Wednesday, July 26, 2017

He is Good

This morning I wrote the words, "I know that God is good." And then I began to list the things I thought "proved" His goodness.

  • He sustained Lucy in her most fragile days.
  • How He has provided for us financially over the past several months.

I cut my list short because then I remembered something that I fully believe the Holy Spirit brought to mind the other day as I was listening to the radio. I heard a story from a mom who told of how her daughter had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and was only given 3 to 5 years to live. And now here they were, 20-something years later, and her daughter was alive and well. God had done the impossible! The miraculous! The story was followed by a remark from the radio host in which he said, "God is good."

That is usually our response when we hear these "miracle stories." But then I got to thinking... What if these stories had a different ending? What if that little girl really only lived another 3 to 5 years? What if God had chosen to let Lucy's life slip away in those early days of her life? What if we were legitimately floundering financially right now? What if your mom dies from cancer? What if your husband loses his job? What if you receive that terrifying phone call? What if your story doesn't turn out the way you hoped and prayed it would? 

Why do we only respond with "God is good" when we get our happy ending?

Listen, I feel like the Holy Spirit punched me in the gut with that question as I was listening to the radio the other day. I'm not here to shame anyone for saying "God is good" in response to a story with a happy ending. Because yes, He is good, and He continually reveals His goodness to us even when we don't deserve it. But if these miracle stories are what we are waiting for to be reminded of His goodness, then our faith is standing on some shaky quaky ground.

Before I lost my mom to cancer 3 1/2 years ago, I thought I had the faith that we sing about:
"In oceans deep, my faith will stand."
"God whatever comes my way, I will trust you."
(I was going to list several lyric examples here, but my brain is failing me on this early morning... you get the point)

But then suddenly I was in the midst of those deep waters, and I definitely was not standing. I was not trusting. I was flailing and sinking and doubting.

And I was questioning His goodness.

All because I didn't get my "miracle story."

You see, God proved His goodness for me and for all mankind thousands of years ago when Jesus died on the cross for us. For me. For you. He didn't have to provide a way for salvation. He would have been completely just to let us perish. But out of His infinite love and mercy, He chose to save us. To save me. To save you. Out of His goodness.

That alone should be proof enough that HE IS GOOD.

The day my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, He was still good.
The day my mom died, He was still good.
The day we received that horrifying news of Lucy's heart defect, He was still good.

The point I'm getting at is this:

I want to be utterly convinced of God's goodness regardless of my current circumstances.
(I'll also be honest and say I'm not quite there yet.)

It's okay (and good) to see His goodness when things do turn out the way we hope and pray. I think God is so gracious in giving us those reminders. But may our hope not be anchored in the results of our current circumstances.

May our hope be anchored in Jesus Christ alone and the work He accomplished on the cross, for we have been given a hope for the future and a reminder for our current and past circumstances, sure and steady, that God is good.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Sweetest "No"

It's not even 6:00am on a Saturday morning. I'm sitting here at my laptop with a cup of coffee, and I have no idea what words about about to flow out of my brain to my fingertips to this blog post. One of my sister-in-laws, who just so happens to also be one of my best friends from college, sent me a text the other day, and she reminded me of the power of words. Written words.

I love writing. It's how I process life. It's also one of my favorite ways to reminisce about what the Lord has done when, years down the road, I can look back at the things I have written. It's a reminder of how far the Lord has carried me and my family.

I can't believe I haven't posted a single thing on here since the day after Lucy was born.

... well ... actually I can believe it. The past 9 months have been a crazy whirlwind.

We lived in a hospital for 4 solid months. That was really cool.


We packed up all of our belongings and relocated our lives to be closer to Arkansas Children's Hospital for Lucy's sake (all while Lucy was still in the hospital). Yeah, so, that was insane.

Lucy has had 2 open-heart surgeries in her short little life.

There were several weeks, days, and moments we had no idea if she was going to live. No idea if we would ever be able to bring her home. No idea if we would experience being a family of 4.

Lucy is our miracle child. She defied the odds.

I'll never forget the day when Lucy's heart had been beating 200 times a minute for 5 days straight. On the fifth day, one of the doctors told us she feared that at any moment, Lucy's heart may just stop.


A tidal wave of fear. A hurricane of fear. A tornado. A flood. An avalanche. I drowned, and I suffocated in fear that day.

Lucy is the baby girl we have been dreaming of since the day I shared these words with my mom two weeks before she passed away:

"Mom, if David and I have a little girl someday, I think we are going to name her Lucy."

My mom's name was Janet, but Lucy was the sweetest nickname my dad called her. He never called her Janet - it was always Lucy. Okay, I can recall one time he called her Janet, and it was the strangest thing I ever heard come out of his mouth. Lucy. Her name, from him, was Lucy.

We have already suffered the loss of one Lucy. I couldn't bear the thought of losing another. My baby girl. This precious, fragile little life with the sweetest namesake. My dream-come-true. My second shot at a mother-daughter relationship - only now I am the mother in the relationship.

And now her heart might stop?

Those were some of the hardest, darkest days.

I questioned everything. I questioned if God was still good. I questioned if He still loved me. I felt like an ant under His magnifying glass.

Was Lucy going to become yet another shattered dream? A painful memory? The beginning of another season of grief and processing and moving on?

I'm not sure why, but for some reason God chose to answer those questions with a thundering and resounding "NO." The best and sweetest "no" I have ever heard in my life.

No. Lucy will not be a shattered dream. No. She will not be a painful memory. No. She will not commence another season of loss and grief. No.

Lucy is here. Lucy is alive. Lucy is breathing. Her heart is beating, and she is thriving.

She is the most beautiful little girl I have ever laid eyes on. Her smile takes over her entire face. She is the most lovable, most cuddly snuggly precious sweet thing I have ever held in my arms. She is strong. She is brave. She is a fighter. She is a picture of God's grace and provision.

We don't deserve this precious gift. In a season of doubt and fear and being tossed by the waves of circumstance and uncertainty, God chose to save her. He sustained her heart when it should have stopped. He caused every contraction, every drop of blood to flow through her veins. He gave her every single breath. When we were faithless, he was faithful.

And now, it is 6:29am, and my children are beginning to stir. My children. My children. Yes. Two of them. It still feels so foreign and strange coming out of my mouth. But yes, my children are beginning to wake up, and it's about time to enter Mommy Mode.

The most precious sight I have ever laid eyes on.

Time to go change some diapers and start breakfast! And here's to hoping this is the first of more blog posts and processing to come!

"This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."