Grief Part 4: Faith through Loss

Prologue: When we first became pregnant we were surprised to learn we were pregnant with identical twin girls. 20 weeks into the pregnancy we learned our girls suffered from a rare condition called Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. We experienced a miraculous healing of all symptoms related to this deadly disease and at 32 weeks gave birth to our twin girls, Marylou Janice, our firstborn was stillborn. Providence Joy was just over 2lbs. There was no known cause for Marylou’s death. Time has given me the courage to share some of what God has taught me through our experience of anticipation, joy and grief. It is my hope that I can use this venue and our journey to share with you, dear reader, pieces of what we have learned and experienced so you can walk away with a greater understanding of our God, even amidst pain.

A few years ago I watched a re-run of a dateline show while nursing Rose about a “deeply religious family” who were journeying through the medical trauma of having conjoined twins. At one point the father said, “My faith wavered”. He concluded (when the surgery to separate them was successful) by saying that seeing the girls after surgery caused his “faith” to be restored.

I sat on the couch afterward feeling deeply disturbed. I know dateline could have edited this man’s comments to reflect something other then what he intended so I will not comment on him, but I was deeply disturbed by how many, myself included, tend to flippently view faith and trust in God.

More simply put, our faith is deepened when we see God’s miraculous and healing intervention,  but it is not (or should not be) shattered when we see God choosing not to intervene. Faith is being certain of what we do not see, and while miracles may point to God’s sustaining grace, his choice to not heal also points to his majesty, divinity and “God-ness”. He acts in ways we would not. So both health and sickness, pain and joy serve to strengthen my faith, one through fire and one through rejoicing.

When I see Providence walking around I think, “Wow, my little miracle.”, and my faith in God is encouraged by knowing how he truly stepped in and sustained her life, but when I see Marylou’s picture sitting on our mantle my faith ought to be, and with God’s grace can, be strengthened. This fortitude of faith comes from reflection on God’s character, which in turn strengthens my faith as I realize that this all-powerful, all-knowing God that sustains life and takes it away will one day re-unite us with our loved ones and bring true healing that can only be found in Him. Amen.

How has loss in your life affected your faith? Let’s be faithful to pray for strengthened faith for one another and those around us who are experiencing loss and grief.

(Post by: Amie)


4 Responses to “Grief Part 4: Faith through Loss”

  1. 1 Amie June 3, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I look forward to hearing ways that your faith has been strengthened in sorrow and in joy. Blessings!

  2. 2 Shilo June 3, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    I have really appreciated the depth of wisdom you have shared with us, reminds me of C.S.Lewis and Sheldon VanAuken’s thoughts on the subject.
    I often wonder the same thing, why we say, for instance, “God is so good to me” when something goes well, but not when something appears “wrong” to us. Out of the deepest pain comes a greater knowing of God and understanding of others. I’m thankful for that.
    Thanks again for sharing your family’s story.

  3. 3 Alicia June 3, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    This is my first time to comment on your series, but each one has been so meaningful. When we experienced a miscarriage last fall, the greatest thing the Lord taught me was how to be thankful in everything. Learning how to be thankful in difficult circumstances really pushed me to a deeper level of faith in the Lord. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  4. 4 Rena June 4, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Well-said, thanks for sharing your experience, your testimony to God’s grace. I think that the lesson of “trust” is one of the main ones He wants to teach us in our lives, whether they are positive or negative (in our eyes) experiences. Trust in Him, no matter what, is absolutely essential to our spiritual growth and to our relationship with Him.

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