How Can I Have Faith After Losing My Son?

Written by Christie Hoos

faith_havefaithI have never been a big fan of the “paste a smile on and pretend it’s okay” club.

In my case it was months after my son, Noah’s, death that I began to feel angry. I had to return to work and the crushing unfairness of it all began to sink in. I used to think that people of true faith accepted everything quietly and calmly, but now I’m not so sure.

I wrestled with God for several months.

My husband was afraid that he would never get his wife back. If anyone saw me walking in the woods behind our house they must have thought I was crazy — I was muttering, crying, even shouting at God. I read books in the bible that dealt with people who were suffering — Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes and Lamentations — and was reassured that some of God’s favorite people were angry and confused by Him. The best advice I got was that giving God the silent treatment would only punish me. God can take it, so tell Him what you are feeling.

How can I have faith you ask? I’ll try to answer you as best I can. My husband is a scholar and he finds reassurance in philisophical arguements about truth, the state of the world and nature of God. I’ll admit that these truths are convincing and I would be happy to share some with you if you like, but in crisis my faith was not bolstered by academic points so I won’t get into them now.

First I must explain my faith to you, so that you know what I am choosing to rely on.

I do believe with my whole heart that God is good and the world is not. The bible is clear that because of our choices to reject God we live in a fallen world full of sickness, natural disasters, pain and death. This is not God’s purpose for humanity – he wants us to live with Him where there is no pain, no sadness, no death. In order to make this happen He made the greatest sacrifice, He sent His own son to die, to pay the price for our wrong choices (it is hard to imagine that He loves us so much that he would allow his son to die – on purpose). When Jesus rose from the dead three days later He destroyed forever the power of death over the human soul. Still, we must choose to accept or reject this gift. That is the faith I have.

I trust in Jesus to pay for my wrongs and to save me from death.

Especially since Noah’s death, this hope is my foundation. I know that one day I will see not only Jesus but my son again. I would rather he was with me, but since he is not I am so glad that he is safe and loved. For this reason I hold onto my faith. I even wrote a website all about this – Noah’s Place.

Not only that, but my faith in Jesus is about relationship. Like I said, I have been angry with Him. I will never be happy that my son is away from me (even temporarily). I miss him terribly. There is a hole in our family and in my heart that aches. But God does know how we feel. He lost His son too. And He has made it so clear to me that He loves me more than I can comprehend. This comfort did not come quickly or easily. Slowly, in so many ways – through reading the bible, praying (even angry and despairing prayers), through nature, through others around me — God put His arms around me and helped my broken heart to heal. He was there all along I just had to open up to Him.

To live without faith seems to me a hopeless, comfortless and pointless existence.

So I hold on, even when I don’t feel like it. This is how I have faith, not a feeling or an experience, but a decision. As Job said “though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” I can’t imagine life without Jesus. Holding onto faith has been a struggle, but to live without it, is unthinkable.

You have a choice to make also. Faith is not something you lose, it’s something you choose or reject. I’m sorry to say that anyone who has lost a child has a very long and hard journey ahead of them. Grief is exhausting, messy, and misunderstood. Anger and confusion are normal and healthy (only if you get stuck there for an extended amount of time will you need to worry and seek medical help). If you have lost a child, be patient with yourself, you are in mourning. Do not rely on your feelings to decide what you believe. Look ahead – what kind of life do you want? Who do you want to be?

I would not trade my Noah for a child that lived.

I would not have chosen this path, it has been hard and painful, but it has changed me for the better. I am forever grateful to my son for that.

In Love,
Christie
Noah’s Mom

If you have lost a child, know that you are not alone. I can’t tell you why you’re child is gone, but I can tell you that there is a God who loves you and who loves your child. He knows what it means to lose a son.

Are you struggling with a sadness that never seems to end? We are here to talk

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68 Responses to “How Can I Have Faith After Losing My Son?”

  • Kate says:

    My heart goes out to every person suffering through the trauma of losing someone so dear. It is incredibly painful, to say the least. If you would like to talk to someone, please click on the Talk to a mentor link at the top of our page. A mentor will correspond with you privately and pray with you on the difficult path. I want to pray for you now:

    Heavenly Father, thank you for your mercy and grace. However little we understand the horrors of this world, we have the promise that you are with us no matter what and ultimately you will set all things right. Help us to perceive your hand of compassion and guidance upon our lives, increase our faith, so that we can see and testify to your goodness in spite of all that has happened or may yet happen. We long to know you more Father, amen.

    One thing that struck me very profoundly when coping with grief was the urge to dive deeply into the rich history of centuries of Christian theology. Suddenly I saw what I had not seen before: THIS WORLD IS NOT AS IT SHOULD BE, HENCE GOD’s LOVING DECISION TO INTERVENE. The intervention was, of course, the sending and sacrificing of God’s son, my Lord Jesus. Jesus came and declared this world is not what God intended, it is distorted and broken in a zillion ways because of the perversion of sin. God’s beloved creatures have run wild, so far from righteousness and shalom, that we can hardly recognize the image of God in which we’re all made. Yet, God did not destroy us. Instead, Jesus came that we may be assured of God’s goodness and his promise to restore all things, to renew life and reconcile us to himself. Jesus’ inbreaking onto the world stage and his horrific crucifixion says: Things are not as they should be, but by faith you must trust that God is good and God will do what he says he would do. This is, of course, precisely the message of the cross. Without faith we see a shamed criminal executed and forgotten; by faith we see the resurrection and the promises of God fulfilled.

    Now I face grief with a different attitude. I am assured that God is on my side, that God’s own heart is broken for the sorrowful situation, but that is not the end. God’s will WILL be done; He will wipe away every tear and there will be no more sorrow! Not only this, but God will sustain us, as long as we persevere by faith until such a time as God’s will is done before our eyes, and all our faith and hope is fulfilled!

    It is this TRANSFORMATION – of the death that looks and feels horrible and causes us to scream in anger and weep in sorrow – that amazes me most. Now the death and grief, as terrible and inexplicable as they are, are what bind me to God. It is by transforming my understanding and strengthening my faith that God has used this most traumatizing event to bind me all the more firmly to himself, making it (with time) an unending spring of hope, even joy. Since God is gracious enough to have transformed my own meagre understanding, I am assured by faith that he will all that much more transform the death I know into new life. He is faithful to me and he is faithful to do what he has promised, of this I am sure.

  • darlene says:

    My son died and I cant accept it. I guess you could say I haven’t been in good terms with God. One minute I’m screaming at him cussing him out, the next minute I’m crying telling him sorry and asking him to help me. I don’t want to live. Im never happy and I’m hopeless. I cant understand why any innocent baby would have to suffer and die. Mist days I hate this stupid life. I’m like a robot going to work or anywhere or doing anything because that’s what everyone expects me to do.

  • Richard says:

    Good people pass away;
    the godly often die before their time.
    But no one seems to care or wonder why.
    No one seems to understand
    that God is protecting them from the evil to come. Isaiah 57:1 NLT
    The world was not worthy of them (Hebrews 11:38 NIV).

  • Wayne says:

    Chris ………We lost our beautiful 30 year old son exactly 18 months ago today and I lost my 88 year old Mum 10 months ago. With respect, I don’t know how anyone can “identify with your pain” when you compare losing a child and losing a parent, who has most likely lived a full life. Let me tell you and I’m sure I speak for all others that have lost a child, there is no comparison of the level of pain that is on going. Most people mean well but they just don’t get it. Steve …. I know exactly where you’re coming from.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Stephanie and Stacy, I am so sorry for your loss. It is an unthinkable thing to lose a child. As I read the Bible I don’t see anything that would suggest that God would ask you to ignore the pain and anger that loss creates. God wants you to be honest with Him and honest with yourself. But also take the time to remind yourself of who God is: He is perfectly loving and just in all that He does; allowing your son to die was not the result of cruelty, inattention, or indifference. He sees things that you and I are completely unaware of. Sometimes people in their anger start to lose sight of those things and begin to shape a wrong understanding of who God is. Read the stories in the Bible of how godly men and women went through terribly difficult circumstances in life but were never abandoned by God. That didn’t mean they weren’t very blunt with God, but they alway returned to the truths that God had revealed about Himself, and that they knew about who He is.

    Lord God, I pray for these families as they every day deal with the absence of their sons. Lord they need Your supernatural comfort and peace. Reveal Yourself to them and be a strength in them that can only be explained as divine. Bring people around them who will allow them to the freedom to grieve and also stand alongside and point them to You. Guard the love and unity in their family, and deepen their love and appreciation for each other. Amen.

    Have either of you heard of GriefShare? You can find out more about their programs at http://www.griefshare.org. I have been through their workshops several times and each time have walked away enriched and wiser from the expert teaching and intimate connection with others who have lost loved ones. I am sure you will find great value in joining in on one of their support groups.

  • Wally says:

    We all know we’re all going to die someday. My wife just died from cancer and she was in pain. I heard various prophecies that she was going to live. If only we could hear from God directly that after fighting for months in pain and agony that it would result to death. We could have reduced the pain by letting go since. Nevertheless I will always love God we can’t question Him. However on that day I hope he shows us why? then we will truly appreciate Him and worship Him.dying is not the issue here, it’s a given,we aLL going to die guaranteed. However if the person is young and a believer and in pain and we using the word to proclaim life and hope plus other ministers prohecyiny,it would be really nice to hear from our Lord directly to get ready to come home or we have some time left.
    May God help us

  • Stephanie says:

    I agree Stacy, it will be a year in August when my son died, I am still just as bitter and unforgiving, I want my son back! Oh I hear the “he’s in a better place” that’s pardon my language [expletive removed] he was in a wonderful place here with me!

  • Stacy says:

    Saying God lost his son just makes me angrier. As Steve said God had his son back in 3 days. Yes, death is a given, but when you pray, have faith, count on God and then have the worst pain imaginable it is hard to find comfort in anything. I feel like God is punishing me for something. I do still have faith, and I know God can handle my anger and we will possibly be closer down the road but trying to convince me not to be angry doesn’t help.

  • Aldo says:

    Ursula, allow me to pray for you.

    Dear Heavenly Father, You know what it is to lose a son, so You know what Ursula is experiencing. I pray that You would touch her and her entire family with Your love, grace, and mercy, and renew within them the joy of Your salvation, in Jesus precious Name, Amen.

  • Ursula says:

    Unfortunately, I can offer sincere sympathy and understanding to any parent of a lost child. Last year on October 30th our world was rocked when someone murdered our 26 year old son as he waited for a burger. I have been a christian my entire life. But believing in God and church attendance does not prepare one for such a tragic loss. In the midst of my grief if feels as if I’ve lost God too (even though I know he’s there).. But, nothing feels the same. The only thing that seems to give comfort is in writing –journaling and writing my son’s story. I hm hoping to get it finished in the next coming months. In April.some people in our community put together a walk against gang violence to commemorate the six month anniversary of the shooting. A video was produced to share our story. Please feel free to view and share it as you wish.
    The link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK74GVYG8_A
    God please Bless us all as we go through the pain …

  • Tom Tom says:

    SMA–

    God was right where he always is during tragedy–right there waiting for those affected by tragedy to turn to him for comfort. Death is at the end of every life, some sooner, some later, but always inevitable. God has not promised to prevent every baby, child, or adult from dying. He has promised that he will offer comfort in such times, and he has promised that all who come to him in faith will live forever with him even after physical death.

    I’m sorry for your loss SMA. I pray that you will allow the God of all comfort to meet you in your sorrow and to begin to heal your wounds.

  • Aldo says:

    SMA, better yet, where were you when God’s Son died for your sin on the cross of Cavalry?

  • Sma says:

    @ Steve, I understand how you feel(what you going through). So angry @ God too_i keep on asking Him”God” about His promises”He said His Promises are Yes n Amen”:- where was Him when my son died?

  • Chris says:

    jules…i regret to hear of your sorrow. having lost my parents also, i can identify with your pain. you see, noone on this earth lives forever. that isnt gods plan for us. once Adam introduced sin into this world and we his children have followed his pattern, then the only result can be physical death but jesus has promised us in John 11.26 that those who believe in him will never really die. their spirit leaves their bodies but those who have christ on earth, will be with christ in heaven. our seperation from our loved ones is only temporary. one day our lives will be reunited once more so we can continue Gods eternal plan that he has for all for all ages. for more information on that log onto knowingjesuspersonally.com or click talk to a mentor above. i pray jesus console your life with the knowledge that death is only a temporary seperation. one which jesus himself will conquer one day for all of us who trust in him. blessings to you and peace as well!

  • Chris says:

    Steve…i regret to hear of this tragedy….without knowing the whys of why your child died, i can share that God does have answers for us as we seek him about them. we know that God can do no wrong or else he wouldnt be God. the bible shows us itself that there are many dangers in this world we must be aware of. when Adam and eve introduced sin into this world, curses and sicknesses entered with it. satan became the new vice-regent of this world, Adam forfeiting his God-given position. the bible says in acts 10.38 that jesus went about doing good healing all who were oppressed of the devil. jesus has come to give us life, John 10.10, but the thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy. i would pray you would see the difference between God wanting to save and bless us through christ vs satan who only wants to destroy, deceive and divide us from God. you can find out more on how to have the true life of christ in your life by logging onto knowingjesuspersonally.com or by clicking talk to a mentor above. i pray jesus console your heart today and give you the assurance of his promises that as you enter into convenant with him, those covenant promises will become yours to live by in jesus name i pray amen!

  • Jules says:

    Steve
    I read ur post. I feel the same thing. This anger . I talk and go on but it’s always there. When my dad died of leukemia, I lost him and I lost something inside of me that am never getting bacK. Time doesn’t heal. There is no solace.

  • steve says:

    My wife & I lost our only child, a son, 4+ years ago. I used to like talking to people and laughing a lot. Now I can not enjoy ANYTHING!! I just want to hit something or someone. I Hate life now……………It is a worthless existence now. At least God got his son back 3 days later, I haven’t heard from my son or God for that matter. He must really not like me. I don’t believe he talks to people, I think it is all made up…………..

  • Chris says:

    Jeanne….i regret to hear of your loss. having lost close loved ones including my parents, i know that my faith in jesus was the only thing that got me through. he will help you too to know that we can trust jesus to keep our loved ones. life is short. whether we live 22 years or 82 years. we will all one day leave this world. we need to be ready as pilgrims just passing through. i encourage you to log onto knowingjesuspersonally.com or click talk to a mentor above for more information on knowing jesus ans his peace that passes all understanding. i pray that jesus comfort you today in knowing that death in this life isnt the end but rather a new beginning to the next one amen

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