The Power of Believing In Something

This week I had the honor of sitting with a mom who graciously invited me, a stranger though we have mutual friends, into her home to talk about grieving the daughter she had said a final goodbye to only 11 days earlier. I say this is an honor, as strange as that may sound, because I view it as a gift I have been given — not a gift I love having, but one I will always use for good.

In this conversation, I was struck by how amazingly peaceful she was. She and her family had known since week 16 of her pregnancy that the baby would be born with Trisomy 18 and may only live a few hours, a few days, or if they were truly blessed, a week or more.

They were given 23 days with their perfect daughter to love her, feed her, bathe her, dress her and be a complete family with her. It was more than they ever expected.

We talked about how much peace you can find when you believe that ________ had a hand in it. You can fill in your own blank with God, The Universe, multiple gods, The Messiah, karma, the gnome that looks like Snoopy in your back yard… whatever you believe in.

I don’t discuss religion as a general rule on this site for several reasons. One is that we don’t all believe the same thing and I can have great content without putting off any readers who don’t agree with my personal beliefs. Another is that I consider myself a Quiet Christian. We go to church and Sunday School. We pray. But I don’t think that everyone has to believe MY way or the Christian way so I don’t push.

But I do think that everyone should believe in SOMETHING. Anything.

Believing gives you a sense of comfort, knowing that there is something for you to hold on to in good times and in bad. In good times, you can be thankful for what you’ve been given. And in bad times, it gives you hope that there is a purpose behind what you’re going through. It doesn’t take away the pain and sadness by any means, but it gives you something to hold on to.

On my darkest days, I find comfort knowing that {my} God has promised me Eternal Life and that one day I will be reunited with my son.

This mom and I agreed that knowing that {our} God had a hand in both of our situations was comforting.

He gave her a perfect baby with ten fingers and toes, a beautiful complexion and let her soak up 23 whole days with her when she was guaranteed none of those. As perfect as she appeared, though, she was broken on the inside, but that was in The Plan. No, it’s not fair. Yes, it’s shitty. Yes, I wish this NEVER HAPPENED. But she believes, as I believe, that we are given gifts in this life — some that are good and some that are bad, but all are gifts that can be used.

We agreed that the loss is new and even as much as you prepare for it, a loss is a loss. It’s out of order for a child to die first. It feels like too much sometimes and always feels like a part of your heart is missing. She will more than likely come out of the fog and go through all the normal stages of grief.

But her faith in God and belief that she was given a gift will carry her through it. My gut (which is rarely wrong) tells me that she will touch so many lives — more than baby H already has — with her story and strength.

So today, I’m asking you to take away three things.

Cherish every single second, good and bad, that you have with people you love.
Believe in something. Believe that there is a power bigger than you that is watching and protecting you and providing you with lessons and experiences that you will use in life.
Never underestimate what just “being there” can do for someone else. Reach out. Even if it’s uncomfortable. It means a lot to people.