Brave Love in the Midst of Loss: Trusting God After Losing a Child

By Bekah Bowman

God's Brave Women - Bekah's Story


I sat straight up in bed, something startling me awake. In a split second, I remembered I was in my son’s room because he’d had a rough night. He was laying still next to me. Too still. I reached out to feel him. He wasn’t breathing.


“God, no, please no.” I whispered urgently as I shook my son.


“Ely! Ely! Bud, wake up!” I grabbed him into my arms and was met with a lethargic head roll and no response. I patted his face over and over. “Ely! Buddy… I need you to breathe! Please breathe!”


Suddenly, my son inhaled in a gasp, his eyes peeking open at me. I took a breath myself, realizing I too had been holding mine. “Hi Bud.” I breathed in terrified relief. My heart was pounding. What just happened?


I held my big 7-year-old in my arms, cradled like a baby. We both sat there in heart-pounding silence, thanking God that didn’t go a different way. As I held Ely, I thought about 4 years prior, when I held my oldest son as he took his last breath at 6 years old. For him, there was no delayed gasp to come back. It was as if Titus ran as fast as he could to Jesus.


He was fighting a rare, fatal, neuro-degenerative disease (a whole string of awful words to describe Batten Disease) and his body was done. God didn’t choose to heal my son Titus here on earth, but He did choose to save him, through Jesus, from the very thing I could not — death. And I knew in that final breath, Titus was healed and redeemed.


"God didn’t choose to heal my son Titus here on earth, but He did choose to save him, through Jesus, from the very thing I could not — death. And I knew in that final breath, Titus was healed and redeemed."

Ely fights the very same disease. And it’s these terrifying moments where I’m brought face to face, once again, with the fear that I will lose both my children. And if I do lose both of them, would I survive? I had this same fear in me when we first received the boys’ diagnosis of Batten and it’s a fear that revisits me often.


It was through my initial journey with this new diagnosis, I learned that God was calling me to a different kind of brave. He gently guided me along a new path of faith, largely defined by trust, dying to self and learning to love fully in broken places.


"It was through my initial journey with this new diagnosis, I learned that God was calling me to a different kind of brave. He gently guided me along a new path of faith, largely defined by trust, dying to self and learning to love fully in broken places."


In my book, Can’t Steal My Joy, I write:


“What if the only thing I will have left is you, God? All else is gone. My whole identity of who I am in this life, my dreams, my everything. Because there are days it feels entirely possible. I keep mulling that over. I’m terrified by it, to be honest. That road feels too painful. I beg for You to change things. I can’t do this. I can’t give You everything and allow You to take away if that’s what You choose.


How would I live in such an empty shell of life? No breath, no sustenance, no control.


But wait…


There is still YOU, God.


I find myself reminded once again how small I am, and I live and breathe in the fullness of God. If I try to live in the means of my physical body, my control, I will surely suffocate and succumb to despair. But if I live within the means of His Spirit working in mine, my very lungs expand when all around me says they should be constricting. I’m pulling new breath in places I shouldn’t be breathing at all.


So, I come back around to my fear—the one of losing everything. I’m reminded that we won’t lose at all. In fact, we will gain!”


"But if I live within the means of His Spirit working in mine, my very lungs expand when all around me says they should be constricting. I’m pulling new breath in places I shouldn’t be breathing at all. So, I come back around to my fear—the one of losing everything. I’m reminded that we won’t lose at all. In fact, we will gain!”


I remember this truth again, sitting upright in my son’s bed cradling him. I keep falling for the same lie. The one that says my life needs to go as expected (without pain) in order for it to be good. That to be brave means I have control and can anticipate and fix things. That I must hold on tightly because someone might come along and steal away.


"I keep falling for the same lie. The one that says my life needs to go as expected (without pain) in order for it to be good. That to be brave means I have control and can anticipate and fix things. That I must hold on tightly because someone might come along and steal away."


In his book Life Without Lack, Dallas Willard writes, “There must be a time when, in our own words, and in our own way, we say to God, ‘Do with me what you will.’ Until we experience an abandonment of this kind, faith simply cannot be given to us safely. One of the main reasons we have such little faith is that we have not lived through the process of abandonment and come to the place where God can trust us with great faith. Once we have abandoned our lives to God, we are ready to receive the gift of faith that will enable us to love others well.”


As I held my precious boy, I whooshed fear out of my lungs and sucked back in a different kind of brave perspective. A brave way of living that looked like letting go and releasing everything back to God.


It’s in the place of letting go, where I learn what to hold on to.


Love.


Love and the assurance that I have everything I need in Christ.


"It’s in the place of letting go, where I learn what to hold on to. Love. Love and the assurance that I have everything I need in Christ."


It’s an upside-down way of thinking in this world and I kinda love that about the Kingdom of God. May we all latch on to that which is eternal, as we face the turmoil of this temporary life.


“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” ( Romans 8:35-37 NLT)


Brave Woman Manifesto


Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story!

And by the way...


You are Brave!


No matter what you are facing, God has made you in His image, which means you are full of His strength and power. I would love to connect with you more and give you a FREE gift - the BRAVE WOMAN MANIFESTO: Five Things to Tell Yourself When Life Gets Hard. Click HERE to sign up for my monthly newsletter and you’ll receive the FREE Manifesto, as well as recent blog posts, updated resources and personal details delivered only to my lovely email tribe.

AS A BONUS… Subscribers will also be the first to receive news regarding the BRAVE WOMEN BIBLE STUDY coming out later this year and a sample chapter! *insert happy dance here* SIGN UP for more info on the study’s release and availability!


About Bekah


Bekah is a coach's wife and mom to two boys, Titus, who is with Jesus and Ely, who is 7. She loves to write and share words of hope that point fellow hurting and wounded souls to a good, redemptive and loving God. Bekah is passionate about bridging the gap between church and people affected by disability and seeks to help create places of belonging for everyone.


You can purchase a copy of her book Can't Steal My Joy on Amazon HERE and follow Bekah and her family on her website www.bekahbowman.com. She would love to connect with you online as well on Facebook and Instagram.

Join my email tribe and receive some lovely FREEBIES!

© 2019 by Becky Beresford, Author