Archives for posts with tag: faith

DSCF7880Okay…so I am trying this for the first time. Technology is often not my friend, but I feel  I need to do this for a greater purpose, so technology aside, I will proceed.

Words are constantly revolving around in my brain. Yes…..I am very random, and maybe I’m the only one who can follow the rabbit trail; all I know is I want to put my words somewhere, in an effort, selfishly, to help myself through this often mind-boggling experience, but more importantly, to help others through their journey.

Ever since facebook came into existence, it has opened up a whole world of communication for a whole lot of people. I, for one, have been very thankful for it, as it has put me in touch with old friends and has given me a few new friends, as well. But recently I discovered, again in my own head, that I have been spending far too much time on facebook and have been dependent on others to feed my need.

When Carly’s accident first happened, I counted on those around me, friends and family, to come to MY rescue. Why? Because I was so afraid and so unsure of what was to come. Even before she was gone, the journey of grief had started. This road had never been traveled. Though I knew my main resource was God, and my faith was in Him and Him alone, and I always felt His presence, I was still at a significant loss of what to do about the present circumstances and those to come. I was helpless. Facebook gave me a platform to cry out to others in the wee hours before God called Carly home. You, my friends, were there when the world around me was asleep. I could count on you to hear my heart, dress my wounds and wipe my tears away. Yes, I had God to cry out to….always. But, as my dear former pastor, Jerry Coleman once put it, “sometimes you need people in skin”. You were there for me. And for that I am very thankful. One gets to feel very needy and very self-centered when one in inconsolable.

It is easy to say, “I have faith that God is working all things together for good.” It is another thing to live it out when your child’s life, your life, and your family’s lives have been turned upside down. The fears, the doctors’ words, the black and white facts confronting you. What am I to do with this? It certainly was not all about me. It was all about Carly Grace. As she lay there in the ER, unconscious and hooked up to a ventilator, “to assist her in her breathing”, and the words of the doctor, making much sense to him as he presents it, but making no sense to me, “There is no major bleed in her brain, but I am concerned about the scattered pattern of small bleeds present. It points to her having had a brain shear, from an impact to her head on one side followed by a second impact on the other. It is not a hopeful scenario.” What? What?? He may as well have been talking in another language. All I heard was “not hopeful”. If there is no hope, than what is there? Oh, dear God! Miracle here! This can’t be how it ends.

Oh, how I would love to be here saying THAT miracle came, that she is a walking, talking, back-to-normal, funny and feisty Carly that we all knew and love. How I would love to be able to say to the skeptics, “See! Believe! Only have faith!” How many times I have said, “Why? Why, Lord, didn’t you show your glory by healing her from all of this?” As my former pastor put it; this belongs in the box of Mystery and Majesty. Some questions will never be answered, at least not to our liking. But one day we will know and understand.

But we had to go somewhere. Somewhere from where we were. Somewhere from the ICU. Somewhere from the final moments when we had to say goodbye. Somewhere….else. Anywhere else. Anywhere is a big place, a place to run away to, or to run away from. But it is a place we all face one day, unwillingly. It is a journey to a place, to that anywhere, that place where we can come to terms with grief and faith.

These words seem to be opposites to me. Grief. Wikipedia..and we all know we can get the real deal from Wikipedia….puts it this way: Grief is a multi-faceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed. Wow. That does not say it all. thefreedictionary.com says it more realistically: deep mental anguish. Yes…. deep…. mental….anguish. I know most who might happen to read this have suffered deep mental anguish. Anguish, to me says a feeling you really can’t put into words. You only feel it deep inside your soul. Anguish you can’t extinguish. If you haven’t felt it, I am sorry to say, you probably will. Loss is inevitable. Your response to that loss may differ from someone else’s, but you will experience it. 

I am writing this now because, believe it or not, one year and three months later, it has finally sunk in that Carly is no longer here. Whether I am a slow learner, have been in an extended state of denial, or whether this is something others have done, I don’t know. As I said, I have never done this before. I lost my parents almost 20 years ago, but those deaths didn’t have near the same impact. You expect to lose your parents. You don’t expect to lose your child. How many time have you heard “no parent should have to bury their child”. Any parent would have to agree with that, especially those parents who have had to. It is, indeed, an unexpected journey. I will end today’s entry, but will start at the beginning with my next on that other word “faith”. I would so appreciate input from others who have walked this path, to enlighten it for both myself and for other readers. God bless you.

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DSCF0776Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1.

Personally, all I can say about faith is not going to convince anyone to have faith. When you have faith in someone, you trust them. They are as good as their word. You trust that person because they have proven themselves to be trustworthy. Having faith in God is just like that. Only difference….you have to believe in God’s existence first off, then you have to believe He is trustworthy. I trust God because He has proven Himself to be trustworthy in my life. No, not everything has gone the way I’ve wanted or the way I’ve thought it should. And I can’t say these things haven’t shaken my faith or made me ask questions. But that’s okay. God is a big God and He can take our questions. He can take it when we are angry or confused over our circumstances. Is God good, even when things go really sour? Faith in God is tested at these trying times. Does one draw closer to God in the midst of the trial or does one’s anger and confusion drive them from the Source of peace and comfort? There remains the age old question, “why do bad things happen to good people?”. Okay, if you are expecting me to come up with a spiritual bandage, talking about the goodness of God and the purpose He has in the suffering. well, you’d be partly right. Yes, God has proven to be trustworthy in my life, as I said before. And yet, I do have lingering questions about why bad things happen. Bad things happen to everyone, right? Whether a person is good or bad,  something bad is likely to happen to them in their lifetime. A common response to the “Why Me?” question is “Why NOT Me?” Things just happen. Accidents happen. Evil happens. Illness happens. Things happen that we have absolutely no control over. Why doesn’t God intervene and stop these things? I could go into the theological discussion that because Adam and Eve sinned, they set us up to live in a fallen world forever. Had they only listened to the voice of God we would live forever in paradise! What were they thinking??  Just as they made bad choices, we make bad choices. Sometimes we suffer at the hand of another’s bad choices. Sometimes we suffer and there is no one to blame. Many questions call for answers. But answers, no matter how credible, can really cause one to feel good when that bad thing has happened. What is needed is caring, comfort, love and support. Action, not answers.

When Carly Grace was born 31+ years ago, the doctor’s didn’t give her more than three days to live. Why did God intervene then? Why did He bless us with 30 years with Carly? Did we deserve it any more than another parent who loses their newborn? Of course not. Are we thankful? Of course we are. Would losing her 30 years ago have tested my faith? Of course it would have. ( I have been sharing Corbin Alfred McHenry’s story , Prayers for Corbin on facebook, whose little life hangs in the balance as I write this. Read his story to see how his mom has found faith). My hope is that I would have kept the faith and used my experience to help other people deal with their loss. It didn’t happen then. It happened a year ago. And now, I hope to use my experience, my loss, my pain, to help others through their loss. The scenario may differ in time and place and cause, but with God’s help I can take what has been painful and sad, and help other people with their grief, and with God’s direction help lead them into His place of comfort and peace instead of a place of dark bitterness and hopelessness. Have you seen for yourself someone who has chosen the latter? I don’t think any kind of good can arise from that. Have you seen for yourself someone who chooses, instead, to look to God for peace and comfort in the midst of their darkest time?I These “pillars of faith” are the people whose lives have spoken the loudest to me. I see a hope, I see peace. I see a light in their eyes and in their spirit. Of course the scars of pain and sadness might remain, but their continued faith in God has built my own faith in Him. My own mom was the biggest picture of faith to me. No matter what came her way, she always pointed the way to God and His love and mercy. And yet, at age 70, she suffered a debilitating stroke following heart surgery that left her without speech and hemiplegic. I thought, how could this happen to a woman of such great faith? She should have recovered and been in better shape than before her surgery! And yet, over the next 6 years before God took her home, she remained a light of faith to me. The light remained in her face, in her eyes and in her spirit. She taught me volumes in her silence that I could not have learned anywhere else. Her example to me showed me that, in God’s strength, we can be conquerers even in the worst of times. Though she never regained what she had lost, she never lost her faith. Of that I am more than positive.  Though pain and loss may paralyze us for a moment, it can’t keep us there. Where there is faith, there is hope, where there is hope, there is light, where there is light, there is no darkness. Choose faith. Choose light.