I have always considered myself a Christian.
I was raised in Sunday School. We went to church on Wednesday nights and said our prayers before bed each night. I thought I knew exactly who I was and what I believed, and then I watched my tiny first born son take his last breath in my arms.
Everything I thing I thought I knew changed.
I suddenly had questions that no one could answer. The basic Christian sentiments that my friends and family were saying all felt like stabbing knives into my already bleeding heart.
“Everything happens for a reason.”
“God has a plan for Joshua.”
“God needs another angel.”
“He’s in a better place.”
“Everything will work out for the good for those who trust in Him.”
“Just keep praying.”
I wanted to call everyone a liar.
I wanted to scream at them. Tell them how ridiculous they all sounded in light of the loss of 36-hour old baby. Where was the good in that? Why weren’t my prayers answered? What place is better for my child that here with me? What reason could there possibly be for this to happen too us?
Lies. It all sounded like lies.
Every well-meaning sentiment. Every prayer spoken over us. They all just added to our hurt. I realize that no one intended to deepen the wounds with their words, but when you are broken you don’t need to hear Hallmark card sentiments.
Drowning myself in Christianity.
I thought that if I surrounded myself with Christian music, books, the Bible, church, that this would help. That somehow I would be able to find an answer. I would be able to understand the why of it all. Why God would not answer our pleas? Why our son had to die? Just why? But the more I searched for answer, they more I realized there wasn’t one.
I had to learn to accept that I won’t know the answers.
As much as I need to know and want to know the reasons why things had to happen the way they did, I know that I’m never going to have those answers. Even if I did get them, I’m not sure that they would satisfy me since they wouldn’t change the outcome. He is still gone, and that will never be okay with me.
So where does that leave me and my faith?
Honestly, I’m not sure. I still believe in God. I’d still define myself as a Christian, but just a different kind of Christian than before our loss. I question a little more. I’m not as blindly trusting as I once was. My faith is still there it has just taken on a different shape than before. I can still find comfort in many scriptures and in the lyrics of a familiar hymn. But things are different than before. I can’t just tie it all up in a neat little bow anymore.
Faith, just like most things after loss, doesn’t come easy.