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  • Rescue 101
    replied
    Michelle,Ask yourself this.Why has so many firefighters left us this year?Somethings up,I don't know what but there is a reason help is needed.Maybe this will help,I don't know.T.C.

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  • JOEL KIMBALL
    replied
    Michelle, I'm sorry to hear of your losses, time will heal your grief but a consideration of God and His ways helps even more. God says that "My ways are not your ways and your ways are not mine." Also "as the heavens are above the earth so are my ways above yours." We just can't know the answer to many of these tragedies but we can with our knowledge of Him, find some comfort in them.
    First, we can't know all the reasons but one of them is that we might put more of our trust in Him. It's so much easier to cling onto something we can see and touch but the very essense of faith is clinging to what we cannot see. Trusting God is not natural and we learn and grow from trials by being just where you are now. When it seems all props have been kocked out from under us thats when we lean on Him the most. "When I am weak, I am strongest." Through this, our faith is exercised kind of like a muscle, the more we use it the stronger it gets. Faith is a gift from God and I don't mean to lessen it by my comparisons, but we do grow when we are exercised by experience.
    Secondly, we all need to remember how frail we really are. Maybe they are being allowed to teach one last but important lesson, not only for you but their other friends and associates too. That lesson being our uncertainty in life or health from minute to minute. We never know what may be our last "worker" or our last "I love you." Seeing that our eternal souls will last after this clay tabernacle is dissolved, we ought to be the more thoughtful and prepared for our final day. I don't mean to be morbid but what do you think they would say to your department if they could have one more training session? The things of this life fade pretty fast when eternities portals are opened.
    Lastly, God says in Romans 8:28 "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Yes even death works for their good, those taken to be with the Lord and those left here for awhile longer. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5,6.
    Stay safe and trust Him who cares so much for us.


    Tell your family that you love them.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michelle Latham
    replied
    To everyone that sent me Emails: I'm so sorry I haven't replied. For some reason my web browser shuts down every time I try to reply to any email. I will reply once things are working agin!!

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  • Fire Eater 07
    replied
    First of all i am sorry for your loss. I know how hard it can be to lose not one of but two of your closest friends. NEVER have i been mad at God! Everything happens for a reason...even bad things. As for you RS225!! how can you not believe in God??? this boggles my mind I will pray for your soul my lost brother..
    stay safe

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  • trumpeter75
    replied
    Michelle,

    What can I say that hasn't been already said? There's a lot of sage advice in these posts; all I can think to add is that by posting this forum you're greatly helping your own recovery by simply venting. Continue this in your own department; trust me it helps to find out that your brothers and sisters are hurting too, and you AREN'T alone.

    You cannot believe that anyone you become close to will be taken, as well. God works in mysterious ways, and if He felt that it was their time, then there's nothing anyone can do. Remember them for their mentorships and guidance, and hold your memories close. But then, you have to move on. Time does indeed heal all wounds, and you will feel better.

    Remember, Heaven needs firemen, too. God chooses the best to answer His alarms.

    Be safe out there.

    Leave a comment:


  • Diane
    replied
    How about having a friend who carries a baby for nine months and then the baby is born dead? Talk about being mad at God. Everything was fine until she didn't feel the baby move on Mother's Day and thought it was just getting ready to deliver...She and her husband (a VA Beach FF) had to go through the whole labor process, too. Then she had to spend the night in the Maternity ward.

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  • larry cook
    replied
    I am sorry for your loss, but your community and the world's loss too. These men were mentors to a lot of other firefighters beside you. I know that you and we all suffer hurt when we lose someone close to us. We all feel hurt and ask God why? These firefighters were God's children and he wanted them to be with him now. Can you hear the stories that they are telling him. I bet more than a few of them are about hurry up Michelle. You are now famous in Heaven too.

    Chris and Dale are back visiting with their mentors, too.

    Michelle, the Lord will let us honor Chris and Dale by never letting them fade from our memories. That is a great gift from him.

    You were fortunate to know Chris and Dale, from your stories, I wished that I could have.

    Michelle, life goes on and now you must become a mentor for the new firefighters comming into your department. Chris and Dale are smiling down on you and waiting for you to pass the lessons on to the new guys.

    God Bless Larry

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  • wrongWAY
    replied
    I also admire your strength and courage, Michelle. It's not easy to open up and share your feelings.

    I think that the heartfelt way you have described how your two friends helped you along is a wonderful way to honor them.

    Take it from me, while they may not be here they are still with you, and they always will be. I've lost many friends in the 33 years I've been in the fire service, and it doesn't get any easier or hurt any less when I lose another member of my firefighting family; but I still feel them around me, and even sense that they're on the engine with us.

    Old Alex taught me knots over thirty years ago and passed away quietly in his sleep shortly thereafter, but I can't tie a knot without hearing his voice and smelling his stinky cigar breath.

    Big Eddie taught me how to 'Scott Up' and I still hear his raspy smoked out voice thirty years after his passing each time I pull my SCBA straps tight.

    They may be gone, but they live on inside each one of us; and so to honor them and their commitment I always stop and give time to new members just like they did for me and for others time after time after time.

    Over time you'll find that the hurt your heart now feels will strenghten you. Dale and Chris would want you to press on, always moving forward.

    Continue to honor them in word and deed. You were lucky to have known them - and they were lucky to have known you too.

    Leave a comment:


  • FireLt1951
    replied
    Michelle,

    The pain one feels when losing someone close always makes you feel dispair, anger and loneliness, sometimes at God and sometimes at the entire world. I too have felt this pain many times since I was 19 years old. It may or may not help but here is the story.

    When I went into the military in the late 60's, I went in with 3 of my best friends. We went trough everything together and even went to VietNam together. I was the only one to return alive. At that time I felt pain beyond belief and was angry at everyone and everything. The only comfort I had was my belief in the almighty, and yes I was mad at him too. I began to realize that maybe sometimes things happen for a reason.

    When I came home and became a firefighter things didn't change much. This was also a war but one of a different kind. I have lost numerous friends in the line of duty and have always felt the pain and sorrow involed. Again I related this to something happening for a reason.

    The reason I now feel was that these great individuals with which I grew up with and/or worked with through some very trying times, were now my guardian angels. I have been through some pretty harrowing experiences over the years and have survived to this day and I thank God for giving me these guardian angels that care, love and watch over me.

    I know some may find this to be a simplistic idea but I have a deep seated feeling that all these people I was close to are there for me everyday of my waking life. They are the ones that comfort me and I still hold God close to my heart.

    Time heals all wounds and you will heal eventually. Just remember, you now have 2 guardian angels watching over you and protecting you. I hope your sorrow subsides but remember you have these guardian angels above and don't forget to talk to them now and then. I hope this helped a little.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michelle Latham
    replied
    I'm not losing faith in God. I'm clinging to Him all the more. But I just feel like I'm being crushed alive. I just can't believe this is happening.
    I heal through reaching out to other people and having them listen to me and me listen to them. I'm a "people person" and people help me in so many ways: When I'm happy then being around people makes me beam. When I'm sad, being around people helps me heal.
    I'm trying to accept Chris's and Dale's death but it just hasn't happened yet. I know they are watching over me but right now I don't care because I want them HERE. I don't want them to be dead! I hate this! I'm so miserable. I still can't believe that they have gone and died and left me here.
    I'm venting to you all because I have to or else I'll errupt. I'm hanging in there and being strong but I just have to let my feelings out. Please don't think I'm whining or being a drama-queen. I'm hurting bad and I'm reaching out to my firefighter brothers and sisters.
    I love to mentor but even as you are a mentor you can still have mentors in your own life. I just have been so blessed to have two wonderful best friends who were also my mentors. And eCappy you are so right - they were both such wonderful leaders.
    To all you Chiefs out there: you might not realize it but you mean a lot to us firefighters.
    Please, God, don't take anyone else away from me. I don't know if I could bear it.

    Leave a comment:


  • nsfirechap
    replied
    Michelle,

    Hang in there friend.....Life may not be fair but God is good. And you know I'm speaking from experience on this one. Even the most "spiritual" people have tough times in their lives. In my case, even when I was mad at God, my faith in Him got me thorugh. Remember, you are amongst family here and back in Fairbanks.............

    Leave a comment:


  • Gooch26
    replied
    Dear Michelle, I'm very sorry to hear about your loss. The loss of people so close to you is truly a tough burden to carry. Especialy losing two mentors. I too lost a mentor, it's now been 6 years since he was killed in the line of duty. I too had a hard time dealing with his loss and found it hard to talk to anyone about it. And yes, I was mad at God for it also. I kept thinking to myself why him of all people? Though I'm not a religous person, in time I realised that things do happen for a reason, just some times we aren't meant to know why. Knowing why doesn't make the loss any less. But time and talking to friends will make it easier to accept. Right now your friends are hurting too, they need your support as much as you need thier's. I think it's great that you had the debreifing, they can really help out, but just remember, there's nothing that's says you can only have one. Don't be afraid to talk to other colleagues either, we all know the value of having someone listen to us when we need advice or to blow of steam. If I can be of any more help to you Michelle, don't be afraid to e-mail me. [email protected] Again, I am very sorry for your loss Michelle, God bless and stay safe.
    Randall E. Guntrum FF/EMT

    Leave a comment:


  • EastKyFF
    replied
    Hang in there! When God takes people we love, he always has reasons. Some of them have to do with us, while others have nothing to do with us. At least one of the lessons you must learn from losing your buddies is how to pick yourself up and trust in God enough to depend on someone new to mentor you. But I'd say part of it is also that it's time for you to mentor a little bit yourself. Bring somebody new into the department, maybe. Hard telling, but search for meaning when there doesn't appear to be any.

    Good luck, and stay warm up there.

    Leave a comment:


  • eCappy
    replied
    Hi Michelle,

    I can't find any words to express how badly I feel for your loss ... BUT I want and need to sincerely thank you for expressing your candid and honest thoughts about your experiences, and about the bonds you shared with these two fine leaders.

    The courage and strength you have displayed in mourning and also honoring your friends has helped me deal with, understand, and accept my losses.

    Thank you.

    Leave a comment:


  • jdsilvia
    replied
    Michelle, as you can see by the responses, everyone has been mad at God at one point or another. I personally was so mad at God at one point that I completely gave up on relieon. For the next couple of years following that, there was a void in my life that I couldn't explain. I realized that the void was my trust that God does things for a reason. I am sure Dale & Chris are both looking down at you right now smiling because they know you care so much. Instead of greaving their deaths, try celebrating their lives. Now use what they have taught you and pass for years to come and tell them where you learned it. Their memories will be with everyone who knew them, especially you.

    Just please don't lose faith in God.

    Leave a comment:

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