In a world of continual loss, what can I count on? Can I trust anything to be unchangeable?
For years, I assumed there were things I could depend on. Things that would be there when I grew old. Things like my marriage. My children. My health and independence. My intellect. Financial security. A fulfilling career. Deep friendships. I built my identity around many of these things, certain I wouldn’t lose them.
But I did lose many of them. Often unexpectedly. Losses started piling up in my early thirties and didn’t stop.
Our infant son Paul’s death was a huge shock, as my long-held assumption that my family would somehow be protected from disaster was shattered. Well-meaning people kept assuring me when Paul’s heart condition was discovered during my pregnancy that nothing bad would happen if I trusted God and prayed fervently. It all depended on my faith. So I prayed and trusted and begged God to give me the faith I needed.
But standing at Paul’s grave, I was jolted into the realization that nothing is certain. A strong faith does not shield me from loss. God knows what’s best for me and all he brings into my life is for my eternal joy.
I still hold onto that truth, yet it is only in retrospect that I can find comfort in it. In the moment of loss, I feel overwhelmed. I want to cling to what I had.