Dear God…Can’t You Choose Someone Else?

Written By: JoJoisms - Jul• 30•16

There’s a line from Fiddler on the Roof that keeps running through my head these days.  It’s something I think we all feel from time to time when things go wrong.  It’s how we feel when too many things go wrong for too long a time.  That kind of struggle, that kind of suffering can wear away at your strength not to mention your faith.  And it’s that kind of struggle my family has been going through for the last few years.

The line is:  “I know, I know. We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can’t You choose someone else?”   As I remember, it’s somewhere near this scene called Dear God featured here on this YouTube video.  Ever felt this way?

After struggling with several chronic illnesses for decades, recovering (somewhat) from a car accident while looking for a place to live two years ago,  moving across the country for a job my husband ultimately lost not even a year later, getting through gallbladder surgery and the bills that came with it, being told my husband was over qualified and going without a steady income for over 18 months, struggling financially and with three businesses that were each meeting various obsticals, suffering near insanity from 17 years of peri menopause, and living through another surgery to remove my ovary and the cyst that moved in without an invitation, I was beginning to feel a lot like Tevye.  Then, just the other day, I was told I may need a third surgery to remove a probable growth on my parathyroid.  That would be three surgeries in two years!  At this point, I am wondering if I qualify for Frequent Flyer Miles on the Friends and Family Surgical Program.

Pain1501When we go through so much for so long, we pray to God to help us understand, to help us cope, to give us strength, and, let’s face it, to complain.  It’s not like He doesn’t already know we don’t appreciate our circumstances.  He wants us to come talk to Him.  He wants us to trust Him, often even if we can’t possibly understand why we need to go through what seems completely unnecessary and unfair.  It’s at these times when we feel like Tevye, that we are being chosen for struggle.  We feel like the walls are closing in around us, that our head is almost under water, and there’s a big Ogre sitting on our escape route.

We understand that sometimes God says yes and sometimes God says no, but we don’t often truly understand that sometimes God says the dreaded word, “WAIT.”  I don’t like waiting.  I’m not good at it.  I have no patience and I don’t want to pray for any.  I want things to change NOW.  I want God to take away my struggle and I want Him to do it NOW.  I don’t want to pray for God to get me through. That takes too long! But lately, God has made me wait.  Things are not resolved. The walls are still closing in and the Ogre is laughing…at least that’s how I feel.

How, then, can we find comfort in the chaos?  I found the answer, but I didn’t like it and you won’t either because it isn’t easy.  Psalm 119:50 says, “This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life.”   The Bible tells us that Jesus died for our salvation.  It’s not this life here on earth that Jesus died for. It’s our eternal life.  The life here on earth is full of sin and hardship and struggle.  We often expect that life should be easy down here, but nobody has an easy life this side of heaven.  And some of us struggle greatly for an extended period of time and we grow weary of praying and not hearing the answers from the Lord.  We may even feel like we’re nagging God.  “Hey, Lord!  Remember, me?  I’m still in a mess down here.  Now would be a good time!” JoJoism499

I’ve been in tough situations before.  Some were short and sweet and some struggles were longer, but God had always gotten me through and actually, like Job, I came out better on the other side.  After it was over, I could see God’s hand in all of it.  I could justify my struggle by understanding what I had been waiting for.  Not this time.  Decades of health and financial issues, 18 months of joblessness, and surgeries I could definitely have done without just added insult to even more injury and I was complaining to God on a regular basis.

Though, none of my struggles are over (my husband is still out of work, I still struggle with chronic issues and that third surgery is looming), I have learned a few things about struggle along the way.  I’m not where I want to be, but I’m closer than I ever was.  I have been reading several devotionals each day and I’m feeling a bit of joy again even though I didn’t wake up cured and I never found a million dollars in my mailbox.

1. God wants us to talk to Him daily, even if it’s to complain.  At first I didn’t want to pray or talk to God because I didn’t want to complain.  But someone told me it’s not like God didn’t know what was in my heart at the time.  Initially, complain is all I could do, but later on I was able to be thankful for what He had provided, for the little things along the way, for people who took the time to call or bless us in various ways, and for various ways in which we were able earn some money here and there.  It didn’t solve our problem, but it did help me to not feel so alone and it did help us pay some bills and expenses when we had trouble meeting them.  Tevye complained to God and Job complained as well.  But they were also grateful for what God had done in their lives.

Psalm 42:5 says, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.” The more we talk to the Lord, the more we will be able to find peace enough to ask ourselves why we are not at peace when God is a loving God. Because we can be giving thanks to Him and others for the blessings we DO have-even if we struggle with a lot.  

2. Being thankful for the little things helped me feel less stressed about the bigger things. It’s hard to see the blessings at first, but as soon as I began to notice them, I saw them everywhere.  I saw blessings in my children who were quick to help in any way they could.  I saw blessings from the Lord for my surgeries which were both amazing successes.  My recent surgery to remove my ovary was so amazing I NEVER took a single pain pill.  Not one that was prescribed nor anything over the counter.  There was NO pain for almost an entire day following my surgery!  And what followed was something I could deal with.  I bounced back fairly quickly with just some residual fatigue which plagues me to this day, several days post surgery.  But I’m getting better every day and it could have been so much worse.

Romans 15:13 says, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  I’ve noticed that as I’m more thankful, I’m also less worried about what could happen.  At the moment, my husband (who was a higher paid Corporate Controller for a multinational corporation), is now working as a laborer at our church.  I have no idea when my husband will get a job that will pay our bills, but I am less stressed about it than I used to be.  Our old pastor came to visit us when he was here for a pastor’s conference. He told us to do what we can and that’s all we can do. The rest is God’s problem.  LOL  Because only He can handle the rest.

3. Doing God’s work helps me focus on the positive.  One of the devotionals I read said to do for others even while in the chaos of struggle and Meno Kit Adthat will help take the focus off the pain.  I have no idea when things will change for us, but I don’t have much time to focus on that because I’m busy doing what I believe God wants of me.  I’m writing this blog to help uplift and support those who also struggle with chronic illness and issues who may be losing hope and faith.  I’m working on a new product for one of our businesses and I’m also working to create a workshop that is a new ministry.  I’ll share more about that later.

1 Peter 1:6-7 says, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith,being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,”  The more I concentrate on others: my customers and those who need to be uplifted, the more I find I don’t have time to think about what could happen. I’m just moving all day to do the most I can myself as I learn to trust that God is working the rest out all on His own.  And in that I can praise and honor God, the Father.  

James 1:2-4 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”  I used to ask God why He couldn’t just choose someone else to go through these struggles.  After all, I’m full up right now.  I used to wonder how I could count all this as joy when things all around me feel like they are falling apart.  I’m finding that, the more I share with others (not about how God worked a miracle in my life, but about how to handle the chaos that is struggle), the more others are uplifted by what I share.  

Maybe it’s just me, but when I read about Job being blessed more by God after his struggles than he was before, I don’t feel as uplifted as I do when I read that Mary Marshmellow is still in her mess, but is able to see the joy.  Reading Job does give me hope, but just because God healed Job and gave him blessings only means He CAN work a miracle in MY life.  It doesn’t mean He will. There are plenty of people who were never healed.  Paul was never healed.  Many people go through life with worse chronic issues and illnesses than I have and are never healed.  But if I can see how to be uplifted and can uplift others WHILE I’m in the mess, then the chaos at least serves some purpose.  And if it does serve some purpose, then maybe that’s why God didn’t choose someone else.  God may heal you. He may yet heal me.  He may turn our financial mess around…or not.  Either way, I need to find find the joy in it to see the best in a bad situation. Just maybe, with me listening for the best, He’ll show me a way out.  

I’d love to hear your experience with long term struggle and faith.  Are you struggling now?  And how can I pray for you?

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  1. Tanya says:

    Thanks for sharing your story… for some reason God has certain people go through extreme hardships. God will bring people through the storm

  2. JoJoisms says:

    Thanks, Tanya.

  3. Fantastic reminder. I needed this

  4. JoJoisms says:

    Glad I could help, Brianna.

  5. Susie~Q (From Facebook) says:

    Wow, I could so relate to what you wrote. I would like to share some struggles I am going through and would like prayer for.

    Since I moved to New Zealand almost 4 years ago, I have been struggling with many health issues, they were not too bad when I left the states, but, the stress from being here and not liking it, has taken its toll. I hurt 24/7, no doctor, however, seems to know what to do, and since we are socialized medicine, I can’t see any specialist unless I am referred, which I haven’t been, at least for the pain. Some days, I hurt so much, I am in tears, then, the pain leaves as fast as it came, only to come again later. I am post menopausal, so, a couple of years ago when I noticed some light spotting, it scared me (now, I am sure it was just the end of menopause, but at that time, I was not thinking clearly) I went to the GP, they did some tests, all came back “normal” I was then referred to a gyn/oncologist for an ultra sound. When they did it, they found a “solid mass” on my right ovary, many fibroids and an endometrial wall thicker than they liked. They did the CA 125 test, it came back “normal” They were going to take a biopsy of the cyst, but, my cervix was too small, so, they scheduled me for a hysteroscopy. Well, I was passed from doctor to doctor, I did not even know some of the ones that were emailing me. I finally got fed up and was so scared, I cancelled the entire procedure. I worried for a year that I had done the wrong thing, so, this past May, I rescheduled the procedure. The gyn said that since it had been a year, to do the ultra sound again to see if things had changed. I was sick with worry while I waited for my name on the “wait list” to be called, I had the ultra sound, and the “Mass” had not changed at all, there was still no vascularity going to it (which is good) and it had not grown, the best news was the wall thickness was low normal. The gyn said I did not have to go through the surgery. I am happy about the outcomes, but, at times, I still worry. I have been “dismissed” from this case unless I start bleeding again.

    My pain is all over, mostly, however, in my lower back, hips and ribs. I know I have costochondritis, and some other issues, I believe I have fibro as well, but no one will say I do. My inflammation markers were “normal” last time they checked, a few years ago, I suspect they would be high now however.

    My life at home is not good. My husband has been out of work for over a year. He did have one Project Manager job from March to July, it was supposed to go longer, but, the person that owned the “granny flat” we were in, decided he did not want us there (he has dementia, but has always been nasty), the job he was doing was contingent on living there, so, Steve had to quit and we had to move. We are now on WINZ (welfare), we barely get enough to pay rent (you pay weekly over here). This area is the worse for finding jobs as they only like locals. We are staying in a home that owners of a long stay apartment use to live in, they are letting us have it at a lower rate if we do some work around the grounds. I can’t do anything due to pain, so Steve does it all. The complex and home are for sale however, so, if it sells, I don’t know what we will do. The present owner feels we will be able to stay, but we might have to pay full rent, if we do, well, we will be out as we do not have it. I am so scared. My husbands dad and stepmom will let him move in for awhile, but I am not welcome, they do NOT like me. It is a mess. I have not been settled now for a year, I have no address, although I think we might be able to afford a P.O. Box soon. Steve, my husband, is a surveyor, but, he no longer can do it, he has been looking for work or retraining, but to no avail.

    I was supposed to fly back home this past July, but due to our finances being zero, I had to cash my ticket in. The money from that was gone in two days though. Steve wants a green card from the USA, but, he can’t get one until I am living there, he has a friend that will “sponsor” him there, she is a friend of mine from the church I use to attend, but, again, we can’t afford for me to go back. I am sick over it. I hate New Zealand. I have a difficult time being accepted and I just have never felt a part of the area. Yes, it is lovely, but after a while, a person does see the beauty when nothing but bad things have happened. My aunt lives in Washington state, near where I use to live, at one time, she said I could stay with her until I got on my feet, but now, she has a boyfriend, and he does not like the idea of her letting me do this. So, I don’t know where I stand now in that regard.

    My marriage has not been good since day one. I won’t go into a lot of detail, but, it was a mistake. I think I married him to get away from where I use to live. My dad had just died, and I was not thinking straight. We met on a Christian forum, emailed, skyped, etc for almost a year, then he came to America, we got married shortly after. There were so many red flags, but, I choose not to see them. I am sooo sorry I didn’t head my friends advice. He has been married before (so have I for that matter) and his former minister said the divorce was mainly his fault due to the fact he did not take his wife’s health or feelings into consideration. He wanted to move to another community as he got fired from his job in Gisborne, where they lived, she did not as she was having mental issues and her support was there. His kids (all in their 20’s) hate him, in fact, he has not heard from them since the separation, which was 2009, the divorce was final in 2011. When I came over here, I noticed emails he had sent to friends and he was bad mouthing me to them before he even met me. I was so shook up, I cried. No wonder no one in that little village liked me at first, they are better now, but not much. He use to tell me he was still “spiritually bonded” to his first wife. I asked the elders and they said he wasn’t and he should not talk like that. I could go on and on, but, I am too tired and depressed to type it all. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t cry over leaving home and marrying him. I gave up my sweet home that was mine, free and clear, a cute car that was paid for, a fairly decent bank account, a college that I loved, stability, and a dear friend (I think he died of a broken heart after I left). I made a mess of my life and now I have NOTHING, I mean, NOTHING to show for it. No home, no money, nothing. Some folks that know me say they feel he married me when he found out I had money from my daddy’s death. Could be now that I think of it.

    The church here has helped us some with finances, I appreciate that, but he needs a job and we need to get settled.

    Anyway, this is the short version of my story. Please keep me in your prayers, I am miserable. To add to it, I feel I have no faith anymore, I feel so alienated by God, I do not feel He loves me at all. I live in darkness day and night. I have repented for all my wrongs and ask for help, but, I don’t seem to be receiving it.

    God bless you.

  6. JoJoisms says:

    Oh, Susie! I’m so sorry you are going through all of this. I will be adding your needs to my prayers. I certainly understand how worn you feel. When so many things go wrong at once and for such a long time, it does wear away at your strength, your energy and your faith. Our stories are similar in some ways. I know it doesn’t help the current situation, but know that you ARE loved, by God and by me. I don’t know why He is leaving you us in this situation, but I have to hold on to what His Word says and that’s how I get through the day. I pray He will bless you and give you peace. Something our former pastor said really resonated with me. He said, “Do what you can and the rest is God’s problem.” He has to work it out because we can only do so much. I appreciate you so much for taking the time to share and for being so active in the group. Though you may not feel joy right now, know that you ARE a joy and blessing to others.

  7. Susie says:

    Thank you JoJo. I am glad that I am a blessing to others. I sometimes feel totally inadequate much more here in New Zealand than I did back home. I admit that at times I get angry at God. I see others happy, having homes and husbands that work; I do get bitter. I don’t really feel loved by my husband at all. We haven’t lived as husband and wife for the last 3 years. We sure are not close like newly weds should be. I feel so lonely and undesirable. Our wedding night was awful as was the entire honeymoon. I have no happy memories at all to think on when I am upset. He takes Dilantin for epilepsy, the side effect is low libido but he says he wasn’t that way with his first wife. That hurts. He could take Viagra but he doesn’t like the side effects. Plus, the few tines we were intimate, he was so rough I cried. There was no love or tenderness at all.

    Thanks for letting me rant. I hope your husband gets a job soon and that you won’t have to have another surgery. Thank you also for your prayers, I will be praying for you as well.

  8. April says:

    This is inspiring and motivating. God bless you, Jojo! 🙂

  9. JoJoisms says:

    I’m glad. Thanks, April.

  10. JoJoisms says:

    🙁 Continuing in prayer for you, dear one!! Just remember, you ARE a blessing!

  11. Wow, I’m intensely impressed by all that you’re handling. The Lord hasn’t “blessed” me in quite the same ways!
    Php 4:6-7 always sticks with me, in that we make our prayers and requests … but it says nothing about how and when He’ll answer … just that His peace will guard our hearts/minds! That’s what I always cling to.

  12. JoJoisms says:

    Thank you, Peggy. I am praying for you as well.