Sitting in between half packed boxes and newspaper crumbles, tears flowing for what felt like an eternity, I began my tirade: God, I am SO ANGRY with You. You don’t love me at all. So instead of me following anything You have to tell me, I am going to ignore You and anything and anyone that looks like You. How could you do this to me? What did I do to deserve this?
Another U-Haul truck and another, until the entire parking lot looked like a sea of orange fire and fury. “Ma’am, we are going to need you to get up and show us where to load your things,” ordered the mover. Didn’t he realize that I was in no position to think about that, let alone do his job? Reflections of the phone call that changed everything flooded back:
“Sister Natasha, your Pastor is gone home to be with the Lord.”
Nothing was wrong with him! He had just called me two days prior to repent about my wedding and subsequent divorce. He said he’d known all along the marriage wasn’t right. It was the only time in his life he’d ignored God’s voice. Why didn’t he tell me before it was too late? Was he afraid I would be upset? This was the basis for my anger at God.
“We need you back home to pray.”
Pray? I’m packing and getting as far away from here as possible.
The flight was freedom. I was Hagar. I ran as fast as I could, floating through the clouds. I reminded God of our divorce stipulations: I will not talk with You, read Your Bible, pray to You, or attend any of Your churches. You took the three most important men in my life away; and you expect me to follow You?
I didn’t for three years.
Have you ever been angry with God? Incensed? No? Well, I have.
An unassuming stranger in seat 5B of my flight asked me, “So like, are you one of those lukewarm “Chreaster” Christians or are you just having a meltdown?” It felt good to talk about my adventure away from God. No judgement. No peering eyes over trendy glasses or “bless your heart” standard smiles. Away from those Christians. They broke my heart.
I was beginning to get thirsty and wouldn’t you know it: “Please place your seat backs in their upright and locked position,” piped over the loudspeaker.
Landing in love again took a long time. Since then, I can finally answer the passenger’s question: “No, my angel unawares, I was cold. I was not Christmas or Easter. I wasn’t one foot in and one foot out. I was backslidden on purpose.”
If you are angry with God as you read this, why are you angry and is it justified? It took one night of unexpected intervention from people outside of my “religion” to draw me back to God. My Guatemalan housekeeper, Ana, who had watched me party for two of the three years, snuck into my house with FIVE PASTORS. She handed me a glass of water and read this verse aloud: “And He shall give his angels charge over you to keep you in ALL of your ways…”
My anger dam broke.
I cried because that was the ONE PSALM my late Pastor, much like a dad, told me I HAD to memorize. “I will never leave you or forsake you!” Tears of repentance were much more clearing and grounding than the ones on the crumpled, packaging newspapers. “The God Who Sees Me” was and is the One who said: “You don’t, but I DO! Let’s renew our vows; and this time, they will be impossible to break.”
That was 18 years ago. The things that happened in between assured me that God never left me. He wasn’t moved by my anger. Closer still, compassion clung to me no matter what insults I hurled at Him out of hurt.
Women, you can take your eyes off of God and your purpose, but there is an archer named Ishmael not even connected to the “promise of Isaac” that will forever keep His eyes on you. Could it be that your hidden tears are bottled for an aircraft you didn’t even book to carry you safely back into the loving arms of Abba, Father? You won’t know until you unpack. Release the luggage, tip the U-Haul company, and click your heels, Dorothy. Destiny awaits!
Now, what are we going to do with all of these boxes we’ve packed? Let’s start by tearing off societal form and function labels. Did I just say that? I did, because you can too!
Natasha Stevens is passionate about humanitarian efforts ranging from empowering girls and women through education, writing, counseling, and speaking engagements, to hands on mission’s work in various places, including the eradication of forced child labor and early marriage through human trafficking. She loves a hearty laugh in summer gardens as much as a healthy bowl of oats in winter. She enjoys interacting with people from all walks of life, giving back where needed, and ministering the love and grace of Jesus without a title.