For years, I have believed I didn’t have the right to question God. Questioning would only reveal my lack of faith, my lack of trust in His goodness and provision. Faith and trust, I thought would be best communicated through my silent, patient endurance.

Guys like Job and David have always perplexed meI’ve never quite known what to do with them. Job said some pretty audacious things in his self-titled book. David made his fair share of unabashed complaints in the Psalms as well.

But I can let Job off the hook and agree he has some valid points to stand on when he cried out and questioned God. Same with King David, sure he did some less-than-noble thingshe did try to cover up his mess by killing someonebut I tend to give him an out, too. After all, he was King David, “a man after God’s own heart.”

Lamenting is something I never understood or really knew there was a place for. It seemed brazen and irreverent, after all, who am I to question the authority and sovereignty of God himself?

There are many days I don’t get it, I don’t necessarily agree with it and times I straight up don’t like what is happening.

But I never knew it was OK to tell Him that.

Yes, yes, I know, it’s not like He doesn’t already know what I really think about the matter. But I reasoned that by not verbalizing it to Him, I am at least being respectful of his authority and honoring to Him.

Read the Psalms and read Job sometime. It’s not light, beach reading for sure, but it’s well worth the time and deliberation. These men wrestled deeply and questioned assertively in a way there seems to be an art form to.

RELATED: Nothing You Can Do Could Make God Stop Loving You

Their striking laments are comprised of carefully yet accurately articulated statements. Interestingly, you’ll find that line after line of these poignant laments and bold questioning don’t stem from distrust or disbelief.

In their lamenting, these men questioned God from a place of belief, because of what they knew to be true of Him. Not out of disbelief.

Lamenting in the truest form is born out of deeply rooted trust.

He can take it. 

Anyone who lives and breathes on this earth long enough will become well acquainted with grief. Insurmountable losses and depths of despair that are nearly untellable.

Fresh waves of grief seem to rip the newly formed scabs off, taking with it the new skin that has begun to grow in the healing process at the most unforeseen moments in our lives.

The most often quoted passage from Job comes from the first chapter, where he stands in the aftermath of his home that has just been destroyed and in the wake of his children’s (yes childrenplural, as in all of them) death, which had hardly been long enough for rigor mortis to set in, he blesses God.

‘The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21b).

What? Is he kidding?

I can’t quite get on board with that, but what I can get on board with is the next 40-something chapters as he goes on, lament after lament, grieving, pleading, and wrestling with what he believes about his God, what he knows to be true, and yet the ground where he stands as an empty and threadbare, shell of a man.

So what do we find in those 40-something chapters that follow?

A God who can take it and a God who is there and willing to take it.

What about me? 

There are dozens of images, faces, and scenarios that come to mind when I think of appropriate and rightful times for lamenting.

Those left in the wake of grief after a tragic car wreck that claimed the life of a sweet friend.

RELATED: Tragedy Changes You, But it Doesn’t Have To Ruin You

Friends who know the depths of despair of infertility and the unrelenting pain of loss and miscarriage.

The faces of the kids we hold as they die and the families we grieve with when a terminal diagnosis is given to their most beloved.

In the same way we awkwardly fumble our words around to one another in the wake of grief and despairing circumstances, I find the same to be true when I try to take it up with God.

What are you supposed to say to Him that’s honest yet respectful while confessing your beliefs despite unimaginable pain?

This dilemma is so perplexing that I default to saying nothing to him.

But He can take it.

He can take your ripped open and raw, sobbing screams, pleading and asking “how long O Lord, how long will you wait!?”

Arms to hold you.

There have been days, more often recently than not, that I can barely bring myself to speak to God.

I don’t know what to say to Him that I haven’t already told him.

RELATED: When You Don’t Know What to Pray, God Still Hears

I don’t know what to ask for that I haven’t asked for a hundred times already.

I don’t know what more of his attributes (goodness, faithfulness, loving-kindness, patience, gentleness, etc.) that I can confess to be true.

There comes a point when you don’t know what else to say to Him. So what then?

He just holds you.

You find a God who wraps you in his arms when you are too empty to cry any more tears and too broken to hope you can be healed.

Until we’ve lamented, we can’t quite get there.

We don’t fully know the truth about who He is until we have told him how we think it really is.

We don’t know the comfort of the arms that will hold us until we have been emptied of all we have and all we are.

But He can take it, and He will hold you.

Originally published on the author’s blog

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Meredith Boggs

Meredith Boggs is the writer and speaker of The Other Half blog and podcast. She's known by sharing transparently and teaching authentically the real half life that doesn’t make the social media highlight reel. Her writing has been featured by Relevant Magazine, Rising Tide Society, FREED magazine, and Kingdom Winds addressing topics including body image, personal and spiritual growth, the Enneagram, and marriage

God Redeemed the Broken Parts of My Infertility Story

In: Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Two young children walking on a path near a pond, color photo

It was a Wednesday morning when I sat around a table with a group of mamas I had just recently met. My youngest daughter slept her morning nap in a carrier across my chest. Those of us in the group who held floppy babies swayed back and forth. The others had children in childcare or enrolled in preschool down the road. We were there to chat, learn, grow, and laugh. We were all mamas. But we were not all the same. I didn’t know one of the mom’s names, but I knew I wanted to get to know her because she...

Keep Reading

God Has You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman hugging herself while looking to the side

Holding tight to the cold, sterile rail of the narrow, rollaway ER bed, I hovered helplessly over my oldest daughter. My anxious eyes bounced from her now steadying breaths to the varying lines and tones of the monitor overhead. Audible reminders of her life that may have just been spared. For 14 years, we’d been told anaphylaxis was possible if she ingested peanuts. But it wasn’t until this recent late autumn evening we would experience the fear and frenzy of our apparent new reality. My frantic heart hadn’t stopped racing from the very moment she struggled to catch a breath....

Keep Reading

My Husband Having a Stroke at 30 Wasn’t in Our Plans

In: Faith, Living
Husband and wife, selfie, color photo

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV) This verse in the book of Jeremiah has long been a favorite of mine. In fact, it’s felt relevant across many life events. Its simple, yet powerful reminder has been a place of solace, perhaps even a way to maintain equilibrium when I’ve felt my world spinning a bit out of control. In this season of starting fresh and new year intentions, I find great comfort in knowing...

Keep Reading

She Left Him on Valentine’s Day

In: Faith, Marriage
Husband kissing wife on cheek, color photo

“Can you believe that?” Those were the dreaded knife-cutting whispers I heard from across the table. I sunk deeper into my chair. My hopes fell as everyone would forever remember that I had left my fiancée on Valentine’s Day. Maybe one day it would just dissipate like the dream wedding I had planned or the canceled plane tickets for the Hawaiian honeymoon. Some bridesmaids and guests had already booked plane tickets. It was my own nightmare that kept replaying in my head over and over again. I had messed up. Big time. To be honest, if it made any difference,...

Keep Reading

God was In the Room for Our Daughter’s Open Heart Surgery

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child's hand with IV

I’ve had a strong faith for as long as I can remember, but I always felt bad that I never had a “testimony.” I had never gone through something that made me sit back and say, “Wow, God is real, He is here.” I have always felt it to my core, but no moment had ever stopped me dead in my tracks to where there was no denying that it was God. And then, that moment happened to me on December 5. After five months of fervently praying for a miracle for our daughter, the day came for her heart...

Keep Reading

A Benediction for the Worn Out Mother

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman leaning against kitchen counter, black-and-white photo

Blessed are you, Father, for bestowing upon me the honor of motherhood. For allowing me to experience the deep joy of bringing forth life—a joy I often take for granted and instead choose to begrudge. My children’s cries and demands have worn me down. I do not recognize myself. I selfishly long for the old me. My thoughts are an intangible mess of never-ending tasks, self-criticism, and comparison to those around me. RELATED: God Sees You, Weary Mama But Your word says you are near to the broken-hearted and downtrodden. You do not forget the cause of the tired and the...

Keep Reading

God Doesn’t Forget You When You’re Lost and Unsure

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking into camera, color photo

I’ve been wandering around feeling lost for over a year. Wondering where I’m going, what I’m supposed to be doing. Nothing seems to make sense. I felt purposeless. I felt stuck. I questioned everything: my faith, my marriage, my career—if it could be questioned, I doubted it. And I was completely clueless how to fix the funk. For over a year, I’ve been in the wilderness. I’ve wanted to find my way, but every path seemed like another dead end. The wilderness. I’ve been residing there. Not feeling fed. Not feeling heard. Not feeling seen. Struggling to find a purpose....

Keep Reading

And Then, the Darkness Lifts

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother with baby smiling

Today when I woke, it had lifted, like sunshine peeking after rain. And as my toddler clicked on the lamp beside my bed to see her mama, I saw me too. I got out of bed and I walked down the hall. And the coffee pot sat there waiting for me, as always, like my husband at the kitchen table with his books. He smiled at me, and I think he could tell as I took my medicine, took down a mug, and poured my coffee. I opened the secretary desk and pulled out the chair and my Bible, like...

Keep Reading

Joy in This Stillness

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding sleeping toddler, color photo

I woke up suddenly in a sweat while it was still dark. Except for the humming of the oxygen machine, the house was silent. For a moment, I thought I might have time to enjoy a cup of coffee before my son woke up. However, a glance at my daughter’s crib told me that feeding my caffeine addiction would have to wait. My daughter has a terminal brain disorder called Lissencephaly, a side effect of which is uncontrolled epilepsy. Many mornings, a subconscious recognition that she is having episodes of repeated seizures rouses me from my sleep. Throwing on a...

Keep Reading

Sometimes All We Can Do Is Say How Hard Motherhood Is

In: Faith, Motherhood
Tired mom with baby in foreground

I have been sitting in the peace and quiet of the office to do some long overdue Bible study for all of five minutes when the baby wakes up. With a heavy sigh that is becoming all too common, I go to the bedroom to pick up my fussy, probably getting sick, 8-month-old daughter who has been asleep for approximately 15 minutes. I bring her to the office and put her on the floor with some new books and toys. Sitting back down in front of my own new book of Bible maps and charts, I begin reading once again....

Keep Reading