Thursday, September 30, 2010


Perhaps you’ve noticed I haven’t been writing here lately...a smattering of whatever now and then but nothing really besides that. This is my fourth attempt at writing a post about what’s been happening here and I’ve made up my mind not to get up until I post something...except to get my tea.

OK. Tea acquired. Here we go.

How I’ve been lately can really be summed up in one word: angry. Part of the reason I’ve had such a difficult time writing lately is that my anger tends to come out all whiny and feeling sorry for myself. That’s not how I feel, but often it’s how it sounds. I make a slew of “I” statements (I feel sad. I feel angry. I feel like I want to take a sledgehammer to my whole house and start over somewhere else) and it all sounds like complaining. I don’t want to complain. OK. Well. Sometimes I want to complain. But I hope that’s not what you’ll hear.

What I’m feeling now is the kind of anger towards something that happens that you know had to happen but you didn’t want it to and you can’t change it. I know Lydia had to die. I didn’t want her to and I can’t change the fact that she’s not here. Of course, I wouldn’t bring her back now to suffer in this world, but sometimes I think I’d give everything I have just to kiss her one more time. The fact that I can’t and the fact that I don’t understand why I can’t makes me angry - deeply, soul crushingly angry.

That anger is naturally (and unfortunately) directed at God. I point my finger and say, “You did this. You took her. This was YOUR plan.” It’s not pretty. It’s not right. But it’s what it is. I just can’t understand it.

We were speaking with our counselor the other day and he put words to something I have been feeling but haven’t had words for. We were talking about how when Lydia was alive, it was so much easier to claim and hold on to the true things. God gave us the exact child He wanted us to have .She was created the way God wanted her to be. She was made for a purpose. He would use her life for His good. He would bring glory to Himself. It was so easy, when looking at my girl who had one foot in heaven all the time she was here, to believe these things. There was a purpose. I knew there had to be a purpose.

But now as every day goes by and I get further and further away from remembering the sound of her breathing or her scent, I cannot see the purpose. I see it in the past when I think of her and what we went through, but now as the emptiness stretches out in front of me, I cannot see a purpose in my emptiness. How could there be purpose in such a wretched, broken feeling?

And there’s more too. I want so much the feeling of closeness with my Savior. I want to be comforted. I don’t want to be angry. But it’s just not that easy. Now we have all of our future ahead of us. Before Lydia was conceived, we gave all of our planning and the life of our future child into His hands. When I was pregnant, we gave her life to Him. When her brain wasn’t perfect and we weren’t sure, we committed her again to His keeping.

Then, when she was born, everyday we gave her back to God, believing He had her best and ours in mind. And He took her. We offered her up and He took her. I don’t know why this surprised me or makes me angry now, but I guess I thought all along He wouldn’t take her. Now, as we look into the future, trying to understand what to do next, I don’t really want Him to have any part of it. We gave Him Lydia’s life and He took her away from us. Does He honestly expect that I’ll trust Him now? Seriously?

It’s so complicated. Even in the middle of my anger, I still know the truth. I know, in the end, we cannot go forward unless He goes with us. I will not find answers unless He provides them. I will not know peace or healing unless I let Him near me. I have no other hope but Him.

Sometimes it seems like a cruel joke that the source of our suffering and the healing from it should come from the same place. Cruel too that so often our healing only comes from more pain.

At the end of the day, after I’ve fought and cried my hardest and demand and beg for an answer, when the calm comes again I understand only that I don’t understand. In those moments, I utter the only prayer I’ve been able to pray for the last months.

Help me believe.


  1. Jen--All I have to say is "wow" --you managed to put into words much of what I've felt for the last 5-6 years, yet for some reason wasn't able to. The strange thing is this: I've never recognized it as anger. But, you're right--it is anger. I don't even know what I thought it was. Discontentment maybe?

    Anyway--thank you for your honesty and I'm really glad that you did post something. Losing a child simply violates the natural order of things. Something no one should have to go through, yet here we are. I don't think I will ever understand it.

  2. Jen, I will never understand Gods plan when it comes to losing a child. Even if I get to ask Him, and He gives me a reason, I am sure it will not make sense to me no matter what. You have every right in this world to be angry...dont ever forget that. I will say your prayer along with you..Help me believe, because honestly I dont think I will ever be able to understand. I KNOW His plan is the way, sometimes its just so hard and frustrating to stick to it. I can not begin to know how you feel, but I know you need to feel the way you feel, and work through it in your own time. Love you Jen, always in my heart

  3. Jen-
    It is ok to be angry. IT IS OK TO BE ANGRY! It's normal to be angry. Regardless of from whence your hurt and grief have come, anger follows. Even Jesus as perfect as he was, got angry, showing us that the emotion itself isn't wrong; it's what we do with it that can become destructive.

    Processing as you are is good. What I had done with my own anger at my own hurts was wrong; my own anger over my perceptions of injustices delivered at the hand of God was unhealthy. I didn't process my anger;I let it take a hold of me, digging roots of bitterness so deep and pervasive, stealing fruits of the Spirit all over my life, stunting growth everywhere. It literally took (several) rather painful wrestling matches with God for me to even see what I had allowed to happen in my life. What God had permitted, had purposed to make for His glory and good, I had perverted and allowed to take root for bitterness in my life and strife in my family.
    And you're right, the desire for a do-over, a clean start, is a good first step. Consider it. It doesn't necessarily mean move, but consider a fresh place with our Jesus. Consider Him again as your friend, your confidant, the one who wrenches hurt from your heart and refuses to give it back; though he is the same Jesus, the same God, who saw Lydia in the secret place, approach him with new eyes and find your fresh start; a place to rest and heal.
    With so much love for you and Micah,

  4. Lately I have been brought to the following versus. It started with being taught a new concept of praying (check out and then just keeps showing up in one reading or another. It is the concept of the verse that is most important . . . God knows are words and what is going on without us saying anything. He knows the groaning of our heart. He is with us no matter what. You need to start fresh with God before you will be able to move on to any other place in your life. Isn't it great to know He lets us have do overs. You continue to be in my prayers Jen.

    Romans 8:26-27
    The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will

  5. Hi Jen. I'm friends with Becca Groop and saw this link on her facebook. Thank you so much for sharing. What an incredible little girl. A young mom at our church was recently taken from us and it's so hard to understand God's ways sometimes. I gain such perspective from reading your posts. (If you ever want to check out my blog it's at May God bless you with continued revelations of his presence and hope.

  6. Oh Jen, I am sorry I have been disconnected from you. I have been dealing with my own life and the grief that is still a part of it 2 and a half years later. Occassionally I sort of check out and let myself miss my girls. And then I shake myself out of it and go forward with life again. Baby steps. Even after years have gone by, still baby steps.

    I understand your anger. And your prayer "help me believe" is perfect. I remember that exact feeling of betrayal. I gave my girls to Him and he actually took them. It almost feels like God cheated at a game I followed all the rules of. I know that is not true, but sometimes the disappointment is just too much for me. Trusting again is hard after a reality like ours. We didn't get the miracle we hoped for and the let down is more than we can stand most days.

    I still miss my girls. I still watch my boys playing (well, Colt just sort of wiggles around on the floor) and imagine my girls there too. I can't take a family picture without imagining them in it. The holidays are stiring up in me a new grief that is catching me off guard: I am lonely without my girls. The whole in my heart seems to be widening.

    But good days to exist. The worst days get fewer and farther between. I am praying for you Jen as you walk through these difficult days. I love you.