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tinytherese

Why God Allows Suffering

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tinytherese

Spiritually, a question haunts me. If no one could ever love me as much as God, then why did He not protect me from the sexual abuse from a family member that I went through years ago? I know that His ways aren't our ways, but if it were me and I had the ability to prevent that from happening to someone, especially to someone I love, I would act on it.

On top of that, I've had my depression because of the abuse that I was going through and the hard time I was having at a new school. I'm not the person I once was. Years of  counseling, psychiatry, and prayer yet I'm still not healed.

I know that God can bring good out of what we suffer, but it's not a satisfying answer. 

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Luigi

Full disclosure - I'm no theologian. 

God allows each person to exercise her/his own free will. Some people (starting with Adam and Eve) will exercise that free will to do things that God doesn't condone. Those things are called sin. All sins have negative consequences - sometimes only for the sinner, sometimes for the people on whom they perpetrate the sin. The effects of some sins are short term, and others have more long term effects. We all carry the lingering effects of other people's sins against us - an alcoholic father, a drunk driver who killed one of our relatives, a teacher who intentionally humiliated a student all year and destroyed her self-confidence - the diversity of sins and their effects is stunning!

Of all the creatures God created, only humans have free will. It's a share in God's divinity, God being the only other being with free will. He took a chance and gave us more of his own characteristics than the other animals got - we're more like his children than his pets. He still lets each of his children exercise their own free will, even after seeing millenia of people's inhumanity to other people.

But we also have the ability to forgive. That, too, is a share in God's divinity, God being the only other other being who can forgive. 

I'm not giving you advice on how to think about the sexual abuse you experienced, or the counseling, psychology, etc. Full disclosure - I'm not a pastor, counselor, or psychologist, I'm just the average fool in the pew.

In terms of the good that can come out of your experiences, I don't know. Maybe the negative effects of those sins need to be seen, so other people can learn just how harmful that particular sin is. Or maybe this is how you're supposed to learn to forgive. It's easy enough to forgive a brother who steals your dessert, but forgiving something as big as child abuse - that has to be tough. And yet, the more you forgive, the more God-like you are... and maybe the more you understand how God forgives all of us, all the time, for all of our sins, no matter their consequences, if we simply ask for forgiveness. 

That's all I got. Hope it helps.  

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BarbaraTherese

First, you have been asked to bear a terrible burden indeed and a sad one to read - a terrible one.  May The Lord grant you healing and Peace - and may you quickly settle in in your new school - or be able to let go of the memories if you have moved on from that.  That doesn't mean one forgets, it means that it is only a memory one never dwells on.

The only way I can come to terms with the terrible sufferings of many is that it must stay with God who is Mystery.  I think only Faith can give the answer - it is a mystery.  Therein is Peace and it does involve a letting go of the need for answers.  I don't know why and this side of eternity, I don't think there are humanly satisfying answers.

I think that I can know all the theologies connected with suffering perhaps but none of them give a satisfying answer.  Only Faith......trust and confidence in The Mystery that is Our God.  We look for, on the human level, fulfilment and answers here on earth when something adverse actually strikes us,  when we can only know the answers in the hereafter.  Anyway, that sort of reasoning has taken me through my own journey of 20 years serious psychotic bipolar episodes in the revolving door of a psychiatric hospital or unit, ward.  I lost everything, including my mind.  So many psychiatrists in my time I truly have lost count.  Some good, some really lousy.  And I know others with far more terrible stories than mine - far more terrible. Yours, TT, must now be one of them.

I had always wanted to be a nun but was raped at 15yrs old.  I had to let go of my desire for religious life because no one set me straight back then, before Vatican II, that I did not have to be a virgin to enter religious life. 

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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dairygirl4u2c

i echo a lot of what has been said. i usually think God is unable to prevent suffering for some reason it's that way. it somewhat explains the free will and forgiveness thing as has been discussed. it doesn't explain being born with a suffering disease, but as Jesus said, it will glorify God when that disease one day becomes no more. 

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Seven77
21 hours ago, tinytherese said:

Spiritually, a question haunts me. If no one could ever love me as much as God, then why did He not protect me from the sexual abuse from a family member that I went through years ago? I know that His ways aren't our ways, but if it were me and I had the ability to prevent that from happening to someone, especially to someone I love, I would act on it.

On top of that, I've had my depression because of the abuse that I was going through and the hard time I was having at a new school. I'm not the person I once was. Years of  counseling, psychiatry, and prayer yet I'm still not healed.

I know that God can bring good out of what we suffer, but it's not a satisfying answer. 

I don't know why God allowed you to go through such pain and suffering. Yes, I know for sure that he will bring good out of it. But the rest is a mystery that we cannot understand in this life. All I can say is that I'm sorry and I pray for you. Well, I could actually say a bit more... 

For a long time, I did not understand how God would allow me to be born with a physical disability that slowly cripples muscles and ultimately results in a relatively early death. If God really did love me, how come he never healed me when I prayed for a cure? But then, after I went to Lourdes, I began to understand...  I began to understand something of why he wants me to undergo this; It is for my good and the good of others. God allows me to suffer *because* he loves me. I am on the cross with Christ---Why was Christ on the Cross? To redeem humanity. God allowed his Son to suffer and die on Cross--- did the Father love him less?  No,  in fact, in a sense, he loved him even more. And so, in a similar way, he allows me to be on the Cross so that I can identify with him, and contribute to the salvation of souls by my cooperation in the offering up of my suffering in union with his. This is a noble calling.

All I know is, God loves you and you are dear to him. He has entrusted you with a share in his Cross.  You are strong… He looked at you and said, that daughter of mine is so precious to me that I want her to be on the Cross with me, she can bear what others cannot...  and I give her my grace, it is sufficient for her.

 I know it's not easy. I know. He knows.

 

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CatherineM

I've experienced a lot of suffering in my life. I don't blame God for any of it. I blame myself for some. I blame other people for things they did. 

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Anomaly
On 10/7/2017 at 6:52 PM, tinytherese said:

Spiritually, a question haunts me. If no one could ever love me as much as God, then why did He not protect me from the sexual abuse from a family member that I went through years ago? I know that His ways aren't our ways, but if it were me and I had the ability to prevent that from happening to someone, especially to someone I love, I would act on it.

On top of that, I've had my depression because of the abuse that I was going through and the hard time I was having at a new school. I'm not the person I once was. Years of  counseling, psychiatry, and prayer yet I'm still not healed.

I know that God can bring good out of what we suffer, but it's not a satisfying answer. 

You sort of answer your own question.   God’s ways aren’t your ways, but then you compared what YOU would do differently.   You already acknowledged that you may not understand, so accept you don’t.   I won’t address the theological, as it’s meaningless to me.  

However, you have been significantly harmed by others and have to deal with the aftermath.   Knowing or guessing at “why” isn’t going to change a single thing of “what” happened to you.  There are many more loving and kind people who want to help heal you.   Keep looking for the love and work on not letting the haunting about “why” hinder the kindness now. 

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Credo in Deum

I asked myself the same question when I was younger, after being sexually abused by my step mother at the age of 12 yrs. Why did this happen? Why was it permitted? The scriptures tell us that God sends suffering to those He loves, which to me seems ridiculous, but when I look at that Cross I’m reminded of why Christ was permitted to suffer and die; love. As Christ took on our sins out of love for us, there are times when we, who are innocent, take on the sins of another in order to grow in love. By seeing what happened to me as an invitation to love, I’ve been able to grow personally and I’ve also been better able to connect and help others who’ve been abused. 

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