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

  • John says:

    Sorry to hear about your loss. I lost my mother 3 years ago. I was her caregiver for 7 years. Have you heard of “Grief Share”? It’s a 12 week course of people who have lost loved ones. Many churches sponsor the group meetings. You can Google Grief Share to find their web site. Just put in your zip code and you’ll find meetings in your area. This is an excellent group for anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Oh Janis, I am so sorry to hear about your tragic loss. Dear friends of mine lost their son to a long battle with depression 2 and a half years ago, and I agree with Philip that it is one of the most difficult things for a parent to go through. Let me pray for you: Dear Jesus, You are the God of all comfort and I pray for Janis and her family as they mourn the loss of their beloved Benjamin, that You would be their comfort. I am grateful that You understand our grief because You too have suffered greatly and know the pain of great loss. I pray that You would carry Janis through these dark days, and guide her steps in a time when I am sure everything seems so overwhelming. Bring people around her who will help support, care and love her. Give her safe places to share her grief, her anger, her confusion. And let her know the strength of Your presence with her through it all. Amen.

    Janis, do you have people in your life who you trust to talk about your loss with? I would like to invite you to connect with one of our mentors. They are safe people who would love to come alongside and walk with you through your grief. Just fill out the Mentor Request Form at http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor/ and one of our mentors will be in touch with you soon by email.

  • Philip Koen says:

    So sorry to read about this terrible tragedy, the suicide of a child is one of the most traumatic experiences ever. There is nothing that anyone can do or say to make it easier but just know there are people out there who think of you and feel for you.
    Wish there was something that I could do to ease the pain. My greatest sympathy.

  • Tom Tom says:

    Janis–
    Clarifying: Something sudden and out of the blue, or was their something long-term involved?

  • Tom Tom says:

    Janis–
    My heartfelt sympathies to you. Was this something sudden?

  • Janis says:

    My beautiful son Benjamin took his life June 14, 2016.

  • Tom Tom says:

    Cindy–
    Thank you for your spot-on observations.

    Romans 2:5 and following tells us about those who self-righteously deny God and who do not respect him, “But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.”

    Webster’s: Fear=”Respectful dread; awe; reverence. A feeling of uneasiness or apprehension; concern.” These are the things we feel when we know we are standing in the presence of omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence. We do not take God lightly. Oh how I pity those who do.

  • Philip Koen says:

    Cindy: Did god tell you all this when he peeped from behind Sharon’s scene? One of the sickest things about religion is the “fear” of god but if one looks at his actions as described in the Bible I can understand that you fear him.

  • Cindy says:

    Phillip- The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Mans wisdom is foolishness to God. His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. You’d do well to stop and think about what your doing which is rebellion and you are hurting yourself far more than you are trying to hurt people who trust respect and obey The Lord God Almighty. And we do not cast pearls before swine so if you reject what Christians are trying to tell you just know there will be a time they will move on from you and from what I’m reading it ought to be NOW.

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