A Friend in Need

Sunday, March 8 |

What would you do?

A friend comes to you for spiritual advice. She has recently concluded that God does not exist, and you ask why. She tells you it is because of what she went through 2 years ago. She said that she fell in love with and had an affair with a married man. She was surprised but very excited to find out that she was pregnant. She carried the baby for 7 months but had a traumatic miscarriage. She used to believe that God was punishing her for the affair; she went through a period of feeling guilty but then she became angry. She said that only a cruel god would punish a baby for her sins. It didn't make sense to her that God could be cruel so she stopped believing all together. She wants to know if you believe in God; if so why would God allow that to happen?

What would you say? How would you approach the topic of faith with her?

Related Links:

Doubting God's existence
What to Say to the Depressed, Doubting, Skeptical, Confused, Angry


virgo27 said...

that's a good question, what would i say? i would probably try to reassure her that God wasn't punishing her or the baby. Outside of that, I would suggest she go and talk with her Pastor. i think there are more skilled persons than me to handle a situation such as hers.

Gabriel Gadfly said...

I am not a particularly religious person, though I have little problem with those that are. I would tell her this:

Your life is yours.
Don't ask if God is for or against you:
If it is in your nature to be for God, then you will come back to that in time.
For now, heal.
God is a big boy.
He can take care of himself.

The Buddhist Conservative said...

It is easy to blame God for our misfortunes. To a degree, it relieves us of the responsibility to accept the things we don't understand.

A person who has gone through the emotional trauma such as this needs time. Forcing her to reinvest in her faith too quickly will likely do more harm. Be supportive but not pushy. As in all things, time is the greatest healer.

LazyKing said...

The fact she says God is cruel shows that God exist for her. Being cruel doesnt mean "dont exist".
When we were kids, if our mom was "cruel" to us, we didnt say she doenst exist... Did you follow?

I can understand her pain because I'm a little disappointed and angry to God. I used to say He is my friend and will hang out with me everyday. But things happenned and I stopped believing in him. Living with very religious people, He wasnt far and now I'm starting seeing his light again but slowly.
So I will tell her, take your time, dont rush believing in God. Take the time to forgive yourself, to heal your own pain. After that it will be easier to trust him back, to believe him and to love him. That's what I'm doing, it's slow but for me it's working.

thepianoplayersdaughter said...

I would leave faith out of the topic and just be with her in her suffering.She is just projecting her guilt outward at the moment so she doesnt feel the pain.Whatever you say may come back at you.

LLnL said...

@virgo27- I do think that people need assurance sometimes. It is so easy to think that God is always looking to punish us and I will feel comfortable reassuring her that God loves her and her baby. There a lot I don't know and I feel weird speaking for God.

@Gabriel Gadfly- I think that is an important point, God can take acre of himself. I think so many people give up their faith because they are scared to express anger with God. I know that I've gotten mad at him and have felt stronger for and have understood his love for me better after.

@The Buddhist Conservative- I think that's an interesting point. I know there are times when I have felt made at God for allowing certain things to happen to me. When I forgive I can sometimes see how he tried to warn me about the upcoming pitfall.

I also believe that people go through necessary period in their life that others can't understand. What you believe is not as important as how you live.

@LazyKing- I thought the same thing: if you say that God is cruel you still have faith in his existence. More than anything I would be just happy that she was talking about it.

@thepianoplayersdaughter- I think that is very wise advice. So many times people are just hurting. Until they can get the love and support of someone caring for them they won't heal. I don't feel like it is my responsibility to bring people to God, but I do believe that it is my responsibly to love and comfort people.