*introduction: As you struggle through your own grief journey, I understand that the subject of God can be a touchy one. That being said, this subject has been a very large, and painful part of my journey. Therefore, it is important for me to share it honestly. If you don’t relate to this part of my journey, but still wish to comment, please do so respectfully. This post is not intended to strike debate*
The first week of December, I was on the phone with my mom. I was asking questions about insurance, panicked about my baby’s coverage. She stopped me and we prayed. We prayed for Lincoln’s health. We prayed for God’s perfect timing for his delivery….
When I first found out that Lincoln had died, my world turned upside down. How could this happen to me? I grew up in a Christian home, attending church multiple times per week. Some of my siblings resented it; I loved it. I had a good relationship with God. I’ve always tried to live my life By the Book. I’ve never smoked. I’ve never done drugs. I’ve never been drunk. My husband has been my only intimate relationship. We were married for 4 years before we got pregnant. I tried to do things the right way. So, God, why me? How could You let this happen to me? It felt like such a stab in the back. Lincoln’s death didn’t give me a crisis of belief. Even at the very beginning, I still believed; but I was really, really pissed off. I thought He had my back, but God broke my heart. It has been an entirely separate level of my grief. It was the ultimate letdown. I felt forsaken. I felt disappointed. I felt betrayed.
The words of “comfort” increased my bitterness. It was part of God’s plan. If this is God’s plan, maybe I don’t want to follow His plan. How could He have given me Lincoln, just to take him away? It wasn’t connecting with me. It didn’t make sense. It didn’t feel right. This couldn’t have been His plan. I didn’t want to be mad at God. I didn’t want to blame Him. I reflected for some time and came to my first conclusion: God did not take Lincoln away from me. We live in a world of free will. We live in a world of accidents. We live in a world of bad timing. Sometimes, as the saying goes, “bad shit just happens”. I think God’s role is to now help me make something good from the darkness of my life. This point of view helped me avoid the belief crisis, but it didn’t take away my anger. It is a constant battle for me. God and I have not been on the best of terms, and that’s okay. I believe that He is understanding of that. I don’t think He holds it against me.
From the moment that I sent Lincoln back with the nurses, one little fact has eaten at me: if Link had been allowed to come during my preterm labor, he would have survived. Two days after my prayer for God’s perfect timing, I started having back labor. The following day, I was in the hospital for preterm labor. Lincoln was on his way, and he was early. There is protocol that doctors follow. He was early–stop labor. I was given shots. They didn’t work. So I was pumped full of magnesium for 2 and a half days. My contractions continued all the way up until I was sent home. It took layers of 3 different medications to stop my labor. These memories have haunted me. God’s timing… God’s perfect timing. It has taken me this long to see why I keep reliving that first hospital stay. Over the weekend, I shared these memories with my mom. As I talked, a light bulb went on inside my head: God was trying to answer my prayers. God was trying to save my son. God’s timing and our human timing do not always match up. No, I do not blame myself. No, I do not blame the doctors who stopped my early labor. But I also do not blame God. I am only recently finding comfort in Him again. I am only recently starting to talk to Him again. I am only recently seeing that He can still use me and my son for something bigger than I have been able to imagine. As I try to honor Lincoln, and to grow our family, it is difficult to trust in Him again. It is a challenge to, once again, pray for His perfect timing for my life. It is an uphill battle, but one that I feel is worth fighting.