Hey, guys! I hadn't meant for it to have gone this long before I updated. Sorry!
So, this post is going to address a rather tough question, but using only personal experiences; where was/is God when you're suffering? This post is just going to talk about my experience, so this will obviously not apply to everyone, and is not grounded in literature from the Bible at all. For a more Bible-centred approach to this topic, wait for my next post.
Well, in answer to the question about where God was when I was suffering...I have no idea. It might have been because of the Malignant Sunglasses (from the previous post) or it might have been because I was a new Christian so had never suffered while having faith, or a combination of them both. But, when I was at my lower points, I basically forgot that God was there. I didn't pray specifically for Him to make this pain go away, I just wished it would. I didn't, at first, even question why He was doing this to me - a very wrong question, the error of which will be discussed in a future post - because it just...was. I felt like this, and there was no reason for it. There was no one to blame.
I can't remember the specific point I forgot Him. I just sort of drifted. It didn't help that I wasn't into the habit of praying or reading my Bible regularly. But I tried to consider Him as much in my life as I could, as a new Christian. But, as the darkness crept in and thickened, my thoughts changed to what I should do, how I should help myself, what earthly action could I take to get better.
So I put my trust and my effort into counselling, into Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (a highly effective treatment for mental conditions, by the way), eventually into anti-depressants to help get me stable again. But then, after months, one particularly horrible night where I was crying in psychological agony, I prayed. I prayed and begged God to take away this pain, just to let me sleep if nothing else. And the pain went away. I was too relieved to think anything of it.
Then, as I was sleeping, I had a dream I still remember now. I'm almost certain this was God speaking to me because of the theme within it, the characters and backstory of the situation in it, and the fact that I had not seen this film for at least 18 months. For those of you who do not know The Chronicles of Narnia book series by CS Lewis, I'll give you the relevant details; four human siblings stumble upon another fantastical world, where they have to wage wars against tyrants. The perceived saviour of this world - based off Jesus Christ, Himself, no less - is a lion named Aslan. My dream reflected a scene from the film adaptation of Prince Caspian, where the youngest sibling, replaced by me in my dream, talks with Aslan.
Previously in the story, as the war had progressed, Aslan had yet to show himself and help, so most in the army decided to take matters into their own hands, with disastrous consequences. Everyone but the youngest sibling had given up on Aslan appearing and saving them. Then, when she goes out to search for Aslan as the final battle had begun, she found him, and was overjoyed. What I heard myself say in my dream was paraphrased from her lines in the film.
I said: "I knew you were there! All this time I knew you were there. The darkness wouldn't let me believe it though."
Aslan/God replied: "And why would that stop you from coming to me, dear one?"
It was one of the most profound nights of my life, the sheer joy of which I still carry today. As I write this now, my heart is leaping. God wasn't disappointed that I had forgotten about Him. He was just waiting for me to come back. Waiting for me to come back so He could call me "dear one" again.