Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How Strong is Your FAITH ?

There is a church, with a large steeple I walk past in the mornings, I see the steeple , always there not moving, every time I walk. That is a picture of it above. 
I have thought much about my relationship, my faith , lately...and my feeling of drifting from God, or Him being distant from me. I know that is normal in tragedys , to feel off-kilter in your faith. I know that for some people it is worse than for others. I also know that any relationship, with spouses, friends, children, neighbors...is strongly influenced and strengthened by communication.
If you don't talk much with your spouse  or friend, then your relationship will deteriorate.
Likewise, if you don't talk much with God, it will also deteriorate, at least from your end...He on the other hand probably ( guessing here ),feels exactly towards you as He always has.
I have been upset, dis-heartened, by my faith walk, my relationship with God after our Sarah's death. I always believed I had a strong relationship, strong faith in Him. I talked about Him with many people, in person and through this blog.

But since her death, I have closed myself off more, prayed a little less, prayed differently  with Him. It is actually still difficult to pray. I have been further discouraged from reading or hearing different ministers tell their listeners stories about how strong a faith so and so has when they go through cancer and they are dying and they thank God for the cancer, when someone lost their wife and three children in an auto accident and went to church singing and praising God the next Sunday. When someone's blog, after losing a loved one, writes and praises God , right after the death .
I have measured my faith ,or what degree I thought my faith was...against those type of stories and more.
I feel I have fallen short, very short.
I walked , and I considered, and I thought something that on first hearing makes no sense. 
This is it, sort of hard to say, but will give it a go..
I have had many personal and physical trails in my life, as we all have, some truly scary terrible things happen...as we all have probably. God has helped give me strength through all those times. It was never a quick fix, never a BANG this is God, here to help. It was more of a slow , steady strengthening of my faith...over years and years.
Like I said, I have had trails and tribulations , I have caused trails and tribulations.  But none, not one...were this bad. Not even close.
And so when I walked, and thought, and considered...I considered that even though I personally felt my faith has gotten weaker, much weaker...it may  in fact , be stronger than it was before. It doesn't feel stronger , I am having serious issues with trying to trust God , as my anger over my daughter's death is still there.  Comes and goes , fluctuating between deep sadness , anger and depression . I know that internal anger can destroy relationships , any relationship, and I also know that through my anger over this tragedy...I still love God.
Possibly, just possibly, I am thrown into the position of authentic , deep true faith. Through good times, bad times, the worst times. 
Perhaps I am growing ( not of my own choosing ) , and seeing God for who He truly is...and growing to love Him more , to truly know him more , to learn He is more than just the creator of our world , more than just all-loving , all-knowing , perfect entity .

Me and Sarah, last Thanksgiving

So maybe, my faith is stronger than I know.  The fact that He may be developing me how He can use me best after this tragedy is something I have considered, and actually am not in favor of. I know that sounds childish, but when a mother is hurting so badly inside over her daughter's death , a death that cannot possibly ever be for the greater good in this world...as it has caused my world to be much worse. I know many Christians will write me and tell me he can use this tragedy for good, as the scripture verse states, I mentally KNOW that, I have always known that....but it is not remotely comforting to me. Too much daily pain. 
Also, I know for a fact my daughter made this world a better place. Again, none of my reactions probably surprise God, he knows he has a tough case on His hands with me.
  I do ask Him to increase my faith daily.

Remember to enjoy your families over Thanksgiving , when you hug your children, your spouse, your parents...feel their warmth, watch then when they speak , listen to their laughs, enjoy the sound of their voices... affirm their hopes.
Show your love to them , so they can see it.

Be a blessing,


  1. I'm sorry that you have to go through this. "Have to" is the operating word here. I truly understand your feelings even if I haven't experienced what you have. Even though those things may not bring a single bit of comfort to you they will in the future and the effort you make now even if small will be evident in the future. I hope you will have lots of family to surround you this year. God bless and know that there are lots of people thinking of you and praying for you and the family.

  2. Gina,
    I feel your pain and sorrows as you write of your lovely daughter. I also feel your faith. Keep believing in God. He is always there for you. It is not easy to lose someone here in this life, but this is not the end. This life is but a part of the path we are on that helps us to grow spiritually, that strengthens us, and molds us. This path continues after this life. We will see our loved ones again. Though separation in this life is painful, the reunion in the next will be so glorious. We just need to endure well this life. To have faith that He is all knowing and He loves us will help us endure. The lessons we learn here, the faith we develop, the struggles we overcome might allow another to learn from you to find comfort in your experience and from your faith. Like the steeple of that chapel, always there, immovable, so is God always there. We just need to go to him.

    I hope you will find comfort with family and loved ones and in the Lord this holiday season. God bless you dear Gina and your family.


  3. Dear, dear Gina ~ What you are going through is certainly understandable, and even normal. I personally don't see how anyone can praise God right after a horrible tragedy happens. We all have stuff happen to us or that we have to live with, and every day is a learning, growing experience. You are no doubt growing in your faith in God, you just don't realize it. Our walks with God are all individual, personal, one on one with Him. In your tragedy you are touching lives in unseen and unknown ways.

    May your faith in God continue to grow stronger with each new day.

    Love, hugs and prayers to you and your family this holiday season.


  4. As usual, you have written directly from your heart centre, Gina. No frills, no excuses - just raw feeling and I believe this is good. I know for certain that I would feel exactly as you've been feeling - losing a daughter on the threshold of her life is something no mother should have to bear. Crying out and fighting this injustice with all your might is precisely how a mother reacts - it's the way we're programmed to react!!! I cannot personally connect with the idea that you need to praise God for giving you a tragedy of this magnitude to help you to grow! It makes no sense to me at all. However, by having shared this painful experience so deeply through your blog, you have been reaching out to all of your readers, reminding every single one of us to appreciate the loved ones in our lives. What has happened to you can happen to anyone of us in a split second! This is the harsh reality of life and yet, most of us go from day to day, year to year, taking these precious gifts for granted. We kid ourselves that so long as we are good people, or devoted churchgoers, we're safe.
    This is just not true! I know that no one can offer you the right balm to heal your pain. You have to go through the process alone. Feeling your anger fully, yelling when you need to, crying all day if that's what needs to be done for you to deal with what has happened. It cannot be rushed and no one should tell you what you should do! Through your many, many blog entries, you've brought Sarah to life for us - long before you had to face this tragedy - and in this small way, it's helping to keep her spirit alive. I only found your blog after her
    tragic passing and was inexplicably drawn to read your archives to find out more about her and you. I commented on one of your posts that I'd even caught myself thinking about you and Sarah whilst walking in my garden! I felt deeply for you both, knowing how I'd feel in the same situation as I, too, have a deeply loved and precious son and daughter. Gina, I WISH there were a way to ease all of your pain - but, there isn't...all we can do is continue to send LOVE to you and your precious family. Take care, Des xoxo


  5. Dear Gina,
    I can feel your heartache in your words.
    As flowerlady wrote above, each of us has a personal & individual spiritual journey in this lifetime. No matter how you go through it it will be the right way.
    Continue to be patient and kind with yourself.

  6. I like your salutation most of all..."be a blessing." So perfect.

  7. Gina,

    I too understand what it is like when you 'pray a little differentely' and that changes your relationship with the Almigty, particulary when your going through a life changing experience.

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


  8. I am thankful for you my sister in Christ.
    I continue to lift you up in prayer.

  9. Hi Gina,
    Like you, my faith is all over the place at the moment, but for very different reasons, and not a very good feeling at all. The pain you are feeling is so very clear in your words. When I need to see things a bit clearer in terms of where He is in all of this, I just go back to the fact that we call Him Father. As a father He must be very proud of who we all are and what we are doing, whatever that may be. Sometimes angry with us, sometimes frustrated, sometimes laughing at and with us, but always loving and always there ready to welcome us into His arms once again when the tears and pain subside.
    I think He is just sitting there shaking His head at me at the moment, but is sobbing with the pain you are feeling. I can't pray for myself at the moment, but I do pray for you. Be at peace. Gary

  10. So glad you were able to pop by my blog today. I feel drawn to share the following excerpt, which I read earlier this morning. It is from:


    Counselling individuals who are often going through difficult times of confusion, ill health, financial crisis, divorce or other major losses, the statement I hear most often in initial sessions is: “I know I shouldn’t be feeling this sad (or angry or confused or scared.) I know I should feel grateful for what I do have. . . .” It’s not that people are unaware of those things of value in their lives. It’s not even that they aren’t grateful for caring family, or friends, or the job or home or health they may have. It’s that something else- some painful circumstance or choice or loss- is calling for their attention at the moment. And, if they feel they do not have the right to turn their attention to that pain because they “should” be grateful, they can neither fully appreciate what they do have nor take care of the painful inner or outer situation that needs tending.

    It seems to me to resonate with what you have been feeling. Just continue to give yourself all the time you need, Gina! I do hope you and your precious family have experienced peace and comfor,t in spite your deep sadness this Thanksgiving.

  11. Happy Thanksgiving, Gina. Your words are very thoughtful and because my daughter was born in 1988 and is sitting right across from me now, home from college for Thanksgiving, I can only imagine the deep pain you have to cope with every minute of each day. As someone has mentioned, any one of us could be thrown into this nightmare at any moment. You are right...we must love them when we can...and appreciate what we have. It could be gone tomorrow. I know I would be devastated and have often wondered how I would go on...but like you, I have a young son (13) who I know would need me and I would want to be the best that I could for him. The inner pain will take a long time to ease, but I think it will ease...in time. Time does have a way. It will never be over and you will always have to cope. You are learning how to do this, as best you can. It is a process. I believe you will feel happy again; just in a different and new way. All of your feelings and thoughts are valid and totally normal. You do not have to thank God for Sarah's death. Only for having been given the gift of having her in your life. Our children are not our own...they are on loan (or at least I've been trying to realize!). We aren't in control of what happens, unfortunately...and we are all forced to cope with what we cannot change. Such is the nature of life. I don't like that much--but we're all on this boat together, travelling on both smooth and stormy seas. Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts and feelings as you go day to day. You are in my thoughts & prayers;-) Jan

  12. I'm so sorry. I can empathize with your grief. I had someone tell me that losing my daughter happened to bring my husbands sister to Christ. I was so angry. I am a writer and it took me 15 years to put words to my grief. Even someone who had "been there" cannot travel your journey. God can handle our anger, withdrawal and question--even our lack of faith in Him. He's God!


I love comments , please leave one if you like. I try to respond to comments,but if I'm running behind, please know that I read each one before they are published. Thanks much, Gina