Every step on our life journey is a step of trust. We either trust in others, in ourselves, or in God.
Trusting completely in others, or only in ourselves, will eventually fail. But when something horrible happens in our lives (such as the death of our child) we often tell ourselves we can’t trust God unless we know the “why.”
I often use my own experience as a parent to help me understand my heavenly Father. Are there times I need my children to trust me without giving them an explanation? Of course. Are there lots of reasons I might not tell them why? Yes. And I know there are times my children have asked why (or why not), not because they really want to know, but because they want to be able to argue against my reason, whatever that reason is.
We can have the same attitude with God. Even if He told us why He allowed this tragedy in our lives, it wouldn’t be a good enough reason in our intense pain and darkness, and we would just want to argue with Him on how wrong He was to do this to us.
Understanding will not bring us peace. That is why we are told to trust in God and not in our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). For some reason we often think if we can figure things out we can be in control. But the relief felt doesn’t last very long because soon there is something else we are trying to make sense of.
During deep grief, people either move toward God or away from Him. But when we move away from Him, we are moving away from the One who can help us the most. God wants to walk with us through this valley of death. He wants to give us comfort. He wants to give us strength. He wants to give us hope. These are all things we desperately need. But if we choose to move away from Him, we will continue to desperately need these things. This is a time to get as close to God as you possibly can.
The picture I get is one of a distraught child crying uncontrollably as a father bends down to pick up that child. The child is so upset that he is kicking and screaming and fighting his father. Eventually the child runs out of strength and relaxes in the embrace of his loving father. And now that child can receive the comfort, strength, and hope he wants and needs.
It is the same with us. We often fight the One who can give us the very things we need. Instead, we need to quit fighting Him, receive His embrace, and allow Him to carry each of us in His strong arms of love.
We choose what we want to believe.
I can choose to believe there is no God or He would have saved my child.
I can choose to believe that if there is a God, He isn’t good and He isn’t fair or He would have saved my child.
Both of those options leave me feeling angry and empty.
I have chosen a third option. There is a God, His thoughts and ways are so much higher than mine, He loves me with a perfect love, and even though I don’t understand why He has allowed this to happen, I still trust Him with my life both here on earth and for eternity.
This option has brought me to a place of peace, rest, hope, and life again—even within the pain.
It is possible to choose to trust His love for you, even when you can’t see it or feel it. Not only is it possible, but it is a necessary step to get through the suffocating darkness into a place of light.
I would like to share something God spoke to my heart, that is just as true for you as it is for me.
I have a love for you that is so special and so deep and so unique that I can’t love anyone else with it. It is a love that is only for you! No one else can receive it because it is yours and yours only!
I suggest you read it again, slowly this time, hearing God speak this truth directly to you. Read it several times if you need to. Read it out loud. Keep reading it, until the truth of it breaks through and you know in your heart that because of His incredible, extravagant love for you, you can trust Him.
As a parent who has lost a child, I have gone through the trauma, grief, and darkness that come with it. I am also someone who was able to plant a seed of hope in my life that is now growing into a tree of life. It is a different tree with different fruit from before my daughter, Becca, died, but it is alive and sprouting and starting to bear some fruit.
Death is a part of life. We will all die at some point. And as painful as it is, some of us will have children who leave this earth ahead of us. The question is, how are we going to choose to live the rest of our lives when they are gone and there is nothing we can do to bring them back? Am I going to live in a way that reminds everyone my child died, or that my child lived?
I have chosen to trust God and continue to trust God, knowing He could have healed Becca but did not, allowing her to go to her eternal home ahead of me. He has a purpose and a plan that I cannot see or know about, because He is God and I am not.
I hope and pray that you will do the same.
This article was taken from Laura Diehl’s book When Tragedy Strikes: Rebuilding Your Life With Hope and Healing After the Death of Your Child. Laura will be doing a live six-week deeper dive study into this book with anyone who wants to join her. Click the link below for more information or to register.
Expressions of Hope is written by author and speaker Laura Diehl to bring hope, light and life to those struggling in darkness after a tragedy, especially bereaved parents. If you would like more information about Laura as an author or a speaker for your next event, click here.