This may be the least popular post I have ever written (go easy on my please) because I have a confession.
I lost my faith.
I grew up in an Irish Catholic family and spent eight years in Catholic school. As a teenager, I said the rosary at night before final exams and to help me fall asleep if my mind was spinning with worry. Once, in grade school, I remember making my parents drive through the town where we were vacationing on a Sunday, afraid we might miss church that morning.
While pregnant with my triplets the hospital priest visited every other day, he prayed over my bed as I held onto my stomach and prayed with him, asking God to keep these babies inside just a little bit longer and help them to arrive happy, healthy and alive.
When our daughter passed away in my arms, among the feelings of shock and complete devastation, was disbelief. My world had been turned upside down and everything that I believed, everything I prayed for, everything I understood to be true was no longer. I was mad at life and the universe and, to be honest, at God. How could I have put so much faith into prayer and truly thought that things would be okay? And how, if God exists, could something so searingly painful happen?
Before we lost our daughter I often recited “everything happens for a reason” to myself when I needed to get through difficult times. Knowing I would ultimately find that reason and that the path I was on would be lightened, kept me going. The first time my mind began that saying after Hadley died, it stopped.
When the hospital priest returned to visit I turned him away. His phone calls to offer comfort in the days that followed went unanswered. I squelched the urge to make an appointment to visit him and ask him why. Why did this happen to our family? Why could something this awful happen to anyone?
It has been five years since we lost Hadley and I am no longer mad at God but I am no longer a prayerful person either. When things are at there worst I do not turn to prayer. I wish I could but my faith in the power of prayer has never been restored. I envy those who have been able to maintain their relationship with God after loss and I want to know their secret.
Because I’ve just never found a way to do it.
Did you struggle with your faith after loss? Do you still struggle?