In the black community, we were always taught to never question God. Being angry with God was inconceivable. But what happens when your worst fear materializes? What happens when you experience the most tragic loss your mind could not even imagine? What happens when mortality knocks on the door to collect life so suddenly and so soon? What is your human response?
Yesterday, I came across a repost on “The neighborhood Talk” Instagram page of someone who had commented on Vanessa Bryant’s post and Vanessa Bryant responded.
Commenter: “The way you handle your grief is powerful… I’ve lost loved ones close to me and can’t seem to forgive God for taking them and yet you lost your baby girl and love of your life and have your faith still… Much love to you and your girls *kiss emoji*
Vanessa Bryant: It’s okay. I understand. I haven’t forgiven God either. Our priest said that’s okay. He can handle that.
This exchange gripped me. I thought to myself, “wow the courage and vulnerability to speak this truth.” Both, Vanessa Bryant and the commenter openly shared how they have yet to forgive GOD! I felt seen.
I noticed earlier in my grief process how a lot of people had a knee-jerk response to console me by verbalizing God’s sovereignty. Most people thought that I would find comfort in consciously being aware that God allowed this tragedy. Although everyone had sincere and harmless intentions, this thought weaponized itself against me. While experiencing the deepest agony of my life, being consciously aware that God chose not to intervene sent me deeper into resentment.
In grief conversations, we talk about the emotional isolation, the agony of your loved one’s absence, the triggers, and the passing of time that will “eventually” produce healing, but I’ve never heard about the details of the spiritual rumble that takes place between God and the griever.
Perhaps, it is forbidden to wrestle with God, let alone talk about it. However, I believe it is deeply inevitable. I am on a mission to normalize and create safe spaces for these kinds of conversations to take place for the sake of true inner healing.
Some people see the unwillingness to wrestle with God as strength but I think the opposite, particularly for those who are spiritual and value an intimate relationship with God. I believe it is deeply courageous to rumble with God, because how else do you find revelation? How else can you truly process and move the grief energy through your soul? How does reconciliation between you and God occur?
This process is extremely painful and immensely sobering. Every conversation with God and every thought you are faced with your humanity, your powerlessness, the impossibleness of undoing the tragedies “God allows” that inflict us all. I am still in the thick of this rumble. I still roll my eyes sometimes when I pray, take deep breaths because I feel a sharp pain in my chest, and abruptly end my prayers with “just help me, because I didn’t ask to be here.” Some people make peace sooner, some people it takes years, or some people never make peace with God. However, as Vanessa Bryant stated, I believe God can handle it. I believe God-the creator, has the bandwidth for our anger. But — maybe I am naive to think that eventually, God will bless me the way Jacob was blessed after his wrestle with God (Genesis chapter 32).
I know that I will always experience the pain of loss due to my humanity, but
Perhaps this wrestle with God will eventually allow my spirit to see, experience, or unveil divine revelations that surpass this human field.
Perhaps it will lead me to a deeper revelation that grounds my spirit with far greater hope for my eternal destiny.
Perhaps, God will see my brokenness and mend it with a peace that surpasses all understanding
Perhaps God will bless me
I wrestle on, courageously.