How do you answer the hard questions when you don’t have the answers?

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Jaxson, Happy Birthday to you.

We went to a birthday party for our little best friend, Jaxson, this weekend. My kids love birthday parties because it usually means cake, ice-cream and extra fun. Although this party had all of those things, it was different. It was different because Jaxson was not there to celebrate with us; Jaxson was celebrating with the angels and our little best friend had a royal audience.

It’s been six months since Jesus called Jaxson home and my throat still seizes when I think about it. As an adult, I’ve suffered loss, but my children – my sweet, innocent babies – shouldn’t be introduced to it this young. They’ve suffered loss already in the form of an Uncle and a dear goldfish, but never a peer. Things suddenly change when they can relate to the age of the child and questions flow like water from a tap.

How do you answer the hard questions when you don’t have the answers?

Having a child with an anxiety disorder forces me to think about my every response. Will this initiate a litany of other questions? Will this send him into an anxiety attack? Will this be something he’s rehashing with me in three weeks? He’s logical, an over thinker and a soft heart. He doesn’t understand death and he struggles showing or understanding appropriate emotions. Honestly, he doesn’t put his underwear on correctly most of the time so to expect him to grasp these concepts is simply outlandish.

So when it was time to go to the birthday party, I knew it would send his little brain into overdrive and when he utters, “But why did God take Jaxson? There were so many other people he could have had.” my heart sinks.

How do you answer the hard questions when you don’t have the answers?

We talk about purpose and that we each have a job to do on Earth. We talk about Jaxson’s purpose and that he must have been really good at his job. We talk about happy memories and love and how it’s okay to be sad or to cry. We talk about things on a seven-year old level and I pray that he doesn’t need older answers because quite honestly, I just don’t have them.

Exodus 9:16 (NIV)
But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.

Selfishly, I wish Jaxson had taken longer to fulfill his purpose; we wanted more time here on Earth with him, but his story is a beautiful story of proclaiming God’s name in all the Earth. Jaxson was small, but mighty and he touched lives across the nation. He spread hope, he promoted BELIEVE and he brought people closer to God.

I don’t have the answers to the hard questions, but He does.

Psalm 34:18 (NIV)
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

2 thoughts on “How do you answer the hard questions when you don’t have the answers?

  1. We experienced the loss of a friend’s child a few years ago… and my kids still ask me why. There are no easy answers, only a lot of praying and hugging them close and telling them how happy Arden must be with Jesus.

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  2. Oh Angela, your prose was so beautifully written. I especially liked how you incorporated the Bible verses to accompany your words. As a grandmother of 4 grandsons (my youngest is non verbal autistic), I can appreciate your struggle with the “hard” questions. I wish I could tell you that with age the answers come more easily, but that is not the case, unfortunately. I am looking forward to following your future columns.

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