The Time When I Got Angry At God

I’ve always been able to pinpoint exactly who I was angry at. When my parents got divorced when I was six, I was angry at my mom. When she remarried a guy totally the opposite of my dad, I was mad at her and the new guy. When the perpetrator destroyed my innocence, I was mad at him. When I kept making decisions as a young adult that I knew were really, really self-destructive, I was mad at myself.  I don’t have a problem knowing who I’m angry at. I own it.

But through all of life’s hurts, I never once got angry at God. It would be fair to say that I understood the concept of free will from a really early age, and didn’t blame God for what people did that hurt me. Until the Motorcycle Accident.

On June 11, 2005, I was involved in a really bad motorcycle accident. A group of us were travelling down one of Oklahoma’s country highways when a van turned left in front of us. I was on the first bike that hit. It was a fluke that I was on this bike, as I usually never rode with anyone but my husband. But on this day, because I wanted to get pictures of him driving his bike, I was riding in the front with a friend….Two bikes hit the van, and three bikes were “laid down”, which means they basically slid on their sides to avoid impact. My husband, who had been bringing up the rear, was the only one who didn’t crash. Instead, he had the poor misfortune of watching his wife and friends all get hurt.

When the bike I was on hit the van, it catapulted me towards the top of the van, and the frame broke all of my ribs….all of them. Some were broken in more than one place. The broken ribs, in turn, punctured both of my lungs in several places. Needless to say, I was dying, and rather quickly. But, as luck would have it, two off duty paramedics happened to be at the convenience store right there, and had seen the whole thing happen. This is in the middle of nowhere at a tiny, franchised Joe’s Convenience Store kind of gas station. Talk about God hedging my bets! (You Rule, God!) They rushed out, and kept both me and another woman hurt really badly (Rose), alive until the helicopters and ambulances arrived.

My body was really torn up. On top of the lungs and ribs, I broke my collar bone, fractured my neck, bruised my heart, lacerated my liver, and fractured my spine and pelvis. And I was in a coma….thank God! I woke up twice briefly that day just long enough to pull the ventilator that was helping me breathe out each time, thus damaging my larynx. And soon after all of this, I developed ARDS and pneumonia in both lungs. I was dying. The whole experience of being in a coma was terrifying…I wish there was a better word for it, but words can’t express the confusion and terror….

Everything I just wrote had to be told to me by other people, because what I remember is something a lot darker. I was caught in hallucinations. It has long been debated that there are several levels of consciousness between life and death, and I agree. I just want to skip all of those next time and go straight from being alive to being dead. Just saying, God…

I still don’t like to talk too much about what my brain thought was going on. I will say that for the first few weeks, it was nothing good. I was caught in rooms with no doors and no windows, with strange red-lipped women. I was going to be killed by a terrorist cell. Some nurse was trying to rape me…It goes on and on. Had it gone on much longer, I would have probably just gone on and died. It would have been preferable.

While I was caught in Dante’s head, my husband was not pleased with the doctors taking care of me. And when Don isn’t pleased, he can be a very big pain in the butt. Three times they had taken him into the family room and told him to get my affairs in order. And three times, I just kept hanging on. Don had basically parceled out our three teenagers, and all but blew off his job. Medication couldn’t keep my blood pressure from soaring to dangerous heights, but his voice could. So, he rarely left the hospital — for months.

Three weeks into this whole ordeal, Don had had enough. He and a friend went on a quest and found out that the top pulminologist in Oklahoma lived right here in Tulsa. Her name was Dr. Grace Kennedy. That is another long story, but for times’ sake, lets just say that Don sweet talked her into taking my case, bullied the hospital into giving her rights to practice there, and threatened my team of doctors if they didn’t “invite” her to lead my case.

Dr. Kennedy, after visiting me once, decided to take a risk. She told my husband that all that movement I was making might not be pain; instead, it might be a reaction to morphine. She changed up everything — my bed, my antibiotics, and THANK GOD — my pain medication. She put me on Demerol instead. Immediately, I began to heal. Turns out, I was allergic to morphine and all those horrible hallucinations were being caused by that medicine. Every time I would twitch or moan, the nurses would give me more, launching me straight back into hell.

I have a few vague memories of coming to, but it is really hard for me to separate what really happened during that hospital stay and what happened in my head. Until one morning, a really loud voice said, “CATHERINE, WAKE UP!!” And I was awake. I mean, really, really awake. One, because the voice was really loud. And two, because only my dad calls me “Catherine”. It has always only been used when I was in trouble.

I was alone in the room for a minute, and I realized I was in a hospital room. Just then, a female doctor walked in. (Another miracle. How often do you actually catch a doctor in your room??)  She seemed startled that I was awake. I motioned to her that I needed something to write on, and she handed me a pad of paper and a pen. I wrote one word, “thirsty”. She explained I couldn’t drink being on a breathing machine. I wrote a second word, “out”. This is another long story, but in the end, they took me off the breathing machine that very hour, and after several months, my numbers stayed where they were supposed to be. They didn’t drop even one point. Remind me to tell you about the moment my husband came in after that…It is just the most romantic story ever…

But I digress. One really significant thing changed about me the day I woke up. I realized I was angry. No, the word “angry” just isn’t graphic enough. I was pissed off. And I was having trouble understanding why.

The anger was just building and building. I was released from the hospital about a week later. I was supposed to stay on oxygen and cart around this tube of air…yeah, I don’t think so. I was a 37 year old woman…too young to be doing that. I tried going back to work, but lo and behold! I transverse numbers now..This is unacceptable for a bookkeeper. My life had been permanently interrupted.

I didn’t talk to God much those days. This is odd behavior for me. I chat with Him all day long. Well, I mean, He doesn’t chat back, but as you’ve probably guessed by now, I am a talker. That was my first clue back then that there was a problem.

Finally, I had to mentally set myself down and examine my feelings. You can’t begin to fix what you won’t acknowledge. And I admitted to myself that I was mad at God. Why? You aren’t going to believe this one….

It wasn’t because I was hurt so badly, or because my hallucinations scared me to death, or that my poor children had all been farmed out for months to people that were relative strangers to me. Oh no. Nothing that noble, or even understandable. I was pissed that God didn’t allow me to see Him or His angels during a near-death experience. My spirit didn’t get to hover over my body, and I felt like it was the least He could have done for me. Seriously.

Have you ever had to have a conversation with your God that you know is just about one of the stupidest conversations you will ever have??? Well, I did. I told Him I needed help getting over my anger. I thanked Him for what He had done for me and my family, and then I tried to explain to Him why I had wanted that so much, as dumb as it may sound.

You know what? He understood. He showed me that it was okay to be honest with Him and with myself. He can handle me being mad at Him. He showed me that there will be a time that I will be in His presence, but that had He given me a glimpse, I might have stopped living here on earth doing my job, and pined instead for what I had seen. He assured me that some people need the “push” that comes from seeing the other side, but for someone like me, who didn’t need that, it could have worked against His purposes for me. And lastly, He let me know that even this accident would be used to reveal His glory. I felt like He was thanking me for going through it.

It is the one time I have ever been angry at God. I doubt anything could make me angry at Him again. But should I ever feel that way again, I can take my concerns and disappointments straight to Him. He isn’t offended by my anger. He can take it!

Thank you again, Jesus!!

– Cathie

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50 Comments

  1. i have found myself getting angry at god before, and then feeling guilt because i felt that way. he was not responsible for what was happening

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    • Bird

       /  March 16, 2012

      He gets it. He wasn’t offended by my feelings. Being honest with Him is better than trying to control what you are feeling. Sometimes, we just can’t help feeling the way we feel. He knows that…

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  2. Hello, Bird, I connected with you as a mutual fan of Vince, Brave Fish. I’m wondering if I could use this story on a motorcycle blog I write for every week — the idea is to tell it from the point of view of someone who has experienced the horror of a motorcycle crash. …do you still ride motorcycles? Thanks for your consideration. (I’m a Texan living in Houston and also blogging about the journey of life while trusting in God.)

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    • Bird

       /  March 16, 2012

      Hi, Stevie…Sure, you can use it. I’d be honored! And yes, I still ride motorcycles. Because my husband is so immersed in that culture, it would cause too much hardship for us if I didn’t. Strangely enough, though, I am not afraid to ride on them. I did get rid of my son’s motorcycle though…lol. Not that it stopped him..He just got another one.

      Truth is, we are all going to die someday, whether we ride motorcycles or not, and now I know I’m not afraid of that.

      Thanks for visiting my site!

      Bird

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  3. BIRD! Incredible story! It has so many levels…faith, despair, reconciliation, redemption…
    Take all of this, all of it and bundle it up for His glory. Go forth to those who do not know Him and deliver this bundle of joy and longsuffering. Show them this fire of love you have for God.

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    • Bird

       /  March 16, 2012

      Thank you, Vince! It’s strange. I didn’t have any intention of writing about this today, but my husband read the one I wrote about God is Too Big and told me I should write about the Accident. I told him I didn’t know. I didn’t want to seem to be trolling for pity. I’m really glad you liked it.

      Hey! I was kind of like the older brother in the prodigal story, right? I see the connection now!

      I appreciate your support!!

      Bird

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  4. Wow! What an amazing story! Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Jason Walker

     /  March 16, 2012

    I am so thankful that you “liked” my post this morning so that I could find your blog!! This is an amazing story and I’m sitting here on my couch fighting back tears. I, too, was involved in a very serious accident back in 2003. I was (my body and my car) run over by two 18-wheelers. It’s a really long story that I won’t tell here. I was injured pretty badly, but not as badly as you were. I spent a lot of time over the next few months being angry at God. So, I totally understand everything you’ve written here.

    I can’t wait to read more of your stuff…I think I’m going to enjoy following you!

    Blessings,
    Jason

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    • Bird

       /  March 16, 2012

      I’m so glad you found your way here! I’m sorry about your accident…That sounds horrible. I get nervous when I’m driving by 18-wheelers, even in a car.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment! I appreciate the feedback…

      Take Care,
      Bird

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  6. originalapplejunkie

     /  March 18, 2012

    Awesome testimony!
    I’ve been angry at God before..and your right..I let out everything that I thought was terrible..I felt better and most importantly he understood without condemning..which was my fear.
    Thanks for coming across my blog..because then I never would’ve stumbled across yours :)

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    • Bird

       /  March 18, 2012

      Thank you! I am really loving exploring other peoples’ sites…God made all of us so different! I appreciate your encouraging words!

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  7. selah

     /  March 18, 2012

    what an amazing life story this is.. this really caught my eye: “He showed me that there will be a time that I will be in His presence, but that had He given me a glimpse, I might have stopped living here on earth doing my job, and pined instead for what I had seen”

    thank you for this post. and as the above poster, thank you for coming to my blog, or else I would not have read this post..

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  8. Bird

     /  March 18, 2012

    Thank you, Selah! I’m so happy you found your way here, too. And I’m glad you got something out of my story. I learned a lot from that incident….

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  9. Laura Hedgecock

     /  March 19, 2012

    Bird,
    Like Jason, I’m glad you “liked” my post, so I could read yours. I’m not proud to say that I’ve been angry with God a couple of times. Luckily, some wise person told me years and years ago that it’s ok to rant at God. Any form of communicating is better than turning away.

    The fact that He is so willing to hear and understand our anger is quite a testimony of His love and patience.

    Thanks for posting.

    Laura Hedgecock

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    • Bird

       /  March 19, 2012

      I’m so glad you found your way here, too. I agree. He’s always patient with my weaknesses, and He never got mad at me. I guess His Ego can take it!!

      Thanks for your kind words!

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  10. Wow. What a journey. That is an amazing story and serves to make me once again incredibly grateful for my many blessings.

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    • Bird

       /  March 20, 2012

      Thanks! It was a turning point in my life, in more ways than one. But, I think that if I could change the outcome, I wouldn’t. My whole family had to really deal with God on a person by person basis, and we all came out a little wiser and a little more secure…:-) Thank you for reading my story!

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    • Bird

       /  March 20, 2012

      Oh, and we had a Making Number Two story this morning… I immediately thought of your story! ;-)

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  11. Baby Bird! Beautiful. My goodness, that was epic. You know, as I was walking through my husband’s sickness and death, it never occurred to me to get angry with God until I had to bury him. Then, the dam broke. I don’t think I cracked my Bible for a year. 35 years of devoted service, and this is what I get? But the common thread in the story is this- He is big enough to handle it. What a relief, eh? He’s a much better parent, much more forgiving and gracious than we can imagine. Not only that, he’s more broken up over our suffering than we know.

    Keep it up!
    Much love,

    Victoria

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    • lol..It was a big relief for me! I’m glad you could relate, though I’m sorry about your husband..Life is hard all the way through…I’m kind of glad we don’t live forever. I look forward to the rest!

      Thank you for your kind comments, Victoria!

      -Bird

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  12. Wow. What a powerful story.

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  13. Your story/testimony had me crying and laughing too. I can really relate to the reason for your anger at God. (Sounds a lot like me!) And I like the answer He gave you too. Thanks for sharing it!

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    • I’m so glad you could relate! You’re very welcome. I enjoyed writing it, even if I did look like a big dork.

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  14. Ken

     /  March 31, 2012

    Thanks, Bird!

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  15. this don guy is actually a “don” it seems ;-)

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  16. kurt bennett

     /  April 2, 2012

    Well told Bird!

    “He showed me that there will be a time that I will be in His presence, but that had He given me a glimpse, I might have stopped living here on earth doing my job, and pined instead for what I had seen.”

    I happen to be in the middle of a book called “90 Minutes in Heaven” by Don Piper. He was clinically dead for 90 minutes after a car wreck with an 18 wheeler and had that visit to heaven you were hoping for. Most of the book is about the depression he endured while pining for what he’d been allowed to see.

    Great insights.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  17. It is always so comforting to read the very human reactions others have and know that we are as normal as can be.

    Thank you for sharing this engaging story. And praise God you are healed!

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  18. Good inspiring and insightful. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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  19. WOW!!! This is very powerful. I am so sorry for all the pain that has come to you in life. Your relationship with God is beautiful. I love that you are wonderfully open to the insights He gives you. May you always feel yourself cradled in His arms.

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    • Thank you for your kind words. I’ve had some pretty crappy things happen to me, but I am one very happy person, thanks to Jesus! And thanks for checking out my site. I do appreciate it!

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  20. God Bless You.

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  21. Thanks for visiting machimon.wordpress.com. Glad you’re still kicking. I’ve had a few close ones I won’t bore you with. You might be interested in another post: http://machimon.wordpress.com/2011/05/28/notes-on-easy-rider-film-cliff-vaughs/

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    • That is amazing!! You met all these guys? I have met a few movie stars, but as a kid who wasn’t allowed to watch tv or go to movies, I had no idea who they were. My great-uncle was in a couple of movies as an extra, plus he acted on stage…Leo Matranga. He isn’t even in Wikipedia..lol. Anyways, it must have been such a rush to meet famous guys…

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  22. Spine-tingling, moving, powerful post I have read for a long time. Goosebumps and racing mind and heart was going through me as the Holy Spirit moved as I read your post.

    You walkied Pauls walk, fought the fight, and kept the faith. He was:”24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? 30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.”(2 Cor.11)

    Thank you for reminding us, that God still allow Job walk in every one of us. Its my praythat when its my time, the Holy Spirit would lead me through.

    Glory to our Living Savor and Christ, in whom all things works together for good for those who loves Him.

    Thank you,Bird.

    In Christ,
    Prayson

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    • This comment was beautiful, and I can’t tell you how blessed I am to read it. Thank you for reminding me of Paul and what he went through. I know you will be proven faithful as well…

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  23. Thank you for your thoughtful and frank post. During a time when I was angry at God, a dear friend and spiritual mentor whose faith I admire told me, in my situation, I had 3 choices. I should be mad at myself. I could be mad at my significant other. Or I could be mad at God. He said, of the 3, God could take it the best and do the best with it. To me, my relationship with God must be completely honest, which means I have have the freedom to question from my limited perspective, God’s sometimes unfathomable ways. Besides, who am I kidding, anyway? It’s not like I can keep secrets from God who knows me better than I know myself. I’ll be following your blog.

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    • Thank you for this thoughtful comment, and for sharing your own experience. I can’t hide anything from God either, but I do have problems sometimes truly understanding why I feel a certain way. Thanks for following my blog…I will check yours out soon. Need to get some stuff done in the house. :-)

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