“Mommy, why does God hate me?” It had been a rough few years. Our dog had been hit by a car and didn’t survive. That day was awful. Our house felt like a morgue. Everywhere you looked were reminders of our precious Corkie.
I remember it well, because it was my last day of school and I was cleaning my room, putting everything away for the summer, meetings as we wound up the year. I got the phone call first thing in the morning. My daughter wanted me to come home. There was nothing I could do, but console them. I couldn’t bring her back. We had a short funeral service when I got home. Finally, I couldn’t stand to be in the house. It wasn’t good for any of us. So I suggested we get away and go watch a movie. I don’t remember what movie, but we needed to be away from the house.
Within that year, my dad was rushed to the hospital and they didn’t know if he was going to make it or not. After being on the ventilator for months and being transferred to different hospitals four times, he was able to go home. Life had changed, but we had another year and a half with him before he lost his battle with emphysema. It was tough on all of us, but heaven got a good man. He was finally relieved of his suffering. Still, we were devastated, but we’d eventually have to go on.
Then about 10 months later on a Saturday afternoon, I got a phone call from a friend. She asked, “is Dani okay?” I was puzzled and said, “yes, why?” She then proceeded to tell me about Dani’s friend’s family having a house fire. I had no idea. But as she told me about Amy, Dani’s best friend, being gone, I couldn’t fathom what on earth had happened. How was I going to tell my second grade daughter that yet again her world had been rocked in the worst way?
Then, with tears in her eyes, she asked me, “Mommy, why does God hate me?”
I felt so inadequate as I tried to explain to her that God didn’t hate her. Sometimes things just happen. It wasn’t her fault. Yet another person she was close to had been taken from her.
Figuring out where God is when bad things happen to good people, is one of the debates that seems never ending. Helping her to understand that God was still there and loved her. He would help her through this time if she would come to him with her hurt. He would help to heal her. She set up a shrine in her room to the losses in her life. A jar of the fur that she had combed out of Corkie’s coat claimed a spot in the shrine as well as pictures of Corkie, Grandpa, and Amy and one of a soccer cleat that she was going to give to Amy. I guess it was her way of coping.
I don’t really have a lot of advice on this, because I’m not sure I could handle it any differently now than I did back then. It’s hard to find the right words. But I know that God was there in the middle of the storms of our lives right then. Just as he’s with you when you go through storms. It may seem like he’s abandoned you, but reach out to him. He’s there, waiting for you to ask for him to help you. Don’t try to deal with the turbulent times on your own. His power is made perfect in weakness. When you need him, he’s there.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9