Thursday, June 18, 2015

But I DO have Faith

When someone breaks a leg, gets a concussion, has a cold, you never hear of that person being told, "just pray about it, have more faith, then you'll be healed IMMEDIATELY!"

That would be silly. We all know that broken bones take time to mend. Concussions take time to heal. And colds, well, chicken soup, a vaporiser, and, again, time.

For some reason, this same logic, that time and proper care help heal, does not seem to apply to loosing a child.

Or mental illnesses that may accompany that loss (well, mental illnesses in general).

A mixed media "can't sleep so might as well
be productive" piece from my journal.
Instead, the parents of the child that died are, quite often, offered platitudes like, "It was God's will", "He has something to teach you", "just pray, trust, you'll get through this."

As if loosing a child is something that can be patched up like a broken leg, and cared for like a common cold.

"Don't let it control you" is offered when you confess that you have severe anxiety about being left alone, or are constantly worried about your spouse, living child, or other family members. "Pray, trust", when you have PTSD-like reactions in the middle of stores because you see an ambulance pass by or hear a newborn cry.

I have faith. Oh goodness, do I have faith. Because I would not be standing here if I didn't. I have faith that the same God who allowed my son to die will bring me through this. Because God doesn't "will" that his creatures die. He did not make us, in the very beginning, to get old, sick and DIE. He allowed this for reasons I can not fathom, but God did not WANT my child to die. He did not want me and my husband and our oldest son to miss out on the blessing that was another child. The blessing that was our Bennet. God does not "WILL" that we suffer.

I trust that God will care for me. That yes, he may allow something like this to happen again. But he will hold me, again, through it, same as He is now. Angry, raging, furious, broken, He is, and will, hold me.

God teaches me. He CAN use this horrific experience for blessing. He can. But that does NOT mean that he's a giant bully and makes bad things happen so he can teach us a lesson. Blessing that flows from this loss are in SPITE of the loss, not BECAUSE of it.

I have pretty severe anxiety issues since loosing Bennet (I'm not saying I've been diagnosed with anything because, well, I haven't. I've only been able to see a therapist 5 times before I lost the only baby sitter I had and had to stop going). I held death inside me where life once existed. I gave birth to death. I placed my tiny, perfect, beautiful child into the ground. Any anxiety or trauma I experienced as a result of that is not because of a lack of faith and not enough prayer. It is a result of actual trauma. If prayer and reading my Bible and meditation could do away with the flashbacks, the nightmares, the constant racing heart and inability to sleep, the unwarranted fear about loosing Simon or Phillip... I would be fixed by now. They help, the prayer and reading. Because I notice a difference when I haven't had them. The anxiety and PTSD does not control me. It hurts me, it makes life very VERY difficult. But it does not rule my life. I refuse to let it.

But faith, prayer, it isn't a FIX. Not an automatic one, anyway.

It is a balm. Slowly healing, yes, but not a FIX.

We can't be fixed. We accept that most days. We're ok with that most days. Because we have no choice. Accepting it isn't bad, it isn't wrong, it doesn't mean we've given up on being happy. It means we realize our lives are different, and we will always hurt to some degree, always have an empty chair at the dinner table, an empty spot in family photos, always be missing Bennet.

It is OK to not be fixable. OK to be broken. Because God still uses broken people. God still uses us, and we still rely on God.

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