Many of my greatest questions as I emerged from the nightmare and began to heal had to do with God. I had seen evil – deep, deep darkness. I knew that was real. But what about God? I had attended church, and I knew what people said about God – about His power, amongst other things. But my reality had been much, much different. When I was being abused, God had not stepped in and saved the day. At the time, I could find no evidence that He had been there or even cared about what had happened to me.
I had a counselor who, for a time, became somewhat of a spiritual parent to me. He would sit and read the Bible to me and I would have an argument for everything he read. “That’s not true,” I would retort. Or, “Well, I guess He does that for some people, but not for me.” The more I thought about it, the angrier I became. If He had the power to stop the abuse from happening, then why didn’t He? I determined that He was either a weak liar, or a mean, sadistic God. Those were pretty much the only two options I could think of.
As I progressed down that path, my heart grew colder and my world got darker. As I made a conscious decision to turn my back on God, the hopelessness and loneliness that had consumed me for my whole life got worse. Prior to this, I think that somewhere deep inside, I had always hoped that God was for real. I wanted to believe that somehow it was all a big misunderstanding, and that He really was who people said He was. So when I made the decision that He was not an option, HOPE absolutely disappeared from my life. I didn’t even understand it at the time, but I had gone from being a complete disaster with a tiny bit of hope to being completely. hopeless. And the difference between those two things is the difference between life and death.