For every mother or father who has known the incomprehensible pain of losing a child at any age or through any circumstances, my heart aches for you. Your circumstances might have been very different from mine, but the pain is shared. The sense of loss is real. The missing is life long. The tears may subside, but they can be brought back to the surface for unexplainable reasons and are beyond our control.
You might say, “Carolyn, but my child suffered. My child was murdered. I was behind the wheel and was at fault. I wanted that baby that I miscarried so badly. My child took his own life, and I can’t get past the anger.”
Yes, there may be so many more feelings than just grief you are feeling – anger, resentment, guilt, shame. Your child might have died two days ago or twenty years ago. You might have thought that you were healed. Might have thought that you were as whole as you could be in this life. You might just be so very tired of people asking you if you are “over it yet.” Like there could be a time in this world when you could be “over it.” This was not a flu that you get over. It is not a disappointment in life that you move on from. This is a child – flesh of your flesh – that you must learn to live without for the rest of your journey on this earth. This is a smile you do not get to see. This is a voice you do not get to hear. This is a hand you do not get to hold.
You might still be crying out to God and shaking your fist at heaven and screaming loud enough for the world to hear “God,you took my daughter. God, you took my son. God, you took my infant.” But thirty years ago at a funeral service for a seven week old child who never got to see anything in this life but a hospital isolette, these words were spoken:
“For you see, human beings do not belong to one another, We are God’s children. We belong to Him. It is by sheer grace that we are together for a time – even for only a little while.”
So I will boldly tell you this day, that God did not take my Gregory. He gave me HIS Gregory. And that is the truth. I thank Him for the gift of my son. For the fact that I will see him in heaven and we will be together all eternity. I thank God for the lessons Gregory taught me. I think back and can’t think of one lesson I got to teach him. I thank God for strength to stand when I couldn’t stand. I thank God for the ability to move forward when I wanted to stay in my pain. I thank God for His love for me on my best day and on my worse day. I thank God for his patience. I thank God for putting up with my moods. I thank God for the opportunity to help others see Him for who He is – Good, Loving, Faithful. I thank God for what He is going to do in your life.
God knows your pain. God knows your anger. God knows your hurt. God knows your disappointment. God knows your emptiness. God knows your guilt. God knows your resentment. You cannot hide from God. Hiding from God is like the three year old child who breaks the glass candy dish and closes his eyes and assumes because his eyes are closed and he can’t see mommy and daddy, that mommy and daddy can’t see him.
Psalm 147, Verse 3says “He heals the brokenhearted and Binds up their wounds.” He doesn’t say you won’t be brokenhearted. He doesn’t say you won’t have wounds. He says HE HEALS and HE BINDS.
But why didn’t God make a place where no one is sick, where no one cries, where no one grows old, where no one is harmed, where no one is in pain. He did, but that place is called Heaven. We are not in that place.
We are here on the earth plane. We are living in a fallen world. God gave us free will. Was that a mistake? Most of us would say probably. Because left to our own devices, we make bad decisions. Eve ate from the only tree forbidden to her and Adam. Adam joined in. Love not freely given is not really love at all. If a man is in love with a woman and ties her to a pole in his basement and says, you will love me. Can that really be love? If God made us robots and told us we must worship and love Him, would that be love at all? But he pursues us. He wants to heal us. He wants us to know that he loves us, despite the fact that as a parent who has buried a child that might not seem possible to believe.
In Isaiah 61, Verses 1 – 3 it is written:
Listen to the sheer power of those words. “To give them beauty for ashes”. My prayer for you this day is that you will to lay your ashes at the foot of the cross and ask God to take them and trade them for beauty. The ashes of the unfulfilled hopes and dreams you had for your child. The “what ifs” and the “if onlys that haunt your dreams.” The silent tears that you do not even share with your spouse. The curses at God that you scream when you are alone. Ask for the oil of joy in exchange for your mourning.
“Well, I don’t want God to know that I am angry and hurt,” you might say. Well, guess what. I am telling you this day, He knows your every thought. He has counted your every tear. I am asking that God will set you free this day and give your life new meaning and purpose. I am asking that God will heal you in ways you did not know you needed to be healed. I am asking God to unshackle the chains that bind you from living the rest of your days on earth with a sense of peace and purpose.
Be honest with God. He can handle your honesty. He wants a real relationship. He sent his Son to heal you. Ask for healing. Ask for peace. Ask for purpose. Ask for strength. Ask for comfort. Ask for joy. He will give you those things and more.