed to take the blame for this.  Those are the days I struggled.  Those are the days that I felt angry at God.  Like a parent protecting her child from a bully, I have felt the need to ask God, "Why are You doing this to my son?  He's a good boy!  Leave him alone!"

I felt awful about this, as if we autism mamas need anything else to feel awful about.  I really wrestled with it.  Was I a fraud?  Was I walking through life, making everyone think that I was okay, when really I was mad?  Was I wrong for feeling mad?  Was I wrong for feeling mad at God?

It was tea with someone from my church that helped me feel a bit better about it.  I confessed to her that I had been feeling angry at God for the struggles my son endures.  I told her that it had actually made me question my faith.  If I am to follow the teachings of my Catholic faith, I have to believe that God is all-knowing.  He knew that my boy would have these struggles.  Even if my boy is created perfect in His eyes - and I do believe my son is perfect - then how was I to reconcile the fact that my boy has struggled more in his nearly 4 years of living than most people do in a lifetime?  Why is it that my boy has had to trade play dates and the everyday magic of early childhood for therapy and doctors visits all so that he could make any inkling of progress?  Why would an all-knowing, all-powerful God use a child in such a way?

It pisses me off, and I said so.  This lady, in her infinite patience and wisdom, shared this bit of insight with me.  I have a relationship with God.  It's not one-sided where I'm to follow blindly and love unconditionally, lest I feel the wrath.  Rather, our dealings with God are not unlike those with our neighbors, friends, co-workers, and spouses.  There are times when we are at the height of our joy and we rejoice with God.  There are times in which we disagree with the path He seems to place before us or our loved ones, and we get angry.  In the same way that my entire relationship with my husband isn't dictated by being angry - by getting in one fight - nor is my relationship with God or my faith.

You know what?  It wasn't even that realization that helped.  It was sharing with someone that I was vulnerable.  That in spite of my rosy disposition most days, there are times that I'm pissed about the way my son has to struggle.  I'm not pissed for me, I'm pissed for him, just as if a bully was picking on my kid.

It was also hearing someone say that those emotions were okay that helped lift a weight off my shoulders.  You see, being an autism blogger doesn't come without its hazards.  I am frequently balancing the need to be optimistic with my own need to scream on the days when screaming seems to be the only thing my heart wants to do.  Yet I hear from others within our community that to share all of those negative thoughts is destructive both to the community and to our children.

The point is that keeping it inside will only hurt you.  It will only hurt your children.  It will eat away at you.  Get it out.  Release it and let it go.  You will feel better and you will parent better.

And know this - your emotions are always okay, just as long as you don't let them rule your life.


  1. God is not doing anything to him. This little boy came into this world with imperfections like we all did. Because of our sin we're bound to go to hell but is God in HIS Grace that allowed us to get salvation. We don't deserve anything from Him, He decides what to give us. he gives life and he takes it away and everything we get from him is a gift. God loved us and he gave his child to die for us so we could be one with him and go to Heaven. Anything else added to this life is just a gift from Him. I hope you can feel today God inmense love and if you haven't that you can turn to him, repent of your sins and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savious. I pray this that you're going through can lift you up and glorify God.

  2. I wrote a blog post about my thoughts on this too. I love my son more than anything but I also struggle. Just look at the argument: “why would our God want to give a child a disability like this?” in reference to the many who say things like “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” and “God needed to place another child with Autism on this planet so he chose me” and an apparent favorite “it is a gift from God.” Autism Daddy also wrote on this. I linked it in my post. You aren't alone! <3

  3. This is Juliana, not Jonathan.

    I don't think God did this to Jack or to you. I don't think it's from him or because it's part of his plan for you. I think God's greatest and most terrible gift to man kind is free will. While no one made a choice that caused Jack to be autistic, it is some part of human biology. Autism rates are going up and we don't know why. But I can't believe it's because He wants to put more struggles in our lives. I believe He could wipe out all the suffering and bad things in the world, but that he won't because it would take away free will. I could prevent anything bad from happening to my kids by sheltering them completely and keeping them effectively wrapped in bubble wrap. I don't because I know it is better for them to run and play, even if it means they will sometimes get hurt. God doesn't want bad things in our lives anymore than I want to see my kid fall and scrape his knee. But bad things happen. What God does do is offer us an infinite number of "plan B's". God can't miraculously take away Jack's condition without violating his own laws of the universe. He can use the situation to improve how the world handles people with autism. He can open a path for Jack's mother to reach out to other parents with similar struggles and give them support and understanding; to educate others; to fund raise for treatments; to lobby for better care. This blog and all the work you do for the special needs kids in our world is God's gift. Your intellect and writing ability are gifts from God. I think God is just as sad as you are to watch Jack struggle and to watch you struggle with him. And he rejoices with you at each little step Jack makes. He can give you strength to keep going by going with you. I hope any of this makes sense.

    Knowing you has increased my faith because I see Him so clearly in you.

  4. I loved this post. I'm not a religious person, but I still can relate to what you say. I thought you may enjoy this post from a pastor who has a son with autism. It's called: Fighting Autism with Lame Theology. http://www.jasonhague.com/2012/08/06/fighting-autism-with-lame-theology/