Grief Part 5- Trusting God through Tragedy

Prologue:  When we first became pregnant we were surprised to learn we were pregnant with identical twin girls. 20 weeks into the pregnancy we learned our girls suffered from a rare condition called Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. We experienced a miraculous healing of all symptoms related to this deadly disease and at 32 weeks gave birth to our twin girls, Marylou Janice, our firstborn was stillborn. Providence Joy was just over 2lbs. There was no known cause for Marylou’s death. Time has given me the courage to share some of what God has taught me through our experience of anticipation, joy and grief. It is my hope that I can use this venue and our journey to share with you, dear reader, pieces of what we have learned and experienced so you can walk away with a greater understanding of our God, even amidst pain.

My husband never doubted that God would heal the twins. We sat in the office of the perinatologist and the doctor drew a diagram on the paper cover on the examination chair,  explaining what was wrong with the girls. He concluded by telling us that the body was not designed to carry twins and that our girls only had one chance, being surgery performed by one of only a few surgeons in the US, one of which was in Kirkland. He scheduled an appointment and tentative surgery date for the following day before we left his office. On the way out he apologized for being the bearer of such sad news. Jon made phone calls to our family to let them know and I cried all the way home. That night we read through the literature the nurse sent us on our girls condition, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, the complications it presented and the surgery that could potentially save their life. That night we prayed together for our girls health. I was too afraid to trust God, I couldn’t shake the fear that he would not heal our babies and that my faith would then be destroyed. My prayer that night was something like, “your will be done” but what I was really saying was, “Ok God, I am trying to prepare myself for the worst”. My husbands prayer was quite different, “Lord I trust that you can and will heal our girls”. Over then next several weeks I worried that Jon didn’t understand the severity of the medical condition. In my mind if he understood, his prayer would be different. But Jon understood and what he understood about our God that I did not was that God was bigger then the medical diagnosis and that He desired us to Trust Him with our deepest desires.

Trusting God with our deepest longings and hurts, while understanding that He is God, was a big part of our journey. It is quite easy to acknowledge God’s power to heal but a little harder to grapple with the fact that He does not always intervene to stop our pain like we most desire.  This is where faith becomes reality. The stories we read in scripture become more than just stories and history. They give us glimpses into the character of God as God. He acts and works according to His will not ours, and we are called to Trust Him, not because he will act as we most desire, but because His character is good. Abraham, Paul, David, Joseph, Rachel and Hannah are all examples given to us of men and women who struggled to Trust in the character of God even though things were not always as they desired. When we are called to trust in God on a daily basis it seems an easy practice, but when God does not execute his ability to “fix” difficult situations as we desire, this seemingly simple action becomes a bit more complicated to flesh out in daily practice.

God did not choose to heal both of our girls as we most desired, and he called our precious Marylou home to Him much earlier then we had asked Him to. Looking back, though, I know our trust in God was not in vain, but an act of obedient faith. God could have done what we most desired and chose not to, but ultimately our trust was in His character as God, not that He would execute our desire for healing. If we had trusted merely that God would heal the twins because it was what we desired, we would have been asking too little of God. Instead we were called to do something profoundly more difficult, trust in God’s ability to heal and in His wisdom to decide whether or not to execute it.

How has your trust in God been strengthened through answers that were different then you expected, or in ways that God exceeded your expectation? How did God use these circumstances and your trust to grow your faith?

(Post by: Amie)

*Photo by Heather Fuqua

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