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Loss and Faith

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You know that feeling of being mad at yourself? It’s like when you’ve eaten a whole carton of ice cream and the minute you finish, you hate yourself and wish you could take it back? (Unless it’s Blue Bell ice cream.) Right, I’ve been feeling that way this morning (not because of ice cream, FYI…though it might be because of chocolate pie. I said might.).

Anyway, here’s the truth about me. I unfortunately have a tendency to read celebrity gossip. I know, I know. I don’t necessarily go looking for it, but if there’s something about Brangelina flashing on msn.com, I will probably check it out. But I was thinking yesterday about how when bad news comes, suddenly all that other stuff becomes so insignificant and shallow and you just don’t care anymore. I don’t really think there’s anything wrong with reading about stuff that’s not all that useful. It’s not a big deal to me. But in the past few days, I’ve had some emotional news, and it provided some really clear perspective on what actually matters to me. And trust me, it’s not Brangelina or Robsten. Someone I really care about found out she has cancer. And someone else I really cared about passed away. And when those things happen, everything else is stripped away and all you’re left with is this reality of how frail we are.

I was in Virginia recently and my youngest sister and I were talking. She’s about to start her senior year in high school. It’s so tragic but a boy in her class just died a couple of weeks ago. A drunk driver hit the car he and his mom were in and they died instantly. We know they were Christians and we know they’re in heaven, but Laura said something that just felt really honest to me. She said something to the effect of “but what if everything we believe is actually wrong and there’s nothing after this.” That’s a scary thought, right? And it’s one I think most Christians would jump in and respond to by saying all kinds of things about how we know everything we believe is true and such and such. But the truth is we don’t exactly know–I don’t know anyone who has come back from the dead and told me what to expect (literally, physically told me, I’m not talking about reading about it in the Bible). That’s why it’s called faith. Believing without seeing, you know what I mean. And there are so many different faiths out there. And there are people in every section ready to die in defense of their particular belief system. Who’s right? We can’t all be right. We just have to have faith that what we believe is true. But I’ve realized something else, in some way, loss strengthens faith. Because when you lose someone, suddenly the notion of heaven’s reality becomes paramount in your life. It has to be real. You can’t stand the thought of losing that person for forever. You have to believe that they still exist in some form. At least, that’s been my experience. In some ways, loss can make us question God and feel really distant from him. But in other ways, it can make us desperate for him. And it’s strange that you can be so mad at God, but then even shouting out your frustrations to him can feel comforting. To be perfectly honest, my feelings of faith and truth are a work in progress, at best. But there’s just something so comforting about the thought of heaven.

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About Brandy

Brandy Bruce is an author, editor, wife, mother, and someone who really loves dessert. She has a BA in English from Liberty University. She currently works as a freelance editor--reading, writing, editing, and making good use of online dictionaries. She's married to Jeff and has three beautiful children.

7 responses »

  1. I love the honesty of this post and the raw-ness. It’s been one year since my Bible study leading partner died of pancreatic cancer. She was diagnosed in January and dead by June. So swiftly taken home. She was such an evangelist her memorial service had to be held in a school auditorium but her death just made many of these seekers bitter and angry with God. Lots of questions in that room and really, no easy answers. Thanks for writing this.

    Reply
    • Lori, so sorry about your friend. That’s just so hard. Thanks so much for your encouragement. You are a blessing!

      Reply
  2. Beautifully written! Faith is such a daily struggle for me.

    Reply
  3. Sorry for your loss and I will keep your friend with cancer in prayers.

    I just love your authenticity when writing about the big word Faith- I get nervous even trying to voice my doubts sometimes and so in you and I can always see myself and my thoughts.
    XOXO

    Reply
  4. Thanks, Brandy. I needed this. It’s so reassuring to be reminded that I’m not the only one having these doubts. I am thinking of you, and hope you’re finding comfort during this tough time. Miss you, girl!

    Reply

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