God’s wisdom to guide us through difficulties…

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Our family joined Resurrection on July 14, 1996. July 31st, we have added a perfect baby girl to our family. October 23rd, our baby girl died suddenly in my arms as we sat in the doctor’s waiting room. Despite heroic efforts at our doctor’s office and the ER, we returned home heartbroken and angry, carrying an empty car seat and a fluffy pink blanket.

We were suddenly thrown into the “parents whose child died” group, and there was no way out. As the day progressed, we became numb. Nothing felt real and nothing made sense. Why us? We loved this baby; we wanted this baby.

Even now, 25 years later, I remember wandering around our crowded house. I can’t even tell you what I felt because it was nothing I had ever felt before and certainly never want to feel again. I still can’t find the words to truly describe the emotional upheaval we were in. But in the midst of it all, I felt the presence of God more than ever in my life.

God didn’t stop us from suffering, he didn’t stop us from suffering, but he stayed with us every minute. During the worst situation of our lives, there were small glimpses that helped us see how much He loved us.

I’m still not ready to give thanks for this life experience, but I know that God worked through it to make us better people. Through the care and love of friends and family, we have learned to love and care for others more deeply. Having felt the presence of God when we were in our darkest time, we are able to confidently tell others that God will be with them no matter what they are going through. Having our time with Caroline so short, so abruptly, has taught us to say “I love you” much more often and to cherish moments we would otherwise have taken for granted.

I know God didn’t give him leukemia. I know he didn’t stop the doctors from finding him in time to try to treat him. I also know that in 1996 tiny babies usually didn’t survive leukemia, no matter how early. I know my husband canceled his work trip that week because the weather was a blessing. I know the power outage the night before that forced us to huddle as a family in front of the fire, with no TV distractions, was a gift.

I know God’s heart ached for us and I know he never wanted us to suffer. At the worst moment of our life, God was there. He made his presence known in so many small ways. And He continues to remind us that He is there through the people who, after all these years, still remember Caroline and talk about her. He keeps his memory alive through our family who love each other so intensely. He brought friends into our lives, many of whom have never met Caroline, who still celebrate her birthday and recognize the day she died.

God used a terrible life experience to show us the depth of his love. He brought others together to love and care for us. He showed us how to love others better. And he taught us that with him, we can survive anything.

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