Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

Christianity… and suffering being good?


This post is purely for my own journaling, and not meant to reflect anyone’s else’s thoughts. Please do not read anymore, if confusion about God may be upsetting.

I’m definitely having a crisis of faith at the moment. I’m rambling in this post, because this is where my head is at – total confusion, fear, anxiety, stressed, and too many triggers.

I read an article by a Christian who believes we are meant to suffer and that is what God wants. In fact, he went on to say – the more we suffer – the more we are like Christ and therefore, we should rejoice in our suffering and thank God for it. And apparently we will be ‘greater rewarded in heaven’.

I can’t get my head around this type of thinking. It’s really bothering me. Because I’m scared it might be true…..? I’m also scared I will not find adequate answers to all this.

I don’t equate suffering – with love. I don’t equate abuse – with love. And it’s taken me years of really hard work to get to this point.

So why does God allow suffering, when He could stop it all? How does He watch something heinous – like a baby being abused to death, and not intervene? How does He allow paedophiles, serial rapists, serial killers – to keep carrying out their heinous abusive needs and not intervene? Just… you know watches….. and does….. nothing to stop it….?

Why did God create a world, where so much suffering would occur? Why did He create evil? Did He create evil? If He created everything – then He created evil/sin? Why? Why want to do that, knowing it would create suffering? Why knowing people would be starving to death. Children suffering to death.

It makes no sense to me. Not when you are supposed to reconcile that with a loving God.

Suffering and being thankful for it, seems to be a part of many Christian people’s beliefs. And also the reason many walk away from their faith. And I can see why – when it does appear that God allows us to suffer – and at the same time we are to worship Him. For letting us….. suffer? Huh!?

No wonder so many church people are abusive – to women, children, the congregation, LGBTIQ. It seems abuse is okay for many church people. After all it appears God models allowing His children being abused and not intervening. And suffering being good. So therefore, e.g. making our children suffer, is being Godly? Really? No wonder too many church people beat/hit their children and tell them ‘that’s love’. *shudder. No wonder they hate on the LGBTIQ community – that’s what they think God does too.

And you know the church belief many parrot – “if God brings you to it – he’ll bring you through it”. So in other words, whatever you endure, God wants to happen to you. It’s apparently all part of His master plan. That we are not to really understand. But should just accept.

I’m not good at accepting things that are red flags.

I’m not good at accepting things I do not understand.

And allowing abuse to happen – especially to children…. plus not intervening…… and telling abuse survivors they ‘needed’ to be abused and that abuse and suffering is good ………. are really fucking big red flags. That I am not able to ignore.

And I know, some people will say – you look at Jesus and what He modelled. Again – God let Jesus suffer. He allowed it. And we are to model Jesus. And want to be like Him……….. apparently including suffering like Him? And not intervening…?

I was thinking about this (I am every day at the moment) – and as I was scrolling through social media, a post about voluntary euthanasia came up. Now, I know most church people will be against this. They will say ‘God decides when we die, not us’. So again….. there is this belief that if we are suffering of some awful and terribly painful terminal illness, we are meant to just keep on suffering, until we die. That’s what God wants. With no putting an end to it. No dignity. Just pain. And suffering.

I am not against voluntary euthanasia – because I don’t want people who have no hope of recovery and are in deep and continuous terrible pain – to suffer. And I don’t want their families to see their loved one suffer so badly. Is that so wrong? Does that make me a bad person? It sounds like compassion to me. But, apparently, I will be told I am wrong. And told compassion is what? ….. letting people suffer?

My need to not want people to suffer…… seems very much at odds with the way many church people view God and what He wants. And what He appears to show us.

My idea of love and what love is not  -abuse, standing and doing nothing while people suffer – is also very much at odds with what many church people believe about God and what He models.

My thoughts are very much at odds with what God appears to portray.

I guess I will be told by some – I should just take this ‘leap of blind faith’ that I will understand this at some point in the future. Yeah, that’s not going to happen. And if that makes me a bad Christian, so be it.

I emailed my (Christian) therapist about this several days ago. I asked whether these beliefs I read – that God does want us to suffer and we are supposed to believe the more you suffer – the better and the greater your heavenly reward….. is what she believes, or not? I didn’t receive a reply. I guess these issues and asking my therapist about this, is crossing the line on what I should be asking her.

I was told once in therapy, that blindly believing anything is not good. The fact that I am not a sheep and I do question everything, is good and shows insight. Which is all great in most situations……. but in this one… well maybe I am expected to be the blind sheep? And I know myself well. This is not something that I am going to sort through easily. Or just accept blindly.

God………. whatever I may be missing, or not understanding……. please let me know. I truly hope there is something I am not getting about all this………. because I really hate feeling this confusion. And I hate feeling this shame I do feel, for questioning God…. which I know many will claim makes me a terrible person.

If you did read this and of these questions and any of this confusion resonate with you, please know…. I get how hard this is.

And if you have had these questions – but now you are past this and have peace about this, I really am glad. I hope to be there at some point too.

~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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Author: Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

I am a survivor of complex and multiple trauma and abuse, who at the age of 40, began my healing journey. I am using my journey to recovery and healing, to help others, to help survivors feel less alone, validated, encouraged and to enable others to understand themselves more. Complex trauma, particularly from severe, prolonged childhood abuse, is profoundly life changing. Complex trauma produces complex adults. The journey to recovery is a painful, often lonely, emotional daily challenge and it is my aim to encourage others in their daily battle. ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

11 thoughts on “Christianity… and suffering being good?

  1. this really hits home for me. that is why I no longer consider myself a Christian. I do believe in God but not as a Christian in today
    s terms!!

  2. Thank you for posting this! It has been a sticking point for me as well. I have read about it, both in the bible and in books about the bible and of course, there is no easy answer. If I may share, the theme that helped me the most was the concept of our world being a fallen world, due to Eve choosing to listen to the Serpent and not to God. Since God gave us all free will, unfortunately there are those in the world who choose to do evil things and God will not stop them–not like with a lightning bolt or whatever. But they will have consequences now and in the next life. I know that doesn’t explain things like accidents or disease…but (for me) it helps to understand how abuse is “allowed” by God. Also, speaking for me alone, I can say that if I had not been through the abuse that I have suffered, I probably never would have come to know God because it took all these negative things in my life to finally humble me to the point where I could admit that I needed Him. I wish there were clearer answers out there…If I ever find any, I will let you know! Hugs!

  3. I relate to and agree with everything in this post. I too am confused and scared.

    People say “life isn’t fair” as a justification. But God is Life so this doesn’t ring true for me.

    ALL unfairness and suffering is man made. Human made. Human caused.

    When I read the news report about the 10 month old girl baby raped to death by her mothers boyfriend, I raged at God…….

    “What the F*** is wrong with you? Why are you allowing this? Are You a pedophile? Do something! You created this world so your responsible for it!! DO SOMETHING!!! MAKE THIS STOP NOW!!!”

    I’ve also wondered if maybe we’ll understand in the future or when we die
    But at this point there is no possible acceptable reason or justification for the rape and suffering.

    There is nothing God could say or do that would convince me this is necessary.

    Some people say suffering is necessary for the evolution of our soul or that we are choosing suffering and need to stop labeling events as suffering. But neither of these hold up under scrutiny.

    Love evolves our soul not suffering.
    And labeling or “rewriting” events is toxic, disfunctional, denial crap.

    There are people who say that our purpose, God’s purpose for our life is to fight for Social Justice.

    Look at you, Lilly. You are just one person at home on your computer and you’ve literally MOVED society forward in the fight for Social Justice for raped and abused children.

    So after I raged at God to “do something”, I begin wondering that maybe God is already at work on stopping this. At work through this blog/website. And maybe other ways too.

    I don’t understand what God is doing but what I know for sure is I’m done putting up with abuse.

    And based on the large numbers of people who follow this blog/website I’m not alone in that decision.


  4. I am glad in being able to express my own confusion and issues with my faith, also allows others to do the same, with no fear that I will make anyone feel bad, or feel shame.

    I know many church people will react with horror at our questioning God and questioning why He allows all this suffering.

    So please know, you are safe here to express your own issues and confusion, with me.

    Lilly ❤ ❤

  5. Oh, Lilly…wish I could give you a huge hug, if you want one. This subject usually tears me into tiny pieces, but I am okay right now, and can’t possibly ignore your post. Because I can really relate so much to what you wrote here…and know how scary and agonizingly painful it can be for traumatized people to work through the fog.

    I still think you are wise not to ignore the fucking big red flags, and should not. The ideas/beliefs you (and I, and many other people!) find so abhorrent, are so commonly taught and widely accepted, usually without much thinking involved. But they lead to very dark conclusions, and for some, all the way to suicide…

    For me, the truth is that talking with Wade Burleson was the final nail in the coffin. His claims that God orchestrates child sexual abuse, that it is of God, that everything that happens in life is supposed to happen, that God purposely decides not to prevent child abuse, and so on, pushed me right over the edge into total despair!

    Like you, I was terrified! Scared and worried that it might be true…that on some level, God wanted me to be abused, and was the one who decided it would be! I begged God for it not to be true, and cried so hard for so many days and nights…could not stop long enough to sleep. Because I felt that everyone who perpetuates these ideas was trying to take my loving God away from me…the one person I am supposed to be able to trust was being presented to me as a criminal, as the one who betrays us the most.

    I know we all must come to our own conclusions, but somewhere along the way I met a few brilliant people who helped me out of the rabbit hole. There are many who view God in a drastically different way than the seeming majority of self-professing Christians. The few I met helped me understand that it is okay to believe God is more beautiful than I had been taught, and the pain I felt was a sign that something was wrong.

    One of the conclusions I came to is that what God allows is freedom. Without freedom, there can be no real love, no real relationship of love with God, or with anyone else. But freedom requires the option to reject love. People abuse their freedom and create evil all on their own.

    Another is that Jesus made a decision on his own, based on love, and, well, I had been lied to about practically everything.

    Just wanted to share in case I could possibly help you or anyone else a little…

  6. I talked about this in counselling today, and how it is okay to be confused and to have questions. And it is okay to feel like these issues are red flags, when considering all I have endured.
    I do know in my heart that God does not want us to suffer. I don’t believe us being abused is part of His divine plan, no matter how many people say otherwise. And I do feel peace about that.
    I just don’t understand why suffering continues. And it is my compassion for people – that wants suffering to end.
    And whilst I do feel confused and this is all very triggering – I am also quite calm and could speak about it easily in counselling – which shows I am calm. So my counsellor believes this is the work of the Holy Spirit – to help me with this sense of calmness, whilst dealing with something very emotive and triggering.
    So, I am just going to stay calm and sit with this and see what happens.
    And it was good to know that my counsellor didn’t respond to my email for reasons that were not about me, and I had not pushed the boundaries too far. She was totally okay talking about this and validating of my thoughts and understanding of my confusion.
    I also said I am glad to wrote about this, because it helps others feel safe enough to talk about their confusion too. And that matters.
    Because feeling safe enough, is a huge issue for complex trauma survivors.

    Lilly ❤

  7. I don’t know if this would be helpful, but….I, for many years…have not believed in any kind of deity in the form of a “Big, Bearded Dude in the Sky.” For me (and spirituality is very important to me!), there is a “Ground of Being,” a kind of organic, let us say, force that tends to support us, and inspire us (but in a world which has lots of ups and downs, and surprises…and even tragedy)…not too much different from the Tao of Taoism. We are part of this fluid “something,” and may draw strength from it, but the questions like “Why does God allow this to happen?” –for me–just don’t make much sense. Best wishes!!

    Oh, I ALSO don’t buy the argument that we are meant to suffer. Particularly as one who was raised as a Roman Catholic, I must insist that this is PURE BALONEY!! ; )

  8. Hey, Lilly, I really admire your patience and ability to remain calm in talking about this. Anything surrounding this subject is very triggering for me, too, and I can almost never remain calm, so usually don’t feel able to talk about it anymore. Even though I desperately want to connect with people who do.

    I am so very glad you feel some peace in the midst of confusion and pain, and that you have such an understanding and compassionate counselor who knows how to help you feel validated! That is so beyond great and just what you deserve!

    Also, thank you for making your blog so safe for everyone, and for caring so much about other complex trauma survivors.

    I agree with you, Jules…no possible reason or justification, never ever necessary! I agree that God fights alongside us to prevent and stop suffering.

    Ann, can relate to you, also, having abandoned the “Christian” title. I find most Christians terrifying.

    Lots of love to you, Lilly, and everyone here!

  9. This issue, is a very emotive issue, due to all the triggers and due to all the differing views of many church people.

    I am so thankful I have a therapist who lets me talk about this, without making me feel worse. She understands how this issue feels like red flags. How it feels unsafe. How it can trigger our abandonment, ‘not good enough’, unloved by everyone, not worthy, deserved the abuse – complex trauma issues. She gets it.

    I am not reading anymore stuff by people who claim suffering is good, or God wants us to suffer, anymore. I realise reading that entire article, when I was already upset at the first paragraph – was not the best thing for me to do.

    My therapist has given me a disc with loads of info about people discussing why pain and suffering occur and continue,,,,, and what God is doing in the midst of it all. I think I need to wait a few days before I start reading it all, because I am at my limit of processing all this at the moment and I don’t want to end up overwhelmed.

    Much love to everyone who has commented and I respect each of you and your unique journeys ❤

    Lilly ❤

  10. Totally relate to all this. Being a father of a daughter who exited this world early due to depression has me questioning much especially in areas of religion but not so much God. They have a saying in spanish. Amar es sufrir. To love is to suffer. But the whole sufferring referred to even in that simpke saying, is not to be confused with whar you describe so well. You speak of abuse. And the trauma zone you now dwell in. Im sorry for your pain and anybody who implies you deserved it as a way to shiw God or that its a trial or whatever Well they don’t know much about ptsd narcisistic abuse and its effects. Anxiety which is the big symptom in ptsd ends up taking a physical form. It’s passes the “psychological” which in itself should never be dished aside by some phrases sych as God only gives us what we can handle or what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Yeah right. And that’s why you feel trapped in your house? These people talking crap attempting to put God in their back pocket filled with platitudes. I sometimes wonder if I read the same bible as most of these people. Jesus came for the hurting people, not so they could suffer more. Yes He said that folliwing him would lead to sufferring but I think its taken conveniently outta context when the folks want to say “its somehow for your own good” that you live in mysery, due to abuse. After my only child left this world, I’ve heard things like “everything happens for a reason” That sounds convenient for somebodt who doesn’t want to do the real work of compassion but not to the parent. I don’t argue besides maybe it did happen for a reason but unless one of these mortals can explain it here on earth there words do nothing. At the end, there may be told or shown a reason but I don’t have to find meaning in my 22 year olds life ending so tragically. I only have to do my best at living my idea of rightiously that must include the acceptance that any God is bigger than all of our explanation and is not for ys to understand always. Who do we think we are? That we can be so sure how our God operates. And they say my attitude shows a lack of faith. Having faith does not mean to me that I know the “why’s” or condone the “why’s” that people like you are housebound. And those who helped put you in that condition are probably caring less. And I am not trying to convince any other human who has sufferred in ways that I have not, that they need faith. I may hope and pray in private that this happens but it is cruel and unusual punishment to tell an abused person or one traumatized that they need do anything. Who are these people. I like your blog.

  11. This is one of the biggest reasons I had for leaving my faith behind. I just couldn’t believe in a god that would allow any of these things. I was worse off when I still believed in God, because every day I was in conflict because of these feelings. Now that I don’t even think a god exists, that it was just made up by humans to explain and make sense of things we couldn’t at the time, I don’t feel this constant back and forth frustration and despair. Just wanted to let you know that I completely understand where you’re coming from.