Sunday, October 24, 2010

Goodness & Faith

Better pull up a chair and grab a cup of coffee...this post ended up being a long one...

Today has been a rougher morning and I'm not sure why. Our Sundays usually begin with church, but not today (as we are going tonight), so maybe that has something to do with it. I walked into Aaron's room this morning with hopes of finishing a couple more little things and it hit me. All of a sudden, the pain and the fact that he was gone was once again very fresh, very real and very raw. I find it odd that during some days the pain is so great that we feel as if we said goodbye just yesterday and other days it feels that it has been so much longer than the past two months. This morning, it felt to me as if we are still waiting for him to come home, all the while knowing that he never will. I can't tell you how much I look forward to the day that we will be together with him again.

On that note, there is something else I've struggled with over the past several weeks. I've heard and seen the phrase "God is good all the time, and all the time God is good" many, many times since Aaron passed away and to be honest,  it ties my stomach in knots when I hear it. I get frustrated. I want to scream and cry. At times, my response would be "that's easy for you to say, your son didn't just die." Now, I'm not having a pity party, but it feels similar to times when I've been having a rough day dealing with Aaron's death and I happen to run into the 'always happy, overly joyful, I just found a leprechaun and a pot of gold today' type of person who says "come on, smile. Nothing about your day can be that bad."  All I want to say is "let me tell you what today the last two months of my life have been like..." It is these same feelings I've had when I hear that phrase "God is good all the time, and all the time God is good". 

If you read my last post, or many of my previous posts for that matter, you may wonder if I've had a change of heart. I hope that you don't get offended and stop reading. Please, continue on as I stumble through some reflecting that I've done over this...

Because of my faith and the relationship that I have with God, I am honestly unsure why I've had this negative attitude and response to this saying/phrase, so I spent some time reflecting on it yesterday. One thing I am sure of is that with all of my heart and every ounce of my being, all  I've ever wanted to be other than a wife is a mother. I enjoy my career as a physical therapist and I always strive to do my best at whatever I do, but it doesn't hold a candle to my desire to have a child, have a family and be a wife and mother. Yes, I am still a mother; I have a son, but right now, I have no one to mother. I want him back... I want him here... I want him, and only him, in my arms. In conversations with God, I've asked "If you are good, why did you take our child, our son; a child who was so deeply and desperately wanted and loved from the moment we knew we were expecting? Why?" I know I will never have an answer; not on earth or in this lifetime anyway.

Through this journey, I've realized that it is alright for me to have frustrations and questions for God; it actually keeps me talking to Him...a lot. I've also come to the realization that it is human nature for us to define His goodness with how closely His plan lines up with our wants and desires. It would be easy for me to say that God is unloving and that He is not good all the time because He took our only child from us or did not stop our son from being taken from us... however you'd like to look at it. He is the great physician; His hands perform miracles everyday; yet, we didn't get one on that night that we hit our knees and begged and pleaded and cried out to Him to save our son. We never got to change a diaper, feed him, snuggle him, hear him scream and cry or bring him home.  From the minute he was born, he was poked and prodded, sedated and cut open. And although I pumped religiously every two to three hours because it was the only way I knew to help him, he was never fed...not a single drop. I walk through life carrying this weight and knowing that we signed the consent forms; and after it was all said and done, his poor body endured being cut open again, only so doctors and science could "try to figure out and learn from what went wrong". The only time I ever got to hold my son, his body was lifeless and cold...he was already gone. However, we carry these burdens knowing that we listened to the doctors and that our intentions were rooted in nothing but love and hope so that he could have a chance at life. Had we known the outcome, I wouldn't have done any of it. His short time on earth would have been spent in our arms, surrounded by his family and knowing and feeling that he was so very loved. I hated watching Aaron suffer and feeling so helpless in doing so. Honestly, I do have trouble seeing the goodness in all of this.

As I have spent some time reflecting, praying and reading the bible, I realize that maybe, just maybe, what we are walking through right now is good. Maybe this...the tears, the frustration, the deep sorrow, the anger, the longing for our son...maybe all of this is a small part of God's goodness. Maybe it is all part of the bigger picture that we cannot see. Maybe those three days of suffering would have turned into years...years of frequent hospitalization, surgeries, constant struggles and poor quality of life...years of wondering if each day would be our last day with Aaron. Cardiac kids are fragile. At some point, he would have required a transplant and we would be left wondering if he would receive a heart. The future holds so many unknowns. I have no doubt that God could see what his life would or could have been and maybe he made His decision. It wasn't a decision defined by our wants and desires or that lined up with our plans, but maybe He couldn't bear to watch His child suffer. Honestly, in that, I can see His goodness.

I journaled everything above prior to going to church tonight. As I've said before, the ways in which God speaks to us at times amazes me. Our pastor preached on Saul (Paul) in Acts 9 tonight and one thing he said really spoke to me...

  "The bible teaches that God does not do evil things or bad things to people. We could argue all night long about whether God caused that or allowed some point, you have to throw that question out the window. The truth is that something happened; something big, something life-changing and it knocked me flat. Is that tragedy in my life that brought me or someone else back to God a good thing or bad thing? It's still a bad thing. How about was a bad thing and God redeemed it. God used it. God refuses to waste the mess in our lives. God took a bad thing and used it for good; just like He promised those who love Him." 

I gained a lot of clarity through the sermon tonight, even though it wasn't speaking to exactly what we have been going through. The tragedies  that happen to us in life can't be classified as good simply because they brought us or someone else closer to God, but God is Good. He uses these situations and "the mess" of our lives for good and although He never said that life would be easy, He said that we wouldn't go through it alone. He is always there. He is ever present...holding our hand, walking through it with us and redeeming it for good and for His glory. We must throw the "whys?" out the window and trust in Him. We must have this thing called faith.

So, with trust and faith that God is using this storm, this tragedy, this mess in our life right now, I can say, with confidence, that "God is good all the time, and all the time God is good".


  1. Take heart - God catches every tear in His great Hand and He will not waste a single one. His plan is to bless you abundantly and He will.

    “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to things that are unseen…” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

  2. Danielle,

    I cannot tell you the depths of my heart that your words reach. I am in awe of your ability to write so well, so openly, so desperately and so emotionally. You are a fantastic communicator, but even more - you have an incredible heart. Thank you for sharing the way and as much as you do. You are a blessing, Danielle.

    Love, Karrie

  3. it is difficult in times of adversity and heavy hearts, but i have found the lord is there 24.7.365 to talk with me on my concerns without a stop watch in his hand. our free SPREAD THE WORD TALK WITH THE LORD program inspires daily talks. our song lyrics free keep on keeping on !g. hubbard p.o. box 2232 ponte vedra fl 32004 blog


Designed by Lena