This is going to be weird. I’m going to open up about some stuff that will make you judge my faith, my strength, my mental/emotional stability and question whether you will keep reading this site, or even talk to me without looking at me differently. I just ask that you read with an open mind, without judgement and with love.
When Jax died everything changed. I used to pray every morning in the shower. Almost every single day I’d end by asking for God’s protection for my wife and kids. I prayed the same thing on June 24 when Jax died. On June 25 I stopped praying.
What’s the point? I was just wasting my breath. You know when your spouse gets so mad at you that they ignore you for a couple of days? That was me towards God. Except it lasted months. He was around, but I didn’t want to talk to him. I know, we live in a broken world, yadda yadda yadda. Shit happens. I didn’t care. I was beyond pissed. Now, I know there’s human element involved with life and death, and consequences occur, and it’s not all on God. I’m not discounting any of that. But if He can’t protect my kid, then what’s the point of any of this?
A few days after he died, or after the memorial service – I don’t remember which – I started to question heaven’s existence. What if there is no heaven? Will I ever see my boy again? I grew up in a Christian family and attended a non-demotional Christian church all of my life. I was raised to believe that you died and went to heaven if you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. What if the Bible is just a book of mythological stories, and when we die, nothing happens? I felt alone. Everything I believed in before 6/24 shattered like a glass bowl on the kitchen tile. Tiny shards shot every which way and I’m walking barefoot trying to pick up the pieces. But it hurts. I keep stepping on the shards. I’m bleeding. And I’m overwhelmed.
Thirst for Knowledge
I started to read Heaven Is for Real in which an evangelical pastor writes about his 4-year-old son’s encounter with heaven while undergoing emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix. It didn’t help. Call me skeptical, but it’s written by a pastor. As much as I wanted to believe it’s all true, he has too much to gain from a great story that sells.
My therapist recommended 90 Minutes in Heaven, a book written by a man who displayed no signs of life to EMTs for 90 minutes following a brutal car wreck. Some of his accounts of heaven were completely different from the kid’s in Heaven Is for Real. But I guess a grown man won’t see a rainbow-colored horse in heaven or a pink-jeweled crown on Jesus’ head.
I bought a third book, To Heaven and Back, which chronicles an orthopaedic surgeon who nearly drowned following a kayak accident and her experience in heaven. I don’t even know where it is.
And then I found comfort in an unexpected place. I felt peace for the first time in months. Peace that I would see Jax soon and that he was still with me. Peace that he is okay and in God’s hands. I’ll explain more about that unexpected place soon.
The “Christiany” thing is to seek God’s comfort and know that Jax is with Him, he’s safe and the Bible tells us I’ll see him again. But remember, I’m still picking up those sharp pieces of faith on my kitchen floor. I’m pissed at God that this happened. Or perhaps my faith was never strong enough to begin with?
I’m back to speaking with God. Not as often as I used to, but those lines of communication, at least on my end, are open again. The line on his end was always free. I’m sure of it. This morning I prayed that if this unexpected source of comfort is of His will, that I may have peace with it. I still doubt whether it is, because really, it’s weird to me, too.
Tomorrow (hopefully) I’ll explain WTF I’m talking about. In the meantime, if you pray, pray for my wife and I tonight, even though you don’t know what you’re praying for. Things will get weirder tomorrow. I promise.