"Don't worry! Everything's fine," my husband reassured me.
Only it wasn't fine.
An hour passed. The simple surgery to remove her gall bladder was now past two hours.
When the doctor came out and asked for me to sign a release to give blood, I felt panic rising in my heart. What was going on? You don't give blood during a simple surgery. Unless...
I began to pray. I found an empty spot and sang to Jesus and cried out to Him to keep my baby safe. Texts were made to my children, sister, and closest friends, begging them to pray.
During that time, my daughter was bleeding out on the operating table. They had no idea why. They gave her one pint of blood and then another. Still she was bleeding out. They made plans to airlift her to another hospital, making calls to arrange for another surgeon.
Not knowing any of this was going on, I just kept praying. My daughter Julianna arrived. Then, Jenny Rose arrived. We waited. We worried. We prayed.
A transplant specialist, famous in central Florida, just happened to be free and decided to drive an hour to the hospital rather than have her airlifted so she could be kept stable. There was another consent to be signed. I still didn't know what was going on and I was scared. We all just kept praying and asking God to save our little girl.
A few months later, my husband was preaching and he said, "We don't know why God allowed these things to happen to Shine, but He did and we have peace about it."
In that moment, I realized that I wasn't okay with what had happened to her. I was full of sorrow, angry that she would need to be monitored the rest of her life. She was my baby. Why had it happened to her? Why did this happen her senior year of college, a challenging year in her major?
I slipped out of the sanctuary and made my way to a quiet corner of the church where I knelt down and sobbed. I felt that my heart was breaking, a dam had burst.
"I don't understand why You have allowed this Lord. I am confused and heartbroken. Help me!" As I cried and prayed, I fully surrendered the situation to the Lord. And I surrendered my daughter to the Lord. I had to trust that God would protect her, keep her safe, keep her healthy. She was His child, not mine. I was just entrusted with her to love her and raise her for a season. When I was gone, who would take care of her, make sure she was safe?
In those moments of not understanding why and what God allows to happen, our hearts can be full of fear. We know that all evil and disease comes from satan and he plots to kill, steal, and destroy. (John 10:10). That same verse tells us that Jesus brings life more abundantly. We know that there is no miracle unless there is a tragedy or deep need. Yet, it is so hard to trust Jesus with our babies, even if they are all grown up.
Processing these things is difficult, but we are not alone. Jesus is with us, helping us to sort out the lies from the truth, to remind us that even when we don't understand why He allows terrible things to happen, He is not the Author of those things, and ultimately, He has defeated those things. In the New Heaven and New Earth, there is not sadness, no tragedies, no heartbreak, no things going terribly wrong. On the cross, Jesus defeated death and sin. We may live in a fallen world now, but ultimately we will live in a perfect one.
In the meantime, we can trust His promises that He works all things together for good because we love Him and are called for a Purpose. (Romans 8:28) That means we get a testimony out of every tragedy. Every time something goes terribly wrong, Jesus will bring giant good out of it.
If you are hurting, my heart breaks for you. I encourage you to press into Jesus. You can bring Him your questions, doubts, fears, and, yes, even anger. He loves you. He will never leave you. He has a place prepared for you where there is nothing that goes terribly wrong.
Love in Jesus,
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)