One of the most devastating questions I had to face after Dominic ran ahead to heaven was, “What difference does prayer make?”
I had prayed-diligently prayed-for every one of my children since before they were born.
Even Dominic’s name, which means “belonging to God” was chosen carefully to reflect my heart’s desire that this child follow hard after Jesus.
Dominic had served Christ’s church with his time, talents and resources his whole life. Yet he was not quite 24 when he met Jesus face to face.
So why didn’t prayer “work”? Why did my son die in an accident when others live?
Read the rest here: Prayer After Child Loss: What’s the Point?
One of the hardest questions after child loss has been, “If God hears my prayers, and my prayers make a difference, why didn’t He protect my son?”
It’s not something a mama’s heart can just ignore.
So, because it comes up again and again, and because I hope my musings might help another heart, I’m going to dedicate a few days to do that.
When it’s not your kid you can think of all kinds of lofty, theologically correct arguments or reasons for why God answers one prayer and not another–for why one person is healed and not another–for why one person survives a devastating-should-have-killed-him accident but not another.
But when it is your child that doesn’t survive or isn’t healed or is stolen through the violent actions of someone else…well, that’s a different matter entirely.
Read the rest here: The Problem of [Un]Answered Prayer
Some of us only felt tiny hands and feet pressing against the inside of our body.
Some of us saw first steps or first grade.
Some of us watched our child drive away to college certain it was the beginning of an adventure, not the beginning of the end.
Some of us have grandchildren reflecting back a smile or gesture or tone of voice that it so much like the one we miss.
All of us know what it is to lose more than any heart can bear-and yet we DO bear it-every. single. day.
None of us would give up whatever time we had even knowing how hard it is to go on without them. ❤
It took me awhile to “feel” God again after Dominic ran ahead to Heaven.
I would journal my thoughts/prayers/questions and answer myself with Scripture.
My heart was still so very shattered that the words often slid right off.
But eventually, as I kept speaking truth to my heart and waiting on God, I heard them again. I won’t lie and say that I often or even regularly get the goosebumps I used to get when I sing worship songs or read a section of Scripture.
I have something else, though, and that is rock-solid confidence in the promises of God to redeem and renew even if I, like the prophet Habakkuk, will have to live this life in a state of loss, want and under the tyranny of circumstances I’d rather avoid.
“The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!”
~Habakkuk 3:19 AMPC
The times when I am lonely can help me focus on God more intimately. I can speak quite freely and honestly with the Lord. And even if there is silence from the Heavens when I pray, I know that the Lord hears me. He speaks back through His written Word. In these moments, I truly feel the presence of the One that Jesus rightly called The Comforter — The Holy Spirit. Yes, I know that conversations with God are not the same as with a tangible person in the room. But sometimes they are much deeper, going straight to the heart.
~Warren Ludwig, Jewels in the Junkyard
It’s a lesson you never forget once you’ve learned it.
It’s lesson you never learn unless you have to.
The destruction of property-even every single thing you own on this earth-is awful, frightening and life-changing.
But it’s still LIFE.
My parents were caught in the fury that was Hurricane Michael. They were miles inland, a community that had never seen anything like this in four generations that had lived in the house where they rode out the storm.
Their property and home took a hit, but they are OK.
And for this mama with one son in heaven and one deployed half-way around the world, that’s ALL THAT MATTERS.
We can rebuild a house. We can buy more stuff.
But I can’t replace the people I love.
Life and Death.
I know that lesson well.
Life after child loss can be described in various ways.
But any that ring true convey a sense that in an instant, everything is different, shattered, scattered, obliterated, changed.
I like this quote by Tolkien:
It’s the threads, the shards, the broken bits that I will spend a lifetime trying to gather, save and weave or glue back together.
It will never be what it was, but it can still be something.
I will always carry the scars.
The scars are proof of my love.
Here they come round the bend like a pack of dogs chasing that rabbit on a racetrack.
No way to slow them down, no way to step to the side and ward off the relentless message that Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming soon-so, so soon.
Stores scream, “You’ve got to buy it NOW! You’re running out of time!”
Billboards, radio and television ads, and calendars count down the days.
Decorations assault my eyes and ears and nose (thank you pumpkin everything!). I cannot get away. There’s no where to hide
Read the rest here: Trying to Hold off the Holidays