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faith is a choice

faith is a choice

I was never fully convinced that I had a soul until I felt mine shatter on June 3rd, 2013. I had always suspected we were spiritual beings, and forever hoped there was something more eternal than just this temporary existence on earth, but what confirmation do we have? Faith is a choice, like many other tough-to-do things. Faith isn’t a natural occurrence; it is absolutely a choice. Believing in something unseen takes work, commitment, and dedication. I had just plodded along, hard wired and naturally inclined to trust… until I had reason to abandon all belief.

When my son took his own life, I felt every single thing crumble into nothingness. By every single thing I mean every single thing… every belief, every hope, every plan, every breath. Until that moment, I owned my universe. I was in control. I had a charmed life. It wasn’t easy, but I made things work. I had a fundamental belief in the good of all things and a faith in the God who protects. When Mason left, all that shattered into a bazillion pieces and I was left questioning everything. Especially God.

Where was Mason’s protector? Where was mine? Where was God in all of this sadness? Where was He in Mason’s final moments? Why didn’t He step in and protect Mason from his own poor judgment? Why didn’t He alert me or tell my friend to go home early? Have someone or something intervene and save my son’s life? Why didn’t He give supernatural power to the EMTs? He could have breathed life back into my boy. He could have rescued him, saved him, resuscitated him, revived him, renewed him, and restored him. But He did nothing. Nothing that I could see, anyway.

He let my son die.

Since then, I have been asked so many times how I can hold onto my faith. How can I love a God who abandoned me when I needed Him most? I don’t know that these questions are entirely fair or accurate… but either way, I really don’t have an answer. These are tough questions. I ask them of myself when I am alone and left to my own thoughts.

Faith is a choice. I cannot describe it any other way. For some, it comes easily. I was one of those people. I just believed. I accepted. I trusted. I just ‘knew’ things would always work out. Then my son died… by his own hand. My whole world was turned upside down, and with it, my faith. My relationship with God was truly put to the test. Would I still believe? That’s a choice. Would I still trust? Another choice. Would I view God the same? Would I draw closer? Would I run away? All choices.

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For the past eleven months, I have grappled with these choices. I’ve had many conversations with God, all one sided obviously. I’ve asked for signs. I have pleaded for confirmation. I have cried my heart out to the Supreme Being who allowed the most horrific thing happen to me. Why would I do that unless at my very core I believe He cared? Why would my soul believe He cared when I also believed He had the power to save my son and didn’t? Why would I run to Him when I felt that He had truly abandoned me?

These are the things that I am still trying to figure out. I love the Lord. I love my friend, the God of this universe. I believe in Him, truly and completely. I know we have souls, because I felt mine shatter. I really did. I know there is life after death because I receive signs and see things that make me pause with wonder all the time. Remember Detective Mason? What are the odds?  My sister once told me that a broken and tattered heart is a beautiful thing because it allows the light to shine through… I am operating with that kind of heart now. It is in that very broken, shredded heart that my God is doing an amazing work.

I’m not religious, I’m just a believer. I’m not perfect; I’m deeply and permanently flawed. I’m no judge. I’ve got wreckage by the ton in my own life that requires my full attention. I’m just putting one step in front of the other as I try to find my way home. Home is where Mason is and I am determined to find him. What does it benefit me to spend my life angry and bitter, hating the One who can reunite me with my son? Instead, I cling to Him and embrace the learning. I let the pain roll through. I ask for favor, and commit my life to service. Can I ever earn grace? No. I’m given it without condition. Did the same God that I love and follow allow my son to die? Yes. How can I love Him still? I do not know.

But I do.

One day, these mysteries will unravel and I will see with different eyes. Until then, He is My Comforter. My Shelter, My Protector, My Provider. He gives and He takes. He loves and He corrects. He speaks a foreign language and I will chase Him all of my years to find some way to converse with him. The craziest thing…? He loves me more than I could possibly imagine. He is delighted by my love in return. He wants me to know Him, seek Him, love Him, and choose Him. Faith is a choice.

Faith is a choice.

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10 Comments
  • Remi Dee
    Posted at 04:40h, 13 May Reply

    Simply beautiful…

  • Josie
    Posted at 05:25h, 13 May Reply

    You are a beautiful soul, Holly. I wish everyone who has ever experienced a loss and who has ever had a doubt or wondered how things like this can happen on His watch, could read this and be reminded…

  • Mel
    Posted at 10:19h, 13 May Reply

    Dear holly, we choose faith because it resonates within our souls. God is not a taker, giver or punisher – he just allows us to BE. What we do with that “to be” is ours to choose, because God placed no conditions on us. He does not feel disappointed in us, he does not judge us, he does not see black and white. These are all human traits we impose on each other because the true mystery and mastery of God is so far beyond our human comprehension. I believe God is the sum of everything – and that includes polar opposites such as love/hate, man/woman, compassion/contempt – i could go on forever! The long and short of it – nothing can be in existence if it is not known/ created by God, and we are meant to experience it all if we are even to begin to know and understand God. And that is what he truly wants – for us to know and understand, and to be on an endless journey to perfect our souls. How else could we possibly be at one with God? God doesn’t want us to be some distant creatures entirely separate of him, he wants us to be part of him.
    If it is any comfort, the time you have been apart from Mason will feel like the blink of an eye to him – though i would not be understating when i say for you it would feel like a horrendously long journey with no end! Mason has given you an amazing leap frog and head start on perfecting your soul, you are light years ahead of the rest of us. Truly if Mason has been the catalyst for this, he must have loved you a lot and who knows, was this an act that put your soul development needs ahead of his own? Maybe he was a truly old soul and teacher and you were his favourite student? Truth is you won’t know or remember until you join him. I just think he would be extremely proud that you have taken on the absolute mindfield task of working it all out instead of giving in to despair and simply quitting. Imagine a world where we all just understood each other and didn’t judge, because whatever that person has been through and felt -we’ve been there too! Well that’s God, and he’s gonna make sure we experience everything! He doesn’t class it into good and bad – he just knows polar opposites have to be experienced so we can truly understand what those things are. How could we describe heat if we had never felt cold, how would we know the difference, sure you could describe it, but to experience it is to truly know and understand it. We use the same principles to teach our own kids! The more you know and experience, the closer you get to God. It is irrelevant to him if you disown him because that would be like you disowning your big toe – it would still exist and be attached to you! And God is very very attached to you! Anyway just some thoughts i have thrown out to you, they are not for publishing as I have no desire to offend any religious people who follow your blog. Faith resonates within your soul, you carry it like a beacon and we see it and are guided by that light even when you think it is dark! When you consider your relationship with God, who he is and where you fit – explore all options! But only accept those that resonate within your soul. I think you will find they have no religious labels or dogma associated with them, people can’t tell you what your relationship with God should be, whatever feels right for you on the day will work for God, he knows how much we have to learn and understand, he’ll just be happy we’re having a red hot crack at it!

    • its just me
      Posted at 02:35h, 01 October Reply

      Mel, I want you to know I read and re-read your comment often. There are so many truths I agree with wholeheartedly. I have never shared this with anyone… but I imagined that before Mason arrived, he chose me. He looked over the crowds of mothers and chose me. He knew what the journey would entail. He knew my flaws. He saw my face and and felt my heart and said to God, “This one. This one is my shmuvver.” And he came here to fulfill a purpose only he could. That may sound silly to some, but to me it sounds just about right. I know we will never really know until the end, until our end. I think, to comfort myself, I will continue to imagine things like this. Thank you so much for your kind words. I want you to know they are very special to me.

  • Sarah
    Posted at 14:45h, 13 May Reply

    This is so beautiful Holly. I am so sorry for your pain and would never wish this on anyone, and yet, you continue to teach us about Grace every single day. I know in my heart that you will be healed and that we have no idea what that actually entails, but by showing up to God and yourself and your loved ones just as you are, with all your questions and disappointments and fears and miracles and love, is allowing that process to work, not only through you, but everyone whose life you and Mason touch. I love you beautiful woman!

    • its just me
      Posted at 02:28h, 01 October Reply

      xoxoxoxox I am continuously thankful that you are in my life, that you dropped everything and showed up… and keep showing up DAILY for me. You inspire me to be brave.

  • Mary
    Posted at 23:19h, 19 May Reply

    Going thru my inbox and catching up on reading my blogs…..love this in every way!

    • its just me
      Posted at 02:27h, 01 October Reply

      Thanks for reading and sharing my posts, Mary. xoxo

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