Living Without Answers

We are a people who love a good mystery as long as it leads to a good ending-bad guys vanquished, questions answered, motives revealed and a tidy resolution.

But real life is rarely so neat and squared away.

Just consider your average doctor’s visit.  Diagnosis is often a result of trial and error when a simple blood test or throat culture is unavailable to confirm or rule out a particular malady.  Yet we blunder forward, trying this and that until something either works or the illness runs its course.

Relationships are even trickier.  We stand toe-to-toe with others hoping we understand what they are saying or not saying, feeling or not feeling-all the while forced to act and react in the space between.  It’s a wonder we aren’t all at war with one another.

And then there are the big “What ifs?” and “Whys?”

The cosmic questions that rock our world and threaten to undo us.

These are the questions that filled my mind and kept me awake at night after burying my son.  Questions I was free to ignore before they took up residence in my soul and echoed in my head with every thump, thump, thump of my beating heart.

It took a very long time for me to learn to live with them unanswered. And there are still moments when I scream aloud and raise my fist to the sky, demanding an accounting.

But most days, I can rest in that space between the asking and the answer-if not exactly at peace-then at least in a state of suspended animation.

And that may really be all God expects of me this side of heaven.

Job never did get any answers.

He stood before God speechless and in awe.

That’s pretty much where I am right now.

I don’t have to like it.

I don’t have to understand it.

I only have to be willing to admit that He is God and I am not.  

Job answered God:

“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.
    Nothing and no one can upset your plans.
You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water,
    ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’
I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me,
    made small talk about wonders way over my head.
You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking.
    Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’
I admit I once lived by rumors of you;
    now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears!
I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise!
    I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”

Job 42:4-6 MSG


Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

11 thoughts on “Living Without Answers”

  1. Thank you for this. I needed to hear it. I admit I haven’t reached the point of acceptance without asking why yet and like you even once I do, there will be days I raise my fists as well and scream why?? We lost our 32 year old daughter who was perfectly healthy and had 3 young children to a massive stroke 4 months ago. No answers regarding why she would have a stroke let alone such a massive one. Autopsy showed no reason. It matters little I know, but somehow I want there to be a reason. She lived in Africa at the time, and so the treatment wasn’t available that she would have received here in Toronto, although they tell us it would have made no difference to the outcome. She had people praying for her all over the world and in different time zones, literally prayers going up 24 hours a day, but still we lost her. It is so hard to fathom that she is no longer here. My husband is a pastor at a church and after 3 months in Africa helping with her boys, we are back to work. My brain is foggy and it is such an effort to function on any normal level, but we press on. I am enjoying your blog so much and often send your posts to my husband and son in law. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.


  2. I needed to hear this today. Just when I think I’m coming to terms with the not knowing “why” our 18 year old son, Tanner, was here one minute and gone the next, the devil keeps tapping me on the shoulder and whispering in my ear. It helps to know I am not the only one struggling with this. I have received so much help from this community and your blog. You all help me to remember to keep praying, keep reading my Bible and keep loving the Lord! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Melanie for this post. When Will ran ahead to heaven, I asked why for over a year, and still do on hard days. Did God not hear my daily prayers of protection for the last 23 years? Did I love my son too much (is there such a thing)? Did God really love me, when he allowed the unthinkable to happen? Where were you that night God? I ask a lot of questions because I’m a logical thinker. I have come to terms that my questions will not be answered. So I’ve stopped asking why most days, but it brings me comfort to know others ask why, when their loved ones run ahead to heaven. Just yesterday, my fifteen year old asked me “if you could ask Will anything, what would it be?” I answered, “what is the best part of heaven?” I guess I’ve truly moved past the why’s. Thank you so much for your blog💕 ! There have been many late nights that you have brought me healing words!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “Cosmic questions that rock our world and threaten to undo us” … this! My lack of understanding about life and desperation to feel that I am loved, valued and significant in God’s eyes. That my feeling mean something to God and I am not just a piece of flint floating in the air.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The Lord graciously planted Prov 3:5 in my heart only hours after Klint’s sudden death: “Do not lean on your own understanding.” I knew the death of this brilliant, witty, winsome kid could never make sense to the human mind. Later He reminded me from Deut 29:29: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God.” In 27 years (April 10, 1991), I have never been on that “Why? Why? Why me?” treadmill. Such a gift in the midst of unspeakable pain and anguish.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Struggling for answers myself this week as we observed nine months since our 28 year old son left the earth and entered into New Life with our loving and all-merciful God. This reading today was exactly what I needed to hear. “Be still and know, I Am”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jeanie, What is your son’s name? I am so very sorry for your pain and your loss. This is a hard journey and a long one. May you feel the Father’s loving arms surround you and may He overwhelm your heart with His mercy and grace. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My son’s name is Damian he was killed in a car accident on January 19, 2019 while driving to class at the University. He was my one and only child. I too keep asking why???? Did I do something wrong in my life. It’s still so fresh I hope to one day move past it

        Liked by 1 person

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