The loss of a child is so overwhelming and counter to nature that your shattered heart will struggle to accept it. The initial response to the loss is shock. You may feel numb, disoriented, confused, panicky, even paralyzed. Shock is a built-in response that can actually cushion the inevitable blow by blocking some of the emotional pain until you are more able to handle the full impact of your grief. For a while the shock acts as a shield, but sooner or later you will give in to the harsh reality that your child is gone. With that reality comes agonizing pain that seems to threaten your own survival. Your life has been stripped bare. The color of your world has been drained with each tear that you shed leaving you parched, and empty. You feel as though you have been ravaged. You are spent and have nothing left to give. A dense, heavy fog rolls into your life and surrounds you, clouding your mind and threatening to ground you. You will struggle to breathe under its thick blanket and the thought of trying to navigate through its density seems impossible.
You long to wake up to a morning sun that will warm the air so that the fog will begin to thin and lift renewing the faded colors of your used-to-be life, but instead you awaken and quickly realize that the fog is still your cloak and the weight of it is exhausting. This is the time you must realize that you have another Son whose mercies are new every morning.
“Because of the LORD’S great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is you faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
You may find yourself struggling to trust God through this fog. Grief invades every aspect of who you are, including your spirituality. People will respond in many different ways. You may feel drawn closer to God and find comfort in a faith that sustains you. However, you many feel abandoned. The loss of a child can rock the very foundation of your belief system, at least for a time. You may find yourself angry at God and unable to pray. Often for a Christian this adds another layer to the already heavy burden of guilt. When you find yourself caught in this struggle, this is the very time to be intentional in seeking hope.
Hope is the lifeline that you must cling to while the storm rages and the fog sits heavy. I encourage you to be honest with God. He is not asking you to love the circumstances or even understand them; these things break His heart too. Cry out to Him. When the words won’t come, allow the Holy Spirit to carry your tears, your pain, your groans to God as a prayer. He knows your heart. Trust that He is there even when your temporal eyes fail to see Him. When God allows the atmosphere to veil His creation in fog you know that eventually the fog will lift. A breeze may blow causing wisps of fog to dance over the earth unveiling the once hidden beauty of His creation. It was there all the time.
Right now you are looking through the densest part of the fog and the future seems obscure. This fog is temporary. It may linger for quite some time or it may come and go for years, but He is the compass that will direct your way through this journey that is now shrouded in fog and lead you over time to a light that still shines. So, grab the nail-scared hand of your Heavenly Father. Listen and follow His voice as He whispers telling you to trust and surrender to Him. Even though you are wounded and unable to see who He truly is, His love and goodness are not confined by your limitations. He pierces the darkness and wraps you with a blanket of love. He is limitless. He is a lighthouse of hope.