Thursday, December 10, 2009

Walk a mile in these shoes

How many times as MOV's have we heard the statement, God doesn't give you more than you can handle? Or that it's God's plan and God's plan is perfect? I don't know about you, but I've had my fill with statements like these. They imply that God was somehow responsible for taking Bryston away. That he planned this from the get go. Or at best they suggest that others of us are more equipped to deal with the loss of a child than others. I don't buy any of that. No one is prepared for the day that their child dies. And how would one even begin to do so?

While yes, I do believe that God's plan is perfect, I in no way shape or form think that God included my son's dying as a part of his plan. I do, however, believe with every fiber of my soul that God will use Bryston's passing for good in some way. I don't see that now, but I think I'm a little to close to this in this moment to not be blinded by any positive spin on his departure. Maybe one day I will. I hope and pray that one day I might.

At this point in my new journey I despise all these old wives saying. Like God giveth and God taketh away. Again this implies that God is the one taking. He is not. We live in a fallen and broken world full of sickness and evil that God never intended for us. God intended a perfect existence for us in the Garden of Eden. But we as imperfect humans chose our own Independence even then and ate the fruit of evil. That is what I believe took my son away from me. My human imperfections and the worlds imperfections and evils.

What Ive come to find is that that lovely little saying about God not giving us more that we can bear isn't even in the bible. What the Bible does say in I Corinthians 10:13 is this, No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Being tempted is a far different thing that enduring the loss of a child I would say.

I am guilty of saying these exact things to grieving people before I had been in their shoes. I had no idea what I was even saying. Looking back, I'm sure that I have said my fair share of these very statements to people that I now shudder when I hear them. You really cant know until you've walked a mile in their shoes. I keep trying to take these damn shoes off! I dont want to know anymore! Its like Ive slipped on someone else's 2 sizes to small shoes and they're just stuck. I know Ive posted that poem before but it just keeps rumbling around in my head. Its so true.

Have I stopped trusting God or lost my faith trough all of this. No, not at all. In the early days my faith was shaken, yes, but never lost. I still have days that I'm angry that he didn't stop this but I have to rely on the promise that he has given me. To be with me through the storm and to be my comforter. When I have those days I have to remind myself that I am still a work in progress and I lean on these promises;

Be content with what you have, for God has said, "Never
will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So say with
confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid."

- Hebrews 13:5,6

Come unto me, ye who are weary and overburdened, and I
will give you rest.
- - Matthew 11:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of
those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

- Romans 8:28


Anonymous said...

This is one of the most encouraging posts I have read for a long time. Both to hear the content but also to know I am not the only one thinking this.

I have felt Christians are far too quick to see everything in terms of God's will. God made the world perfect and death was never his will. But yes he has allowed it for a time but will one day take it away again. We can only see God's perfect will in the two Gardens - Eden at the start, and Heaven at the end (Rev 21v4).

I really react to the "God need another angel so took my baby" or "this baby was too good for this earth so God took her" lines of thinking. Life is good! Death is bad. I believe God grieves our babies as much as we do because death is his enemy (1 Cor 15v26).

Let me add one verse to your collection that has really helped me - 2 Corinthians 4v7-12

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

Now this is more a post than a comment so I will end it there. Let me point to one of my posts where I reflected on the idea of good coming from bad


Anonymous said...

I should add that the "being given over to death" line in 2 Corinthians is about Christians being martyred for their faith NOT babies dying

Jen said...

Lea~ you are completely right.. I use to just listen as people said the cliche's about being Gods will that Ella died..and now I tell them what I believe..its not Gods will for his children to was not in his plan to heal her, but it was not in his plan to make her sick either, if that makes sense? what a very good post.. hugs

Allison (Ali) said...

I have to say I agree with every word in your post. I know people mean well when they say these things, as I - like you - have said them in the past, but telling me that it's God's will or God knows best...How can it be God's will or for the best.

Thinking of you often ~~hugs~~

Shandrea said...

Wow! Truer feelings couln't be spoken, you have so described what i have felt at times. I think people say these things sometimes b/c they don't know what else to say, but as you said no one can know the feeling unless they walk in the shoes. I so wish i could take mine off, but i am trusting in god that this will only make me better, that this journey makes us all better.
Hugs and Prayers

Christy said...

I don't even hear those comments anymore. They are words that mean nothing to me and I don't allow it in my brain. Ha--I'd be lying if I said those comments didn't light a fire in me but I really try to chanel my energy on things I can control and my grieving (which I can't control). People that say those things just don't get it...and they won't until their faith is truly tested. Only then will they decide for themselves if God has a plan and God's plan is perfect. If they don't ever have to decide that from their own experiences, they will never "get" it. I think anyone who survives this tragedy is somehow a better person. I sometimes wonder if I can survive it, or I used to, but when I think I have survived it, I know I am a better person. I often say that I was fine wiht who I was before it happened, though. Coulda gone on living my life as it was, that's for sure.

Thanks for sharing....i get it.

Nan & Mike said...

Jen, you really know your stuff! I like how you back it all up too. These sayings have annoyed me and probably bunches of others, but as you say, they must walk in your shoes to understand, and I too would have said something stupid before being here and knowing first hand. I am not that religious, but learn more and more every day on how to not place blame and be as angry, it just takes time...time is all we have without our babies. Hugs to you, and thank you for posting and sharing this. Praying for your peace and comfort. xoxox Nan

Just Breathe said...

Jennifer, this is a beautiful post.
You have brought tears to my eyes.
((HUGS)) I wish you didn't have to walk in these shoes, it just isn't fair. But I am glad you have God on your side.

Once A Mother said...

I envy the continued depth of your faith through this loss, mine has been shaken deeply. Thank you for writing this.

Karen said...

I so identify with you. I abhor people trying to be kind and telling me that our baby was "too perfect" and so God "took him" back. Aaaaaaah. I think sometimes things just happen. Bernadette at Morning Light Ministry shared with me that she found great comfort in realizing that God didn't take her baby but rather received her. xo

Holly said...

I hate hearing all those sayings over and over. BLAH! I do believe that God saw what was going to happen b/c He knows and sees all but He didn't cause it. Because there is sin in our world bad things happen, even to good people. Could God have performed a miracle? Certainly! But I believe He knows best.