The best advice I received from one of our mentors was not to sit at the junction of questions. So I did stand and walk past that junction many times just to get my head around the events surrounding my first son’s death (I had to do something if you know what I mean).
The benefit of asking questions in my opinion enabled me process what really took place, placed me in a better stead to support others, provided me with insight on how to deal with medics and respond to friends and family, it gave me the opportunity to discover God’s take on my predicament, instigated my healing process and served as a form of closure some time down the line.
Of course I did not get answers to all my questions but my time of reflection (both a one- off process immediately after my first loss and a on and off process subsequently) was adequate to keep me sane and enabled me go forward despite the uncertainties and anxiety. But despite the unknown, the peace and comfort I received from God was very real, soothing and assuring that my future would be just fine.
When things make no sense, you are frustrated, fed up and perhaps feel like giving up. Remember the word of God to you in Jeremiah 29:11
I say this because I know what I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.
Four weeks after my first loss, I was back at church. This was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I felt every eye was on me and wondered what they were thinking. For some reason that day, all the songs were focussed on the goodness of God. Although I sang along, I could not connect with the songs or God. I thought how can God be good and allow such a horrible thing to happen to me? As the months progressed, I came to a point of accepting what had happened but deep in my sub conscious I still believed God ‘let’ me down.
The turning point for me came when I heard a sermon at church ‘God is not your problem.’ At the end of that sermon, the weight of disappointment was lifted. I knew for sure that:
- God is full of goodness and he cannot be anything but good
- Despite the fact I lost my son that doesn’t make God any less good
The following scriptures testify to God’s goodness:
- For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever and his faithfulness continues to each generation. Psalm 100: 5
- You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees. Psalm 119:68
- “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. Mark 10: 18
- As newborn babies want milk, you should want the pure and simple teaching. By it you can mature in your salvation, because you have already examined and seen how good the Lord is. 1 Peter 2: 2 – 3
I accepted that God is always good following this paradigm shift. Personally, I have discovered that if I do not ask questions, most likely I would not get answers and grow in my knowledge as a Christian. As I have a living relationship with the Almighty, I believe it is okay to ask him questions when I am confused. So, what was the point of my pain?
First and foremost it occurred to me it really is not about me. Once I became a Christian, I chose to follow his cause and trust that he has my best interest at heart and what he has designed me to be and to do is just right for me. This includes my past, pain and his plans. Secondly, my life experiences can serve as a stepping stone in bringing hope, direction and healing for others. Following my loss it became apparent to me ‘who’ the lord was sending me to. I am of the opinion that we all have a specific purpose (our assignment) on earth. And sometimes we cannot effectively minister, assist and make a difference to the people he is sending us to if we have no clue what life is like for them. It is recorded in 2 Corinthians 1: 4 that ‘God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.’
One of my consolations following this heartbreak is that fact that others and I can be inspired to live again, trust God and bring comfort to others in our shoes.