Losing a Child without Losing Faith

Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra | December 27, 2016


Last month, Frazer and Dana Gieselmann buried their 6-year-old daughter.

Milla, short for Louise Mildred, had her first seizure at 2 years old. She was diagnosed with Batten disease, a rare and fatal disorder of the nervous system. A few weeks later, her younger sister, Elle, received the same diagnosis. (An older sister, Ann Carlyle, doesn’t have the genetic disorder.)

For the past three years, Frazer and Dana have hauled their two girls to doctors’ appointments, held them through seizures, and watched them lose dexterity. Elle was able to start an experimental medication regimen in September; for Milla, it was already too late.

She turned 6 on November 2. Twenty-four days later, her mother posted, “Milla is with Jesus. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

While living out every parent’s worst nightmare, the Gieselmanns’ belief in God’s goodness was tested and stretched. Through countless nights waking up with the girls to one bad medical report after another, the couple leaned heavily on the faith passed down from their parents.

And they leaned on the church, hoping it would be there to catch them.

Faith in the Darkness

“People say to us, ‘I don’t know how you do this,’” Frazer said. “But…


To read the rest of this article, visit https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/losing-a-child-without-losing-faith.