Friday, September 24, 2010

The Place of Religion In All This

Psalm 126:5
Those who sow in tears will
reap with songs of joy

This was a post I had always intended to write. I wanted to ponder the role of religion and God when a baby dies. It may have the potential to be controversial, but it is definitely not my intention. Let me say for the record...I believe in God. I am not particularly religious in a formal sense. I am a Christian person of the Anglican denomination. I have no ill feelings toward any Christian denomination or any major world religion. I respect people's beliefs and faith as their own, despite the fact they may be different to mine.
I was spurred on to write this while it was fresh, however, due to a heated debate I unintentionally became involved in at another blog. The post was generally equating IVF to abortion and maligning many IVF-ers in a very judgemental and disrespectful way. Unfortunately, as someone who is the furthest thing from a fence sitter there is, I had to put in my 2 cents. Kelvin asks if I have anything better to do with my time. But I think sticking up for my friend Haidee, who has been on the infertility journey since January 2008 and is currently undergoing IVF, was a great use of my time. If you feel like reading this rather controversial post, stop in at Haidee's insightful and fabulous blog, Maybe Baby (Or Maybe The Loony Bin?) and follow the links. (I cant bring myself to post the actual link to the controversial post here...I just cant give it any more oxygen).

Okay. The role of religion.
I see God as my friend. I am not being trivial or blase here. I feel that he is a kind, loving God who understands why (normal, reasonable) people do the things they do. When Sybella first died, I was very angry with God. It was momentary and the anger passed. I did not feel bad or fearful of being angry at God. I did not think He would smite me for my anger. I read a quote once that said "it is okay to be angry at God. He can handle it." I believe that. I think He saw a young mother, desperate with grief, not understanding the reason for her daughter's death and who needed to be angry. God wore my anger for that time because He knew it is what I needed and He loves me. I am human. He gets that.
When my anger passed, I realised that God had a reason. This reason for taking Sybella back was beyond any understanding I could possibly fathom while I am here on Earth. I will find out that reason when I die myself. I know He will sit down and explain why our family had to go through this. I have to wait for that. But I just have to trust that God's plan is the right one and not question it any further.
Many people have told me that they dont believe in God anymore. They wonder what kind of God would allow a baby to well as allow any of the other atrocities to take place in today's world occur. It is a valid thought and argument, but not one I hold myself. I always have believed in God, and still do.
I have to believe in God because if I dont, what does that mean for Sybella? I am immensly comforted by the thought that she is being taken care of by Him and that He welcomed her lovingly into Heaven. He looks after her until I get there and can do it myself.
That is really all I need to say on the subject. When is comes to being a Christian, my main values are:
  • That a person's relationship with God is between God and that person. No one else has the right to interfere.
  • In today's polluted and disposable society, it is important to practice love, kindness and acceptance...the main qualities of Christianity. Not judgement or self-righteousness. God is our only judge.
  • God understands. He always understands.
Ideas? Thoughts? Always welcome. (But be gentle). xx


  1. So much of what you just wrote is very similar to what I think/feel/believe but I do not identify with Christianity. I believe in a spiritual plane that some people may call heaven and I believe in divinity but I experience those things differently to people who believe in one God in Heaven. I think that it often takes a big event for most people to question their beliefs and for some the answer will be an affirmation of what they already believed while for others it will turn them away from previous beliefs, such as those who maintain anger at God for allowing atrocities to happen. For me, my spiritual beliefs have been affirmed since Kat died. I feel that she and my mum are together and it brought me some small comfort to think that my mum has a grandchild with her now. She had always wanted to be a Grandma and died exactly 6 months before her first grandchild was born. Your comment about God being able to handle your anger reminded me of the poem Footprints. While I don't think in terms of God and Jesus I do feel that we have guardians who help carry us through these times when all we can cope with is breathing because anything else is just too hard.

  2. Stephanie, I love the way you write so onenly [ if openly is a word.] I always thought, as I know others do too, to talk about God, Religion and Politics is taking a risk with the listener, but you say it as it is and how you feel so honestly... you just put it out there.
    When I first read The Place In Religion In All This, tears sprung to my eyes as you are hurting so much. I already knew that you were but somehow I could not write then, but feel I can now.
    Everyone has their own beliefs of God, my belief is, God Is Love, and that he must have had a very good reason for taking Sybella into his care. That he loves you all as a family the same as he loves Sybella, and always will and that Sybella is in the most safest loving place possible.
    I also like to think God is everywhere, that he is all around us and that he is in us all, in everything we see that is good, in the freshness of the early morning, through our day, in the different lights of dusk and in the dark of the night and in all of nature, maybe that is why we feel good and more at peace when we are with nature doing things that come natually, that don't cost the earth in the way of money.
    I believe, that he, or she, or whatever we call or know as God is with Sybella right now and like the mystery of God, will always be... that he with Sybella surround you.
    Lucky Sybella.