One of my favorite TV shows is United States of Tara about a wife and mother who has dissociative identity disorder (what used to be called split personality or multiple personalities). I love this show because, in my experience, it is a very real portrayal of what families go through when someone has mental illness. It shows how hard it is to remain a couple, how the children are affected by the disorder, and how life is continually up and down.
In the show the husband, Max, is steadfast and seems to be able to handle anything. In the last episode of the series, just as they have their last meal with Tara who will be going for three months to a doctor for help, Max kind of looses it. He basically says (well, yells) what everyone else is thinking. He asks why his wife, who tries so hard to be a good person, has to go through this, why do his children who have never done anything wrong get dragged into this? Why did God put them on Earth? Just to mess with their lives? In the end he says that they deserve some mercy.
So often, these are the same questions I have.
As a minister, I want answers to these questions. Were I doing pastoral counseling with someone else in my situation I could think of a million things to say to them. Such as: God does not do this on purpose. No one deserves this. We are just part of the larger system. There are many lessons we learn from everything that happens in our life. Etc...
But, in reality, I have no idea why this happens and I don't think God is going to make it better. I know that may sound depressing to some people, and sacrilegious to others, but that is just not part of my belief system. I believe God is love and while God will love me and my family through whatever happens, God can't change it because if God could, God would have already. Sometimes, maybe even constantly, bad stuff happens. What I hold on to is the relationships I have. The good times I do get to spend with my husband and son. The amazing people I meet in life. And while sometimes it seems so bad that there is no purpose to all of this, I just have to decide that I will keep going. My faith tells me that no matter what, there will be people who love me who will walk this path with me. My faith also tells me that I need to have faith in myself. As soon as I loose faith in myself, I get worse, I can't function, and I miss all the love other people have for me.
So, where do I think God is? I believe God is crying along with me, outraged with how life can be so unfair, but loving me just the same. Where do I see God? In people like my husband, son, family, and friends and in myself- when I remember to have faith in myself.
I believe that life just sucks sometimes, but I thank God I am not alone.