As you can see, many questions have been flowing through my mind non-stop and I have yet to receive any answers…at least any answers that I can accept.
As I mentioned previously, people in church have asked about me. Friends have worried and prayed for me, for our family. But, some people have actually cornered me to ask me directly why I have not been attending Mass. To be honest, it’s my father and mother-in-law who have cornered me, put me right on the spot. So, I go into my explanation:
Prior to my son’s death I had been praying for him, as most mother’s do. I began to have some concerns about his mental state. Not that I assumed any mental illness as much as I thought depression. I voiced my concerns to him and to others I thought could help. One day before he died, I prayed for God to intervene, to help my son get through a hardship he was facing. Anywhere from four – eight hours after he died, I received the news via a sheriff and a chaplain. Time of death is unknown as the coroner didn’t take liver temperature until the next morning. One of the sheriff’s on scene found his body at 11:46 pm so that’s what the coroner put as time of death. Anyway, the point here is my son’s death was the answer I received for my prayer. I was devastated. I, in no way, could understand why God would answer me in that way. Again, I understand that God didn’t make my son decide to take his life. The devil was doing that work, but I couldn’t and still can’t understand why God wouldn’t save him. As I said, God can perform miracles, but for some reason, not with my son. Again, the devil is getting inside my head and telling me that my prayers are not good enough, that my son wasn’t good enough.
And this is why I haven’t attended Mass……
However, I recently had the opportunity to attend a Thirst Conference. Right now, I can’t explain exactly what that is other than to say it’s a day long worship service, so to speak. I mean, we didn’t attend Mass the whole day, but….anywho, much to my trepidation, I drove to the location, got out of my car and stood looking at the building for a minute. I found the courage to walk inside and I am so thankful that I did. I only made it for half the conference, but the talk sessions I made it to, were exactly what I needed to hear. I even found the courage to go to Confession which I’ve needed to do for quite some time. I did not have the courage to attend the Mass.
I am excited despite the fact I avoided Mass because I made progress.
While I the Thirst Conference the one speak who made such a difference for me was Shannon Dietz. She spoke of her journey back to God through her own trials and hardships. Hearing her speak for 30 minutes encouraged me to purchase her book, Redeemed, which is based on her struggles from childhood, her marriage, her children, and her relationship with God. I have read the book and her story has some similarities to mine. However, I can’t say that I endured her struggles. I have had to face the struggles unique to my situation.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have questions and doubts and long bouts of sadness. I still feel anger and I am having a hard time trusting my faith, but I made progress and for that I am happy. Pray for me as I continue to heal and as I slowly make my way back to God. I say slowly because I mean slowly, like totally turtle slow.