Trusting God When a Child Has Died
By Anne Harrell
When Mark and I lost our daughter, Cyndy, we were stuck in shock, anger and grief for a long time, before we saw the light of Christ. Marriage counselors say that eight out of ten marriages end in divorce when a child dies.
In our set of circumstances, we had five handicapped children, which added to the stress on our marriage. When our daughter died in her sleep at home, the police thought that we had killed her, and this led to the removal of our other five children. This was heartrending and should have ended our thirteen-year matrimony.
Mark and I found ourselves clinging to each other, refusing to fall into the secular mold in life. We put our trust completely in the hands of God and held onto His hand, trusting and resting in the promises of our Lord. We recalled passages of scripture that would help us have peace in our souls. We kept our faith up knowing that the Lord would watch over us.
"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him, we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Romans 5:1-5 ESV)
When the winds of adversity would blow against our ship of life, the anchor of Christ would hold us steadfast in the violent storms on the sea of demands in our lives. Our faith held persuasive in Christ.
"I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:12-13 ESV)
The last nine years without Cyndy have taught us numerous lessons which have enhanced our faith in God. We have learnt to trust and rely totally on Him, and Him only, to help us get through each day without her. We know that we will see her again, some day soon, when we are called to our home in Heaven.
Now we are able to grasp that we will get though whatever trial comes our way, with the support of our Lord and Savior. Putting our sole trust in Christ, we will find that our ship will not be blown around in the harsh seas of life. Our anchor holds securely in the dependence on Christ.
Anne Harrell has been married to her loving husband, Mark, for 23 years in April. She is mother to six children--four boys and two girls. Five of the six children are handicapped, and Mark and Anne lost their oldest daughter, Cyndy, when she was 11 years old. Cyndy had a seizure disorder and was profoundly handicapped from birth. Anne is at present writing a book about Cyndy, and how God brought them through her death and kept their marriage intact. You may write to Anne through the Letters page of this magazine.