Copyright 2014 by Sara Berelsman
“Faith” is defined by the dictionary
as, “Firm belief in something for which there is no
I’ve always struggled with my faith. It’s
been difficult for me to do, or believe in, anything without a
logical reason or evidence behind it.
I think I might have believed
in God when I was younger. That belief disappeared when I went to
college. I regained that belief when I gave birth to my first child.
My convictions had evolved, however. Still, I couldn’t gaze
upon the tiny face of my perfect baby, count all her little fingers
and toes, or hold her close to me and feel her heart beating without
thinking this was a miracle. This had to be a miracle.
Did I have any
logical evidence behind it? No. I still don’t. Yet I
I still believe that she is a miracle. Nothing that flawless
could come together and form the miniature person who came out of me
without some kind of divine intervention. That is just my belief.
faith has been tested since then, on a daily basis. There are many
events that have occurred over the years, various tragedies which
have compelled me to ask God, “Why? Why did this
My faith has floundered. Many, many times.
this, other things have happened to reinstate my belief in a higher power.
Again, there is no logical, well-crafted explanation. I just believe.
faith was tested once again fairly recently. A four-year-old boy in
my community passed away. I had only recently met his mother,
although I felt as if I’d known her forever. We connected in
way in which I feel many people don’t experience with another
person in this lifetime. It was meant to be.
I heard of the drowning, my heart stopped. I froze. The earth stopped
spinning for a minute. I prayed that he’d be okay. I prayed
his mom, for his family. I didn’t have many details yet.
The community pulled together and formed a powerful
bond. I attended the prayer service for little Drew and shed tears as
I listened to the words spoken, thought, hoped, and prayed some more
that he would be okay.
My heart broke for this family as I thought
about them experiencing this unthinkable tragedy that no family
should ever have to feel.
I heard the news that young Drew had passed away, I went numb. How
did this happen? Why did this happen?
is when I started questioning my faith again. Why, if God exists, if
he is all-powerful and all-knowing, why did he allow this to happen?
attended the visitation and slowly made my way through the line,
taking in the various floral arrangements and gifts from people of
the community. As I approached the casket, I became more somber,
trying to process all this. There he was, his perfect little face,
looking as if he were asleep with his favorite bedtime stuffed
animal. His sister was rubbing his hand. I hugged his mother and told
her if there is anything I can do, please call. Call anytime. She
nodded, eyes filled with tears, partially in shock, I assume, yet
still feeling the whole reality of the situation. And it is all too
didn’t cry at the visitation, which surprised me. When I got
home, it hit me. I sobbed. Uncontrollably. I felt for my friend. Why
did this have to happen?
attended the funeral service the following morning. It all felt like
a dream. A dream none of us should be in. I felt numb again. I became
fixated on the tag sticking out of the shirt on the woman in front of
me. I daintily picked a piece of lint off my black dress. I listened
to the words being read from the Bible, “There is a time for
everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time
to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a
time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to
build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time
to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time
to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and
a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to
tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a
time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for
peace.” I felt tears begin to roll down my cheeks. I paid
attention to the words as we sang On Eagles’
Wings. I had never realized before what a beautiful song it was.
minister began speaking about how we don’t know the reason
everything. We don’t know why Drew had to be taken so young.
don’t know. But God does. Everything we don’t
here in this earthly life will be answered when we die. Again, this
is the only explanation I’ve ever heard about why things
happen…and it tests the faith I so badly want to hold onto.
loved the movie Cars and the song, Life is a
by Rascal Flatts. His Dad told us, “We think he’d
to play this song and picture him running around the house like he
always did.” He loved that song.
were flowing now; everyone was feeling deep sadness. Instead of this
little boy filling the room with laughter and life, his lifeless body
was placed in the front of the sanctuary, and we were there to
the cemetery, two white doves were released to signify his passing,
before an assortment of colorful balloons escaped the hands of his
family members, the helium-filled spheres snaking their way through
tree branches before flying high into the sky until they were merely
specks of color among the clouds.
stood there thinking…still wondering why this had to happen.
But that was becoming irrelevant in my mind now. Looking up at the
puffy white clouds, feeling the breeze on my skin and the sun on my
back, I knew there had to be a reason for all this. There is no
explanation. No charts or graphs. No detailed outline composed with
Roman numerals. There is no understandable explanation for any of
this. Yet, I somehow knew in that moment, there had to be a reason.
There’s a reason Drew is gone.
I believe there is a reason for the events in his family’s
each and every day that will help them heal until they see Drew again
and finally comprehend why he had to go.
realize there are people who will criticize me for having faith in
something without concrete evidence. There are also people who will
criticize me for not having unwavering faith despite everything that
happens in life. It doesn’t bother me though. I
explain why I believe what I do. Witnessing what Drew’s
has gone through has restored my faith.
will do whatever I can for the rest of my life, as long as I am
wanted or needed, to be there for this family. I have faith they will
somehow, with time, get through this…and one day in the
meet their little boy again, and perhaps dance to his favorite song.
you for restoring my faith, Drew. This is for you.
of the message
won't know where to send it.)
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