The words below are not my words but words I found from equip.org when I was searching for the definition of faith:
“First, the Bible defines faith as “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). Thus, in biblical vernacular, faith is a channel of living trust—an assurance—that stretches from man to God. In other words, it is the object of faith that renders faith faithful.
Furthermore, faith is the assurance that God’s promises will never fail, even if sometimes we do not experience their fulfillment in our mortal existence. Hebrews 11 underscores the fact that we trust God to fulfill his promises for the future (the unseen) based on what he has already fulfilled in the past. Thus, our faith is not blind, but based squarely on God’s proven faithfulness.”
How many times in church have I heard “let us proclaim the mystery of our faith.” Or recited “I believe in all that is seen and unseen.” Mostly just words before Devastation Day and now … Well, suffice to say those words hold a new meaning.
Believing is easy when your prayers are being answered but the real challenge comes after you pray with a full sincere heart and your prayers go unanswered. How many times have I asked if God was on vacation on August 4, 2013? If God is everywhere then did he approve of my daughter’s sudden death? Did He and she plan it together before she was given to me? And was “the plan” for me to live in utter despair after He took her home?
I remember immediately returning to church after Amy died. A day or two after Amy’s birthday was a holy day, which was only days after Devastation Day and my unanswered prayers. While listening to the readings and searching for clarity in the words, I happened to pick up a church paper which was laying next to me on the pew and saw my Amy’s name listed under the “pray for the souls of the deceased…” All of a sudden I became so angry that I stopped participating in the mass. By the time I got to the car, I was livid. When my husband joined me in the car, I started screaming how God had abandoned me and I was not a saint or the subject of one of the stories in the bible so how was I to just accept Amy’s death as part of “His Plan”? How can I sit there and sing?
I will always remember that day in church as being the very first time when I realized that in my heart, I felt abandoned by a God whom I had always blindly trusted. Followed by the deepest sadness and sorrow; followed by the realization that I had never ever felt so alone.
It would take almost one year, before I was able to begin to believe again, but the blind faith and trust has not been restored. I am disenchanted but make no mistake I want my faith back because I am weary from being angry at God and have been admitting over the past few months that my anger with Him is fading.
My quiet faith has always given me tremendous peace. When others proclaimed they didn’t believe, I confess to thinking to myself then who watches over your children when you can’t be there? God seemed to be doing a decent job for me up until Devastation Day …
Devastation Day: in hindsight I want to believe He was there on that devastating day and with me while I was in the deepest, darkest and most sorrowful place in my life. I genuinely want to believe that the God I trusted my entire life was welcoming my sweet girl home. But my blind faith did not prevail and I felt targeted and betrayed.
And is it possible that all of the hopes and dreams which never came to be here for such a deserving caring, vulnerable, kind and beautiful girl, were now coming true in a better place? My Amy deserves all that and more but what about the void she leaves here? Was that part of the great plan? Was my reward for loving my precious child with ever fiber of my heart and soul to spend the rest of my life living with the “Great Sadness” as described in the The Shack, the audiobook I am still muddling through.
I try, but I still can’t pray! I don’t trust He is listening yet! But, slowly, I feel a shift and feel glimmers of my faith returning because this cannot be the end! I must see my Amy again and I must believe she now exists in a place which is so much more than I can ever imagine. A place where there are no words in the dictionary which describe its beauty and peace just like there are no words to describe my sorrow and despair.
Religion is personal. I respect everyone’s right to believe or not to believe. This is just me thinking outloud and sharing my own crisis of faith. My journey in faith is my own and I will find my way based on my own personal relationship with God. But it will take time and I may not get there until I am being called Home because I do not trust easily.
If you are able to pray, please pray for me and my family. 14 months later, we could sure use the prayers.
Remembering Amy always.
* Thank you, Linda, for the photo above, but most of all for your continuing friendship.