It’s a good thing that I enjoy hearing from bereaved parents and writing back to them, because I get many emails every week.
Many of those I hear from share a similar struggle. It is the struggle of doubting God’s goodness, asking questions along the line of:
- Does God really even exist?
- Is there really a heaven?
- How could He be real if He is so cruel by allowing so many terrible things to happen in this world?
I thought I would share my answer to one of those emails here, because it is a struggle I often hear about. I will call her Madeline. She was beginning to doubt if God is even real, or if there is an afterlife when we leave this earth.
When our child dies, we are such a vulnerable target for the enemy. We are confused, angry, and all the other emotions which are very familiar to you now. You have probably heard me say that I had no idea that so much darkness and pain even existed or was possible.
You are right, God would be very cruel if He allowed all of these horrible things to happen to some of us and is selective on who He helps and who He does not. God is in the business of redeeming and restoring what the enemy corrupts and damages. So maybe, we aren’t looking at it through the right eyes. We are trying to humanize God, which just isn’t possible.
One of the enemy’s top objectives is to make us think all of the horrible things that happen to us here on earth is God’s fault, and that He really isn’t who He says He is. The enemy is out to do that by planting doubts in our mind, just like he did with Eve at the beginning of time. His specialty is lying, deceiving, killing, destroying, stealing from us, and then getting us to blame God instead of him.
God’s specialty is restoring, redeeming, peace, loving us through our doubts, anger, bitterness and blaming Him. Here is something I wrote in my book When Tragedy Strikes.
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 the 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.
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?
During 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.
As I was writing the last paragraph, I got a picture of a distraught child crying uncontrollably. In the picture, I see a father bending down to pick up that child. The child is so upset he is kicking and screaming and fighting the father, who is trying to pick him up. 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. Don’t fight the One who can give you the very things you need. Surrender, let Him embrace you and carry you in His strong arms of love.
I pray you get to the point where you can choose to believe God is bigger than death, that He made a way for you to be with your child again, and that our life here for all of us is only temporary. As a recent guest on a GPS Hope YouTube video, Wayne Jacobson shared, it’s like we are in the lobby, and the real show is on the other side of the door, behind the curtain.
You are on your own journey, and I am so honored and blessed to be walking some of it with you. For me, I would go crazy if I believed Becca’s life was over, she is nothing but dust now and I will never ever see her again; never be able to hug her or hear her laugh. I get so much more peace from believing that God sees the big picture, that He knew the exact second Becca’s heart would stop and her last breath would be taken, and He knows that about me as well, and He put a plan in place before that ever happened so that we could be together again. He was there to meet Becca when she crossed over, and He and Becca will be there to meet me when I cross over.
If you are struggling with some of these same things, I pray this was helpful to you. Our life is a journey, and we have been placed on a road we never wanted to be on. But you are not on this road alone. There are thousands who are ahead of you, and many who want to walk with you.
Those of us at GPS Hope are here to walk with you. To hear more emails answered about struggles grieving parents are having, you can head over to our GPS Hope YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe and click the bell icon to get notifications when a new video comes out.
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Expressions of Hope is written by author, speaker and singer Laura Diehl. She and her husband, Dave, are the founders of Grieving Parents Sharing Hope (GPS Hope). Dave and Laura travel full time in their Hope Mobile (a 38-foot motor home) to be more easily available for speaking and ministry requests, including being invited to hold one-day GPS Hope & Healing conferences.
If you would like more information about Laura as a speaker for your next event or want more information on hosting a GPS Hope & Healing conference, click here.
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