So often you hear people say why does God let bad things happen? It is a lifelong question that you will hear a ton of different answers to. Bad stuff happens. Genes get messed up causing a devastating result. Marriages fall apart. People die. People survive accidents but live the rest of their lives dependent upon others. Life is hard. Life can suck as so many put it. It has always been that way, but people who aren’t Christ followers often use that as the reason why they don’t believe in God. And I am not here to sell anyone on anything; I just wanted to share something really special to me and it shows my heritage. Something that I came across on Christmas day when my uncle brought a bunch of my Grandparents stuff over and it answered the question so clearly in my head to the question of why bad things happen. It shows how when really bad things happen, good things happen to people. One time I googled quotes of adversity and I sat in tears as I read quotes beautifully written by people who have seen suffering and saw the other side of it. This one is one of my favorites “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Bad things happen. It’s a matter of fact, but we don’t have a God who just throws a lightning bolt down and says make them suffer oohhh hahahahaha… he says this is going to hurt and I hurt with you. Please know I am with you and will never leave you.
When I was a year old my aunt passed away. It was always a family fact. I was too young to have remembered her but I love to hear stories about her. She was 19 years old and she suddenly got sick and her parents had to suddenly decide to remove life support on their beautiful, vivacious 19 year old daughter. It was never more than a family fact to me until I was 19 and thought how young I was and how young my aunt was. Then when I became a mom I looked at my grandparents differently. I looked at them differently because I was now a mom. A mom who was suffering herself with being a mom, I was a mom begging God to let me swap brains with my daughter because I loved her so much that I wanted to take her suffering away. And when I became a mom I thought about how my Grandma and Grandpa must be different people from who they used to be. I can only imagine when you lose a child there is the you before and the you after. I had only known the after for my grandparents and I looked at them through different eyes. Unfortunately I only got to see my grandma a couple months with those new eyes because she passed away when Lily was only 8 weeks old. At only 69 years old my Grandma Norma passed and we were all devastated, but there was no doubt that she was celebrating in heaven with Jesus and her beautiful 19 year old daughter Karen. So what is good about a 19 year old passing away suddenly? How did my family get “blessed” by something so tragic? How did we know she was in heaven with Karen? Because Karen at 19 was the first person in our family to accept Christ. She became a christian by going to church and was discipled by a wonderful family friend to whom our family’s christian heritage started from and she just so happened to be one of my longest life long friends Grandma. Karen became a christian and her illness and death introduced new people into my families lives and when the time came they all accepted Christ as well.
It was a sudden change for everyone. They all changed their lives completely. They changed because something really bad happened. They changed because their hearts were broken and they found a way to heal their brokenness. I know Karen rejoiced when she saw her family change because they lost her. I know Karen will be greeting us all one day and I can’t wait to meet her. I know Grandma and her have been playing a lot of scrabble up there and singing praises because it was what my Grandma liked to do. I bet she even watches the Suns play and gets frustrated still with them. I honestly don’t know who I would have been if tragedy didn’t strike when I was too young to understand it. I don’t know who any of us would have been. I don’t know who I would have been if Lily was off to dance class and volleyball like I planned on her doing. I don’t know if I would truly understand what it is to have a servants heart if I didn’t serve my daughter every day. I don’t know if I would ever appreciate my husband for who he is if we didn’t almost loose each other several years ago.
I honestly don’t think I would have liked who I would have became if things came to me easily and the only heart break I knew was from a boyfriend. Heck I am able to appreciate my health after we all had the most miserable flu ever last week. You really can’t taste the sweet if you never knew sour. We go through stuff and I know some of you go through some STUFF and it is hard. It is ugly. It can make you want to not continue living. But you can come out stronger and better. It is all a beautiful woven masterpiece but you really have to take a step back to see just how marvelous it really is.
This hand written note took my breath away. It is my heritage. It is proof to me that God 100% is in control of it all. And it is amazing to see my grandma used my favorite verse on this paper I had never seen before.