I don’t normally publish posts by anonymous bloggers, but I have made an exception for Caiobhe of The Hope Diaries. She blogs honestly and humbly about healing, repentance, forgiveness, and above all, hope in rebuilding a marriage after having had an affair. Her writing is beautiful and finds redemption in mess and darkness, and this is her God and Suffering story:
I know that my ‘suffering’ is nothing in comparison to that of many, but I still rage against it, and wish it were otherwise, and question God about why these things happen. Why should we accept hard things, destructive things, life-destroying things in our lives? I don’t believe that there is purpose in suffering. I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that we live in a chaotic, disordered world, and as humans we are exposed to all the consequences of chaos, disorder and human frailty.
This list is a few of the hard, destructive, life destroying things I’ve experienced so far in my life.
- As a child, my close friend was abducted and murdered
- As a teenager, a very close, young family member was diagnosed with a long-term degenerative disease
- As a mother, I’ve seen my children suffer from little-understood, disabling chronic conditions and all the psychological pain that the physical brings with it.
- As a wife, I have seen my marriage hit crisis as the pain that the two of us were carrying prevented us from caring for each other.
- Whilst still married, I have fallen in love with another who pursued me for all that he needed before he then rejected me, and abused power and position to save himself.
- I have suffered from depression, and I know the madness that has such power that it convinced me that my children would be better off if I was dead.
The question I’ve asked when I’ve been at the end of my ability to cope with circumstances has been this, ‘Is God enough?’ If there is nothing else good, will God be enough for me? Can he be enough?
As I’ve asked the question the answer I’ve received from God has been this one word.
So I have waited.
I have waited with anger and tears, frustration and disappointment, bitterness and regret, confusion and pain.
This is what I have found in the waiting.
God is with us.
It is that very act of incarnation, presence through His Spirit, being here today, where I am, that is enough.
And what of the enough? What does that mean? What does enough look like?
- Enough is not easy or plentiful or over-abundant or comfortable.
- Enough is sometimes no more than survival and the meeting of fundamental needs.
- Enough often leaves me wishing for more or envious of others’ plenty.
- Enough isn’t a place of rest but it can be a place of contentment.
- Enough makes me realise that there is a difference between what I need and what I want.
- Enough frees me from comparison and releases me to thankfulness.
In the waiting I have realised that there is a difference between human and divine ‘enough’.
Human ‘enough’ is a bare minimum. An only just adequate portion. A threadbare covering which protects against the most basic conditions.
Divine ‘enough’ is a filling from the centre which reaches to the edges. An affirmation of value. A promise of life in all its fullness, which is a life lived in the presence of God
A placing of us in the midst of humanity where we can serve and be served, and in doing so allow ourselves to show and be shown the image of our creator.
God is with us.
God is enough.
Postscript: sometimes the ‘enough’ comes to me through music. One of the first things that I connected with Tanya on was our shared love of the music of Gungor. This song is one that I come back to almost daily. It expresses much of what I’ve tried to express above.
‘I thought I had seen the end. Everything broken. But you were there.’
Please be my strength (Güngor)
Caiobhe ( pronounced Keeva) means beautiful at birth – a name we can all claim. It is the name I choose to write under as I am writing to remember who I have been made to be, and I am writing to connect with others on that journey. I care about following Jesus and living with authenticity. I choose to live as a follower of Christ, with integrity, but often I fail. My blog is called ‘The Hope Diaries’ because despite difficult circumstances I believe the word Hope has found me this year. I have promised myself that I will live fully, passionately, lovingly and openly, and that I will write about that journey. I write about the mess, and the reality of that mess, but with the knowledge that there is hope for all of us, and light to be found in the most unexpected places. Check out my 31 days of Hope for a Messed-Up Marriage.
“Enough isn’t a place of rest but it can be a place of contentment.” – @Caiobhe’s God and Suffering story:
“Human ‘enough’ is a bare minimum…Divine ‘enough’ is a filling from the centre which reaches to the edges.”- @Caiobhe
“God is with us. God is enough. Wait.” – @Caiobhe’s God and Suffering story:
Over to you:
- How do you experience the ‘enough’ in the midst of suffering?
- Is God enough?
- What do you think about the difference between the divine and the human ‘enough’?