Shortly after Samuel died I began to struggle with my faith. It showed itself slowly. I didn’t feel God’s presence or strength after the accident, even though I publicly said that I did. In those first few weeks I felt shock and numbness that I labeled peace. As that faded, and the pain surged, I relied on faith. God is good, I can trust him. God loves us, God will help us through this. I didn’t see it or feel it, but I had faith stored away like food for a long winter. We let everyone know we still trusted God’s mysterious ways even in the middle of tragedy.
Maybe it was the questions that started to consume my faith. Or maybe it was anger. I watched the world leave the funeral and go straight into celebrating the Christmas season. My head understood this, but my heart felt it as injustice, as insincerity. It could have been the loneliness. Maybe I needed someone to hold my arms up like Moses, and without help, my heart grew discouraged. Maybe it’s just difficult to avoid doubt in deep grief. Whatever it was, God’s silence continued, and my faith diminished.
It’s hard to pray when it feels like God isn’t listening. It’s hard to read the Bible when it feels strangely feigned. Without faith, a verse about God answering my calls for help seemed about as reliable as Disney lyrics that tell me to wish upon a star so my dreams will come true. Sweet, yes, but fantasy. Music, always my joy and expression of hope, was a roulette of bad feelings. My head was filled with despair, not songs of praise. And certainly not songs of surrendering to God. Surrender? God wants to take more? Hadn’t I given enough for at least a year or two?
This should be my place of peace. I should find comfort and strength in God.
God is not my comfort.
It is an awful thing to lose a child. It might be a worse thing to lose God.
Some days I hold on. I find a crumb of faith and start breathing again, desperate because I don’t want to lose this most important thing. Crumbs don’t last long. The floor is picked-over. Was that the last one, or is God preparing a feast?