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In my prayers

After Tripp died I struggled with God. How could He do this to Tripp? To me? To our family? In hopes of finding an answer I turned to books. It's what I do - whether it be about parenting or photography, if I want to learn more I go to the book store. I knew right away a book I needed to read. I have posted about it before, but am to lazy to go back and find it :-) It is called, When Bad Things Happen to Good People, by Harold S. Kushner.

Growing up I was taught that God was all-loving and all-powerful. Kushner opened my eyes to the fact that maybe God isn't both. If God is truly all-loving, would He have purposely hurt me like that? And what about Tripp? How cruel was it to give him life for a mere 5 days. Tripp never got to meet his brothers. Tripp never got to make giggle at himself in a mirror like Boone is starting to do. Tripp missed out on so, so much. If God truly loved Tripp and I, why would he purposely hurt us?

Kushner challenged me to consider what I believe. In the end, I do believe in God. I just don't think that he can be both all-loving and all-powerful like I did when I was a kid. I want to believe that God loves me and hates that I am hurting, rather than Him making a conscious decision to kill Tripp. Months after reading Kushner's book, I read The Shack by William P. Young, and it solidified my belief in an all-loving God who is not all-powerful.

Before Tripp died I prayed lots. Not just daily, but multiple times a day. I wasn't the on your knees, sign of the cross kind of prayer. I was the "Dear God, it's me Jordan" at random moments kind. If I saw someone of the street begging for change, I would pray. If I saw an accident on the highway, I would pray. If I was losing my mind in frustration with a student, I would pray. The moment Tripp died I stopped praying. At first it was out of exhaustion. My prayers clearly didn't work. It quickly turned to anger. How could God do this to Tripp? How could he do this to me? Eventually after reading Kushner's book and letting things settle, I realized that it wasn't that God chose to not answer my prayers, it was that He couldn't answer them. He didn't want Tripp to die either - there was just nothing he could do about it.

This week I have had two requests from people I care about to pray for someone. The thing is I don't pray. I don't see the purpose if God can't do anything about what I am praying about. I have had these people in my thoughts and I have lit candles for them, which I find comforting, but I haven't prayed.

This morning while running I began to think about this and I felt bad for not praying for them. If my friends find comfort in prayer, I want to honor and respect that. I found so much comfort when people told me they were praying Tripp and for us.  If my friends believe prayer can help them, who am I to say it won't? I realized this morning that I can pray for them. I wouldn't do it if I was just sending out a token Hail Mary, but somehow because they believe I can channel that and it makes my prayer feel very authentic.

I am not really sure if that makes sense, but I feel good about.

Happy Thursday!


Comments

  1. For me pray isn't about asking for certain things or to escape pain, it is about intention,hope,positive energy, and acceptance in the bigger picture.

    I pray to the higher light for strength and wisdom. I pray for guidance to make good decisions. I pray for hope and most of all, I pray for love to prevail over hate in my heart.

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  2. Great post. Prayer is so much more than just asking/begging for something. It's a conversation, a time to reflect to think. The beauty of it is that it can take so many forms, whether it's lighting a candle or my new favourite form a prayer: going for a run, finding a beautiful, serene place and offering up some gratitude.

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  3. For the most part, when I did pray, it was for those exact things that Kelly is talking about. I think especially when it came to praying for myself. I would ask for patience, strength, etc. When I saw heartache and pain, it became harder not to ask for more. At an accident, I prayed that everyone was okay. When Tripp was sick, I prayed for him to get better. For me, I'm not sure if I can get back to a place to pray for strength, and guidance for myself. I still feel like it is asking for something that I don't believe God can give. That being said, I could definitely see prayer being more of a conversation as Deena suggested. I think reflection is so important and having that conversation with your subconscious/God is a place I think I can get back to.

    Thanks for the comments, Kelly and Deena. I like thinking about this kind of stuff.

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  4. I, too, have moved away from the "bearded wizard in the sky" way of thinking of God. I cringe when I hear people say that the death of someone, like Tripp, is part of God's plan. Who could love a god who plans that? Whoever or whatever God is, I believe God weeps with us in tragedy. To me now, God is love. When I pray for others who are sick and/or dying, I pray that they know love, and that love gives them the strength to get through whatever challenges face them - whether that is a cure or not. I certainly hope they get better, but more importantly I pray that they feel surrounded by love. Lots of times I pray for strength to face what I need to face, and I find that focusing on love and living with gratitude does give me the strength I need.
    Great conversation, Jordan. Thanks for starting it.

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  5. I don't pray, and never really have. I grew up not going to church, but have always believed in some kind of a higher power. I do not believe that our physical existence on earth is all there is to life. That being said, I often ask my dad, who passed away 9 years ago, for strength & guidance when I am going through a difficult time. I find comfort and wisdom in thinking about how my dad would help me; it puts me in a place of calm and this gives me the ability to reflect quietly and rationally. That is why I choose to send out positive vibes rather than prayers.

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  6. What a powerful post. Love it.

    I'm with you, and everyone really. I would like to say that I would've written exactly what Dianne wrote above, though I'm not sure I could've written it quite as perfectly as she has.

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  7. Dani, I was thinking the same thing about what Dianne wrote!

    Dianne, I think the part that I connected with most about what you wrote is the part about praying that people know love and that they are surrounded by love. I just think you nailed it with that.

    Becky, I like how you can have that quiet, reflective time with your dad. I bet you can hear his voice and his words. I have had moments thinking about my Grandpa Fritshaw like that - especially when Tripp was dying.

    Once again, thanks for commenting. I have loved this conversation and learned so much about myself.

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