Grieving And Grace

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By Gina Zmijewski

Have you ever felt that God just isn’t listening to you?  That He is nowhere to be found when you need Him the most?  That your prayers aren’t being heard or that you are being punished in some way when God isn’t giving you what you are asking for?  

I have felt all of the above.  I felt that I wasn’t special enough to be chosen to be heard.  I felt this way after losing my son, Matthew, at 19 weeks and 3 days in utero.  He was the third child I lost to miscarriage. 

As I drove myself to the hospital at 4 o’clock in the morning, crying and screaming out to our Father God, “Please don’t take this baby from me,” I hoped He heard me but after learning Matthew didn’t have a heartbeat, I was confused and angry. Why? Why am I going through this yet again?

I stopped praying, stopped believing for a moment that anyone was on the other end of my prayer. My grief overtook me in a way that I had never experienced before. My faith was strong when we lost our first child, and I was alright after losing our second, but losing another, so far along...I was not alright. I was also grieving from the unexpected loss of my mother due to lung cancer, my father-in-law to brain cancer, and my step-father-in-law to esophogeal cancer.  Six losses, in 2 years. It was too much to handle. Or so I thought.

I was searching for ways to be alright with my grief. I needed to be ok for the sake of my three kids at home. They needed their mom to get out of bed and smile a real smile. I read self-help books, I went horseback riding, I joined grief groups online, but it wasn’t until I got the nudge from the Holy Spirit that I started to be me again.

At the bequest of the Holy Spirit, I went to Adoration to “have it out” with God. I know He is fully present in the Eucharist and I wanted some answers. As I sat in the back of the church, clutching my rosary, and sobbing quietly, I told Him I was mad at Him. I told Him I didn’t understand. I asked Him why?! Why weren’t you there? Why aren’t you listening? Why are you letting this happen? And as clear as if He were sitting behind me I heard, “I still have greatness for you.” 

It startled me. I sat silent for a moment and then with the attitude of an angry teenager I said back, “Does this mean I will have a daughter?” (At that moment I didn’t know Matthew was a boy and I was desperately longing for a daughter after having 3 boys at home). There was silence. He didn’t answer me that evening but I left with knowing He loves me. I left with a deeper love for the precious gift of the Holy Eucharist. I left with a peace that I never knew existed. I felt that I was just rocked in my Father’s arms. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life.

If you are grieving, hurting, lost, or think you are broken, take all of your anger and confusion to the Lord himself in Adoration. He can handle your anger. He loves you so very much, as if you were the only person on earth He ever created. 

By the way, my 6 month old daughter is named Adeline.