If you lose a child while still wondering about their salvation; the wondering becomes worse than the loss itself.

If you can relate to this comment, then you are in the right place. One day, out of shear desperation, I found myself searching the internet for an article such as this, and found very little. I found several comforting websites but nothing specific to this kind of torment. I am very familiar with your pain, and I wrote this article for you.

I am a born-again believer. I seek God, I believe His Word, and every day, I try my very best to live according to His will for my life. About 16 months ago, I lost my 35 year old daughter, Kara.

I was in my 40’s when I came to the Lord, and I had three children that didn’t have a clue what being born again meant. They were teenagers when I began “training them up.” Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” My husband, at this point, was not saved but didn’t stand in my way as I began to make changes. Kara was 13, and my youngest, when I began my walk with God. Our background was Catholic. We went to church and the kids went to Catholic schools but when we left church on Sunday, we left our faith there. The kids knew about God and church but it wasn’t openly discussed in our home. It was something we did on Sunday to fulfill an obligation. I actually remember saying, “Let’s go to church early so we can get it over with.” There’s something wrong with that!

The first thing I did after being saved was to find a church that taught the Word of God, and then I put the kids in schools that supported my born-again experience. We all had a lot to learn but I diligently tried to teach them what I was learning. It was some years later before my husband received the Lord, so I became the spiritual head of my home and assumed the responsibility of exposing my children to proper teaching about God. When Kara was around 15, we shared some significant moments that made me believe she was born-again, and as she progressed in her high school years, I had no reason to think otherwise.

Kara was my overachiever. She went on to college, and then to law school, and on to earn an MBA in business. She had traveled all over the world, lived in China for a while, and even learned their language. Kara was now a student of the world with, literally, a world-wide view.

To the natural eye, she had everything going for her when tragedy struck. Through a series of 3 very debilitating events in her life, she was struck down and eventually diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, from which she never recovered. Towards the end, she became a different person. She was living with me but I couldn’t reach her. I have never seen such a tormented soul in all my life. Our family tried to get help but she refused. I do remember the day she came to me and said she envied what I had, and referenced the movie, Angels and Demons, by quoting a line that said, “Faith is a gift that I have yet to receive.” I have played that conversation over so many times in my mind asking God, “Is that enough to be saved, Lord?”

She wanted it but the world and uncontrollable events in her life had blinded her to the faith she once had. Will a loving and merciful God allow her to be lost to such deception? How could He? I kept going back to these scriptures, “God, who knows the heart, showed that He accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as He did to us” (Acts 15:8). “For the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts” (1 Chronicles 28:9). “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Isn’t it possible that underneath all the decay of the world lay a pure heart crying out from her subconscious mind?

I even had a word from the Lord through a giant of a godly man in my life, reminding me that I didn’t know if she cried out to God in her torment. I believed that, yet I was still living a life of torment over the condition and location of her spirit and soul. When the scriptures tell us to cry out to God, does crying out with the subconscious mind count? After seeing her suffer so much, I couldn’t bear to think of her suffering for all eternity. I would fight the devil but he always came back trying to present these unthinkable images. My self-talk was - I know the Word and what it says about salvation. I know we must repent of our sin, believe in our heart, and confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, and we will be saved. That’s what I did! I also know what Kara said and it wasn’t anything like that. "Oh, God, is it enough to just want it, even if it’s in our subconscious mind?” The problem was that I knew too much Word to just sweep this under the rug, so every day I struggled between the scriptures of the heart and what I knew consciously. It was eating me alive. There are so many things I don’t know; was Kara really saved in her early years?  Did she once have faith to believe God?  Did she cry out in her time of need? These are things I will never know on this side of heaven. “God, what is the solution?”

It was last Sunday morning during praise and worship. The day before, I had my usual battle with the enemy, so before church, I went to my secret place to discuss it with the Lord. I journal my prayers, and as I was writing, God began speaking to me. He began asking me questions like, “Jackie, do you really trust Me? Am I really first in your life? Do you really believe My Word?” I was amazed at what I realized. In a nutshell, I had a Jacob moment; I wrestled with God.* It all boiled down to facing myself with what I actually believed, and the depths at which I was willing to go to proclaim my faith and belief in God. Would I place Him and His Word above even the death of my precious daughter?

The following is a quote from my journal:

“I suspect this is as close to torture for the sake of Your Name as one can get without actually going through the physical torturous acts.” Somehow, I was relating to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane as He sweat great drops of blood!  Finally, I relented and said, “I choose You, Father.”

Then I went to church. It was during praise and worship that God gave me the quote that drew you into this article. He said He would take me to a place of peace so I can help others who are being tormented with the same pain.

Man or woman of God, as much as I’d like to, I cannot give you the definitive answer you are looking for, but maybe if you go to God, much like I did, and have a simple discussion, He will show you some amazing things, too. Perhaps it’s time for your Jacob moment.

Like Jacob, He touched the hollow of my thigh. For the rest of my life, I will limp with the pain of the loss of my child, but at the same time, I will be walking with my all-knowing, loving Father, in Whom I trust. Perhaps He will take you to the same place of peace where, together, we can believe we will once again see our children. (Philippians 4:7)


*Read Jacob’s story: Gen. 32:24-28 (I suggest the Amplified Bible for a clearer understanding)