Thursday, March 10, 2011

God Understands

By Anne Peterson

We never saw her again. Many times when a person is missing, somewhere down the line the family will receive word that the body has been found. We opted to have a memorial for our sister even though we never found her. When the person accused of her murder was found not guilty that did not mean the whole nightmare didn’t happen.

It still did. The judge declared Peggy Dianovsky dead and said she was the victim of a crime. Some say when you do find the body then at least you can have closure. Personally, I don’t believe there is such a thing as closure.

When you truly love someone and they become a part of your life there will never be a time when you don’t miss them. I think the whole idea of closure is something conjured so people could move on. People don’t like to see others in pain. They want you to live your life. The truth is, you want to live it too, you’ve just forgotten how.

There are some people in my life who have helped me through this loss. They are the ones who accepted where I was at and didn’t try to move me on. We all grieve differently. Trying to get someone to move where we think they should be is presumptuous. We are saying we know where they should be and even that we know how they feel. And the truth is you don’t know how someone else feels. Every situation is different, and every person responds differently.

One day while I was driving the 35 minute ride home from a homicide support group, I was processing some of the discussion that night. I remember crying harder and harder and then eventually screaming at the top of my voice. I was so angry.

I know God personally and I told him just how mad I was, how unfair the whole thing was. Some may not agree with having anger at God, but that’s okay. I’m just telling you my story. I remember wondering if God really did know how I felt. And when I finally got quiet I realized that God knows exactly how we feel when we grieve someone who was killed. His own son was killed on a cross. God understands.

Another time I had been dwelling on how awful it must have been for my sister the last moments of her life. The more I thought about it, the worse I felt. It was a dark place to be sure. And then, God gently reassured me of something that gave me such peace. He said, “Anne, I was with her.”

Knowing that has made all the difference in the world. How do I know what he said to me was true? Because in God’s word, in Hebrews 13:5, he says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” My sister knew Jesus and had a personal relationship with God. I know God was with her.

Some may ask, “Well, if he was there, why didn’t he try and stop it?”

And I have to say, that’s a question I asked him myself, until I realized he could have stopped those that killed his son, but he didn’t.

You see God gives us free will. And while we like the concept when it applies to us, the truth is some will choose to exercise their free will in ways that hurt others.

So, how do I have peace about the fact that my sister was killed? It’s a peace you can only get when you place your faith in God. When you are a child your parents were God to you, your authority. As you grew up you realized there were reasons for the decisions they made in your lives.

Likewise, as we learn about God and his character we get to the place where we trust him when we don’t understand the situation.

I do not understand my life,
it’s difficult for me,
some questions have no answers,
at least that I can see,
and yet, with every year I’ve grown,
there is a truth that God makes known,
I do not have to understand,
just simply take my Father’s hand.

God is God and he is infinite. In Isaiah 55:8 & 9 God says that his ways are higher than our ways, his thoughts are different than our thoughts. Sometimes we try and bring God down to our level in an attempt to understand things.

There are things I won’t understand till heaven, and I’m okay with that. But don’t get me wrong, this has been a journey, a long journey. And I have had a lot of times when I was really angry, when I’m still angry. The good news is that God understands my anger. He understands your anger. He can handle it. And trying to pretend you’re not angry is silly. He knows all your thoughts. God is also angry that my sister was killed.

I know that God loves me and that he will bring something good out of something so dark. That’s the kind of God he is. And when you’re feeling down, just let it out. When you’re feeling angry, tell him. God understands, he really does.

Anne Peterson is a poet, speaker, and the author of 42 Bible studies with You can find out more about Anne Peterson or her poetry by visiting her site at

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