The past couple of weeks have found me looking over my shoulder at God and asking “are You still good?” Over and over again, I have questioned Him. I have looked at Him and said “this really happened. My baby is gone and I won’t be giving birth in November. I won’t have a tiny to take care of this winter. My only birth experience was met with silence when my baby was delivered. I wake up every morning and she’s still gone. Are You still good? Are you still the same God that I knew before she died? Why did you take her from me so soon?” I see and talk to my friends whose lives keep going, who have children and whose babies are healthy and alive, and I ask God “are You still good to me? Are you still in control? Are you still a loving God? Are you a maniacal God who pulls strings and plays heartless chess with my life, or are you the God whose Son ate with sinners and welcomed children? Why did You allow this to happen?” And I’ve not hidden these questions. I’ve asked them out loud. I’ve asked them of God, and some that I love know what I’ve been asking. And they’ve been gracious enough to remind me that God is big enough for questions like that.
Husbandman and I have been going to a study meeting at a local church called Griefshare, a group focused on Bible study and support in the wake of loss. And this past week, most of the scripture in the study focused on the Psalms and Job. For those of you who aren’t so familiar with him, Job was a man who had it all and was right in eyes of God. He didn’t have a secret sin or hidden life. He didn’t “deserve” punishment. And Satan came to God and asked for permission to test him. And God said yes. Job lost everything. His home, health, livestock, and his children. And Job spends the majority of the book in the Bible working through what’s happened. Asking “why”.
I’ve always loved the end of Job. God spends so much time telling Job who He is, what He’s done. But in our Griefshare meeting this week, we talked about what God didn’t tell Job. He didn’t tell Job why everything that had happened to him was happening. Job asked “why”, and God didn’t tell Him. God chose to answer Job with a description of who He is. With a display of His power. With knowledge of who He is. But not with why He allowed any of the things that happened to happen.
As we’ve lived our lives after losing Cora, I have spent a lot of brain power thinking about what happened. Trying to figure out what caused her to die. I may not ever find out. But, I thought we’d know what we could by now. It’s been seven weeks since I delivered her, and we still have no idea what happened or if we’ll be able to find out. It seems like I’ve been waiting for test results my entire life. And it seems like I’m in the cruelest holding pattern for a planner that ever was. I don’t know what caused this to happen, much less why, and I can’t plan. I don’t know what the doctors will say. I don’t know whether or not, when and if we’re ever ready, we’ll be able to try to have a baby again. Couple that with the fact that we’ve just suffered such a big loss, and I feel like my brain and heart are going to explode at the same time every day.
And I question God. And He meets me with Himself, not with the answers I want. And I ask Him, again and again, “are You good?” And His response is, “I’m here.” And I have to chose to trust Him. Every day, I have to make that choice. It’s harder than it was before. It’s harder than before my baby girl died. Because I know what pain is. And then I am gently reminded that God’s only son died, too. And that He knew that His son’s death was the only way that I could be redeemed, and that He chose to let it happen. God knows the pain of losing His only child.
So today, I chose to trust that God is still good, because I am redeemed. Because He chose to save me. And tomorrow, I’ll have to make that choice again. And the day after tomorrow, and all the days after that.
So, as I squirm, He is still here. He is still God. And I am not.
May we remember that God is good even when we suffer unimaginable loss, and may we be set free in Him. May we resist the urge to put forth a perfect image, denying the fact that God is molding us with pain just as much as with joy.