today's post is written by my blog friend turned real life friend, heather hamilton. she blogs at life made lovely. i am so thankful for her, her story, her friendship, and being able to hug her neck in person. heather, come to new york please.
For most of my life I've kept Jesus at arms length. The really crazy thing is that for as long as I can remember I've wanted a relationship with Him. For whatever reason, I had convinced myself that because my parents chose to raise me without any church affiliation and little religious education, I didn't deserve a relationship with Him.
I would listen to people talk about their faith and feel envious. I wanted to know what if felt like to love so freely and believe so deeply. Some would try to tell me that I could have it too, but I didn't believe them. I saw it as black and white- in order for Jesus to love you, you had to be born into your faith. And you had to attend church. After all, that was where you would find God, wasn't it?
I kept this internal fight going for a long time, until I couldn't fight any more.
When my second born, a sweet son named Samuel, was rushed to the PICU I stopped fighting. I didn't stop to think about how undeserving I was, I just went to Him. As the first day turned to night I started to seek comfort in Him. As our days in the PICU turned to weeks, I began to let go of my preconceived ideas. The night we found out that Samuel's meningitis was terminal I turned to Him first.
When Samuel passed away I told Jesus, "I can't do this." and He said, "I can."
The first few weeks after loosing Samuel I felt raw and vulnerable, and there was so much I was confused about. I knew that when I put my arm down, Jesus had embraced me, offering His comfort and peace. Knowing that allowed me to go to Him as I began wrestling with questions, including how anywhere, even heaven, could be better for my boy than my own arms. He listened to every word I said, and turned my pain and sorrow into compassion and gratitude. If that's not a miracle then I don't know what is. That's when I asked Jesus into my heart. Because of Jesus, I will live the rest of my life in awe of God's never ending love and faithfulness for us. I am living proof of it. Me, the girl that kept Him at arms length all this time.
People often ask me how I can believe in God after loosing Samuel, and my answer is always the same. How can I not?