Sunday, September 20, 2015
Reason. It's a 4 letter word in my book these days.
Last week I was called with the results on the very final set of tests that were run on me. And they came back negative. Most people would be thrilled to not have something wrong with them. I should be, I guess.
But I wanted a reason. I wanted a biological reason why my precious Arabella Grace didn't survive. I wanted an explanation other than "it was a fluke." It's not a fluke to me. Two failed pregnancies, one being ectopic & the other being stillbirth at almost 6 months along are not flukes to me. I have zero of the risk factors/diseases that can cause both things to happen...yet they both still happened to me. In terms of beating odds...I'm at a big fat 0%, and I am absolutely sick to death of hearing that it was "just a fluke".
Biologically, I'm not going to get a reason. And that is a hard pill for me to swallow. But what I wish people would understand is that I don't need nor want any other explanation. I was waiting for a medical one...and I didn't get it. Now I have to work through that & come to terms with it.
I read a piece from another mom who lost her baby titled "Everything Does Not Happen for a Reason". And it just rang true for me. I stand with her in rejecting the notion that everything happens for a reason.
You might think that sounds strange coming from me. It's no secret that my faith is very important to me. I believe in & love God with every inch of my being, with all of my heart & soul. I believe that He is good, He is perfect, and He has a plan.
I believe that He can use this loss for His purpose & plan. I believe that He can refine me as I stumble down this road of grief. But I don't believe that Ellie had to die for a reason. Because believing that would require me to believe some things about God that I can't reconcile. And that's not the God that I've learned about my whole life.
Romans 8:28 - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
This verse is often quoted together with "everything happens for a reason". That verse doesn't tell me that there was a reason for Ellie dying. It tells me that God will use it for good somehow, and for His purpose. I can take comfort in that.
I believe that God hates death. I believe that because of the shortest verse in the Bible:
John 11:35 - Jesus wept.
Angie Smith really says it better than I ever could in her book "I Will Carry You", so I will just share an excerpt with you:
"As Mary ran to Jesus and fell at His feet, she was crying (John 11:32). The emotion that Christ feels at this moment is not fully communicated in most modern translations, but the original Greek words are embrimaomai, which refers to anger, and etaraxen heauton, which means "troubled Himself". One commentary I love said that a better translation of this moment would be that He "became angry in spirit and very agitated."
Many scholars suggest that this emotion was not aimed at the women and men who were gathered around Him but rather at death itself. He was angry at the hurt it was causing, and I believe that on that fateful day with my daughter, He was angry that death stole her from us. What happens next in the passage brings tears to my eyes as I think of the way we offered our daughter to Him. Jesus asks where Lazarus is buried, and when the women begin to walk Him to the tomb, Scripture says He weeps (John 11:34-35).
Surely those two words are some of the most powerful in all of Scripture, as they reveal the man within the deity.
I want to share a beautiful distinction I came upon months after Audrey's death as I poured over these verses. At first glance it appears that Jesus, Mary and Martha were sobbing together, but the original language of the text reveals that while Jesus was weeping (dakryo), the women were wailing (klaio). While Mary and Martha were crying out in agony over the loss of their brother, their tears moved Jesus, and He began to weep. This is the only occurance of dakryo in the entire New Testament. He isn't crying over the death of Lazarus but rather the hurt He is experiencing with people He loves dearly. He isn't crying because the situation is hopeless, but because He is an empathetic God.
He knows that in a few moments Lazarus will walk out of the tomb.
He also knows that they can't see that hope.
And neither can we."
Ellie didn't walk out of the tomb. And while I believe that she is safe in the arms of Jesus...I can't see it. I don't have a Dropcam to Heaven. There isn't a video monitor that allows me to make sure that she's okay. It's hard to reconcile that anyone, even the God who created her, could love her & take better care of her than me. I know that He does... I believe that He does... But my heart doesn't comprehend it very well.
The Savior of the world can understand why I struggle so much with her death. He knows why I don't find comfort when people say that everything happens for a reason. He gets why I feel anger when someone tells me that God needed another "helper", or just needed her more than I did. Don't even get me started on when people say that He needed another angel.
Like Mary & Martha, he knows that I can't see the other side. And because He loves me the way that He loved them while on earth, I believe that he weeps with me when I fall at his feet & wail.