13 May 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.
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.