Sunday, January 23, 2011

Calling All Believers

My God.

My Lord.

My Father.

My whole life I knew in the deepest part of my being that God had a plan for me. He knew every breath I took, numbered the hairs on my head, knit my bones in the womb with joy. It was comforting to know this. I believed that every little thing happened for a reason. It felt safe to be in God's hands. I felt loved.

Back then, even in my darkest days, I knew I had immeasurable joy in front of me. I knew God wanted me to be happy.

I was as sure of him and his plan for me as I was of taking the next breath. I prayed everynight in good times and bad. For years, asking God to send my child and then giving thanks daily after I was pregnant. I used to talk to God like he was my friend. I used to trust him.

In the time right after I lost Greyson, everything I thought I knew about my God was destroyed. I stopped believing there was a God. The God I was so close with had disappeared.

I couldn't believe this was part of our plan.

The most frightening thing was that I didn't feel my Lord anywhere around me. I didn't feel held or planned for or loved at all. In those early days, I felt nothing in the way of faith, only a void where God used to be. There are still many dark and scary days when I feel this way.

And later, there was plenty of anger for a God who would cause this kind of devastation in my life. What kind of God only gives a baby 20 weeks of life? What kind of God only gives a woman 20 weeks of happiness? What kind of plan for my life could involve me leaving the planet without being a mother?

I still don't believe my child died for a reason. I'll never accept that. At times when I used to see God working in my life, I now only see the randomness of the world.

I know it is not God who has changed but me. My heart is full of pain and shut tight, not allowing him in. Some days I do feel my belief that there actually is a God returning. But I don't recognize the God who is with me now. A God who seems uncaring and cruel. There have been a few times that I've squeezed out genuine prayers but mostly, when I start to pray, I just trail off and am not able to finish the thought. It's a terrifying feeling to be living this life without faith and to feel that God is an unkind stranger. Like walking a tightrope without a net, the fear of falling and dying is real.

After Greyson's funeral, I talked about not being able to feel God anywhere around me to Pastor Jackie. I asked her to talk to God for me, as I was not able to myself. If you're reading and you are a believer, I ask you to do the same.

I don't think I'll be able to move forward until I'm right with God and I'm unsure of how to make this happen.

Every week I think about going to Pastor Jackie's church. Every week I don't go and I wonder if it's hypocritical to attend church without faith.

Please ask him to hurry because I'm scared and I need him.


  1. Paige, as a believer I struggle with knowing why Greyson was taken away at only twenty weeks old. I struggle with understanding any loss or illness and death, struggle, natural disaster. Many will say it's a result of mankind sinning and being given free willl, this we are the cause of our own problems. But that doesn't resonate with me, our God is so powerful, he has the ability to make the blind see, make barren women pregnant, heal the I'll, we know this. He has a hand in the details of our lives, I truly believe that.

    Sometimes I think perhaps he is protecting us from something we can't see - perhaps what happens in our lives, no matter how devastating, could be much worse if he didn't step in and intervene. Now I'm sure your thinking, what could be worse than losing a child that's twenty weeks old? Doesn't seem like there could be much worse or painful than that...but then I think perhaps their could be.... Now this is an awful scenario and I hate to think it, but what if God knew you would die having Greyson, during delivery? What if he spared you your life and sacrificed Greysons because he didn't want him to live with the pain of never knowing or loving his mother? I know you would die for Greyson in a heartbeat but, what if God knew it would be easier for you to recover such a loss than Greyson? I know this is a very off the wall scenario, but I'm trying to come up with a situation where you might see God as you have in the past,, where you could believe that he loves both you and Greyson dearly and just wanted to protect you and your son. If you knew that you your suffering right not saved Greyson from suffering, woud you choose for it to be any different? Probably not...but without knowing what the future might of held, without being omniscience, you could not possibly know what our God does.

    These are the kind of things I must tell myself in order to keep my faith. In order to believe that all the pain and struggling is not in vain. I hope that you don't find any of what I am sharing offensive or just plain stupid. I might be completely off target, but I surely hope not. I always try to compare it to when we are children and our parents don't allow us to do or have something we want...we think they are so rotten and mean and don't love's not until we are older that we really understand that they were somehow trying to protect us and that their actions were out of love and not hate or lack of concern or care.

    I will pray for you because I want you to have your relationship with God back. Your faith is what will get you through life and without it, we can get by, but it awfully hard. We want more than just to get by, we want to live joyful lives full of His blessings.

    As a believer, the one good thing you have to look forward to is seeing Greyson again one day, being reunited, I wish you didn't have to wait for that to happen, but maybe knowing it's in the future will bring some peace and comfort to your heart and mind.

    I will be checking back to read other comments, because I certainly can use a bit of perspective on this topic as well....I have so much to learn myself.


  2. Dear Paige,
    I am not a religious person but I often wish that I could believe in God because it seems to bring a sense of peace and purpose more easily for those who really do believe (and with a larger community) than the peace and purpose that I find. But not everyone's brains work that way, so you have to find community and love in a way that works for you. If your faith was that strong before Greyson's death and brought you so much peace, I think you ought to invest some effort to try and recover it. Why not go to church at Pastor Jackie's? I go to church on occasion (I love the rituals and sense of community love). It's totally ok to visit even if you aren't sure you belong there anymore. You may find that you do, but in a different way than you did before. Maybe God will be more of a community for you, the love that all the people in that church have for each other, than how God used to be a separate entity. Maybe God has become more nebulous, more of something represented by the wonderful loving things that people do for each other? I don't know, but I do know that I am definitely not the person to advise you on this. So please take my thoughts with a small grain of salt. But I'd hate to see you lose the love and security you found through God before Greyson at the same time that you lost Greyson. He wouldn't want that for you. I don't want that for you.
    love, inB

  3. I'll be on bending knee praying for you Paige. -Kim's friend Libby

  4. I am praying and picking a fight. God and I still are working things out as well. I got all mad again with this one.

    I think it is ok to feel as though you stepped away. They tell me he never leaves our side.

  5. I pray for you whenever I can bring myself to pray. Though I have nowhere near the reason you do, I have struggled for several years in my faith. I do believe He is there and He hears us. I also believe that we go to meet him from where we are. When you are ready, go to Pastor Jackie's church. Hopefully over time both of our faiths will be restored. Love you Paige amd thinking of you often.

  6. Paige, you know my background and I'd like to share a little of what I've learned along the way.
    1. You are not alone in this scary crisis of faith. The Bible is full of people who have felt angry at God, confused by his ways, and abanded by him. Even Jesus asked why God had forsaken him. In Mother Teresa's life she, too, felt distrought by the sadness in the world and that God no longer heard her prayers. She wrote letters to her leaders asking them pray for her. If these people can question, then so can you. Read some of the psalms and see where David where is continually both praising God AND questioning him.
    2. If you believe that God hears our "hearts" then a prayer can be as simple as a sigh, a grunt of frustration, or a tear. If he hears our inner most thoughts then he already knows what you are thinking, so just say it. If you're angry at him, tell him. If you feel lost or that he's not listening, tell him. If you don't know who or what he is, how to define him, or what to call him, say it. It's okay. He gave us the emotions, he can handle them. I think we feel like it is disrespectful to talk to God that way or that it isn't praying. But I think it more disrespectful to try to hide it from someone who already knows as if he can't deal with it. Prayer is supposed to be a conversation with him, so have an honest dialog. If he doesn't answer, maybe he's just listening intently.
    3. There is comfort in tradition, community, and words. You don't have to be a believer of a particular religion or god or have faith for a service or a message to be meaningful to you. If we're supposed to come to God (and/or to church)"just as we are", then it's not hypocritical to attend church without faith. That's one of the places you should be able to go to if you want to find it.

    p.s. If you cannot pray today, try a thankfulness meditation. End your day with 5 specific things/events/ people/ etc. for which you are truly grateful. (no fair just repeating family, friends, health, job, etc. every night.)

  7. Hi Paige,

    Your words resonate with me -- several years ago I had the same feelings towards God. I was very, very angry with Him for reasons different from yours.

    I pray I can be of some sort of encouragement to you.

    You may not believe this right now, but God loves you more than you could ever love Him in return. He feels your pain & is crying with you. I'm praying He puts his arms around you & gives you a supernatural peace.

    If you are up for reading, I highly recommend the book "Disappointment with God" by Phillip Yancey.

  8. I think it is good that you are questioning things, and I think God is still there for you. Maybe you aren't ready for praying yet. I believe that when you feel ready to go to church, you should go. You don't need to pray first, unless YOU need to.

  9. So many well worded comments...Regarding your comment about attending church, it is absolutely NOT hypocritical to attend church without faith...if church is a place you think you may be able to find your faith again, then that's the best place to be, IMHO.

    I'll continue praying for you, Paige.

  10. Every time I pray, I keep you and Greyson in my prayers. Your losing Greyson has made me realize that I have no idea what I would do if I were to face the same loss in the future. I see myself and my relationship with God as yours was. I pray to Him that you will feel Him again in your life, and that one day you can look back and see only one set of footprints and realize they were His carrying you although it truly doesn't seem like it now.

  11. As I was reading a blog of someone I know in real life, I thought of you. It's another mother's story of losing a baby born too early...

  12. I understand this is probably very trivial, but it was well-timed and meaningful for me and I hope perhaps you will enjoy it too. I bestow upon you two awards! Details are on my blog. Sending love and positive thoughts your way, as always. <3

  13. Hi Paige. First of all, just know that you are in my prayers because I know that it can be so incredibly difficult to see through suffering to God. But I will share with you something that has helped me get through some really rough times. There are some areas of my life where like you, I have been able to see the good that God has blessed me with from my suffering. I have learned something about my sin or my character or I have developed a character trait, i.e. perserverance cultivated from suffering, etc. BUT, there are some areas of my life that I suffer with, and have suffered with for about 10 years and I still do not understand the purpose of that suffering. There are times when I become so angry about it that I lash out at God in furious prayers, such as "Why are you doing this to me?!?!? I'm tired of it! I don't want to bear the burden anymore... I'm losing hope that anything will ever change!PLEASE just fix this for me. I don't even feel like your hand is on it at all." And like Mendy said, God can handle these types of prayers. We are made in his image and the Bible confirms that He has emotions as well. God wants you to come to Him with all of you, not just the pretty thanksgiving prayers whenever we are in a good time in our lives, etc. And sometimes, when we ask why, He will tell us, and sometimes He won't.
    But beyond all of that, what really gives me comfort is that God suffers with us through Jesus. He's not a distant God who is like a crazed kid with a magnifying glass burning ants and cackling. I read a chapter in a book called Case for Faith which explained sort of what I'm trying to say about how God chose to come down and experience our suffering with us. Here's some of what a Christian philosopher Peter Kreeft said: "When we ask God, where are you? the answer is right there, sitting beside us in the lowest places of our lives. Are we broken? Jesus was broken, like bread, for us. Do we cry out that we can't take any more? He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Are our tenderest relationships broken? He too loved and was rejected. Does he descend into all of our hells? Yes, he does. He not only rose from the dead, he changed the meaning of death, and therefore of all the sufferings that anticipate death and make up parts of it. In the end, God has only given us partial explanations. Maybe that's because he saw that a a better explanation wouldn't have been good for us. I don't know why. Humanly, I wish he had given us more information. But he knew Jesus was more than an explanation. He's what we reallly need. If your friend is sick and dying, the most important thing he wants is not an explanation; he wants you to sit with him. He's terrified of being alone more than anything else. So God has not left us alone. And for that, I love him."

    Paige, I know that that is really hard to swallow, but I've been so low before, that the only thing I can choke out amongst my tears, is "Jesus, Help. I need you." And that's it. And he will Paige.

    I pray that this helps...

    Love you,

  14. Paigey....I can't express my feelings about this topic as eloquent or beautiful as Mendy and Jeannie...I believe that God is with you. I have prayed for you many times and will continue to do so. He will hear all of our prayers. Believe.

  15. Paige, I absolutely have been and will continue to pray for you. Since my surgery I've felt at a distance from G-d myself, but I know that he holds me in his heart... and whether you feel it now or not, I know he's holding you in his heart too.

    I think the best time to go to church is when you're lacking faith. And I think the best way to start rebuilding faith is by having the willingness to reach out and go.

    It's ok if you're still mad at G-d, or you don't even know if G-d exists anymore. I believe that he's big enough and strong enough to handle whatever emotions I throw at him. At the very least, go for the companionship of being around other people who will love you and pray for you even if you're not ready to do it for yourself.

    Sending you love and positive thoughts.