Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wrestling With God



Leap of Faith

I have left this post until now because it is the most difficult to write. How do you reconcile your relationship with God after you have lost a child? Regardless if you are a believer or not, you will think about God after you lose a child. I am reminded of Jacob in the book of Genesis wrestling all night with God. Oh, that our own wrestling with God could be accomplished in just one night!! But Jacob did not relent and thus prevailed, and so must we.

I had always considered myself a strong Christian, but after the loss of Gabriel I really really struggled. Now I have to say "My faith has been tested and I received a C- and that only because God was grading on a curve!"

Here is my advice on faith. Be patient with yourself and with others who are grieving. Everyone has their own "wrestling match" to work through. Some may pull away from God. It's all part of the process. Just be assured that God is still there. As someone noted in a recent article "God Doesn't Blink" . He can handle anything we throw at Him. So go ahead and push, pull, cry, or yell if you have to. This may be the most difficult aspect of moving on with your life after the loss of your child.

Don't let your faith turn to cold concrete that will leave you bitter and unproductive as a human being. Have you ever seen a concrete statue accomplish anything? So take your time but work through your feelings about God. You can ask a friend or clergy to help you , but from my experience unless they have lost a child they really won't be all that much help to you. This is likely something that you will have to work out one-on-one with God.

When I was going through my deepest pain and grief I cried out to God. He spoke to me and said "It was for those tears that I died". It was comforting to me to know that God knew what it was like to lose a child.

I hope you will be comforted too.

Feel free to comment or contact me if you want to talk about this with someone who understands what you are going through.

17 comments:

  1. Thank you for coming by my blog. I have a niece who was diagnosed with terminal cancer in January. We are still praying for a miracle.

    I'm so sorry about your loss. One can't even imagine the depth of pain it must cause. You are very brave to blog about your trauma. In time people who really need to hear your words will find you. Its wonderful that you are doing this. It will help others dealing with this specific, unnatural type of loss. I wish you comfort and peace. May God bless you and help you find your way...

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  2. Thank you Susan for your kind words. I really enjoyed browsing your website. Your art is wonderful! I did pause and say a prayer for your niece while there. I can relate to what your family is going through. God bless.

    Karla

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  3. Thanks for visiting my blog, Karla. I have spent a few minutes here and am so sorry for your loss and so uplifted that you are reaching out to comfort others. You are brave, strong and compassionate. May God bless you.

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  4. Thanks for the post. I have lost everybody except a child or grandchild. I don't want to stare at the things that you have--I am sure I would hate God and turn to my menu of addictions for relief..but then again...maybe God meets us in our sorrow or sorrows--"...He was acquainted with grief..." I heard that God Himself lost His little boy in a pretty mean way.

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  5. Thank you for your kind words Rosemary. I don't know how brave and strong I am. I was a complete and utter mess for several years. But there is hope for healing and that is what I am attempting to share here.

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  7. Don, I completely understand the need to pace yourself in your grief and to limit the stimualtions that come at you. I am sorry for your losses. Even though I didn’t know your loved ones I understand the pain. Feel free to check back and take “peeks” at what I have written. You may want to look at the post “Don’t try to ease your pain with addictive substances”. You may find it helpful. Take care and keep producing that beautiful artwork!

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  8. When I was seven my mother gave birth to identical twin boys who did not survive. I almost died the following year after being very, very ill for years and she felt deserted by God and life. I remember she told me later, when I was finally well, & grown, that she got through it when someone told her this little story: In heaven a line of children were walking among the clouds and angels carrying beautiful candles, but the candle of one child kept going out. "Why is your candle not staying lit?" asked an angel. "Because," the child replied, "my mother keeps putting it out with her tears."

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  9. I am so touched by your blog and your words. I have no children so can not identify directly with the loss of a child - it must feel devastating. I can only relate to the grief through the loss of my parents when I was young. Being an only child, I felt abandoned, and I could not understand for the life of me, why God would do this. I had a great deal of anger and one night I lashed out at my God - I screamed at the crucifix, and yelled, and cried, and screamed some more. Then I suddenly stopped, because I became afraid. I cowered into the corner of my bed and waited for the lightning bolt to come down from the sky & end my existence. But it never came, and I realized that God understood. He allowed me to vent my anger and in that way, he was able to help me. I hold to the belief that we meet up with those that we love when we, too, cross over to the other side.

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  10. Nancie, Thanks for stopping by my blog. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to lose my parents at a young age. It is hard enough as an adult. It can be really difficult to understand how a loving God allows painful things to happen to His children. Take care. Karla

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  11. I thank you for becoming a follower of my blog for in such I found yours. I lost my dad in June and at times I am ok while at others I am so sad. I dreamed about him last night. I miss him but I am glad that I can now feel the comfort of the arms of Jesus. I am encouraged by your post.

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  12. Angela, I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad. I understand about your dreaming about him. It seems we try to make sense of our losses even while we sleep. I am so glad to hear that you find comfort in your Christian faith. That is what has kept my head above water through the years. p.s. LOVE your art!

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  13. Karla, I am so glad that I came across your blog. As a child I suffered loss early in my life when my father passed away a week before my sixth birthday. Now my daughter is so seriously ill, and we are waiting for test results to see exactly how bad this is going to be. She is not just my daughter, she is my best friend and I am not sure I could go on if I lost her. It has really helped my heart to read the words of faith and compassion that have been written here.

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  15. Karla~ Beautiful soft edges and colors in this work!
    I greatly admire your bravery in sharing faith in the face of loss.
    This post reminds me of the lyrics to a Rita Springer song I was listening to on the way home from painting yesterday. In part, it goes...

    "I have thought about God,
    and my own life's existence...
    .....
    I have thought about God
    when searching for solutions,
    disappointment and cost
    birthing such confusion....
    .....
    chorus
    How can we walk, underneath an open sky?
    How can we say we have eyes
    and yet we can be so blind.
    You have your race and religion
    and I guess I have mine.
    What about God?
    .......
    I had thought about God
    when my own father was dying.
    I fought the idea of death and it's timing.
    I turned the other cheek only because i was crying
    out to God~~~

    You can look through the windows
    of a stain glass cathedral.
    You can speak in tongues
    in a church with a steeple.
    Who holds the keys
    to your own heart's temple
    I wonder if it's GOD?"
    (Rita Springer)

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  16. Claire, Thank you for sharing. I pray everything is going well for your daughter.

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  17. Jill, Thank you for taking the time to comment and share the words of this song. I had not heard of it before. I will have to look it up.

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