Prayer Request...

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Seraph
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Prayer Request...

#1

Post by Seraph » Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:51 am

Hey all. I've kind of wanted to put in a prayer request similar to this since I first registered about four years ago but never did so because I've never been sure how to word it or I thought it would be self-centered. But now I feel like something needs to change, so here it goes.

Back in February of 2006, I had a pretty terrible weekend where my dad revealed to me that I had an older half-sister that was born as a result of him cheating on my mom a long time ago. Two days after that, my dad was in a motorcycle accident where he thrown from his bike, landed on his unprotected head, and was put into a coma in which he then died two weeks later. I was traumatized both from my dad being killed unexpectedly as well as learning a lot of stuff about him that rattled my world. I was very close to my dad and was competely devistated

This whole experience essentially threw me into a deep state of depression as well as an existential crisis. I've managed to hold on to my Christian faith, but it has been badly bruised and even today still isn't nearly as strong as it used to be. Now nearly five years later, I feel like I have a pretty nihilistic outlook on life even though I know that it's incompatible with Christianity. Even though I rationally believe in my mind that God exists (though I'm plauged with doubts quite often), it certainly doesn't feel that way and as much as I long to, I don't feel like I have much of a personal connection with God anymore. It's hard for me to pray and believe that it will make any difference at all, especially after praying to the point of tears for two weeks while my dad was in a coma only to have him die anyway. At my Christian college groups, when people talk about how we need to recognize how good God is to us and how we need to put our complete trust in him, I can't help but feel extremely angry.

I have a hard time feeling genuinely happy about stuff or relating to people about everyday things, which has made me a bit of a social recluse even though I'm currently going to college where I feel that I should be interacting with people more. Even though I often feel isolated, I just don't have the will to go out of my way to talk to people.

Anyhow, I'm really not sure what prayer request to make in particular. I'd just deeply appreciate whatever help I can find...
I am committed to belief in God, as the most morally demanding, psychologically enriching, intellectually satisfying and imaginatively fruitful hypothesis about the ultimate nature of reality known to me - Keith Ward

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Re: Prayer Request...

#2

Post by jlay » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:15 am

I pray that God will deal with these stongholds in your life. God is good.
Your father or my father dying has absolutely no effect of who God is. It is very tragic that your Father died. I'm not close to my father. He had an extramarital affair, abandoned our family, and left us to be evicted from our home. God is good. People are not. This world is fallen. A broken mess.

It is unfortunate that your dad died. But it would have been more unfortunate if God had bowed his knee to you and your prayer to save him. I know that sounds harsh. But, thank goodness God doesn't bow to our every selfish desire. He certainly wouldn't be good if He did. No matter how noble a thing it may be to want someone healed, it doesn't mean it is good. God doesn't answer prayer simply because of how bad we want it, or how long we prayed for it. God answers prayers, prayed in His will. My grandmother is on her death bed the moment I am writing this. God is good. She will die, as will every person that walks this earth. God is good. At this very moment, one of the greatest Christian women I personally know is in the hospital riddled with ovarian cancer. God is good.
At my Christian college groups, when people talk about how we need to recognize how good God is to us and how we need to put our complete trust in him, I can't help but feel extremely angry.
God is good to us. He has given us life. He has given us the ability to grieve loss. Just as God the Father grieved when His only begotten died for your sins. He gave us this son to save us from ourselves and this fallen world. God is good.
I have a hard time feeling genuinely happy about stuff or relating to people about everyday things, which has made me a bit of a social recluse even though I'm currently going to college where I feel that I should be interacting with people more. Even though I often feel isolated, I just don't have the will to go out of my way to talk to people.
many beleivers experience this same thing. But many don't blame God for their loss. In fact you can't read the writings of Paul with out knowing his loss, grief and sorrow. I'm certain he felt quite lonely in prison. When he was beaten. When he was stoned nearly to death. When he was shipwrecked.
I don't feel like I have much of a personal connection with God anymore.
I would say you don't. As you mentioned about your dad. You have anger at God for not healing your dad. And so you are holding something against God that you have no right to do. And thus your fellowship is compromised because you are sinning against Him. You are unjustifiably blaming God for your circumstances. I pray that you will stop.

The people I know who have the strongest faith are the one's who have had the most loss and suffering in their lives. One of the greatest men of faith I know was abandoned by his mother on the sidewalk. He now reaches over 50k children across the globe with the gospel of Christ. God is good. You need to quit denying that. I pray that you will.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Prayer Request...

#3

Post by Canuckster1127 » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:18 am

Seraph,

I appreciate your openness and taking of a risk to share something this deep and personal. Good for you. I bet others will be blessed by this.

That said, I understand some of what you're relating. I've had some similar experiences. I grew up in an alcoholic home where there were many buried secrets, many of which I didn't learn until I was an adult. Some of these affected me deeply in terms of my own identity. I've wrestled at times with depression as well which is rooted primarily in physical causes, but I know these experiences and revalations have contributed to it as well.

Things that have helped me (I'm 48 now) include:

1. Finding safe and appropriate places to reveal and share things with others and both receive and give love and affirmation to others who are suffering from similar things. You note that you feel isolated. Some places to find that kind of openness included for me: Al Anon groups, Codependents Anonymous Groups, 12 step groups in general, Celebrate recovery groups.

2, Writing. I journal, blog and am very active on facebook, here and other venues. I find when I dont' write, over time, I become emotionally disconnected and I need the time and the focus that writing provides me to reconnect emotionally.

3. Sometimes, emotions in our life can be so big and overwhelming that we're afraid to experience them and go through them. To do that, we find coping strategies that help us suppress and push them off. For me, that can be focusing on work, escaping through reading or video games etc. You get the idea. If you're seeing that sort of pattern that's affecting your available time and desire to interact with others, that might be a sign that you need to go through some of the anger, grief and sadness of what has happened in your life. It might be that a good consellor would be a help in this.

4. Part of my difficulty came because I believed that because I was a child of God that somehow God had let me down by placing me in all these difficulties and frankly, many times that was exacerbated by unloving or indifferent people in churches where I felt there should be more love and support. I've come to learn that being a child of God doesn't mean we don't face hurts and disappointment and even deep wounds in life. What I've learned however, is that God doens't "do" these things to me. God takes the pain and He works it to good even when I can't see it. Moreso, God isn't at a distance playing me like a marionette or puppet. God is with me and walks with me through the very times that hurt the most. Some of the most healing times for me, have included looking back at those times I felt alone and abandoned and seeing how God was in the midst.

So, I hope some of that helps. If you want to talk more or in private, pm me.

blessings,

bart
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Re: Prayer Request...

#4

Post by zoegirl » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:01 pm

I agree with everything everybody has said and I would encourage you to think about their encouragement and ideas. I would also like to add that sometimes what we are experiencing isn't just spiritual but rather physical. Clinical depression can be something that can spiral from series of events such as these. I would be concerned about the physical symptoms and the sense of isolation. When you seek out counseling, also consider whether you are showing signs of depression that could be helped with medication.

Know that I will be praying for you as well! It is very important to find a secure and safe environment for you to process all that has happened. I definitely agree that a counselor or a pastor or some group that BArt suggested would be the first step.
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Re: Prayer Request...

#5

Post by ChrisB » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:55 pm

You're in my prayers, Seraph...
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Re: Prayer Request...

#6

Post by Seraph » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:36 am

Thank you guys, I'm thankful for your responses.

I have been considering seeing a therapist pretty soon, perhaps to get a prescription for anti-depressants. I have seen therapists in the past and it did help in the short term but I often slip back into my old depressive cycle eventually.
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Re: Prayer Request...

#7

Post by Silvertusk » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:22 am

I am totally out of my depth here but I will definately pray for you. You said you might see a therapist - I wonder if there are any Christian Therapists where you are - so maybe you can get Spiritual therapy as well as other therapy. Also I think getting someone to pray for you at church might help as well. When me and my wife were going through a difficult period we were prayed for by our home group and that helped.

Anyway - may God's face shine upon you in adundance and give you peace.

God Bless
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Seraph
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Re: Prayer Request...

#8

Post by Seraph » Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:57 am

Actually, I feel the need to defend myself a little bit. jlay, you seem to suggest that I intentionally blame and criticize God for my Dad's accident, and that I've abandoned God because of it. I most certainly don't and I most certainly haven't, I try as hard as I can to realize that it is part of the bigger picture that I can't see and ask God for answers. But it is much easier said than done, the harsh reality is that many lives were damaged and not much good came from it (at least that I can see). I feel that people are usually able to have faith by default but when stuff like that happens, many seeds of doubt are sown and you feel the intense need for answers. Like Thomas, I don't think there is anything wrong with that and I'm sure I'll get answers someday, maybe in another life. Thank you for the advice, but I get somewhat irritated when it's implied that I'm the one at fault for feeling the way I do, or that I am sinning for even questioning the justice of the situation. In fact, I feel that it would be highly disgraceful to my Dad if I didn't.

In short, when I say that I feel like I don't as much of a relationship with God as I used to, it isn't because I don't want one.
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Re: Prayer Request...

#9

Post by cslewislover » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:34 pm

Seraph, I empathize with you very much, although you went through some different things than I. Still, my dad died when I was young, and it was so ultra hard for me, for years. I read the bible in high school, finally (my parents didn't go to church or anything), and I prayed. Not only about my dad and all, but about my violent alcoholic step-dad. God didn't answer my prayers. But . . . I always felt something. I got angry at God too, and just walked away, for a long time. He came to me, at a time when I finally became suicidal. He'll come to you. I don't know where you live or anything, but I find it easier to commune with the Lord in a natural setting. Don't give up, but see if you can find anyone you can relate to. You're a good writer, btw.
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Re: Prayer Request...

#10

Post by J.Davis » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:26 pm

Hi Seraph!

I was going to post when I first saw this thread, but then I read everyone’s response and felt that they covered it. I know this really hurts and I am sorry for your loss. But I do believe that jlay had good intentions and only wanted to help.

Seraph, I think you know deep down that God is not entirely the cause of your anger. Your dad most certainly is the cause of some and you are the cause of some. Your dad drops this bomb on you and two days latter he’s gone. You can’t confront him about your feelings, vent and have him justify his actions so that he can fix all the hardship and confusion he’s caused. You needed time to feel right about him and repair the relationship. Time to forgive and forget and let him know that he was forgiven.

All those bad feelings and unanswered questions…You didn’t want to feel everything he put on you while he was in that situation. You should not of had to feel those bad things about him when you didn’t even have a last time to talk again. He was dying and your heart wouldn’t cooperate and feel the way you wanted and you can’t feel right about it.

You feel the situation was so unfair, all the praying that God would make things right, hoping with all your heart and everything was so messed up. You loved your dad, when he passed away all your feelings grew and you could not deal with them. So you take them out on a God that you feel has no reason for his behavior, all the power in existence, perfect love and a promise that just a mustard seeds worth of faith is all you need. But your dad died anyway, you feel God has some fault in this and so far it does not seem like he has good reason for ignoring you.

But…..you know deep down that God did not make your dad cheat on your mom. Or put him on his bike without a helmet, or cause the accident. God did not make your dad hurt you and your family. All of theses things were your fathers decisions and God gives us all the freedom to choose. God wants to give his children good things, he wants them to be happy and full of love. God did not ignore you Seraph, he respected your fathers will, your dad’s right to choose and his right to live with his decisions.

And you are free to choose, you can do it right now. Make your best effort to forgive and forget the things others did against you, completely let God off the hook, he is innocent in this, loves you and only wants you to be his child. You know your father, you said you were close to him, forgive him and let this go.

Bart gave good advice and so did jlay (as well as the others). Jlay loves God (as I’m sure we all do) and defends Him. So there is a lot of love for God in his post along with sympathy for you.

You already know that holding on to these things is not healthy, they cause depression and rage, a bad combo.

Life gets awesome, but it starts with you making up your mind that you are going to let all of this go and not think on it again, fight the thoughts when you sense them trying to surface, pray to God for help and you will have my prayers and I’m sure the support and prayers of others here as well.

And let jlay off the hook too…(smile).
Last edited by J.Davis on Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Prayer Request...

#11

Post by jlay » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:27 am

Seraph,

Considering that I had a father who abandoned my family, extra marital affair, I can identify very well with what you are going through. It is very difficult. Using buttery, touchy feelly language isn't my MO, so I do apologize if you see me as blaming you for your feelings. Much of my reply was focused on this particular segment.
It's hard for me to pray and believe that it will make any difference at all, especially after praying to the point of tears for two weeks while my dad was in a coma only to have him die anyway. At my Christian college groups, when people talk about how we need to recognize how good God is to us and how we need to put our complete trust in him, I can't help but feel extremely angry.
This is why I concluded that you had some anger towards God. If I was incorrect in my conclusion, I do apologize. Words of truth are often received as harsh. In fact it is very common in the scriptures. And please understand that in this I desire nothing but the best for you in Christ. Remember that when we feel distant from God, he didn't move. It is in the trials that our faith is tested and exposed.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

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Re: Prayer Request...

#12

Post by Canuckster1127 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:20 pm

Words of truth are often received as harsh. In fact it is very common in the scriptures.
It might be illuminating to study the Gospels and words of Christ and see to whom He directed harsh words. It was not to suffering people who were seeking to come to know God. It was primarily toward religious people who presumed to lead and teach others, laying burdens upon others which they couldn't bear, in effect driving them away from God's love.

I'm not directing that toward you, but I think it might be a beneficial reminder for us all.
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Re: Prayer Request...

#13

Post by jlay » Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:29 pm

I'm not directing that toward you,
Heavens no, of course not.
But just to clarify, I said, words of truth are often received as harsh. Truth that exposes us is far different than a rebuke. Last I recall in my study of the scriptures, Jesus directed truth towards all.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Prayer Request...

#14

Post by Canuckster1127 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:52 pm

But just to clarify, I said, words of truth are often received as harsh. Truth that exposes us is far different than a rebuke. Last I recall in my study of the scriptures, Jesus directed truth towards all.
We're not necessarily responsible for how people receive words, but we are responsible for how we deliver them. Again, Jesus reserved his harshest words for those who used religious power, knowledge and position to bring condemnation and further separation from God by their words and example to others. Jesus when sinners came to him didn't seek to "expose" people. He loved them. He often defended them from the religious people noted above and clearly stated that He had not come to condemn the world or sinners but rather to redeem them unto Himself. Again, I think the example of Christ in this regard is clear. If you wish to demonstrate otherwise, please feel free to cite direct examples of Christ directing truth to all that illustrates what you're attempting to say so I can understand better.
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Re: Prayer Request...

#15

Post by zoegirl » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:12 pm

Seraph,

It's perfectly human reaction to incredibly painful news. I wonder why we think that we shouldn't be in pain after things like this? Betrayal, lies, or just the shock of news hurts. And it can take many years to recover and be reconciled and even then scars can then affect us. I can remember the loss of a what I thought was a really good friend...the rejection...oh, it hurt...and I can even remember thinking to myself..."One day, many years from now, I will be able to see this differently..." And I *understood* that and knew it to be true...it still doesn't mean the pain wasn't there or the grieving of a relationship lost.


Our body breaks, bones, skin...why do we judge ourselves so harshly when *we* break? But somehow we feel guilt over that.

I do know one thing, He takes our burdens, our grieving and our tears. He doesn't need us to be without emotions, Jesus wept over the pain from those around Him and He weeps for ours.

But to continue the analogy, we need help in the healing and I hope that through talking through thi, through prayer, through counseling, you can heal from this. But like a bone that perhaps hasn't been set well, you need to get some counseling to help you heal.

Keep talking to us, friend...
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