Faith. Some live every moment by it. Some have never found it. Some had it burned and spend their time digging through the ashes trying to find it. I can guess where my faith lies.
I recently read an article that in summary said that while you may heal from the loss of a child, your body never forgets. My therapist even told me once that my lack of sleep through the night and the constant feeling of running on fumes comes from my body remember that a newborn should be here. That it’s instinct is to wake up and care for a child through the night. It never got the memo that it’s instinct is no longer needed. It’s job was rendered useless. Logan’s birthday is less than a month away, and while I don’t feel like my mind is thrusting me back to those moments, I do find myself pondering faith-what is it? and life-what’s the purpose?
Before Logan, my life wasn’t built by a silver spoon. My upbringing was rough. My marriage had struggles. My parenting has had curve balls. I built the life I had from hard work, determination and faith that God would always be by my side. When we got pregnant with Logan, we just knew this was God’s plan for us. We rejoiced in it, gave God the praise for the miracle we’d been waiting years for. When Logan was diagnosed with pending death we couldn’t imagine this was our lives. While we didn’t always make the best choices, we were faithful. We lived our lives the best we could by God’s standards, but we are imperfect people. We could not understand why we would be punished in such a harsh way, when there were others who behaved in a manner so much more deserving of pain.
In the last three years, I have blamed God, hated God, called out to God, searched and searched for God. Every year that passes I get more and more exhausted from the manhunt I’ve been stomping on. I try for the sake of Wyatt to continue to follow the basic steps of a believer, to show him an example. I have to make myself attend church, there is no desire to go, other than the feeling I might be smited. For years I have pushed down the harsh reality of feelings that swelter just below my cognitive surface. I sit in church and listen to the praise and worship songs and watch those around me find joy in faith. But what is faith? And how do you know you have it?
I HAD faith, that God would protect me. I HAD faith that God would protect my child. I HAD faith that if I was a believer and followed God that no “real” harm would come my way. Yeah I might be burglarized or get in a car wreck. But torture I would not be. Broken I would not be. My trials would lead me back to God and the purpose behind his “master plan” for my life was always revealed.
Almost three years later, I now cry during worship songs because it reminds me that they are just words. There is no hope or joy in those words. God is not good to me all the time. Why is he worthy of all my praise? I am forced back into those moments where I cried out for his comfort and release. I cried out for mercy, to not have to witness my child die. Yet these people surrounding me walk in faith, blindly. Sure everyone has their demons. Their struggles that they hide behind their made up faces and plastered on smiles. I want to meet someone who has gone through the torture chamber I have and tell me that they stand by their faith. That they can see God through it all.
So what is the purpose of faith? The purpose of life? God has a master plan correct? Why were we even created to begin with? Was he bored? Did he need a chess game with Satan? How many blows can God allow before Satan wins? I just don’t understand it anymore. Longterm, sure I don’t want to spend eternity in hell. I’m supposed to just accept that God can do whatever he wants to my life and it’s okay? To be shit on, again and again. Because lets be honest, the death of a child just doesn’t stop there. It lasts forever. It touches everything. It touches every single fiber of your being. It touches every single fiber of your life. So the shit just keeps coming.
Why am I fighting so hard to maintain an identity in God, when I feel he failed me in one of the most horrendous moments of my life? It’s not his fault? Sure, okay I’ll accept that. Logan died because there is sin in this world and we have choices. Okay I can connect that in a round about way. BUT what I can’t connect is why God didn’t step in? Why can a crack addict have a healthy child? But a faithful, God fearing family looses their child? How do I serve a God like that? How do I have faith and praise a God like that?
I used to be a strong independent woman. I knew who I was. I knew what I believed in. I knew what I stood for. I knew what I built and I knew what I knew. When Logan died, I died too. My identity died. My strength and independence died. My beliefs died. The life I built and the knowledge I knew, all died. My friendships died. My family relationships died. I’ve spent the last three years trying to resurrect that woman who died. And I can’t find her. She doesn’t exist except in a wispy memory. I ask myself daily, “What am I fighting so hard for?” The only conclusion I can come up with, to survive.
If I don’t fight, I won’t survive. If I don’t fight, it’s down the rabbit hole I go. And I know what is at the bottom of that rabbit hole, I’ve been there before. Surviving doesn’t exist at the bottom of that rabbit hole. I don’t have faith. I don’t even know if I believe in a God anymore, and nobody seems to be able to help me with that. All they can do is spew scripture at me. I don’t have direction anymore. I don’t have strength or independence anymore. I don’t have confidence anymore. Everything I was, was taken from me when Logan died. I’m surviving. Some days look better than others. Some days I even get a glimpse of un-tainted joy. But most days, I’m simply surviving. I have no real pleasure in this life. Do I enjoy watching Wyatt grow? I’m pretty indifferent to it. The friendships that once held me together, have faded into the background. My life continues to spiral without ever finding a firm foundation.
So what is faith? Is it knowing that as long as I wake up every morning I know I’m surviving? Or is faith know that as long as I wake up every morning God allowed me another day to live? Because I’m supposed to accept that he allows the good and the bad, right? So you tell me, what is faith? And why are we trying so hard to find it? Because I’m exhausted.