Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Light of the World, Are You Still Here?

Jars of Clay is one of my favorite bands. I have been listening to them since I was in High School and have always ALWAYS loved their music. Their lyrics make me feel something and know something at the same. They stir my soul...and I am not being cheesy when I say that. Half of my blog posts are inspired by their lyrics.

On Saturday I was running and listening to, you guessed it, Jars of Clay. Running time is thinking time for me and what better to inspire deep thoughts. One of my favorite songs is Weighed Down. The first line asks a question.

"Light of the World, are you still here?"

When my girls died that was my question.

My very real in need of an answer but too afraid to say it out loud question.

When my girls died I spent the days and months after their deaths reconciling everything I felt with what I knew…or thought I knew…about God. I had spent my life with Him, yet suddenly He felt no where to be found. The faith of my head had forcefully collided with the faith of my heart…and the two were at odds. I wrestled deeply with a single question...

Are you still here?

It didn't feel like it to me.

In the months that past I asked this question in many different ways. All the whys and how-comes and I don't understands were really just different forms of the same question. My broken heart bled doubt. Every emotion I had (and there were many) was fueled by a single common denominator.


Light of the World, are you still here?

EVERYTHING I believed and held as Truth hung in the balance. EVERYTHING I staked my life on rested on this single question.

Are you?

I have to admit though that the first time these words left my heart they were more of an accusation than a question. I vividly remember feeling so let down that I could not even lift my eyes toward Heaven when I inquired of God's God-ness. Asking Are you was really my disappointment disguised in a question because in my heart I had my doubts. What I really wanted to say was you aren't are you?

I was afraid.

...afraid that God let me down, afraid that He couldn't be trusted, afraid that I never really knew Him at all, afraid that where I thought I found a refuge there was none. I thought He was my most intimate friend, my rescuer, my protector...and the protector of my children. But He seemed to have stepped back out of my reach. When I needed Him most He seemed distant, absent, or silent.

Was I alone?

This idea that God makes all things right in the end seemed incomplete. What about now, in the middle, in the meantime? A relationship with Jesus has to be more than life sucks and then you die...but at least now you go to Heaven. What is the point of calling out to a God who does not listen? Or worse yet, hears but does nothing.

Things were not making sense to me. My head told me that the God I love is still good, that He loves me and my girls more than I can ever understand, and that He is with me and never left me. He cares deeply about my meantime. But my heart couldn't help but feel abandoned.

Light of the World, are you still here?

Over a year has passed now. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of what should have been my girls' due date. And although I wish I was updating you all on what life is like with one year old twins, I can honestly say that there has been a miracle in me. Nothing will ever make the loss of my girls "worth it", but it is more than a consolation to be able to share the hope that is in me now that God has done a healing work in my heart. I do not have answers to all my questions nor is all my pain gone. Not even close. I had a breakdown just this morning remembering how my tiny girls felt in my arms as I watched them leave me for Heaven. The pain isn't over. It is still right there on the surface of my broken heart.

But where my pain is my Jesus IS also...

He never left me.

When I feel alone I no longer question if God is with me, but instead ask Him to show Himself to me. Just because I don't see Him doesn't mean He isn't there.

Daily God answers my prayer and reveals Himself to me again just as I need Him to. My fears were unfounded, my doubt unsubstantiated, and once I chose to let it all go to let near my God who didn't leave me but who I, in my pain and disappointment, had pushed away, my healing began.

Light of the World, you are still here.

He will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5


  1. Wow this is amazing, Rachel!!! I know exactly what you mean by pushing Him away and feeling let down... All too well. You are such a vessel for Christ, the way you have shared your healing journey with all of us.


  2. I felt God so closely after our daughter's fatal diagnosis, through the rest of my pregnancy, her birth, and the few months afterward. Slowly, God's closeness has faded. At least it feels that way. It's actually something I'm writing about to post at some point. Thank you for your post.

  3. Rachel, you are such a shining light for me. I found that I felt completely upheld by God in the beginning....it's more now that the questions keep popping up and I feel mad at him and doubt that he loves me if he could take my twin boys away. I just read Aubrey and Ellie's stories for the first time on your other blog....what an intense journey. In some ways I'm relieved I was spared of my boys dying in my arms....I think for me personally, that would have been more traumatic than giving birth to them knowing they were already in the arms of Jesus. Our boys were born at 23.5 wks....same mth but a yr later after your girls. Thinking of you as the one year anniversary of their due date comes upon you. Praying for strength and peace.

    ps- I LOVE Jars too!!

  4. This is a such an insightful post, Rachel. It is hard to reconcile what we know to be true of God, with the reality of such heart-breaking life circumstances! It's encouraging to read about the healing process your faith is undergoing!


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