I recently saw a social media post from an acquaintance praising God from the mountaintops about a miracle his family received. Through a tragic event, his wife and unborn child narrowly escaped death and they are both alive and recovering from this experience. Their posts boast about the goodness of God and His grace and mercy. They talk of faith and the power of miracles. And don’t get me wrong, I am genuinely happy for this family.
But what happens when you pray tirelessly for the miracle that never comes? What if your world comes crashing down around you when God could have intervened but He didn’t? Is this God still good and merciful? Would you still praise His goodness?
On February 12, 2018 I prayed one last time for God to save my daughter, Ellie. I prayed that God would spare her life and would have traded my life for hers in an instant. But that was not God’s plan. And around 10pm I held my baby girl as the life slipped out of her body. My heart was crushed beyond repair. It felt like the countless prayers I prayed fell on deaf ears. Ignored. Unanswered.
To say I’ve wrestled with my faith would be an understatement. The hurt, anger, and resentment I felt towards God was soul crushing. If God is so good, then how could He allow something so tragic to occur, especially to an innocent baby? I can assure you that nothing about her death felt good, especially in those early days. There were days when Ellie’s death felt like a personal attack from God; like a punishment or a “lesson” He was trying to teach me. It all seemed like a sick joke and a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from. I knew this must be the closest thing to living hell in earth. To be honest, there were times when it was difficult to worship a God that allowed an innocent life to suffer and die. It hurt to the depths of my soul.
Since those early days, I’ve learned a lot more about the God I serve. I have no doubt in my mind that he could have saved my daughter at any minute, but for reasons I will never know, He chose not to. And after a lot of yelling and screaming at God I’m starting to find some sort of acceptance in that reality. The thing is, I know that God is good. I also know that He is working all things for the good of his Kingdom. This life was never about me or my family, it was about Him. He never promised life would be easy and he also never promised He would shield us from heartache and suffering. But He did promise to never leave us through our struggles. As long as I live I will never understand why this was all part of God’s plan. God asks me to trust Him and through my loss I’m learning to do this. Friend, are you trusting God completely with the lives of your children? Would you still trust Him if your child died?
Although my faith wavered, He remained steadfast and was here waiting all along for me to understand who He is. He is a God of love. He is the giver of a lot more grace than I ever deserved and I am so grateful for that. And most importantly, He’s promised me a future with Him. Although life here on earth is hard, I find hope in my future in heaven – with the God who created me and my precious Ellie who went before me. Tears fill my eyes when I think about that glorious reunion. And until that day, I will bear my cross and will strive to become closer to God as I wait to be called home.
So to those who have witnessed their own miracles – I’m truly happy for you and will join hands with you praising God. But to those who are walking a difficult road and are having trouble seeing God’s goodness – I see you and feel your pain. I know how hard it is to trust God when you can barely pick yourself up off the floor. And perhaps you are praying for a miracle that will never come. It hurts. I too have walked this road and questioned everything I’ve ever believed. I can assure you there’s hope. Things may never work out here on Earth, but thank God this home is only temporary. I pray you can trust things that you don’t understand and can rely on God to pull you through the darkness and make you whole. I pray you can find peace that surpasses understanding, and I pray that you allow God to carry your heavy burdens.