“Mommy, why do trees grow? Mommy, why does it rain? Mommy, where does the rain come from? Mommy, who made the sky? Mommy, how did God make the sky? Mommy, where is God? Mommy, how is God everywhere at once? Mommy, why can’t i see Him…how do I know He’s there…how can He hear me…How does he love me?”
I don’t know.
My three year old has a way of asking and asking until my own heart wonders. In the face of his questions that go all the way from plants to God, my own doubt starts to creep in.
He gets it honest. It’s never taken much for me to doubt.
When my son was a few months old, I suddenly lost my beloved Mimi. Mimi was my grandmother, but she also helped raise me. She taught me what mothering looks like. She was the one I went to with all my “whys”. She was my rock. She understood me. She was my safe place when the world was scary, and I sat in her lap until I was 27 years old. My person, when I needed her most, was gone.
Why was she taken so suddenly? Why now? How am I going to be Mommy without her? How will I live the rest of this life without her?
Eight short months passed, and I tragically lost my Mama. After years of fighting depression, she had given up.
I thought my own heart would die inside my chest.
Why did she do this? What could I have done differently? Why didn’t I answer her phone call the night before she died? How did I miss so many clues? Why did it happen like this? Why couldn’t we get to her sooner? How will I get through this without Mimi? How will I ever, ever be “okay” again? How will I function day to day? Who will ever love me as much as Mama did? How will this affect my relationships? My marriage? My mothering?
When most people my age were having babies and having their mamas play a huge role in their life, mine was gone.
I was drowning in a sea of “whys”, but the Lord did not leave me there. He revealed Himself.
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29)
This is what is revealed to us: to us a Son was given. Hebrews tells us that he is the full and final revelation of God to us on earth. All we need to know. He grew and lived a perfect life. He took our sin upon His shoulders so that we could be righteous and redeemed (1 Peter 2:24). He sits at the right hand of God and is One with God (Luke 22:69). He is our Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father, and our Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
This time of year brings back a flood of memories. Some memories are magical, but they now echo a sense of devastating loss. Something I had is gone forever. Grief will wash over me like a wave, and in those moments all the “secret things”, the unanswered whys, the unfinished conversations consume my mind. A recurring thought and feeling I have when these waves hit is, “You have been left alone. You are different because of this. No one will ever love you like that again. You are orphaned. You wont know how to be a good mother.”
I have learned that when grief hits me, I need to embrace it and weep, but also tell myself truth at the same time. This is what Paul talks about in Romans 12:2 when he says to, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” I don't have to stay stuck in the “secret things,” whys, and lies. I can renew my mind with what has already been revealed through Christ.
I was focused on getting answers to things that may not ever be revealed in this lifetime. I thought that if I could figure it all out, then I could have peace. But God himself revealed to me through the life and death of Jesus, covers a multitude of earthly sorrow and questions (1 Peter 4:8, 1 John 4:18). He is the greatest answer I need. I have Christ, who will never leave me (Deuteronomy 31:6). He has no end (Daniel 7:14). He loves me perfectly, and knows the very number of hairs on my head (Luke 12:7). He is a Father to the orphan (Psalm 68:5-6). Because Jesus is intimately involved in my suffering, my suffering can be redeemed. I am different than I was before…I’m being refined into a Greater image (Romans 5:3-4, James 1:2-4).
I am able to love my husband and son well, through the power of the spirit moment to moment, day to day. God has given me precious earthly gifts in people and “mothers” that love us. My son has been provided a grandmother on my side of the family in “Bee”, my Mama’s sister. Grace upon grace has been bestowed to us. But even without earthly blessings, He is still enough.
My hope and joy are linked with all that has been revealed. Through “a Son given,” I have an Everlasting Parent with Everlasting Love. This world is not our end, and one day we will be with our loved ones in Christ, fully redeemed. Until then, we have Christ with us, revealing Himself over and over again. We are not left alone. Emmanuel, the Son is with us!
The Son revealed is our greatest answer and the only revelation we need!
QUESTIONS FOR APPLICATION/ REFLECTION:
- What are some of the big "whys" you are most frustrated by? When are you most prone to following the rabbit trail of these thoughts?
- Isaiah 55 says that God keeps those in perfect peace whose minds are stayed on him. How does dwelling on the Son given (the things revealed) put our anxious questions to rest?
- How does this devo help you understand how to teach our children to deal with their questions and doubts? (I don't know that... but I do know ____ ).
Maggie Yelton is a wife to a landscaper who knows the name of literally every plant, and the mommy of a 4 year old boy who knows the name of literally every kind of heavy machinery. She is a professional photographer, a true southern girl, a master at hair volumizing, and a deep thinker on a quest for the bottom of everything (from Grey's Anatomy answers to existential questions). She is passionate about the study of God's word and living in authentic community. You can usually find her skipping rocks on the river with her guys at dusk. Follow her on instagram or visit her website to view some of her work.