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“Ask a Priest: Why Didn’t God Protect Me From a Devious Boyfriend?”
Q: My relationship with a man I thought I was going to marry ended recently. He lied and hid information from me. If God knows all things, why didn’t God protect me from this man a long time ago? I am left feeling that if you lie and treat people bad, there are no consequences … just a broken heart for the person deceived. – L.T.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: I’m sorry to hear about your situation.
You were fortunate, nevertheless, to discover the deception now, before the wedding took place. That in itself might be an example of how God was close by and helping to protect you.
You are a beloved daughter of God. We are all loved by him. Yet, that doesn’t mean we won’t experience the cross in our lives.
God doesn’t desire evil in our lives, but he does allow it, so that he can bring something good out of it.
But there seems to be another kind of deception at work: the deception that somehow God was complicit in causing you pain.
Perish the thought that Our Lord wanted you to suffer at the hands of a deceptive boyfriend. Our Lord doesn’t want any of us to suffer due to the sins of others.
God gives us free will because he wants us to freely love him. He respects our freedom, even when we choose poorly and cause negative consequences for others. But the fault lies with the sinner, not the Almighty.
All that aside, it might be good to ask yourself what you have learned about yourself and life from this broken relationship.
Were you missing telltale signs that this man was deceptive? Sometimes we project our wildest hopes on other people, thinking that they will solve all our problems and fulfill our dreams.
Here we need to be careful. The only one ultimately who will fill our hearts is Christ. Him alone we can trust totally. The rest of us are flawed humans.
You imply that there seem to be no consequences for deceivers. On the contrary, people who lie and deceive and don’t repent will face a day of reckoning sooner or later, in this world or the next. They are more to be pitied than envied; for in the end, they deceive themselves.
For now, it might be good to focus on the Man who loves you more than anyone else does: Jesus. Try meditating on a crucifix and see what Our Lord was willing to suffer for love of you.
That can reassure you that someone loves you dearly. That can help you feel more secure in your identity — and perhaps less prone to be taken in by deceivers in the future.
So, take your heartache to Jesus; he too knows what it means to be betrayed. Ask him to heal your heart. He might have a great mission ahead for you.
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