Saturday, March 1, 2014

Personal Post: When Life Asks Us to Question God

It's been a long time since I opened up and shared a post so personal, but as I sit here pondering something so difficult I seek refuge in writing it out- sometimes that helps. Being a Pastor's/Preacher's daughter, granddaughter, great granddaughter, niece, cousin, sister.. I was pretty much all but conceived in church. I'm blessed with incredible parents who not only lived Godly principles before me, but they taught me the Word of God to my understanding. Being raised in the church granted me exposure to many religious ideas and practices. The ideas of what you can and cannot wear, what you can and cannot do, and what you can and cannot say were always around me. They didn't necessarily come from the Bible, or my parents, but they were around. One of those ideas is the all so popular conviction that, "You can't question God."

I know that many of these notions held by "older saints" were not meant to be taken literally. They are perceptions groomed in order to instill a sense of reverence for God. They teach us how to honor God's will as the ultimate. I respect and appreciate many of these concepts, but the older I get the more I have to learn what is spiritually sound for me. Plus, my life (especially recently) has brought me to a place where I have MANY questions, and often.

The last few years though many wouldn't know it, have been a little hell on earth for me and many of the people I love. I witnessed cancer and sickness plague my Grandparents and Parents at levels I'd never seen before. I buried my 7 yr. old Godson who passed away from a violent act. I've had to watch my older brother go through hell and back. I've had to witness my lifelong best friend's life turned upside down & try to be some sort of support for her. Finally, just yesterday after the passing of two people already this week, I had to accept the fact that a third- a beautiful young lady who I love dearly is now gone. Literally blow after blow.

I laid on my couch last night in pure frustration and denounced that old conclusion that God can't be questioned. As I cried all I could get passed my quivering lips was, "Why?" My eyes were aching and too heavy to open. I just laid some bemused place between sleepy and too hurt to go. I had a few moments of silence before my thoughts seduced that word to replay in my mind again..why? There was no one in my apartment. There was no mistaking who I was questioning, and that was fine. The reality is that sometimes our lives play out in ways we don't understand, leaving us to ask God questions. This isn't generation X Christianity either, God was questioned many times in the Bible. One of the most popular biblical accounts was Jesus himself on the cross asking why He'd been forsaken. Jesus, like many of us honored and reverenced God for being God, but He wanted a little understanding in the moment. Stretched out on a cross in so much pain, wouldn't you want some understanding? This is where I find myself. This is where many of you are right now-on your own proverbial crosses without any understanding.

The thought of bad things happening that can't be explained is at the core of why many don't believe there is a God at all. They say, if there were a God.. He wouldn't allow these things to happen. Those of us who do believe often want to trust God in these times, but only when there is full disclosure (we want to know all of the ins and outs!). We want a faith that is confirmed by what we're able to see, and how good we feel. We want God to allow His infinite understanding to somehow find rest in our finite minds. As hypocritical as these statements read, they are so easily embraced. The reality is.. we can't understand it all. There's no way to get all of the questions answered. For most of us, the reason would sound like an excuse anyway- we're so self absorbed. What I've learned is the best approach to have in moments of questioning God is the approach David took in Psalm 131. He became totally dependent on his hope in God. He decided that he would try to not think on things too wonderful for his mind to conceive. He'd leave the things not made for him to understand in God's hands.

Sometimes we're asked to struggle through hard times to be an example to someone else. Sometimes, God asks us to do hard things to show us our own capabilities and potential. There are times we need reminding of how short of a time we have to live on purpose. These moments though difficult,  create opportunities that force us out of our comfort zones. Comfort zones are cool, but nothing grows there. Your strength, your faith, your peace.. it all has to grow somehow. These moments that force us to accept what we can't understand create discomfort. Just like in nature when things grow they usually have to shed an outer layer of something. It's the agitation of "normalcy" or the interruption of comfort that pushes us beyond our level of faith into something greater. **sidebar** This is also why as we grow we often shed desires, habits, and people that don't grow with us.

At this time, I embrace my questions. They're forcing me to  reflect on how small I am in the big picture. I'm trying to stop looking for a reason, and start seeking out lessons. Those two things are not always the same.  I'd love to have a reason to share with the youth of my Dad's church as to why Arianna is gone.. I don't, but her death can teach them how important it is to say the important things, and love one anther.  I'd love to be able to wrap my arms around Auntie Fe, Uncle Antonio, and Tiger and reason away their broken hearts .. I can't, but the strength and grace they're exhibiting at this time is someone's faith seed.  I'd love to reason away my own broken heart, but I can't. I can only look back on the past two years, though terribly difficult, and see how God grew me to this point. I can let this moment teach me something greater even if I don't fully understand it.

Right now I'm in a place of a lot of questions and frustration, just like many of you. Maybe your questions don't revolve around sickness or unexpected death. Maybe your questions revolve around your childhood, your marriage, or career. Maybe you feel like giving up on something or someone you know God has called you to. Whatever your questions are, ask them. At the very most you put yourself at the feet of God and acknowledge that you are not in control as you'd like to believe sometimes. There's life power in relinquishing control you don't have anyway. You free yourself up for acceptance. Acceptance is the first step to peace. There is a story being written with all of our lives that leaves us in the greatest suspense at times. When I look at Arianna's story, I don't understand this latest chapter. What I do know is that it is rich in love, engaging, beautiful, hopeful,  and very well written. I know that it goes on through the lessons we all learned from her. Having experienced such a beautiful life first hand, I have to ask myself how significant my why is anyway.

Rest in Love to my sweet Arianna. 


  1. kayki thank you so much for writing this. you have no clue how I needed to read it. this is why I read your blog. thank you so much

  2. Im in tears because Im right here at this time Kayki. u have no idea. I don't know u personally but this is right on time for me. I'm going to be ok with not knowing why my life is so hard right now and just try to keep learning. right about being at Gods fee because sometimes thats the only time we talk to him when we dont know why.

  3. she is beautiful. im sorry for ur lost kay. its crazy i been followin this blog for years and u been going through all of this and i never would know since u always so positive on twitter. thank u for openin up to us.

  4. Love this post, Kanish. I love you and I'm praying for you and your family, always.