Saturday, February 9, 2013

This is What I Know (And It's Not Much)


I have to admit - I haven't been writing much because I don't know what to say.

Because I am struggling.

Yes, with anxiety. Yes, with typical-if-unfortunate mama guilt, I'm-not-doing-this-good-enough guilt.

But above those mostly expected things arches something I did not expect: that I am struggling with God. With trusting him.

After Eve died, of course there were questions. Of course. But I brought them to God and I felt like he used my questions to draw me closer. And I learned to trust him again.

But now, I am finding that same trust in that same everlasting God very hard.

Because what if he's going to ask more of me than my first baby? How can I trust him after she died inside my own body, where I thought it was safe, and now my son has my heart beating in his hands and how can I be okay with it if God wants more?

And the funny thing is that I can't stop believing in God. Where else can I go? There is no other Name than his for me.

And yet . . . even though I believe, I fear pouring my whole life out to him. I fear obeying him. I fear opening up my hands to let him give or take.

There is an eternity of ways your child could die. Every parent knows this. But babylost parents . . . well, we know it better than most because we have lived [at least] one of those ways.

As my friend Nat wrote when i posted about my God struggles in a Facebook group we're both in, it's hard to trust God when you have learned the hard way that doing so does not mean that everything will turn out okay.

He's not a tame lion.

And I should already know this, because the Bible promises - promises! - hardship and suffering, and how badly do I have it, really, when there are people living without clean water, when women and children are being bought and sold as if they were playthings?

But it hurt to lose my baby girl, and it hurts still, and my hands are closed around the ones I cherish even though I know the only true way to keep them safe is to open my palms wide and let them go. I know I can't keep them closed much longer, because I am seeing that they are not protecting my loved ones but instead are closed tight around my own neck and it's getting damned hard to breathe in here.

But I am afraid.

So what to do? I can't turn away from God, but I am afraid to let him all the way back in, too.

Here, I will be bold and not sugarcoat or shy away from the fact that I. don't. know.

But . . . I do know that I will take this fear, this not-knowing to God, too, and hope that he can make something lovely out of all this ugliness. Because even though I am so afraid, my soul yearns and yearns for his sacred touch,

This is what I know. I know it's not much, but it's something.


  1. Perhaps he is waiting for you to yell at him. It's quite alright to do. His own son asked him tough questions and wept. Paul was the epiphany of understanding that in the choice to follow him one must do all the feelings because it's an agreement to be challenged. He handled things with far more grace than i could ever muster but it's all in there and more. Mother Theresa questioned herself and her own beliefs about God for some of the same reasons you've stated.
    There is nothing you will feel, do or say to him that he doesn't know and isn't waiting for and prepared to embrace you and love you in a way you can feel him again.
    Keep writing, keep talking and grieving. Express what you feel in a way that isn't strangling to you.
    You aren't alone, you will never be alone except in those dark places in your mind and you are so important. Don't let this sad world determine the length of your healing. Let your own soul help you to know. The keys are there.
    Holding you in my heart.

    1. Your words brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for them, for your wisdom and encouragement and kindness. <3

  2. Dear girl, this is such a strong, brave post. And true for so many of us who walk with the Lord, yet fear what He will bring us at the same time. We all walk this journey together, yet differently, losing babies, losing children, losing hope. But He sees our pain, and He knows how it feels to loose, giving up His own Son in such a horrific way. But in the end, after all of the pain and hurt and fear and grief, He is there. I have learned that He has always been there, and has carried me through all of my dark days when I could not carry myself. I understand your fear to trust, and I believe He does too, and He will carry you on until you can trust a little more. That's what He has done for me. "Savior, He can move a mountain, our God is Mighty to save". He is Mighty to save!
    Hugs and love to you today Beth!

    1. Thank you, sweet Margo. I don't see how it's strong or brave, it just is and I wish it was better. The only way out is through, huh? ;)

  3. Beth, I am a new reader to your blog and I am not even sure how I stumbled across it to be honest. This post you wrote today was very much what I needed to hear. It actually felt like reading what I have been saying in my own mind lately. I have been struggling in my relationship with God since my sons stillbirth this past December 23rd. Fearing to trust in him, and at the same time, fearing the alternative. Thank you so much for your words, and for your honesty, they have been a blessing to me today (and many other days as well). Sending much peace your way!

    1. Hi, Amanda...I am so sorry about your sweet boys stillbirth. Life must be feeling very raw for you right now...I remember too well. You have my love and empathy. Big hugs to you and your family.

  4. I am sat here reading your words, feeling your struggle, the battle you go into daily. I may not be the most dedicated religious person, in fact when I was in hospital after losing my son I remember in my hazy state asking my partner in a whisper "Does God hate me?", I whispered as though I didnt want him to hear. There is no answer, there is only the strength that you have within yourself. The strength that has kept you afloat through all these struggles. Be patient with yourself, accept the worry and the anxiety of a sign you are truly a wonderful mother. Sending positive energy to you and your baby today.X

  5. These ladies had some great comments of wisdom to your brave post. I don't have any smart, fancy great words. I have the same fears and doubts and questions but, because you we're brave I get to benefit too. Thanks. My goodness, I hope this made sense because it only partially does in my head 😳

  6. It occurred to me as I read this, and the other comments, that maybe this is what 'the fear of the Lord' means, in a way. Aren't we taught in the Bible that the fear of the Lord is something that is strong, something that we possess in His name (or maybe I'm wrong about that), yet with such an almighty being - although we know he loves us deeply - our finite frailty in the face of One who gives and takes away - well how can we not be a little fearful.

    Its such a struggle - as you put it perfectly. We fear trusting Him, but yet there is not other name but His. We fear getting too deep in case we start to think that because we are in Christ, we are invincible which is just not true; yet we cannot live without Him. So we sit on the fence a little? Afraid to be hurt if we dive in deep, afraid that we will be hurt again and not want God in our lives. Afraid to be angry at Him? Like we don't deserve to be angry at Him for all he has done for us, and continues to do.

    Relationship is such a strange thing really. We have all these worldly ideas of what it should be, what it shouldn't be. And sometimes I wonder where those notions come from. The idea that everything is alright if we trust. The idea that we should have a good life. Why? Why should life be good? As you said, God promised there would be suffering. So why are we so surprised when there is. God never promised life would be all good. Yes, things work for good for those who Love him and are called to His purposes, but I guess what is that good? What is God's idea of good? I don't know either. And sometimes its just plain scary this Christ-life. This life in any way really.

    BUT He promised to be there. To never leave us or forsake us. To walk with us through everything. To catch every tear in a jar.

    I loved how Megan said 'my faith does not waver, but my relationship does from time to time'. That is so true. And I guess life would maybe be boring if there were no struggles. What would be the point of God if life was good. What would we need Him for?

    Always love reading your blog - even if I don't do it enough - such a wonderful raw challenge to my life. Love you.

    1. I read this as the grandmother of Jason, born still on 04/22/10, and friend of Tammy, who WON her battle after a two year fight against cancer, and went to be with the Lord her God, yesterday. Our God walk is indeed a scary one, but as Hebrews 11:1 states "Faith is the assurance of things unseen". God promises. Period. Much love to all who have suffered, and have doubted, and yet still believe.

  7. In 2010, five months after the loss of our daughter...and five months pregnant with our son Nathanael, I stopped in at a country store. I was simply browsing when I found a beautiful box that I knew was perfect to hold every memory I had of Kasey. When the woman checking me out asked if I was OK, my story spilled out. She took my face in her hands and said, "God Loves You."

    I didn't know it then, but she lost a child as well. And when I stopped back in months later - after Nathanael died, too - she told me again. "God Loves You."

    For some reason, hearing her say what I should have known but could not feel was powerful. And True. It gave me hope.

    So, maybe it is my turn to remind someone.

    God Loves YOU. ALWAYS. God Loves You.


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King