10 weeks

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).

Jesus wept.

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.


  1. Lea, I agree with what you are saying. We, as humans, want to put God in a box. We want to understand Him and everything that happens to us and that's just not always going to be the case. But we know what God's word says and we can take comfort in that and in Him. That doesn't mean we don't feel pain or grief. I haven't had the same pain you have but I have my own - no children. I feel for you.

  2. Lea, If we believe in God, if we have faith, then we understand that evil, too, exists. Jesus was tempted during the forty days, but he retained His faith--imagine that, the Son of God--the most faithful of all, part man and part God, was not safe from the temptation of Satan. Sometimes evil tempts us to lose faith in the most horrific ways on earth; sometimes even the spiritually strong succumb. If God could not intervene on His Own Son's behalf, are there not times when he cannot intervene with lives on Earth? We do not know. God is omniscient and we attribute Him to be omnipotent, but Satan's evil is powerful. Every time someone loses faith during a great trial or test on Earth, it gives more power to Satan. Every time that one retains faith in God, as did Job, it increases the power in of God and Good. It is healthy to be angry, even to be angry at God during a time of mourning. It is safe to be angry at God, just as it was safe to be angry at one's parents while growing up. The key is not to lose one's Love or Faith in the power of Good and the power of God. We cannot control what happens on Earth, nor can we understand or explain it. We can rant and rail against it, and then when the torrent of emotion settles somewhat, and eventually it will, we can let the air clear and listen for God's message. An affirmation in AA holds true for all of us: Let go, and let God. Give up trying to find a reason where there is none. Accept that you will not know in this life. Grieve. Take care of yourselves. Believe. Heal. Love each other. Hold on to Faith. I will continue to pray for you, that your burdens be lightened and that God will Bless you with a healthy child in the near future. Take solace in the Beatitudes. I feel your pain; I still wonder what Jeffrey would be like, 31 years later. Elaine

  3. So sorry you did not get the medical answers you wanted but reading your post I know your faith will continue to hold you up. Thank you for being so honest and giving us another way to look at death and the scriptures. Your posts really bring another look to our faith and has made me see scripture in new ways. Thank you.

  4. Hello,
    I am new to your blog and believe that while everything doesn't happen for a reason, you will find a way. I hope you find healing and support as you continue to share your story. I enjoy reading your blog and hope to see success in your future, in being able to both heal, and have a child.

    Additionally, I wasn't sure if you had heard of a blog called The Spohrs are Multiplying in which the couple went through a similar situation. They now have a second daughter who is absolutely beautiful.

    Anyway, I look forward to seeing you happy in the future.


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