Question:

Hi there,

I recently lost my newborn son due to a premature birth about a month ago. It has been really hard on both me and my husband. We have been gradually picking up our regular routines since it happened, like going back to work and church, but I still feel like missing church sometimes, just to stay home or go somewhere to get away to help with our pain, if that's what we feel like at the time. But I feel guilty about doing that so I don't and just end up going to church upset or stressed out. Plus sometimes I just don't want to see some of the babies there because it just makes the situation harder after losing my own. I just don't know if God understands and expects us to attend regularly now so soon.

Secondly, before we became Christians me and my husband both drank and I was a regular marijuana user. It was still a struggle to quit even after we became Christians, but now after losing our child we've both went back to using sometimes, though we recognize we shouldn't be doing those things, but with the grief and hopelessness we feel sometimes, we just don't know what else to do. We have no other children and just find it hard to find things that God allows us to do for any bit of joy anymore that we want to do that helps us.

I read Scripture and stuff on grief, and it makes me feel better for a short while, or I might have a lot of faith for a little while and decide I'm not going to smoke or drink again because my hope is in Christ and in seeing my son again in heaven one day, but sometimes its just not enough to keep me going. Sometimes it's like I just don't care about what I do or about God anymore. I just don't know what to do with myself.

I know you are not an expert on grief, but I just keep worrying that if I die in this state I will go to hell because I know my faith in God right now is wishy-washy and so is my obedience. I feel so mad at God sometimes for allowing this, but other times I feel I am ready to serve Him with all my heart. I feel so overwhelmed by everything lately and just don't know how to handle all this, I've only recently started praying to God again, asking Him to heal me, but I'm not sure if He's listening anymore. and I have little faith He will answer my prayers anymore after my prayers for my son were left unanswered or either just didn't line up with His will.

Anyway how does God expect me to deal with my grief of losing my son and yet still be the Christian I use to be? I just don't understand how a loving God can expect so much of us knowing we are so weak sometimes. I am so afraid of going to hell because right now I just don't always feel like serving him.


Answer:

David lost a son and grieved while his son was dying, but after his death, David made an interesting observation. "David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them. Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead. For they said, "Indeed, while the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do some harm!" When David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, "Is the child dead?" And they said, "He is dead." So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. Then his servants said to him, "What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food." And he said, "While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?' But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me"" (II Samuel 12:16-23).

David understood that death is not reversible, at least not immediately. He also understood that all children are innocent and righteous, so his child is with God. Therefore, David knew that in order to see his son again, David would have to meet him in heaven.

It appears that you don't see the situation the same way. You are seeing the loss as something permanent. Because of your past, you and your husband both have difficulty handling strong emotions and hardships. You have a habit of avoiding the emotions. Therefore, you don't want to go places where people know you because they may bring up your loss. You don't want to see children because that does remind you of your loss. You use marijuana because while you are high your emotions are dampened and the pain doesn't appear to be as great. Of course, as after the high wears off, anxiety takes its place and it becomes a downward spiral.

You are so set on chemically numbing yourself, you overlook other options that don't have bad side-effects. You could go on a vacation. You and your husband could focus on each other and do romantic things together.

The grief is going to be there. I wouldn't expect anyone to suffer the lost of a child and not feel grief. But grief cannot be allowed to stop you from living. "But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus" (I Thessalonians 4:13-14). Don't allow your focus to be on this world only. Realize this is a time for personal growth. "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (I Peter 1:6-7).