The Day I Was Mad at God

Now before you read the title of this post and get concerned, let me inform you that I love God with all my heart, but this is an extremely raw post.

As many of you may know, my mom passed away on July 29, 2015. It was a day I never imagined I would be walking through as I barely stumble into adulthood. I needed her to help me pick out my wedding dress, and I needed her to help me as I raise my children someday. Not only those things, but I needed her prayer, love, and advice as I do everyday. It’s not fair. So not fair.

A few things led up to the day that dramatically changed my entire life. I was just coming home from an insanely amazing trip, excited to share what I experienced at Bethel’s WorshipU; I was bursting with everything I learned about music, Jesus, and myself. I was excited because we would soon go on a family vacation to have a break from life, and we would have a sense of “normal” to our interrupted life. But a whopping four days later, we got heart-wrenching news that my mom’s cancer spread viciously to her liver (which was then pronounced stage 4), with multiple lesions attacking it. When my parents came home with this news, it felt like someone took my stomach and tried to wring it out. I’ve never hated cancer more in my life. More importantly, I’d never been so angry in my entire life. And that’s what caught my attention.

You know, I’ve never understood (even through the initial diagnosis) why people become angry with God. I always wondered why they were angry toward a God who loves them, cares for them, and is good. That day I knew exactly what people meant. Let me be even more honest: I felt like God was sitting down just watching me cry as His arms were folded. I got in my car and I screamed as loud as I could handle. It felt dark, it felt lonely, and I felt stranded. I thought God left me. But He never left me. He’s also not going to leave you.

In this moment, I was not thankful. These were raw emotions to be felt and given back to God as our family moved forward into the terrible days ahead. I had to make the choice to not become bitter at my circumstances. A very hard choice.

From there it was a hard, consistent battle between trusting in God, and not acting like my mom’s life was not being threatened by a disgusting disease. What a difficult balance. Our family’s verse ever since the diagnosis is Psalm 112:7 which reads, “They have no fear of bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.” This verse became more stripped down than ever, because in the midst of bad news, God would guide our family through it. We could confidently trust God to care for us. The Holy Spirit is our comforter, nurturer, and he’s with us everywhere we go at any moment that we call on the name of Jesus.

I know that my reasoning for being mad at God may not be the same as yours. I won’t pretend to try and know your reasons, because there are reasons very specific and personal to your life. But let me tell you something very important: God is not the source of your sticky situation. It’s not His will for your life to fall apart. It’s not His will for disaster, disease, loneliness, loss of a job, or whatever else you may be dealing with. All of earth’s beauty and order was destroyed the moment Adam and Eve ate the wrong fruit. But I’ve seen that God loves to turn things around for good, and He’s amazing at it (Romans 8:28) even if our “good” is not the same as His. He swings doors open that I couldn’t pry open for myself, and He closes doors to protect our paths.

It’s okay to be mad at God. He can take it because He’s pretty tough. It’s when we soak in our sorrow, wallow in self-pity, and remain in bitterness that we actually shut God out, making the problem far worse than it all ready is. Life is rough, and I know it’s excruciating when we don’t allow God to go before us. In as little as a week and a half, I’ve learned a few things that I hope will help you as you find yourself in a mess in this crazy life:

Remind yourself who God is. You may not believe the characteristics at the moment, but just do it. Write down all those verses that reveal God’s character. Remind yourself that He does see, He does care about details, and He does love fiercely. This is the perfect time for all your Sunday school memorizations to come out.

Acknowledge that your heart doesn’t line up with your head. Your head has all the Bible verses memorized, and it has the audacity to tell your heart that trials will increase your faith, but your heart doesn’t quite know if that’s honestly true. Your heart could care less about James 1 right now, and your heart doesn’t want to trust God. It’s this beautiful tension here on earth that we can bring these two areas of our being to the feet of Jesus, leave it there, and ask him to mend it. I’m learning that this is probably the most authentic form of worship.

Get into God’s presence. When you have no words, when you have no idea what to pray, worship. God’s presence changes your entire being the second He floods your space. All we have to do is call on His name and He comes running. Thanks Jesus for what you did on the cross for us. I don’t think we’ll ever say it enough.

Don’t power through and be “Mr./Ms. Super-Christian.” It is such a dangerous mask. The world is aching for authenticity, especially from Christians, and we cannot offer it if we are lying to ourselves about our emotions. Feel them and bring them to God. But please, I’m begging you not to mask your tender and real God-given emotions with a half-believed “God is good.” Get to the bottom of this so you can whole-heartedly believe it!

I don’t know what your situation is. But I hope these small amounts of realizations help you overcome your battles. The best part is God all ready won our battles, but we actually have to claim that over our life. Let’s claim it today.

“This is what the Lord says: Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:5-8

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54 comments

  1. Thank you for your honesty! You are such a Blessing just like your Mom! As I read your blog it seemed as if I could here her right now. I believe those words may have come to me from her at a troubled time in my Life! God will see you through, he has me I know he will you!

  2. Breanna, you don’t know me because you were a little girl when we attended Bayside for seven years. Just about every Sunday your dad lead worship and your mama was on the worship team. We were so saddened to hear of her passing, and yet amazed at her apparent strength through it all. Please know we are praying for all of you. This blog post is absolutely Jesus worthy. You have hit on so many different things, and for 19 years old it is clear you are gifted by God to write and share his love. God bless you darling.

  3. You ARE SO your mother’s child!
    She was a woman of raw and real emotions. She has to be glowing of pride up there. Continue to follow in the steps she left behind. You are going to get so far. We love you sweet girl.

  4. Breanna, thank you for sharing this. You are an amazing young lady and I know your mom was so proud of you. I am so sorry for your loss and am praying for you. If there is ever anything I can do for you please let me know.

  5. Hey love, thank you for sharing and expressing your true emotions. It is OK to be angry with God, He understands anger and emotion because he is such a LOVING God. And He knows in times like these is when you will call on him most! Continue to lean on him and trust in him. The last week you all amazed me at your strength and acceptance. Your mother’s passing was truly beautiful and a God given experience. Praise Him! The holy spirit was preset and I am positive your mom was rejoicing and praising even when we could no longer hear her.
    I told my mom that you and your mom always talked about her doing your wedding for you. She cried and said there is nothing more she would rather do. 🙂 So when the time comes, I promise you, between us and Audrey and Monica, we will give you the wedding of your dreams!
    I love you Breanna!

  6. That was beautifully written ..
    It ministered to me deeply!!! I lost my dad three years ago and I played the role of the super christian .. It inventuly catches up to you.. Please know my family is praying for your!

  7. Sitting here bawling as I read your blog. As one who was so angry at God when I buried my baby, I am amazed at your strength. I was angry for months – and then I met Jesus and because of Him my heart began to heal. My heart goes out to your family and please know that my husband and I are praying for your family.

  8. Beautiful! Soooo beautiful! I’m so proud of you and the wonderful woman we’ve had the privilege to watch you become! Our prayers as with you and your family!

  9. Thank you for being obedient and sharing your thoughts and testimony in a critical moment like this. We know you and your beautiful family since we are members of Faith Assembly of God in Orlando and I felt so connected to your mom since I’m also battling Stage 4 Breast cancer. Your post has strengthen my faith and has helped me to open my heart without been afraid that I’m resigning to His promises, love and care. You’re such an amazing woman of God and I hope that my kids can react the same way if the Lord decide to call me to go with Him one day. Lissette Olavarria

  10. No one could have said it any better. You’re so talented and it’s crazy to see how much you’ve grown, but I’m so so so insanely happy for this strong spirit you have, Bre. Keep on inspiring people and keep moving forward! Love you too much!

  11. Breanna, you don’t know me but in the short time we’ve known your Mom and Dad, we’ve loved them and thereby you and your sister. Our hearts have worshipped and broken with your family. The fragrance of your life keeps spilling out on everyone around you…press in, press on…dear one…we will continue holding you up in love and prayer before our God. 💙

  12. Breanna, you do not know me. I am Art Pipok’s mom. We have been praying for y’all for months and will continue! There is so much I could say but I will be brief! What a blessing you are to your family and your Church, burt especially to the Lord! Hang in there because JESUS will meet your every need! I can see your Mom smiling down at you from Heaven! I honestly believe we are going to be raptured very soon, never to be parted again.
    Love you in Christ,
    Pat

  13. Breanna… My heart breaks for you and will continue to pray for you and your family. This article you wrote is amazing! I’m so proud of you your strength is Amazing. Your heart and attitude pleases God tremendously. I am excited to see how God will carry you through and the plans he has for your future. Please don’t be a stranger and keep me updated. Miss you and family.

  14. This is so great. Thank you for being so open when the temptation I’m sure is to be closed off. This is going to bring a lot of healing to a lot of people. This helps me! Love you Breanna!

  15. Breanna, what you just wrote is profound. I believe that is an example of ‘peace that surpasses all understanding’. I am old enough to be your grandmother, and not sure I could share so eloquently as you did. I never had the opportunity to know your mother, since her diagnosis came so soon after your family arrived at People’s Church. I remember telling her (the one and only time I spoke to her) just weeks after your family arrived, how much I was looking forward to building a friendship with her. I am honored to be part of the C.G. Team and without exception, every song your dad led for church worship, I thought of your mother, you, your sister and your dad. I would offer each song and the lyrics to the Lord on your behalf. Just know this, that GOD binds hearts together, even with those we have not yet had the chance to get to know. My most sincere condolences to you and your family.

  16. Dear Breanna,
    I was blown away by the maturity and strength of your words as you wrote so purely of your struggle with God. What I heard was your mom speaking to you and through you to all of us about her love and dedication to God. Those seeds she and your dad implanted into you girls has produced fruit for all of us that have known your family. The strength and fortitude you posses comes right from your mom’s abilities. In your beautiful way of writing you have and will continue to touch the lives of many people afraid to say what you said. God is a big God and you understand true relationships have all emotions involved. He is certainly living in you. You are a blessing to many. May you continue on this path spreading truth in vulnerability with honor and praise to His Holy Name…Jesus.
    Rev.Leanne Hansen

  17. Breanna, I don’t know if you remember me- Mrs. Tassoul, your 3rd grade teacher. I was so sorry to hear about your mom. She was such a lovely lady- you both were sweethearts. I will be keeping your family in my prayers. I know a little how you feel, I was diagnosed with breast cancer last August. And even though I didn’t get mad at God, I surely went through many of the emotions that your family experienced. May God richly bless you in your further endeavors in life. Your mom will be watching over.

    1. Of course I remember! My favorite teacher 😉 it’s so good to hear from you. Thank you for your prayer and support, I so appreciate it. And I will be keeping you in my prayers as well!

  18. You are such a precious young woman Breanna!!! Keep standing strong coz God is with you, your sister and dad. Dark moments can be challenging and real pain but when we look to God, He steers us to a place of peace and comfort. I feel you about allowing your emotions to be felt without letting them swallow us, as grieving and healing are a process. I have faced “dark days” and one thing God always lead me to was worship. Worship kept me in His presence and helped let God be God in my situation.
    Thank you for being an inspiration to many young and old. May God continue to use you. May He cover your family with His goodness and fill your hearts with peace. May you see His light and feel His presence in the days to come. May His comforter, the Holy Spirit be a constant presence and guide. Amen!

  19. Thank you so much for this!! I have been in and out of the exact feeling for a year and a half when my dad died in my arms. I Love God and He knows it!!

  20. Oh breanna, how i know your pain so well. My momma was taken up home oct 12,2013 from the sickening disease of cancer, i too watched her deteriorating before my eyes and helplessly begged God to heal her for his glory. But sometimes our prayers aren’t answered the way we want and we must submit to his perfect will. I wish nobody had to feel the ache of loosing there mom. But i applaud your courage, faith and love in the midst of what was intended to break your faith. I love u and your family (no i dont know u personally!) i hurt and grieve with you and praying for peace. In jesus christs name, amen

  21. Great words of encouragement. .. Breanna… thanks for sharing… in reading this… I am reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul… Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God… 2 Corinthians 1:3-4… Breanna… you and your family are in my prayers… and keep comforting and encouraging others… by the same you have experienced… for who knows… if the torch that was in your mom’s hand was passed to you…

  22. Beautifully written…you are wise beyond your years. God has a plan, we wait and put our faith in Him. Praying for you, sister and dad. And in a blink of an eye we will see our loved ones again.
    I will forever remember your mom on this day. My grand daughter Madison was born 10 yrs ago. She was born at 28 weeks…2lbs 5oz, she went to be with the Lord at 25 days old! My daughter was a camp leader at Wagon Train at Hume this past week. My other daughter Amy, got permission for us to go up and celebrate her short life. We had heard the news of your mom before we left. We stopped and got balloons before we left town. As we released those for Madi, also thinking about your mom. 7-29 alway…

  23. When we lost my 17 yr old niece 5years ago…i seriously didn’t know how to live again. I tried to rely on all the things we learned growing up in the church…but we were so desolate. You have put into words exactly how we felt & dealt with it. God is so good. Thank God He never goes away💕

  24. Breanna, I loved the blog about your mom’s passing! My heart hurts for you & your family…I continue to lift you all in prayer!

  25. Beloved Breanna I was a part of Bayside as well and I am numb as I have heard of your mothers passing. Your words resonate to me as I too am in a season of change. My husband of 34 years of marriage has been diagnosed with lung cancer . . .no cure and any treatment will expedite his condition. So we walk the journey that each day and moment is priceless. We have been given a gift to have time to heal, time to laugh and yes time to cry. Your words speak volumes to all especially to those that have walked this journey or like myself that are in the journey. Yes, you truly are a reflection of your mother and dad and of course our Heavenly Father through Christ Jesus by the power and strength of the Holy Spirit. Continue to share when the Holy Spirit prompts you and know that you are making a difference. Thank you for using your emotions to glorify God. I send a heartfelt blessing to your dad and to you and your sister. IT IS IN THE VALLEY THAT WE GROW !

  26. I heard your Mom in those words. She and your Dad raised you well. I knew your Mom and Dad from Bayside days. She is smiling down at you especially hearing your words. Please know all of you are in my prayers and will continue to be. Your Mom was so special and touched so many lives-especially you and your sister.

    Nicky plementosh

  27. Breanna,
    Thank you so much for sharing your heart and revealing your faith. Our paths crossed only briefly as I moved away right after your family moved to Florida and Faith Assembly. My mother died suddenly of a stroke when I was only 10 (she was 40). Then her mother (my favorite grandma) died when I was 17. I didn’t have a personal relationship with the Lord and proceeded to medicate my emotional pain with alcohol for the next 20+ years. I had a dramatic conversion at age 35–the Lord Jesus changed my life. I’m so encouraged to read your blog and to know your relationship with Him. I’ll continue to pray for you and your family. And I’ll be watching for an update to the blog!

  28. Breanna…this is so beautiful and truthful. Thank you for sharing your heart. I am praying for you and your sister and dad daily. I have to admit I was so angry at God too. When I heard the news I just looked up and said, but God those girls need their mom. And there are people walking this earth that don’t love you half as much as Marybeth did. And I hate this stupid disease!!! I was so angry. But everything you have written is a beautiful reminder of why sometimes unexpected things happen to good people and what our response should be as Believers. And ultimately what the presence and love of God does in our lives in both the good times and bad! I admire your strength and courage! Keep sharing! The world needs your voice! Love you! 💗

  29. I have prostate cancer and it has been very difficult on me and my family. You’re words touch home with me. I have heard my son is at times angry with God, which is something I don’t want him to be. However, like you I believe he too will prevail and come to an understanding that God is not to blame for this journey. He is there to direct us through it and on then to the next challenge in life. Don’t know about my future yet, but I am putting my faith in Him. Your article would make your mother proud. Thanks for sharing.

  30. Breanna. I knew exactly what you were saying. Back in 1975 I lost my Dad to suicide and it felt like God just stood there, watching my heart break. I had prayed against this very thing every day for six months, so in my angry mind, what good does it do to pray to a God who does not care. Now I now His heart was broken on that day as well. But I didn’t tell anyone how I felt about God. I just suffered alone. You are so courageous to write about this subject. I suffered alone…but because of you, others don’t have to. Either way, God wraps his arms around us and comforts us in our grief. And you will see your Mom again in a place where there are no more goodbyes.

  31. Breanna… This Post! I cried while I read! I needed this so much. Thank You for Sharing this and encouraging our hearts as you understand God’s Strength in this time! Praying for you and your family still!

  32. Breanna,
    As one of your church family at People’s Church, you have blessed many (including me) by your post.
    You have honored your mother’s memory by your honesty and sincerity, and by giving praise and glory to our Heavenly Father.
    I will continue to hold you, your Dad and Alyssa up in prayer during these next week’s and months, as you journey through this new season of life. May you accept my heartfelt condolences for your loss.🌷

  33. Breanna, Such wonderful truth from one so young who is trying to “figure out this whole life thing”. Sounds like you are on your way. You Bless Your Mother with all that you are and say. She will be sorrily missed, but reflected in you and your sister. I continue to pray for your family and please accept my deepest condolences at this time.

  34. Your words are humbling to read as you have shared with us some of your intimate struggles since your mom’s diagnosis and now her passing. Please know that you have a gift of healing through words for God’s people. Thank you that even in your suffering you words are like the healing balm of Gilead for many. I love you, Breanna. We are praying for you and your family. Xoxo

  35. Thank you Breanna for sharing your raw emotions and conversations with God. Your Mom had a great impact on my life and my journey to serve Christ. I am confident you will continue in her path of ministry and impact so many lives. She is one of the Angels singing now! I will keep you, Alyssa and your Dad in my prayers . Love you all.

  36. Breanna, you don’t know me but I loved your mother. She took time to minister to me when I was a 16 year old kid from Green Bay, WI. She made me feel special and like I belonged. Today, I am a pastor myself and have carried that same spirit into ministry for the last 17 years.

    Your post is raw and honest and authentic. It challenged me and made me look at the moments in my own life when I have felt justified in my anger towards God (even while I serve Him). It healed some deep wounds inside of me because I know you have to right so say what you say because you’ve lived through what you’ve lived through. It’s as if your mom is still ministering to me through you after all these years.

    I can tell that God is going to minister through you so effectively in the years to come. (I’ve read every one of your blogs- and am always so impressed with your maturity in the Lord and your exceptional writing gift). When we meet in heaven it will be fun to get to know you (besides the toddler you- which is all I’ve ever met). I’ll be praying for your family in the weeks, months and years to come and watching your ministry unfold. Go get ’em girl. You’ve got all the anointing and heart.

  37. When my dad passed away ,I hadn’t turned 12 years of age yet, my world as I knew it had come to and end, just when I needed him the most, but God stepped in and said ” I will never abandon nor forsake you” Deut. 31:6
    and He hasn’t.
    Rest in His Love and an difficult as this sounds , you will find that your memory and God’s Love will provide all the healing balm that others no matter how close can come close……….in a few months I will turn 77 years young and God, My Jesus , along with My Holy Spirit, has been and still is “The Lamp Unto My Feet”.
    Find rest in His arm’s.
    Blessings for ever,
    Charlie

  38. Well said. Sierra my oldest is one of Alyssa ‘ s friends from Faith. I am the oldest of 3 girls and we lost our mother at the age of 40 to many years of cancer. I was 16 my sisters where 11 and 10. I will never forget hating God and screaming at the top of my lungs. She died August 2 1993 and little did I know 2 yrs later my father passed at 47 yrs of age. I was 18 and my sisters 13 and 12. I was furious didn’t understand why we would live our lives like this. They lead music, on TBN and God was everything. However I loved your mom she was so sweet and they reminded me of my parents and today I can say I know exactly what your going through. I am now 38 with 3 kids Sierra 15, my son 7 and my little one 15 months and I miss my parents everyday and there will be rough patches. If anyone ever says time will heal it does but there are times you do break down and it is ok. I never got to meet you but I absolutely love this post cause it reminds me of me many years ago. Proud that you can see through and know that God is right there and the life you are about to step into is gonna be amazing. God opened so much for us 3 girls and today I counsel trama and crisis in families cause I understand and my baby sister does the same. My middle is an OT that helps sick patients and we never thougth we would be helping others cope with what we saw and went through. My heart goes out to you guys and strength to overcome!

  39. Way to go. You hit the nail on head you are going to go far in God. You have had a great example to follow in your mom. Thank you for keeping it “real”. Love and miss you. You and the rest of the family will be in my prayers. Love in Christ. Tracey

  40. Dear Breanna, I went to Bayside Church when you were a few years old. I was heartbroken to have read about your mom’s cancer just a few weeks ago, and in disbelief that she passed away. We all have raw emotions, we all want our loved ones to live forever, but that is not the circle of life. Your mother is now an angel with a name. She left a great legacy behind in her children, and with God’s love, mercy, and comfort, you will be able to carry on. It’s not easy, I know because I lost an aunt to cancer 2 years ago, and still today it hurts, but what comforts me is that she not is suffering anymore, and she is in a better place and she’s saying “Don’t cry.” Please know that I’m praying for you and your family. God is our rock, He will not forsake us. And in times of sorrow, He will comfort us.

    Blessings,
    Lucy Pater

  41. I lost my momma to the same type of cancer almost 11 years ago & your words said so eloquently what I felt at that time. I still miss her and struggle some days but this was such an encouragement to me! Thank you for sharing & being real!

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