Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fear and Faith

Grief is a funny thing. I've been describing it like there's a switch somewhere out there that is not controlled by me. I'll be merrily(ish) walking around or reading, minding my own business and then *FLIP* The pain of it all takes my breath. It sneaks up and there are moments I can see it, hovering, waiting to swallow me up. Sometimes I let it. Sometimes I force my mind to think of other things so I can keep it together. All the time I feel an ache in my chest that misses so much the feeling of her soft body pressed into it.

I've been experiencing the full spectrum of emotions. I'm angry. I'm thankful. I'm sad. I'm happy(ish). I want to be alone. I want people around me all the time. I appreciate what people say to try to comfort me. I want to punch every single person who talks to me in the face.

One emotion that I was unprepared for, that has slowly started to seep in and all around my thoughts, is fear. In moments of clarity today, when I could see things for what they really are, I've wanted to talk about it. I believe so much that if I talk about it, I can see it for what it is. If I can see it for what it is, I can allow myself to deal with the truth. So, here's the truth, people.

I've never been to heaven. I've never seen what Jesus looks like. I believe there is a heaven. I believe that Jesus is there and that He is all of the things I have read and learned that He is. But I've never been to heaven. And I've never seen what Jesus looks like.

I had to send my eight month old daughter to a place I've never been and to a man whose face I've never seen. So, while I know Lydia is safe in heaven with Jesus (and I greatly appreciate the people who remind me of this), every now and then I start to feel afraid. Because I don't know what it really means that she's in heaven. And while I believe that wherever she is she is safe and whole and happy, I have not been where she is.

I also know that fear is a weapon Satan would use to bring me to a place where I no longer trust the one thing I KNOW has brought my daughter eternal life.

For all I know that the fear is not from God, it doesn't take away the fact that I still have no evidence that I can hold onto that tells me of what I so desperately want to see for myself.

I guess that's what faith is. Funny. I thought it would be easier. I mean, it sounds so simple.

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Can my faith fix everything? No. Does it take my fear away entirely? No.

But I know what the truth is. If nothing else, even if I'm holding onto it by a stub of a pinky toe, I'm going to hold onto what I know is true. And for the times where what I know doesn't cut it, I'm going to believe in the God who has never left me or forsaken me. If He's sticking with me, I know He's sticking with my girl. And I know that wherever she is, if He's there, that's all she needs.


  1. Jen-
    Fear is a powerful motivator. It is often the only thing that motivates me toward faith-- "Fear God... and do exactly what He says...."

    Fear of the unknown is pushing you to process your faith when the comfortable thing to do would be to shut down. I will pray for you and that stubby pinky toe to wrap a tight grip around all that you have experienced to be the truth.


  2. Reading and understanding, my friend. love ya!

    (oops, forgot to sign in first, it's me, Karen 00)

  3. I remember struggling with the same fear right after Jenna died. I ended up telling myself - "i have to believe she's alright..." or else I would go crazy (or crazier, lol). I *had* to believe my daughter was safe. Otherwise what hope do we have? And they are alright. My pastor's wife told me my greatest loss was Jenna's greatest gain. And it was and still is. She gained Heaven, just like Lydia did. I know it's not easy to see it that way or let it sink in. Fear has a way of stealing the only comfort and joys we have. Praying for your heart!


  4. I'm still reading Jen...I have no words to say. As I read your words I break down, wishing that your pain from losing Lydia would be completely replaced with comfort knowing she is with our Lord in heaven. I truly believe that she is walked with Jesus, completely healed from her earthly body. Praying Jen, for your heart to heal...and have comfort in knowing Lydia is with God, at peace.

    Love you,

  5. I know this won't help much... but I had a strange revelation recently. I'm just going to copy it here if that's ok, rather than link it, or summarize etc.

    My Verse
    "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20 Niv

    This morning, God showed me a new lesson. It’s funny that you can look at the same verse over and over, and then one day…you learn something new about it.

    Today God showed me something completely eye opening.

    This was always my favorite verse because to me it meant that God would do great things with only a small amount of faith. This has always shown me the power that God has. He is magnificent and make something out of nothing. He is a God of anything!

    Today though, I learned about God’s compassion for us. This verse reminds me that sometimes a minuscule amount of faith is all we have to give. God knows this about us. He knows that we will need this verse at times in our lives.

    So even though my faith is in a waning stage, God has not forsaken me. God is still there for me. So today, yes I only have a tiny amount of faith. God will honor my tiny faith and grow it.

    Be strong, be courageous and have faith.
    At some point (I think) everyone reaches this point, the one where you have almost no faith at all. God knew this. And he gave us this verse to help. So hold on Jen.

    You have our prayers and our love. Always.

  6. Dear Jenn,
    My heart and prayers are with you! Keep on holding on to our savior! He truely is our hope!


  7. Know also Jenn that you are such an inspiration to many! Keep on writing from your heart it helps for healing :) God bless you and hugs!

  8. Jen, I don't know you personally. The link to your blog was shared with me and I am so grateful. I have to tell you that I have felt so much encouragement from your beautiful words. I just had to stop by and leave you a message to let you know just how much your sweet baby girl's life and story has touched me, as well as your ability to share your thoughts and feelings in a way that encourages the rest of us to do and be better. Please know that, although Lydia is not here on Earth any longer to make changes, she IS very much so making changes and changing lives through your words. I can honestly say that I am able to see God's Grace through your words. We lost a baby a few years ago and I have to tell you that your words have seen me through some very difficult days, including today. I hope that you continue to write and to know that we are reading, listening, and are being inspired by you. You are an amazing woman, mother, and child of God. What a huge impact your tiny little girl is making on this world! Thank you so much for sharing your story, and encouraging and inspiring me in the process. May you feel comforted by the number of people who are reading and being changed by your blog.


  9. Hi Jen and everyone, I hold on to the mustard seed of faith verse too...sometimes that's all you have , loss comes in many ways, sometimes we lose a dream we had or hope we had that life would be the way we dreamed it up as children sometimes its letting go of a child that has chosen a path you did not dream for that child a path that may be harmful, sometimes its death...I think loss helps us grow and also challenges us to face the truth about our own faith, what do we really believe about God, do we really buy the stuff we have been taught or preached?
    I think it can strengthen us in the end if we choose to stay the course, The Christian life is hard, Christ suffered, we are suppossed to be like Christ, we suffer in different ways, the Lord says if we are His then only good can come out of the suffering,sin and life's hardships because we are His, not easy to stick with when we are in the fire, but that's the call , to stick with it even when you do not want to...I say keep it real ,feel it all, all the feelings good and bad are there to bring you back to the feet of Jesus, God understands fear, pain, anger...He is our friend ,a true friend that will listen and understand even if you do not want to "talk about it" or "disagree" even if you scream and cry and then are fine and then scream and cry again right?
    Sometimes I don't know how to pray about things in my own life, sometimes I still hurt over loss, sometimes I only have a little faith and a little to give, and just sit and say that to God "I have nothing right now so what now?" God in that moment pieces me back together just enough to go on a little more and remind me He is there.
    Jen, God is there, lay it all out there for Him and anyone... keep on keeping it real, I respect you for being honest, I want to see how God is healing you, that message is healing me and others ,I am sure, who have lost someone or something they thought was "it" or "the one" to make us complete, the ultimate love the ultimate life, when we are stripped away and left alone with God naked in every way...maybe that is Heaven, when we see that only God can bring us what we long for...I am just thinking along with you. Jen, you are amazing and wonderful and I admire you so much...thank you for sharing yourself with us. love to you and Micah and your friends as well.