…the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21
This past week we learned of a dear family who lost their son. My heart broke for them. It was not the first friend I had to lose a child, and I always feel crushed for them. I understand their pain because I have lost children too. My first thought was how devastated I was when I lost my babies to miscarriages, but I had never experienced the loss of a child I had known and watched grow up. How much worse that might be. Then I realized it really doesn’t matter. The loss of a child is excruciating, no matter when (or how) we lose them. It rips your heart out. The pain at times will suck the air from your lungs, and you feel like you’re drowning in grief.
How can a mother (or father) bear this kind of pain? With my first miscarriage, I was able to give God glory, like Job in the verse above. With each of the other 5 losses, it got harder and harder to bless the name of the Lord. I began to feel like Naomi when she returned to Israel after losing her husband and sons.
And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.” Ruth 1:20
I wish I could say that I handled my losses with grace, peace, joy, and praise. The truth is that I often did not. I swung back and forth between those and anger, jealousy, and bitterness. I struggled with why God continued to take my children (and then not give me any more) while blessing others abundantly. It became so easy to listen to my aching (and deceitful) heart and to the enemy, instead of listening to the truth of my Father’s love. Because I didn’t feel loved when He took my children. I felt crushed. I felt cheated out of the joy of raising my children for God. I felt rejected.
How thankful I am that God continued to love me anyway. He continued to draw me to Himself, remind me of His love, and remind me not to listen to the enemy. Where once there was pain, jealousy, and bitterness, there is now peace, contentment, and joy. I still miss my children. I wonder what they would look like today. I still ache to think I’ll not only miss being a mother, but also a grandmother. But there is peace. I once again trust the goodness and wisdom of my Father.
God has used a lot of music, books, and sermons to bring me to this place. From time to time I’ll share some of them with you. Even if you’re handling your loss with more grace and faith than I did, maybe they will help encourage you along your journey through the valley.
With love and prayers,