Living Beneath the Surface
by Krista Bennett-Bruns
Editor’s note: The Christmas season is a joy for us as Christians, but the holiday can also bring painful memories. We are grateful to the author for bringing a heart-felt look at the reality of experiencing loss and new purpose.
" So we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen, for the things which are visible are temporal (just brief and fleeting), but the things which are invisible are everlasting and imperishable." (2 Corinthians 4:18 AMP)
Shortly after having five miscarriages between my third and fourth child, I felt God leading me to write a book about the pain I felt in my heart and about the struggles I had to deal with trying to move forward. However, I ignored that gentle tug on my heart. I told God that I was a health care professional and not a writer. I kept thinking about all the mistakes I made in life and told God I was not “good enough” to write about my spiritual journey. I thought about the times I told a lie, was rude to people, used a mean tone, yelled at my children or said a bad word, and I felt very inadequate to write about God. After all, the world acts as if Christians are supposed to be perfect, so I had no desire to be vulnerable. However, God quickly reminded me that we are all sinners, and there was only ONE perfect person in this world, and that person was Jesus.
The tug on my heart to answer the calling God gave me never went away, so I started writing off and on but never thought I would finish a book. Then, on March 2, 2015, my world was shattered—a parent’s worst nightmare came true. My beautiful, sweet, innocent four-year old, Sutton, died tragically. It felt like someone ripped my heart from my body when I found out Sutton died, and I experienced the most unbearable pain deep down in my soul, a pain that no one should ever have to experience. I suddenly felt alone in a very large world even though there were so many people around me. My phenomenal inner circle of friends, amazing co-workers and my Bible study group from church were so supportive and were always there for me. But the only people I could truly relate to were other parents who lost children. Several moms who lost children took the time and reached out to me. These grieving moms always reminded me I was not alone, and they were always honest with me about their feelings. I appreciated their transparency.
As I suffered through my heartache and pain, I had no choice but to focus on God. I had three other children who needed me and a business to run. I needed to find a way to make it through each day. I listened to positive, uplifting music, read devotionals, read tons of self-help books, listened to podcasts, went to church, cried, prayed, spent quality time with
Editor’s my inner circle of friends and I sought the help of an amazing Christian grief counselor who also lost a child tragically.
It took a lot of hard work, but the more I focused on God, the more I began to see the “big picture” format of life from my little perspective. I realized it was necessary to share my story, and I could no longer ignore the calling to complete the book. I felt God wanted to use me to let people to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE, just like the grieving moms reminded me!
In Living Beneath the Surface: My Journey through Love, Loss and Forgiveness , I felt led to talk about the things very few people wanted to discuss - the ugly emotions of grief for the days, weeks, and years after Sutton’s death, as well as all the other struggles life brought me. It was so easy for me to put a smile on my face and hide behind my feelings and pretend everything was okay just like the rest of the world did. However, God showed me it was imperative for me to stop wearing a “mask” and understand we are all human, we all make mistakes. He wanted me to grasp the concept that we are all ALIKE in so many ways. God was calling me to “be real.” Although my circumstances may be different from others, we all share the same human emotions.
Throughout my journey, I realized how we are all interconnected and how beautiful life is/can be, even amidst our pain, tragedy, and suffering. I discovered that there is beauty in the ashes, and the darkness of the world cannot overcome the light of Christ. I saw how important and valuable each person’s life is and how we all can make a positive impact on this world. I wanted each person to truly understand that God has a purpose for each of our lives regardless of the trials we go through along the way.