I Don’t Know How Some People Do It

Take a Step Back

We all hear it a lot; there is so much that we take for granted. This has never been more true since I have started my career as a psychologist for CPS (see here to catch up). The majority of the people that I grew up with and am around today have pretty perfect lives. I grew up in what I see now as an absolutely perfect little city and we all had zero worries growing up. Well, we all had worries but in hindsight and after seeing what my kids go through on a daily basis, were not really “concerns.”

Every day I have to hear these absolute horror stories from my students about their every day lives and I have to sit in my car and mentally process everything I just absorbed for a good 20-30 minutes every day before I can go back to my normal life and function. It is at this time that I do most of my reflecting about life and try to understand how God can play a role in these kids lives when they seem to have no hope.

For the first 2 years of my career, there was not a day that went by where I didn’t catch myself having to hold back tears listening to these students tell me their stories and I myself sought therapy after my first year to help me process everything that I was hearing.

It’s The Little Things

Now this is by no means one of the horror stories that I hear on a daily basis, but for some reason this one really got me thinking today.

So I was doing a behavior evaluation for one of my students today and after class was over I have to do a little interview with the student to finish my evaluation. When I was talking to him and asking him about his day, he told me that his house has become infested with termites over the past month and it is only getting worse. The demeanor that he told me the story is what was so heartbreaking. He told me this in such a matter of fact tone like it was no big deal and that there was just nothing that they could really do about it. He even told me about games he has made up to try and help his mom take care of the problem.

Apparently a huge tree was blown over about a month ago over my student’s entire front lawn and has been sitting there ever since. This is something that none of us really think about having to deal with in our every day lives, let alone not having a penny to spend on taking care of it.

So the tree has just been sitting in his lawn rotting and deteriorating, making the perfect home for these termites. Tree service is something that the parents of about 99% of my students couldn’t even dream of having the luxury to afford. What are these people supposed to do when random acts of God like this occur?

I Can’t Understand

This is just a tiny example of what I struggle with as far as God’s role in our lives. I just cannot wrap my head around how God could allow these poor innocent families to be struck of such random misfortune that literally costs more than what their entire family has in a bank account.

What is the point?

How can God stand back and see the absolute misery and pain of these families but continue to bring these hurdles?

I pray for these families every day and I will continue to try and make sense of it all.

Force of God?

Being a strong minded and completely committed born again Christian, I am sometimes finding it harder and harder to believe that God is responsible for some of the tragedies I have been seeing, especially in our country. I was raised a Christian and have never doubted any of God’s work. I have seen him work in ways that I can’t explain or express online, but can only say that I feel him with me every day. I know he is and it is something that only those who have accepted Jesus into their life can understand.

As I am getting older and more aware however, I am beginning to see myself struggling with a lot of the atrocities and misfortunes of others that I see around me. I have consulted with my preacher about a lot of my concerns and I hate to say it, but his reassurances and explanations have not really done me any good. To sum up pretty much everything that he has told me, God works in “mysterious ways” and it is all a part of God’s plan.

Struggling With This “Mystery”

At first, I accepted this response and that is really how I was justifying a lot of what I was seeing. Lately though, there has just been too many horrible things happening every day and all around me to accept this anymore.

 What Am I Seeing?

Let me try to explain where I am coming from with a little bit of background. I am a 39 year old school psychologist for the Chicago Public School District and I am in charge of  testing and analyzing over 1500 students in a single year. No, I am not making this up.

Anyone out there who doesn’t know about CPS and the state it is in let me be the one to tell you that it is in bad shape. And when I say bad shape, I mean really bad. Sure, the actual city of Chicago is great and is a great place to live. But the south and west sides of Chicago are absolute war zones. You may or may not have heard the term “Chi-raq” being tossed around and some of you might think it’s a little extreme but it’s not. The state of some of these neighborhoods and school districts are absolutely and utterly deplorable.

Kids younger than 10 years old know and tell me about the different ways they have to get to school and which neighborhoods they have to avoid because of rival gang members. These kids are born into these lives with no choice and are simply thrown into this world of gangs, violence, and drugs. This is all they know and the schools funding is next to non-existent.

The teachers don’t care, the parents don’t care, and the general public certainly doesn’t care. As long as all these kids and gang members stay within their neighborhoods, people seem to look away and just let them all kill each other off. As long as they stay away from my white picket fenced neighborhood.

Where Does This All Come Together?

I can, and will, go into detail about some of the things I see every single day but I just wanted to give you a little introduction about where I am coming from and the direction I want this little outlet of mine to go in.

I am sorry, but I don’t see how these children suffering and struggling to stay alive every single day can possibly be part of God’s plan.

There has to be something more…