Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Faith?

Dear Stevie,
So it's no secret that I've struggled a lot with the concept of "faith" since losing you. In the last year or so, I've gone from a place of being really angry at God for letting you die, to a place where I guess I just took God out of the equation altogether; decided that it was just bad luck, that sometimes bad things just happen, that I just happened to draw the short stick that time. God had and has nothing to do with it. Honestly, it's much easier for me to believe in a God that never steps in and saves babies than a God that chooses to miraculously step in for some, but not for others.

Anyway, I had gotten pretty comfortable with my theory of this hands-off God.

But now that I'm pregnant again, the questions keep coming back to me.

I have been absolutely terrified this pregnancy. There are times when I am absolutely certain I am going to lose your little brother or sister, just like I lost you. So certain that I'll actually say things like, "I wouldn't mind doing these injections every night if I really believed it was going to be worth it this time." I know this sounds totally messed up, and it is. People are always telling me I need to have faith. Faith in God that things are going to work out this time around.

But that's my problem--I don't. How can I have faith in a God that let me down so badly the last time I was in this position? I'm sure it's the wrong way of looking at it, but I have faith (or lack of faith) in things, or people, because of my past experiences with them. For example, I have faith in my parents. I have faith that they are always going to be there for me when I need them. But that faith, that trust, is there because of their actions. If they had abandoned me in the past or something, of course I wouldn't have the faith I have in them today. It's the same thing with friends. I have faith in some, and not in others. Same with nature. I have faith that if I hold up a rock and let it go, it's going to fall to the ground. I trust that it's going to fall because I've seen it happen many times. If someone told me I needed to have faith that the rock was going to levitate in the air when I let go, I'd think they were crazy.

That's kind of how I feel about the whole concept of "faith" right now. The only outcome of pregnancy that I've personally experienced is loss. So trying to believe without a doubt that the outcome will be different this time is like trying to believe that if I pick up a rock and let it go, that's it's not going to fall to the ground.

I honestly, truly want to have faith. I want to believe in my heart of hearts that little E is going to come home with us in March. I am incredibly envious of the people I know who are able to find the peace that comes with giving it all up to God, of those that have that kind of faith.

How do I get there? How does one force themselves to have faith in someone or something they really feel abandoned by?

I had all the faith in the world when I was pregnant with you, Stevie. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that I'd take you home, watch you grow; that you'd be mine forever. But when you died, my faith died too. I guess I am scared to lay it all out there again. To believe in a happy ending, only to look like an idiot again when it doesn't work out that way.

I'm trying, Baby, I really am. It's just so hard sometimes.

I miss you so much,
Mom

PS. Thank you to the kind stranger who posted this on Post Secret yesterday. Someone who follows my blog emailed me the link and it totally and completely made my day, like happy tears and all :)

24 comments:

Jus and Kat said...

I totally feel EVERY word of this post. I think I've actually thought this myself before: "Honestly, it's much easier for me to believe in a God that never steps in and saves babies than a God that chooses to miraculously step in for some, but not for others." Thank you for sharing your story. It reminds me that it's okay for my faith to waver sometimes . . .

Kat @ In Dylan's Memory

Tiffany said...

I struggle with this topic too (I actually blogged about it yesterday). It's so hard to take that 1st step. I still don't believe that I will have my happy ending, though little by little I find my heart softening to the possibility. Each day, each milestone helps my heart get a bit stronger. And I know the same will happen to you. Look at all of the leaps of faith you have made already. And I believe that it's your heart fighting to be hopeful. And I know that it's because of Stevie that you have come as far as you have. Walking with you every step of the way, and praying for a happy ending for us both dear friend.

Ps- I'm so glad I got to meet you! :)

Julie said...

i could have written this post myself, my friend. <3 (minus the references to the current pregnancy, unfortunately.)

Brooke said...

I could have written Julie's comment above.

I struggle with this too, and I had just resigned myself to a hands-off God--the only one I could bear to believe in, one who could give me strength and surround me with love but who couldn't have saved Eliza even though He wanted to. But it's hard not to ask for something you want so much, even if you're not sure you believe God can give it to you.

I think it's okay to put your wishes out there in the universe, to name them and own them just like we do our fears. Certainty is impossible, but faith is by definition uncertain and even doubtful. If it were a sure thing, we'd call it knowledge instead of faith.

B. Wilson said...

Ditto. What you said here is the pinnacle of my frustration/issue: "Honestly, it's much easier for me to believe in a God that never steps in and saves babies than a God that chooses to miraculously step in for some, but not for others."

I have to just believe he doesn't save ANY babies or really anyone. Which means then that I technically don't believe in miracles anymore? It puts so much of what I was certain about in question. You aren't alone. I feel like a terrible person for questioning God who I believe created this universe. But what I am typing/speaking is exactly how I am feeling and it's already known to God if he's listening... so no reason in hiding that.

Such a torn path we live as BLMs. We'll never be the same.

Mrs. I said...

Although I know a miscarriage is different than what you have gone through with Stevie, my Lily (who was due the day before Stevie) was my baby E pregnancy.

I was terrified throughout the pregnancy. I held my breath at ultrasounds.

Due to some genetic testing, we had growth ultrasounds every 4 weeks...which offered relief, but the anxiety leading up to them was so bad. The mind is so very powerful.

I, too, struggle with giving it all up to God, still.

Perhaps your faith will return when you carry your sweet baby home...

I think of you so often and am glad to follow your journey...all of it.

xoxox

Melissa said...

I don't know how you do it...but you just always seem to manage to put exactly how I (and I'm sure, many other BLM's) feel into words. Reading your blog is like reading my own thoughts sometimes.

Sending you so much love and good vibes. 13 weeks, you're 1/3 of the way there!! Yay!!

Oh....and that 'secret' was from me. And I gotta say - that was one heck of a surprise to see it at the bottom of your post! Don't get me wrong though, I'm very happy about the shout out. :)

KimB said...

I've been reading your blog for a time and I love, love your honesty.

My husband and I have struggled through 7 years of infertility without much of a diagnosis with a miscarriage last year and nada since then. Our stories are different, but I understand your concerns, I truly do.

I've found peace in this answer in a couple of different ways, and I am certainly not here to preach, not at all.

My pastor said a few sermons after our loss (which shook me to the core) that death is never a blessing, death was never what God had planned for this earth.

I feel like we can even see this in the Bible...if you look at Jesus' mom when he died on the cross, at Jacob when he thought that Joseph was dead. There is substantial, real, hard, terrible grieving. Your child is no longer with you. That is terrible.

And I'm all for being straight up honest with God about how hard it is. He knows how you feel anyway, why not be honest?

But, how can you be sure that it won't happen again? How can you know? And that's where the hard work begins.

At this point I have to place my faith solely in what God has for me. Maybe that is just the two of us. Maybe we will lose more children. I don't know, but what I've had to hold on to...the only logical, consistent thing I could hold on to is that God understood my grief far more than anyone here on this earth. His own Son died too. He gets it. And for whatever reason, whatever this crooked path that breaks me down continually brings out of me...the only thing it can bring out of me is something more beautiful than I could have planned for my life.

He can handle your doubts, your questions, your fears and we all fail at being faithful every day, but having faith is a process (not an easy one at that).

Sorry, super long. If you want more of my musings, you can stop on over to my blog.

Praying for you and the sweet one with you now.

This is a good post where I kind of address this (it's less preachy, I promise. :)

http://findingsunshinekimb.blogspot.com/2011/08/end-game.html

MamaE said...

I know exactly what you are talking about here. I never believed that it would turn out ok after my loss. Even after I had a healthy baby, and was pregnant with my 3rd, I still didn't believe it. I worried a lot. My mom once told me that there are never any guarantees - that even when people have healthy babies, anything can happen at any time - and you'd think that it would make me feel worse to hear that, but I felt a lot better. I guess it worked because it reminded me that there was no use in worrying since we can never know what will happen and when. It sort of helped me to let go of a tiny bit of worry (at least some of the time!) I'm not sure if that makes you feel any better, but it helped me... Just prepare yourself for the ultimate in worry - the delivery room. I was sure that since I'd made it all the way through my pregnancy, I was doomed to lose the baby during the birth because I just couldn't envision a pregnancy actually ending with a baby.

Mrs. Smurda said...

Not enjoying my pregnancy more (or hey much at all) after my loss is one of my major regrets. My fear completely took over for 40 weeks, and I feel robbed of the pregnancy. Of a normal, happy, fun pregnancy. Of course looking back, I wish I could have told myself to get a grip because of course I know my baby was just fine. I always understood the concept of "worrying non-stop will do nothing at all, either this baby will make it or not and I need to enjoy the time right now when I know things are good" but just could not live that way. I so wish I could have. Maybe you can learn from me. Try and let the fear go, just a day at a time....it will be a huge weight lifted off your shoulders.

Franchesca said...

Oh my word Kristin. The part of believing in a God that never steps in... how many times i've wondered about that whole thing. It hurts to think he 'chooses' which babies he saves. I don't believe he has anything to do with our losses. He hurts as much as you and I do. It's a broken, fallen world. I wish I had the magic wand to fill your heart with the faith and sincere hope that you are bringing this baby home. Praying for you & baby E

Shaik said...

Lovely to find your blog! Had a great time here, loving all of their unique sense of style!


Sample Letters

Valerie said...

I hope I don't make you feel like I'm lowering your grief or anything. I first off wanted to say how brave I think you are for being so open about your experiences, both good and bad. When I was 10, my mother lost my only sibling in the world at 23 weeks and I completely lost my faith in God that day. I know this didn't happen to me personally but I guess I'm just trying to say I can somewhat understand where you are coming from. Please do not think I am trying to say I understand YOUR pain, just that I can relate. I really hope that makes sense and I'm not just a rambling idiot.

I am now 28 weeks pregnant with my first and my sister's death 23 years ago has haunted me from the moment I saw those two lines on April 15. Every day I think is today the day? Will I finally know what it feels like to REALLY lose a child, not just a sibling?

Thank you again for all of your posts. I'm so happy for you and hope you are able to find the peace you need in order to make it these next few months.

Crystal said...

I completely agree. I'm struggling with this myself. After 5 years of infertility, we were blessed with our son Cameron. We had finally resigned ourselves to being okay with our one blessing when I found out I was pregnant with Nathan. It took me 3 years, but I was finally at peace with not having anymore children. I went through the stages and I grieved for the children I figured I would never have. (I actually had a surgery scheduled for the month after I found out I was pregnant, to help with my endometriosis.) I'm struggling with why God would take me out of my comfort zone... my sense of peace... give me him, just to take him away from me. I took for granted that I would have an easy, healthy pregnancy and baby. I figured getting pregnant was my only problem in life. I never imagined (as none of us do) that I would loose my baby.

Anonymous said...

Definition of Faith: Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

I think the difference between Faith and Trust is that Faith doesn't require proof, where Trust may or may not.

Anonymous said...

I like what Mrs. Smurda said...
Try to take it one day at a time. It's okay to think about taking E home when that day comes... but remember each day that passes brings you closer to that. Try to enjoy the pregnancy. I'll go out there and say don't even worry about faith. Every day think of something good that's happened. Sit alone and feel the baby kicking. Listen to relaxing music. Meditate.

Boy I wish I could help you more.

I followed your story on BBC. I can't wait to see picks of your new baby.

Klare Family said...

Kristin,

When you write Stevie... Where do you think she is??
I write my girls Hope and Grace all the time. I talk to them all the time. I know that they are in Heaven and can hear me. Why would I believe my children are in Heaven, in God's home and care if I didn't for some reason believe that it was where they were meant to be.
Faith is not something that comes easily. We have to pray for it. We have to have real dialogues with God and ask for an increase of faith.
When I think of Hope and Grace and what our family went through I seek FAITH because without it, it just doesn't make sense. I would be lost and totally unconsoled. With Faith I understand that their short lives have done more for others than an entire lifetime of some people who have wasted their gift of life.
And life is just that. A GIFT. No matter how long, we are all supposed to use this time to make it to heaven. Your daughter made it there! And look at how many hearts she has touched. Again, she has stirred more emotion and love in the hearts of many than some who have lived an entire lifetime.
So God had a very meaningful purpose for Stevie. Her life was not in vain. Just like a soldier fighting a war... That life served an incredible, honorable, and needed purpose.
God bless as always praying for you,
luci.

Michelle said...

I hope and pray for you that little E will be safe and you can bring home your baby to. I hope your relationship with God could be mended, because He is our only hope. She is with Him. That is the HOPE we have, remember steven curtis chapman's song, Beauty will Rise? I pray you will be able to feel God's love for you. I know I struggled too during my pregnancy with Carter. It was VERY hard in the beginning and I even told God how angry I would be if he let me lose this baby. It is not easy. This life is not easy., but the fact that you are writing this post tells me that God has his hand on you, girl! xoxo

LindsayjKing13 said...

I love your honesty Kristin and I can totally relate to your feelings about God and faith. I had 2 miscarriages (at 12 and 13 wks)and I had so many people tell me it "wasn't meant to be". It made me feel like they were saying God chose their babies to live, but not mine. I was so angry at God for so long, because I truly felt that HE took my babies. When I got pregnant the 3rd time, I was a nervous wreck. I just kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. Thankfully, I delivered my healthy baby boy almost 9 months ago. It is very hard to stay positive when you're trying to guard yourself from getting too attached. But it's impossible not to be attached and totally in love with that little human! I'll be thinking of you and Baby E.

Erin said...

I just found your blog in a very random way I won't bore you with and I'm speechless. You are incredibly brave and honey. Thank you for your blog and this post. My sister in law committed suicide shortly after my husband and I were married and then we miscarried our first child at 11 weeks and I went through everything you describe. I remember a friend saying to me, 'believe that I believe'. It didn't make me less sad, or less angry at God but, it helped. I am so sorry your beautiful daughter Stevie died. But, I am so so happy that you are expecting your second child. Love and blessings!
-e

Renel said...

I don't know if it is harder for those who had faith before to loose it or for people like me who didn't have faith before and still feel floundering. I don't have faith that rocks will levitate. My first experience with birth was a good one. I had a healthy living baby boy. My second experience with birth was death. Weird, but the second one outweighs the first in the faith realm. I know that most babies live, but some don't, mine didn't and so I am tainted with the belief that babies die. I can't undo that.

They call me Mommy said...

When we found out that I was going to be delivering my 2nd stillborn baby, we chose the name 'Faith' for her because I could feel my faith die that day, and I knew I was going to be struggling after that. I have struggled for a long time with faith, or lack of faith. Much like you, the only things I could count on were things I could experience--things I could see, touch, hear, feel.
I don't have an answer for you, but I will tell you what I have resolved to do, and so far it has been good for me: I finally decided that I would have faith in my faith....yeah, sounds messed up, so let me try to explain. It's like my whole life, I'd been building up my faith in God, and now I need to let it work for me--let it pull me back to where I need to be, and have faith that it will do that. Much like my babies dying, this too, is out of my hands. But I have experienced my entire life of building up my faith--I know I can count on it, just give it time. So I put my faith there, in my 'bank of faith', and trust that it will get me through.
I read your blog Kristin. You have done the work. You are thoughtful, reflective, and most of all resilient. So if this makes any sense to you, think of this as a smaller step--you don't have to jump back into faith. Let your own faith build you back up....have faith that it will.

Holly said...

It sucks A LOT not knowing whether you're gonna have the outcome you want. I did a lot of pleading and praying for me to be able to bring Lainey home. I was anxious and nervous and unsure and I'm a person with a lot of faith. I don't think it matter whether you have a lot of faith or none at all. This road is freaking scary. But I am very happy that you are on this road and I am hoping very much for the best outcome possible-bringing your baby home.

Curls O Fred said...

I wanted to wait until I had the right words, but I don't know that I ever will. I appreciate you sharing this, because I struggle with this on a daily basis. I'm still trying to figure out what works from my old faith, what needs thrown out because it doesn't fit in anymore, and how to merge it all together.if that's possible. All that to say, thank you.

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