If I knew then that God was for me and not against me. If I knew then that God was with me no matter what circumstances I found myself in. If I knew then...
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)
I think in the grand scheme of things, the loss of Jeffrey, as difficult as it was, was the very beginning of our road towards Christ. A long road to be sure. A dirty, pothole-filled, gravelly, rocky, scary road at times. I know I couldn't see how there was any "good" in what happened.
I read that marriages that have endured a stillbirth are 40% more likely to wind up in divorce. We were married in 2000. Between 2001 and 2013, we endured a stillbirth, a miscarriage, and 24/7 caregiving for a medically fragile/special needs child who passed away at the age of almost seven years old. Between 2001 and 2013, I have nearly died from sudden life-threatening health conditions five times.
Romans 8:28 says it this way:
"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."I may still be trying to discern the purpose in all of this, but I know that our journey - beginning with this great loss - has brought us closer to God than we have ever been in our lives. I know now that God is for me. I know that He has been with me through every single trial I've endured. I know that He is my strength and my comfort.
I don't know why things happen in life, but I know that God "comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." (2 Corinthians 1:4)
We've walked a difficult journey these thirteen years, but we've grown stronger. Individually. Together. With Christ.
Yes, things happen that we cannot predict or control. God knows our journey. He knows our sorrows and our trials. He knows us. He is strength in our weakness and in our weakness we are made strong.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." (2 Corinthians 12:9)