Why? Why? Why?
In 2016, I was having a rough week leading up to Mother's Day. Unfortunately, I was heading down into a dark place because I was focusing too much on the pain and confusion. I kept asking God "why?" all week and the more you ask "why" the harder it is to deal with the pain. Why did you let this happen? Why did you not let me know so I could help him? Why would you have allowed me to be so completely in the dark about what was actually going on in his life. I felt that God had not only abandoned me but even went so far as to allow me to be completely deceived into believing that my son was actually doing OK..
His death was a complete blindside! In no way did I see this coming. None of us did. It was so hard to process in light of the closeness of God and all the answered prayers that I had personally experienced over the last twenty years. I kept asking God over and over again: “Why would you let me know about things that seem so insignificant now and not let me know about something so monumentally important? I know I have many faults and am far from a perfect parent but why did you let me become complacent about things that were so dangerous? You had my total, undivided attention. I would have laid my life down for him."
I ended up getting very angry at God & turning away from him for a few days and they were very hard days. Thank the Lord for his mercy and the people that continually lift us up in prayer! I am also thankful that God sends the right message at just the right time. Two examples:
1. The weekly lesson bible study lesson from Walking with Purpose touched my heart so much and made me cry - a healing cry:
"...A Mother - Her love can save her children from spiritual death."..."Persevere in loving the Lord and the lambs he has entrusted to you, and one day you will see the crown of glory that awaits you."
Reading that lifted me up and enabled me to begin to head back in the right direction toward God. I wasn’t able to save my son from physical death but I believe with all my heart that I will see him again because he is saved and with the Lord. I believe that because of our love for him and the many prayers & sacrifices that were made and continue to be made on his behalf; my constant struggle to live in fidelity to God's will; all of the waves of heartache & grief offered up for him now - he was at the moment of his death, able to open his heart completely to Jesus. I don’t know if he is heaven or purgatory so I continue to pray for his soul every day. I have made the “Heroic Act in Favor of the Souls in Purgatory” and each day I offer everything for them. I then ask them to pray for my other intentions, especially for all of my family & friends. I have seen many prayers answered by praying this way.
2. On Friday, May 6, I went to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and confessed my anger. Immediately after that I attended Mass and I knew that God was speaking to directly to my heart through the Gospel: John 16:20-23. Especially the 2nd last sentence:
"Jesus said to his disciples: 'Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you."'
As soon as the words "On that day you will not question me about anything" were proclaimed, a profound peace descended into my heart and soul - into the deepest places where all of the questions were coming from. I knew that God was telling me that when I am in heaven and I see everything from that perspective, I will completely understand why He allowed this tragedy and I will bow my head and say "Amen."
Since that Mass this profound peace has not left me. The need to know the answer to all of my many questions is not there anymore. It might seem like a paradox, but I have peace in knowing that I won’t fully understand until I am in heaven and can see all from God's perspective. I even feel a strange joy because of the fact that I don't know the answers. I believe this is for at least two reasons:.
1. Not knowing the answers gives me the opportunity to exercise the gift of supernatual Faith - believing without seeing or understanding in our Father's loving care for us. Making acts of Faith like this actually increases our capacity to love and trust him because we are humbling ourselves before his greatness and inscrutable, unsearchable ways while accepting our status as limited human beings. This opens our heart more fully and removes obstacles so that He can fill it with his peace and joy. From a human point of view it doesn't make sense to have peace and joy in this way but the peace and joy are real nonetheless.
2. The harder something is - the more I have to die to myself - the greater the gift I have in my possession to offer to God as intercessory prayer for others. I want so badly for every person to experience God's personal love for them. My zeal for this consumes me, so in a strange way, this "darkness" about Brett's tragic death - this not knowing why God allowed it - is a great gift because I can offer it up continually as a living sacrifice and I know God is continually using it as a channel of his grace to save and heal souls.
I know he is with me as I suffer and that he will bring a greater good out of this anguish and that makes all the difference in the world. My suffering has meaning and purpose.
I still cry many tears but they are not out of despair or confusion. They are a sign of my love. They release the pain of my shattered heart and, paradoxically, allow me to grow stronger. I am so thankful for the gift of tears.