Unknown

The death of a loved one is so abrasively shocking to your system. The loss of my son Eliyah has been a journey that even when I close my eyes, if I choose and sometimes when I don’t I am catapulted immediately to the day he died.

Death brings unknowns. You ask the why’s… they seem to go on and on. Even if you had an answer, The question of why would still rear itself to your mind in some fashion. What if it’s unknown? What if there is no tangible reason? What if you had to just accept what has happened and begin the brutal task of healing. Yes healing is brutal. It takes time, it’s painful, it leaves scars to remind you of what happened. Sometimes healing is not what we think it should look like. Sometimes how you picture it, the exact opposite is what you are faced with, and now you must adapt accordingly.

Eliyah’s cause of death was SUDEP. Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy. I will focus on the second word. Unexplained. It means it is not accounted for, there is no identifiable cause. It is Unknown. How unnerving right? If you are someone who needs answers it is a mental drive to the crazy house because there is not an answer. I like satisfaction. I want to know reasons, and sometimes my overthinking mind needs a reason for the reason. And yet here I was dealing with a death that had no reason behind it. And furthermore why my child?

Sometimes it’s fear of the unknown that makes our minds scream. What if? What about? etc. This year specifically has challenged many of us to the core for several different reasons. A world pandemic. So many unknowns involved about how we should move forward to stay healthy. Many of you lost a loved one this year, or a job, I have a friend who lost her beautiful home in a fire. Where do you start? Where do you go from here? So many unknowns.

When my mother was sick, my dad used to tell her take one thing at a time. Slow down, don’t try to do it all at once. Sometimes we must acknowledge that steps must be taken. For example if you want to bake a cake, You follow certain steps first. You don’t just throw all in the oven. Certain ingredients must be mixed. Gotta follow the steps 1 thing at a time. Healing of a loved one especially is a process. You don’t heal all at once. I wish it was that easy. A simple process.

Grief is an unknown. It carries with it many, many facets. It carries with it no timeline, no proper way of “grieving right” no such thing, it scares people away, yet can also make people want to draw closer to you to help you through. It affects one person in one way, and to another a different way. No rhyme or reason. It’s complicated. It has stages. the stages are not in any specific order and can last a lifetime of not. Unknown.

So how do we handle the unknown? Do we know? Is there a playbook out there with the plays? An answer key in the back of a book? Is there a guru high upon a mountain who has all the answers? I chose, yes chose to rely on faith. The bible says in Hebrews 11:1 That faith is the hope or the confidence in what we hope for and assurance/evidence about what we do not see. It means to believe completely even when there is no evidence to support. It is my foundation for my relationship with God. The very start of what matters on a spiritual side. It is my confidence that later becomes fully operational to believe his promises. It’s unseen but exists beneath what is visible.

This is what carries me. It fuels me, Drives my reasoning for how I move in life. Utilizing faith while in the unknown has allowed me to put one foot forward at a time. It is the constant abiding trust in what I can’t see. It’s like the unseen foundation of a building. You can’t see it but you know if it’s not there the building would collapse. It’s knowing it will work when it’s not apparent to my senses. It must be applied to all of life challenges. I encourage you to face the unknown head on with faith in front of you. It will make a difference in your life.

My measure of faith

Have you ever seen an actual mustard seed? It is so tiny. Almost barely visible. I have a tiny jar that I have 1 in. I have also gone to the store in the spice section just to look at them. Matthew 17:20 Jesus said ” Because you have so little faith, Truly I tell you, if you have faith like grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ” Move from here to there, and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

My father passed earlier this week unexpectedly. It has shaken me to my core. I have never lived life without him, so this feels very different. It hurts beyond what I can write in words. Experiencing the pain of loss first of my son, then 2 years later my mother and now almost 5 years since her passing my dad, needless to say my faith has been tested, rocked, challenged, and more.  I have sat quietly for many hours wondering, praying, thinking, asking God why?, I’ve sat in tears feeling broken, helpless, asking God to help me, heal me, hold me.

So what can I say about faith? It is the substance /confidence of things hoped for and the assurance that God is working even though we can’t see it.  It does not come easy. It must be exercised to grow.  As with the mustards seed, it can grow to an immense proportion. When you look into what a seed does once it is planted, it is truly amazing. But it will do nothing until it is planted.  Seeds have the ability to remake worlds, and areas around them.

Faith has allowed me to remain rooted even in thee most unsettled of situations.  This immense grief I’m feeling has my faith right about the size of the mustard seed. Grief brings yet again it’s challenges with all of the feelings associated with it. I have come to understand that faith like grieving is a journey. Sometimes prayer is difficult in the presence of grief.

My prayer for you, and for myself is to be willing to accept that things will be different. And in this, I can still be assured that even with the tiniest of seed of faith, we can be confident that God loves us. And one day, although it may not be today, we will flourish under the fire.