Leaning Into God


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Crystal Paterson

Leaning into God during times of tragedy

My faith has always been there. I’ve never had a moment in my life where I questioned God or his plan for our family. I guess you could say I sort of took it for granted. Not reading my bible every day, sometimes it’d be weeks between the last time. I felt like I only ever prayed when we wanted something. Then that something happened. We lost our sweet baby Ezra at 16 weeks gestation. There was a day between finding out we might lose him and actually losing him and boy did we pray. I didn’t think we’d lose him because we had faith. Because we and all our friends and family were praying. I didn’t even say goodbye to my son before going into surgery because I knew God would come through. 

When the nurse woke me up and told me that my water broke and Ezra wouldn’t survive I was shocked. I felt this tremendous guilt and overwhelming sadness and pain. Yet not once did I question God. That part shook me most of all. Amongst the guilt, pain and sadness, I felt peace. Like through this awful moment, we were going to be okay. That God’s plan for us, for Ezra was so much more than I could understand at that moment. I thought I would be mad. Mad that God would put me through that. That God would ignore our prayers for our baby to be safe. But oddly I wasn’t. 

When we got home, I started to feel it. The pain in my heart was getting stronger, and the thoughts of everything that happened plagued my every thought. Somehow I had lost that peace I had in the hospital. I didn’t understand how this could happen and why it had to happen to me. Distracting myself was the only thing I could do. But I’d wake up in the morning and the weight of everything would just come crashing down all over again. 

One morning, a couple days after I couldn’t breathe. The weight was too much on my chest and without thinking really I turned to God. Something I hadn’t done since the hospital. The moment that everything happened I didn’t think I was mad, upset, or disappointed in Him or my faith. But subconsciously maybe I was and it prevented me from turning to him in prayer.

Once I sat alone in my room, crying and praying. I could feel the weight lift ever so slightly. And again once I opened my bible. While I hate to think of my son’s life and death put into one small purpose in this world because I believe his whole life will have a great purpose for the rest of my life until the day I meet him. I think his main purpose was to help me in my faith. For me not to take it for granted. To not be so indifferent about it. To bring my heart back to God, intentionally and not just when I feel like it or when I have the time. The best part, his name comes from the bible. Ezra means “help.” I didn’t know it at the time; I just knew that was his name. My sweet boy has been my biggest helper, my deepest sorrow, and my greatest joy. I’ve learned so much more of what his name means by reading the book in the bible that he was named. 

I’m glad it only took me 2 days to turn to Him. Something like a loss isn’t something that should be dealt with alone. I might not have shared out loud with people, but sharing quietly with God, in words with you. That is where my healing began I guess. Slowly and I didn’t really notice it. Leaning into God during tragedy was my saving grace. It’s our initial reaction as believers to pull away from God when something bad happens. He is a good God and we struggle with the idea that he could let something so awful happen. But despite the bad, he still is a good God and a faithful God. The understanding is beyond us. He knows the plan he has for us (Jeremiah 29:11). The best we can do is lean into Him, our faith, and pray for peace. 

Love Crystal

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  1. Sherri Shereese

    This was beautiful. Praise God for your sweet baby Ezra, the helper. #purposeinpain

    • Crystal Paterson

      Thank you so much Sherri!

  2. char


    • Crystal Paterson



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