Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Guest Blogger #1: Anna Lidbeck

My best friend, Anna, lives in Oregon and has been blessed with three little boys. She has seen many others' lives struck with random tragedy and never takes for granted how lucky she is that her kids are healthy and happy. Her heart is grand, and when seeing others in need, she will often give and give and give so that other people will be blessed. She recently has written something about bad things happening to people, namely children, and I asked her if she'd share it with my readers. I think it's important to 1. ask this question, and 2. deal with the answer, especially when your family has been struck with tragedy. I'm not in any way implying that I've completely gotten over what has happened to our family, however, I have done a lot of soul searching in an attempt to answer this question, and, like Anna, I've come up with one main thing: God is still God.

It's the age-old question. Why do bad things happen to good people? When faced with something bad happening to you or someone you love, I think that is a very normal question to ask. This weekend, a little boy at our church was diagnosed with Leukemia. His mom and I were pregnant at the same time when I was pregnant with Jack. When I heard the news, I was really shaken. I started crying. It's not fair. He's a vivacious, active, seemingly healthy 4 year old boy. How could this happen? A few months ago, my best friend had a beautiful baby girl, and because of oxygen deprivation at birth, suffers from brain damage. How could this happen? It's not fair. Another good friend of mine, suffered the loss of her baby girl in the womb a little over a year ago. I haven't been exempt from my own loss as well. Before the birth of Nathan, I suffered two miscarriages. One of which required an operation to remove the baby.

I've spent a lot of time in the past year and a half really thinking about what it means to balance faith with hurt and loss. What does it mean to "praise Him in the storm" as the song says? The common denominator in all my examples is children. When an innocent child is the one in pain, or the one that dies, it's a tough pill to swallow. I heard a perspective yesterday that made a lot of sense. Our minds see time in a completely different way than God does. Before the foundation of the earth, God had already seen the Lamb of God being slain. When I see a 90 year old man suffer from cancer and die, I think, "wow, what an amazing life he lived." When I hear a 4 year old has been diagnosed with cancer I think, "wow, he still has an amazing life to live. He's too young to go through this." God has already seen our lives. He already knows what is going to happen in our lives. In God's eyes, it has already happened. Does it make the pain any easier? I don't know yet, but I do know that it was a good reminder of God's sovereignty.

I'll never forget when I had the operation to remove the baby. It was a very traumatizing experience. On the drive home that evening from the hospital, I was very emotional. I was crying in the car and Jack was a little upset by it. He asked me why I was crying. I told him that I was sad that the baby had died. To this day, his response brings tears to my eyes. He said, "Is the baby in heaven?" I said, "yes Jack." He said, "Didn't you say heaven is a good place?" Of course, I said" yes Jack, heaven is a wonderful place." He then said, "then why are you crying?" I know that life isn't always that simple.

Sometimes it isn't comforting to hear the standard "they are in a better place." But I know this much. God's Word IS truth. He has told us many things about suffering and loss. It is not my place to question his authority. It is my place to say "God, I don't understand. But You are still God. You are still on the throne. I WILL still praise You."

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