3 names of God to study out when times get tough


Early on in my grief journey, I was angry with God.  I couldn’t see Him, I couldn’t feel Him, and I’ll be honest, during those very dark times I didn’t want to see Him or feel Him. I felt like he had abandoned me, like he had turned a deaf ear on me. And I just couldn’t understand how He could possibly be good. 

A few weeks after we lost our baby boy, my brother in law came in town to visit from New Jersey. His visit just happened to coincide with one of those dark moments (God ALWAYS knows what he’s doing). I had a chance to voice to him everything that I was feeling. I told him how I hadn’t opened my Bible or talked to God for weeks because I was just so angry with Him and couldn’t understand Him. 

Something he told me resonated so deeply with me. He said, “Well, if it was my kid angry with me and questioning me, I’d rather he be angry and yelling and screaming at me than not talking to me at all.” 

When he told me this, I was shocked by his candor, but when I really thought about it, I knew he was right. I knew that what I was doing was not going to last. I knew I couldn’t ignore God for much longer. It felt so foreign to me and even though I was angry with Him, I longed for deep connection and time with Him. He is my Father, I am His daughter. I wanted to feel loved by Him again. 

So I made a decision that the solution was not to ignore God, but the solution was to get to know Him better. I decided to study out the different names of God and I wanted to share 3 of them that have really brought some healing to me on my journey.

El Roi- The God who sees me 

13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen[a] the One who sees me.”

Genesis 16:13

This is the name that resonated with me the most because a question that I have been asking God since we lost our boy is, Do you see me, God? Do you even see me? When I’m sobbing on the floor, do you see me? When I had to deliver my dead baby, did you see me? When I am so ridden with anxiety and I can’t breathe, do you see me? Many times I cried and screamed this question at God.

When I came across this name, it was like God was answering my cry. He was saying, “Yes, my precious daughter. I see you. I have seen you the whole time. I am with you, and I have never left you.” 

He is El Roi, the God who sees me. He sees me in my joy, he sees me in my sorrow, in my pain, in my grief, in my questioning, in my confidence. He sees me all the time. I am His. I am not alone. 

ABBA- Daddy, Father

6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,[a] Father.”

Galatians 4:6

This name struck me deeply because I think of the relationship I have with my own dad. God wants to comfort me in the same way my earthly father comforts me in my times of pain. 

My daddy doesn’t want to see me hurting. It hurts him to see me going through this deep pain. I can see it in his eyes how badly it hurts him. 

And when I think about it in the broader perspective, God wants this same type of relationship with me. He wants me to come running to him, arms wide open crying “daddy” when i need comfort. He wants to hold me and comfort me. He wants me to feel safe in His arms. I am His little girl and he doesn’t want to see me hurting either. 

GOD DOESN’T WANT TO SEE ME HURTING. I have to remind myself of this all of the time. The pain in this world is not what he intended for us. The pain in this world is a result of sin. And God does not intentionally hurt us. 

Elohim – God

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1 

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;

    the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 

Psalm 19:1

Elohim is the name of God that is used most often in the Bible. It basically refers to the power and strength of God. It reminded me of God’s sovereignty. The creator God’s sovereignty. He is the Lord of all creation. He made this beautiful world. He holds it all in his hands. It makes me think of the line in the song “Sparrows” by Jason Gray 

“If He can hold the world He can hold this moment”

He can hold my moments. He is the maker of the stars. And the maker of the stars, the mountains, the sunsets, the sunrises, the oceans, the flowers, the grass, and everything beautiful in this world wants to have a relationship with me. He can hold the world and he can, specifically, hold me and my grief in the same moment. 

I hope these names of God inspire you to seek out other names of God in the Bible so that you, too, can go deeper in your relationship with Him. 


33 thoughts on “3 names of God to study out when times get tough

  1. Amanda – You and Uriahn are true, modern-day heroes in the faith! Grief is tough!! So many un-answered questions can lead us in a down spiral road going nowhere good or safe! It’s encouraging to read you’re fighting to strengthen your relationship with God. What I’ve learn over the (almost) 27 years I’ve been a disciple is that we WILL go through peaks and valleys – and that’s ok! This is how we learn about us and about HIM. If you draw this peaks and valleys on a piece of paper and then tilt it 45° it turns into a stairway that’ll lead you to heaven.

    With much respect and admiration,
    Raul & Candy

    1. Thank you so much Raul, we still talk about and remember having dinner at your house <3 such a pivotal time for us as a young married couple and we felt so loved and nurtured by you and Candy. Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

  2. We were taught two of these in private school but what I remember most is that we were taught to never write the O when spelling his name. Have you ever heard of that?

    1. So interesting, I was never taught that in my 13 years of catholic education! I have seen people doing that before though and never really understood why!

  3. Amanda, this is so raw and beautiful! Thank you for so vulnerably sharing your journey. Your story is so encouraging to me. I haven’t experienced the loss of my child, but our family has walked through grief in other ways. When I meet another mom who is choosing to be faithful through their dark times, I feel such a connection with them, like our souls are knit together 💗

    1. Aww Erin, thank you so much for your sweet words. You are a refreshing encouragement to my soul too!

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