Faith and grief are often hard for many people to feel at the same time, especially when people are from a Christian background. Christians grow up learning that God has a plan for the world and that God’s Plan is inherently good. We are taught that challenges are placed into our lives in order to help our faith and build us into better people. After the death of a child, those statements that we all accepted are a bit harder to take. I’m not saying that they are not still true, but they are more difficult to accept.
We struggle when we don’t like God’s Plan. We feel guilt that perhaps we aren’t good Christians if we are feeling our grief deeply and showing our emotions to the world. Even worse, family and friends often put pressure on us. They encourage us to trust God’s Plan. They are uncomfortable seeing us actively grieve. They get worried that our faith is somehow not strong enough if we show too much emotion.
This is why I absolutely love today’s guest, Derek. I can honestly say that I have never spoken to anyone who can cling to God and truly feel the depth of their own personal grief at the exact same moment, as well as Derek. Speaking with him brought me to tears more than once and inspired me in my own faith. He reminds me that God is OK with me feeling my grief. He is patient and does not demand that we push aside our grief in order to show we have faith. We can, and should, hold grief and faith together. Derek is an amazing example of how this can be done well. I hope and pray that I can become a little more like Derek each day.