It is now three years since my son died. Or rather, I am in my third year of grieving. Since Adam died, I have had people ask me about my faith in God and what Christian grieving looks like. Some who do not believe in God or Jesus wonder how I can still have my faith. Those who are Christians or of another faith, just worry about me.
The truth is, it has been very hard. How do I reconcile a God who loves me with a God who would let my son take his life? If God has control over everything, why didn’t he stop this? If he didn’t have control over it, what kind of God do I worship?
These are the questions I have grappled with for three years. I have tossed and turned, cried out for answers and sought spiritual guidance. I have read books and talked to other grieving parents. Do you know what I discovered?
Nothing comes easy during the dark nights of the soul and there are no pat answers.
My Experience with Christian Grieving
What I have concluded though, is that what you search for you will find, and this is true for both Christians and non-Christians alike. If I look for reasons that my sons death means God is either non-existent or uncaring, then that is what I will discover. If I look for comfort in God’s love and reassurance that there is some unknowable reason for all this, then that is probably what I will find.
My son was in incredible pain. He struggled for years, was on medication, and sought help through talk therapy and rehab. He was diagnosed with the type of mental illness that is notoriously hard to treat. I choose to believe that he is at rest and at peace now.
Does that mean that God ‘put him out of his misery’? No, I don’t. But I do believe that God could have stopped it. For some reason which I don’t have the answer to, he chose not to. My faith tells me that there must be a reason. A reason I will never understand this side of death.
You see, that is what faith means to me – I choose to believe, even in the face of incredible anguish and struggling. I choose to believe that God loves me and wants what is best for me, even when I think she is wrong.
It has taken me almost three years to get to this point. I have been away from my church because hearing people talking about how great God is only made me angry and then cry. My cynical, angry voice would rise up within me in protest. In short, I wasn’t top of my class in the Christian grieving class.
When people asked me if I was going to church, I would say that no, God and I were still discussing things. Or I would say that God and I were still in negotiations. You see, throughout all of this, there is one thing I am very sure about – my God can handle some pretty harsh words from a pissed off grieving mother.