This time of year when broken hearts are surrounded by happy hearts it can hit hard.
“Why, oh why is MY child not here?”
“Where were You, God?”
Believe me, more than four years later and I fall right back into the same questions I thought I had asked and answered (or become satisfied NOT to answer).
So I have to return to the basics of walking my heart through the steps of leaning into trust.
I wrote this awhile ago-combining in one post all the posts in this series. I pray that if you, like me, need a refresher course in trusting God after loss, it helps your heart.
One of the greatest challenges I faced this side of child loss was finding a space where I could speak honestly and openly about my feelings toward God and about my faith.
So many times I was shut down at the point of transparency by someone shooting off a Bible verse or hymn chorus or just a chipper, “God’s in control!”
They had NO IDEA how believing that (and I do!) God is in control was both comforting and utterly devastating at the very same time.
Read the rest here: Trusting God After Loss: Why It’s Hard, Why It’s Necessary
When someone invites you in and serves up her deepest pain along with the coffee it might feel like a trap or a burden or a bother.
But it’s actually an act of great respect and trust.
Not everyone gets the privilege of hearing a heart laid bare and broken, vulnerable and uncovered.
If you are entrusted with such a treasure, consider it a sacred privilege.
Treat it with care.
Carry it carefully.
Wrap it in love.
When I was a little girl, I struggled mightily being afraid of the dark.
Sometimes I could barely close my eyes because I was scared something terrible would happen between going to sleep and waking up.
I outgrew that as I grew into my faith.
But after Dominic ran ahead to Heaven, I found myself again afraid to go to sleep.
Not because of “monsters” hiding beneath the bed but because it was between sleep and wake that he left.
I fell asleep with four living children and woke up with three.
I’m still not so good at falling asleep or staying asleep-just another change child loss has wrought in my life. Most nights I have to talk myself into it.
I recite truth to my spirit, sing songs to my soul.
I remind my heart that God was with me and was with Dominic the night he was killed.
He was with me the morning I got the news and Dominic is with Him forever in Heaven.
I’ve learned that leaning into Him, I can find rest and wake to a new day, confident that whatever the sunrise brings, I am not alone.
“Is it not sweet to believe that our tears are understood even when words fail? Let us learn to think of tears as liquid prayers, and of weeping as a constant dropping of importunate intercession which will wear its way right surly into the very heart of mercy, despite the stony difficulties which obstruct the way. My God, I will “weep” when I cannot plead, for Thou hearest the voice of my weeping.”
Read the rest here: Liquid Prayers
The Bible says that “The Name of the LORD is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are saved.” (Proverbs 18:10)
Clearly that does NOT mean that every person who calls on the Name of the LORD will be kept physically whole.
Many, many believers have suffered and died while the name of Christ is on their lips.
But I do believe that in a very real, very meaningful way, calling on the Name of the LORD has saved me.
Read the rest here: When I Don’t Know What to Pray: Praying the Names of God
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?
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