Just for Catholics

A Childless Woman Angry with God

Question: We have no children, which has been the major heartbreak in my life. We went for IVF treatment but without success. This dragged me through the deepest despair and depression. I cried and cried to the Lord for some kind of consolation, some kind of solace, but none came. It was only when I made my decision to stop chasing a dream that might never come though that I began to find peace with myself and heal myself. I am still angry with God. All I know is, that for over a year now, I have not prayed or gone to church or had much of a relationship with God. I don’t even know if I believe that God exists. Apart from that, I am fine. I don’t see living a non-religious life any different from a religious life. Still the same challenges and still the same moral considerations. I am still the same person. I don’t have any more or any less help than I had when I was a believer. I don’t have any more or any less grace than when I was a believer. So what is it all about?

Answer: I sympathize with you, and understand why you feel sad and angry after all that you’ve been through, and especially the frustration and grief of seeing your maternal desires vanish away.

It is not surprising that you are doubting the very existence of God - or perhaps, the ‘god’ of your imagination, a genie who was supposed to step in and grant whatever you desired; a ‘god’ who humbly prays to his human masters, ‘Thy will be done on earth!’

That illusion is gone. And I’m glad it is. I sincerely hope that you will learn to pray, “Thy will - God’s will, not mine -- be done on earth!”

You question the difference between your present secular life and your previous religious life. They are basically the same, you say: same challenges, same decisions and no more or less help and grace. You speak this way because your view of God is idolatrous. Do we read in the Scriptures about God who makes the sun rise on the good only, and not on the evil also? Who sends the rain on the just only, and not on the unjust also? (Matthew 5:45).

When you used to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread”, you acknowledged God as the source of your sustenance. Do you suppose that it is not God who is still providing you with life and all good things, even though you’re not thankful for His goodness? Consider seriously what you are doing!

“Do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Romans 2:4, 5).

Finally, a note about your motives. It seems that you had a selfish interest in God. You were into religion for what you could get - help, grace and a baby. You were using God for your own ends. When God did not give you what you wanted, you discarded God as if He was a damaged nonfunctional piece of equipment. Contrast your attitude to Job’s. After he lost everything, including his health, he said: “ Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

I have written to you plainly because I care for you. Your experience would either draw you to the true and living God, or you may harden your heart even further. I pray that you return to the loving arms of the Father.

Copyright Dr Joe Mizzi. Permission to copy and distribute this article without textual changes. < BACK TO Q&A