Growing up in a Christian family, I was always taught that we should look for healing in the church and not the world. When we are hurting, we turn to the church or to a Brother or Sister in Christ. The idea of turning towards the world when hurting was talked about as a negative idea.
When I reached a point in my life where I was fighting depression and suicide, I knew I had to make a change. I switched colleges and moved four hours away to a little mountain town to continue my degree and try to get some healing. I attended three of the churches down there, talked regularly with a Sister in Christ and even chatted with professors who shared the same beliefs as I did. I received a little bit of healing but not enough to completely help me.
While all this was going on, I met three friends (who I will leave unnamed) who were not believers; or if they were, they never talked about their beliefs. These friends were there to listen, to talk and to help me through my pain. They showed me what it meant to live through pain. One friend had dealt with suicide himself, another had dealt with the divorce of her parents, and the third had lost his mother to cancer and his sister was murdered; they all had lost so much but could still live life to the fullest.
Every day I spent time with them, I learned from them. I learned how to leave my pain behind, I learned how to shut out the hurtful words of others and I learned how to keep living. I am forever grateful to those friends. They taught me more than anyone else had.
Over the past year, I have been angry with God. I’ve been angry about how He has let bad things happen to me and I felt like He was so far away in my pain. I didn’t understand why He could let all these bad things happen to me and not step in to intervene.
On my lunch breaks and after work when the dishes were done, the laundry was folded and my little girl was finally in bed, I would sit down to watch Greys Anatomy. Yes, it is a show that has a lot of things I don’t agree with but there is a character in that show who shares the same name as me and shares similar beliefs. In one of the seasons she struggles with the same feelings as I did a little bit ago. She was angry with God, didn’t understand why He didn’t step in and take control of all the bad in her life and in the world.
Throughout about three or four episodes, she struggles with hating God. The last episode I watched, she met a rabbi who was dying. She poured her heart out to him and explained everything she was struggling with and all the anger she had. The dying rabbi told her that God didn’t leave her side; that He was right there the whole time. He also talked about how without pain and trials in the world, there would be no faith. He said if the world was perfect, there would be no reason to have faith in our lives. At that moment, everything the rabbi was saying hit home for me and broke me down. I needed to hear his words (or the words of the writer) in order to move forward from my anger and my pain.
I say these two stories to show you that healing can be given by God through the most unlikely places. Obviously, take caution. There are things that you should never turn to in order to find healing. Sex before marriage, alcoholism, drugs, etc. All the things that God says to never do, don’t turn to them for relief from your pain. However, don’t think that you can’t learn from the world either. Healing doesn’t just come from the church or from our brothers and sisters in Christ (although those are perfect places to turn). God can allow healing through some amazing people who are non-believers or words written by others that can be heard in a TV show or in a book.