Saturday, April 24, 2010

Heavy stuff today.

Today has been a rough day. Again we hear we are "on the fence" as for whether or not we will trigger, which means that this is still dragging out. One may read a lot about how "Slow and steady wins the race," but more IVF physicians than not will tell you "Not always," and in my case, that's the boat I'm racing in. So...not really thrilled with this morning's results. We had an appointment scheduled at the Apple store after so we can learn how to use this computer and apparently, I stink at using it so much that the appointment I scheduled on their website is for next week. (Maybe subconsciously I know this is going so slow I figured I'd be there in Annapolis again next week?) So, we at least caught 45 minutes of the Making the Switch workshop and that was helpful (although frustrating as all get-out because John does NOT pay attention and then asks questions that he'd have the answer to had he been paying attention and not playing with the computer) and headed back. My car SO knows the route. Oh, but in between, we walked around the mall a bit and then stopped at Matthew's favorite Chick-Fil-A and frankly, I just saw more strollers and cute little baby boys (and girls) than I could really handle today. Top that off with getting tricked into going to Lowe's so we could look at carpeting for the basement but spending another 40 minutes on other stuff, and suffice it to say I'm not in a rosy mood.

Maybe I'll look through my Pottery Barn Kids, my Babies R Us insert, my Similac coupon packets, my Gerber Life Insurance info or the Explanation of Benefits that stated yet ANOTHER procedure for Matthew was denied "Because your newborn was not added to this policy. Contact your administrator to add your newborn." Thanks, he's dead. No need.
All of the above, by the way, today's mail. And yesterday's. And the day's before. Thank God I get a reprieve on Sundays. I'm all about the mail only being a couple of days a week.

ANYWAY...I wanted to post this the other day because I'm very curious. I have been following Kristin since probably right after Matthew died, and defy you to look at the picture of Peyton where she's looking up and has her sweet little mouth open in somewhat of a little giggle and not cry at just how heartbroken you are that this earth doesn't get any more of that sweet face. The other day, I read through her comments about God. I was thoroughly intrigued. I didn't really have any sage advice to offer, other than I know simply because of the miracles that we had in our children God IS and does LOVE us.
I was interested in the comments because it seemed like there were two camps. Well, three if you count the camps that just didn't have a faith in God. The two camps I found interesting were the camps that came from those who do have faith and were trying to share it or their view.
And honestly, I was so glad to see that because it reinforced to me that I am NOT the only one in the world who is having a hard time finding solid ground on which to stand. I don't mean this in the way it sounds....I DO have solid ground. It's in the fact that there IS truth. But the why? and the how? and the shouldn't? and the doesn't? and the wouldn't? questions swirl around and really make me crazy.

So I thought I'd throw this out there too--and see what others think. She has a million and 8 people who read her blog, so I doubt that I'll get as many comments as she did, but I'm curious to see what even one person has to say.

And let me clearly state before I present the questions--I KNOW this is the stuff that different denominations are made of. Trust me. I've been spending a LOT of time seeing what different denominations believe. I KNOW these things are simply incomprehensible to human reasoning. I'm just wondering...

So, one camp is very clearly of the mindset that God did NOT intend for Matthew (or any other baby) to die or any other horrible tragedy to happen. That He is NOT puppet-stringing tragedies for whatever reason--growth, lessons, a bigger/better good that we can't understand, whatever. He is ABSOLUTELY able to make good of ALL situations, though...and does...even if we may never know it fully. This camp believes that we are living in a fallen world; imperfect and NOT the way God wanted it to be. But because He loves us, and wants us to love Him without being programmed to love Him, He created a world of humans with free will--the choice to follow Him or not--and that, because of that free will, we are allowed to choose for the good or for the bad. Which means that the bad exists. He didn't want it; He didn't want us to choose it...but He ALLOWED us to, and allows us still today to do so...and that's why bad things can happen to good people...a result of the fallen world in which we live.

I've loved this camp. It's been helpful. It's been the only way I have been able to retain faith in that God IS Love...and He loves me. And hurts for me. And never wanted this pain in our lives. And didn't want Matthew to suffer. And took him home as a whole, beautiful baby boy.


The other side of the coin is the one that believes God DID plan this. He chose us for this affliction. Why is beyond our ability to reason. He KNEW it was going to happen. He KNEW Matthew was going to only live for 8 and a half hours. He planned every breath Matthew took. Before the world was formed, Matthew was bound only to live a little life and God orchestrated every single person who supported us as that happened to comfort us and to guide us. This camp believes that Matthew lived the exact number of seconds God planned for him to live. God has a plan for each and every one of our lives, and has since time began. His will may not make sense to us, but He is in control of each and every thing that happens to us.

There is peace in this camp too, as I wrote the other day. Peace in knowing His sovereignty is supreme and He planned how to best comfort me before I was born--and seven years after my mother dying, how He's prepared me for this trial.

And scripture supports both camps. I've been reading books on the theological and Biblical foundation for both camps. Which is probably why my head has been just a mess.

How can one be, if the other is?

How can we have a choice in anything if God is orchestrating everything to fit His plan?

How can He not have wanted Matthew to die, yet gave me resources for today YEARS ago?

How could the story of Job and his trials basically being a test of cosmic proportions be an example of God's precise plan for Job's life (He planned the devil to come and tell him he didn't think Job would follow Him without all the good stuff in his life?? He planned for the devil to ask Him to tempt Job? He planned to tell Job that Job had NO IDEA of the battle between good and evil that was going on without his knowledge?) while at the same time be an example of the free will we have (Job chose to praise when others didn't and he really didn't have a reason to either, proving God's point that Job would CHOOSE to praise God and wasn't being MADE to)?

How could God not be orchestrating the plucking of babies from their mothers yet planning each breath every human makes?

How could God not 'intend' for something to happen, yet have each of the days of our lives numbered and counted?

And while I'm throwing it all out can God plan each and every breath that I take, knew of it before the world was created, and yet repeatedly tells us in the Bible that He is patient and slow to anger because He wants so desperately for us to have a relationship with Him? If he is orchestrating it all, if it's all part of His plan, how can that be? If He's waiting for us to exercise our free will and choose Him, how could He have every second of our life mapped out, right up to the second and way we die?

I guess it boils down to this for me:
If God has a plan for us, then isn't everything that happens in our lives according to His plan, by default, part of His plan? Even the tragedy? If He has a plan for our life, and something He didn't intend or 'want' to happen happens, then doesn't He lose sovereignty? How can both exist?

Yep. Told you it was heavy. Told you it's beyond reason. Told you that it's the stuff that make and break denominations--from predestination (so, if He has predestined me, do I *really* have a choice?) to free will (if I don't have choices, what is the purpose of witnessing to others? Why pray? If God's planned it all, and my choice doesn't matter, why pray?)....even people within the same denominations, churches, families...heck, even the same marriages, waffle on these things. Some of the deepest-rooted Christians I know (and dear friends, so completely loved and trusted) waffle--and in the same conversation will somehow be able to say "God is in control" and "This was not what God wanted." I can't tell you how often in the same conversations, "God knows" has been spoken with "We live in a fallen world; it's not God we should blame."

And honestly, before Matthew died, I assure you, I was a major participant in such conversations.

Now, not so much. If I accept the "God didn't plan it, we live in a fallen world, He makes good of it all," camp, well...then I lose God's providence and the comfort from knowing He starts things in us often years before we even know we'll need them. If I accept the "God knew Matthew was going to die and it's part of His plan," then my heart bleeds. Profusely. And my knowledge of God being love is destroyed. My faith in "I know my plans for you...plans to prosper you and not harm you," wears thin.

So, I'm dying to know what others think--what reconciliations have been come to and really, just see perspective. Regardless of what it is...

I even took the Anonymous comment thing off so if you want to be anonymous, fine. I promise I won't write you a blog. I do ask this, though...please, please, please do not tell me that all this questioning could prevent another child in our lives or our healing or has anything to do with why Matthew died in the first place or is an obvious indication of my faithlessness right now. So . don't. need . that.

I'd just really like to know.


  1. That's a lot of stuff, Lori, and it's all good stuff. :)

    You mentioned two (current-though-subject-to-change-) understanding is a bit of a combination of the two. I don't believe God planned or caused Matthew, my babies or any other babies to die. But I believe God knew it would happen. We do live in a fallen world, and evil (some choose Satan) is present. God COULD have intervened -after all God knew what was happening because God is omniscient - but I know (though don't understand) that God doesn't always choose to.

    The question that I have, that can't be answered here or now, is why didn't God intervene? I don't know the answer, but I believe that it is from these situations that God's love is shown tenfold. God will make good of it somehow. Maybe that's really big good things; maybe it's small things; maybe the good things won't happen for a long time. I have no idea. But I have to believe that.

    I also believe that God hurts for you and for me and counts our tears. And I will find a way to praise God in the midst of it all because God is so much bigger and greater than anything on this earth. I look forward to the day I better understand how big, why all of this happened, and to exist in God's realm of pure goodness. Until then, I will hope and trust.

    A few thoughts from me....I look forward to reading others'. Love you!

  2. Lori, I have to be honest, you have provoked some questions I'd been avoiding. It's like you said if you believe God orchestrates everything and wills everything that happens, then it stabs my heart because it betrays my idea of a loving Heavenly Father. On the other hand, I would hate to think God has no control in any matter. This is what I have come to believe: I honestly believe our days and our years are numbered. God does not plan how long you or I or our children will live, but he does KNOW our end. And since he is all-knowing he prepares us for the obstacles that will come our way. I have to admit I am wavering in my faith these days because I am torn, feeling very betrayed by the God who COULD have saved my Jenna. He could have. But he didn't. I don't believe he planned such a tragic loss in my life, but he certainly didn't stop it when he knew it was fixing to happen. I guess I do fall into the second camp, where it appears as though God has less control over things. I just don't believe God deliberately plans horrific events to take place in order to teach us things, but I do believe when they happen he gives us the choice of making something beautiful from ashes. I think in his ability to work all things for good, he proves his sovereignty, and just how wonderful he is.

  3. Wow you did such a good job of explaining exactly what I have been wrestling with for months. I finally took the leap and jumped into the camp that we live in a fallen world and even though God is sovereign he allowed it so he could have a relationship with us. My problem that I still haven't worked thru is why did he put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden and couldn't he have created us with the ability to have a relationship with him without it ? Maybe it's a paradox and were not capable of understanding with earthly brains?? My husband is in th opposite camp and just says he doesn't understand why God planned our suffering. I'm with you I just can't relate to God being a loving God if I don't stay in the fallen world camp.

  4. Lori,
    I just love to read your posts. Your thought process is amazing!
    I am going to try and explain how I was taught and then explain what I believe.
    I was taught that God does have a plan set in place and we knew of this plan before we ever came to live on this earth. We were aware of the trials we would have to face while here on earth and we chose to come here so we could have our earthly bodies. With out having an earthly body we can not return to live with him for all eternity. Granted we also have free agency that allows us to make choice while here which can alter the trials for better or worse, but we still have the trails we were aware of. I hope that makes sense.
    Ok now for what I believe. God has a special army of spirits. These spirits, like us, need bodies so they too can return to live with him for time and eternity. There are 2 ways these spirits are able to come to this earth without having to endure the trials and temptations. God knows that satin would do anything to be able to have these spirits join his army so they need to be protected. The first way is to come to this earth to live a life without the ability to have free agency. We call these individuals sevierly handicapped or having a mental retardation of some kind. All decisions for these individuals are made by someone else and therefore Satin cannot touch them. These special spirits came to live this way because they are meant to touch the lives of those they come in contact with.
    The second way is our way. We were specially chosen by God himself to be the parents of these special spirits (I say special because I don’t have another word to describe them.) They were so important that all they needed was to have a body to fulfill that requirement and then they could return to live with Him and fight His battle by His side. I like to believe this is true. It has helped in a way with my grieving because He wouldn’t choose just anyone. He knew I was strong and I would be the best person for this job. Well and also to think that my son was so special that he could not come here to earth. He was so needed that God had to have him back makes me feel so proud! My son is doing something so important that far surpasses anything anybody could do here on earth.
    For me to believe the other way that God would not allow anything bad to happen so therefore it had to be because of free agency that he died forces me to put a blame on someone or something. I hold no one at fault. I do not believe that anybody did anything to have caused my son to die. Myself included. There are times I feel guilt, but I never wanted this to happen so I know that my free agency did not cause this. I also do not think that death itself is bad. It is just a doorway to Heaven. Just like when we leave to go away for a long time those who are left behind miss us and are sad we are gone. Our babies have left on an amazing trip and we miss them while we are still here, but we too will walk through that door someday to be reunited with them.
    Just think if what they say is true, a whole lifetime here on earth does not equal 1 day in Heaven. You won't even have missed out on 1 full day in his life.

    Until tomorrow little ones!

  5. Lori,
    As far as which camp, i'm not sure. I think i may take a little from both. I believe in the power of god. I believe he knows all things, i believe he is everywhere all the time, I believe he is all powerful. However I don't believe that he planned for camron and xavien to be taken away from me. Yes I believe he knew it would happen and that he put things in place to help me along the journey. I know that he could have stopped it but he didn't . I believe that all things do work together for the good to them that love the lord. I believe that my babies going to be with him have a purpose, a great purpose. I myself try not to go too deep, or question God. I believe what his word tells me. Yes he has given us free will. He has given us free will as to serve him or not to serve him. I don't know the answer to all the questions posed, but i do know that i choose to follow God, I choose to have Faith. Though i may not understand it all, I choose to believe in his power, in his word. I choose not to believe that he took my babies on purpose. I choose to still follow him.

  6. Lori, this is very controversial theological topic. In fact its one that practically tore part of the Reformation era church apart between Calvinism and Arminianism. Here is a link to an article by Pastor John Piper who falls into the second camp that you described.

    How Does a Sovereign God Love?

  7. Hi Lori,

    I actually think your questioning is part of the healing process. It does my heart well to see it. Forgive my bluntness but anybody who says such questioning shows a person to be faithless is . . . well, an idiot. Have they not read Job? I guess he was faithless, because he sure questioned didn't he? Who among us has not, at some time, had such questions? They do not threaten or disappoint God at all. In fact, they are a door through which He comes into our life to work and make us more like His Son.

    There is certainly a healthy tension between sovereignty and free will. I will not attempt to reconcile them for you because I cannot. All I can really say is that that tension illustrates the necessity of faith. If we could resolve that tension then we would pretty much have God figured out and wouldn't need faith.

    I long for the day when we will be in His presence and not only see all our loved ones who have gone on before us but will, most importantly, see Him face to face and have the mind of Christ. On that day we shall know the answer to such perplexing questions and, I am convinced, will understand clearly how infinitely wise God really is, although during the "now time" it is often hard to really get our minds around that when we both see and suffer through senseless tragedies. Perhaps 1 Cor. 13 puts it best: "Now I know in part; then I shall know fully..."

    God Bless!

  8. Hi Lori,

    I applaud your honesty. I read all the comments and applaud everyone's point of view. I am not sure which camp I fall into. Our little Lilly passed away of Anencephaly 2/28/10. She was born on 2/22/20 given 2 hours to a day to live, and went on to live for 6 days 5 hours and 30 minutes. I don't believe that Our Lord did this to us or Lilly. I do believe God knows what is to happen, BUT I do not believe He does anything to us. I believe the choices we make determine our path and that path is ever changing due to our choices, HOWEVER, He knows what will happen with whatever choice we make. I hope that makes some sense. I do believe the tests and tribulations we are faced with are Satan trying to recruit us or to have us go against God. If you have ever noticed you could have a HAPPY day or a GREAT week and then one thing can happen that can take that happiness away, that's Satan trying to take that happiness from you. He hates happiness and love. I feel the happier you are, the harder he tries to take it from you. God does have the power to change our path, but that would go against him giving us free will in the first place. I do believe for us as humans it is beyond our understanding. Think of it this way, I am Catholic, therefore a believer in Christ coming and dying for our sins. God lost a child too, he sent Jesus to us KNOWING full well that his life would end when it did. But He still chose to send him. He had hope that His people with which He created would chose a different path, although they didn't. He still tried to save us. And so in the end the only way to save us was for Jesus to die for our sins. Again I think as a human we will never fully understand God's will or reasoning for our lives. I don't think we have that capability, if we did we wouldn't be here in the first place. I do believe there is a purpose for everything. I could easily have taken a dark path, and still could having just lost Lilly. I could get angry. But it won't bring her back to me and I don't want to associate bad feelings cause then that would mean Lilly being here was bad in some way and it wasn't. I prayed throughout my pregnancy and tried to live as good a life and make good choices while pregnant with Lilly. I still do to this day, I only want goodness to come from her being here. Though I do have my hard days, I won't lie. My requests were a lot but I asked for at least a week with her and got 6 days. I also asked for her to meet her siblings at least if anything and she did, she also met 50 people in her lifetime. I got something I didn't ask for and that was her nursing which she did TWO days after she was born. I wanted her to meet everyone that was willing, and she got to plus more. So that being said its hard for me to question in that most of my prayers and then some were answered. I don't know why they were. My biggest prayer for Him to take me instead and leave her here was not answered. Or to have her healed was not answered either. He doesn't always answer our prayers the way we want them to and I felt bad asking Him to save our little Lilly when I know other mothers have suffered losses of their own children so how dare I have the audacity to pray a selfish prayer. I feel that is what Faith is...its believing even when its hard. We can't see God, but we believe He exists. I think He does ask for blind faith, and we have the choice to give it to Him despite our trials and tribulations, or to turn our backs on Him. I also still to this day feel unworthy of the blessings he gave us while Lilly was here on earth. I hope and pray you find your answers, or at least some peace. This comment is only giving you my point of view in hopes that it will help you on your journey. I know this is a tough journey, that I wish NO ONE had to go through. I'm sorry that you are feeling this way, I wish there was something I could do. Let me end with a *hug*. And I am sorry this was so long.

    love and prayers

  9. Hi Lori,
    I just recently found your blog and have been reading. I too lost my son. It's been almost eight months for me. I haven't necessarily formed an opinion on either camp, but I do think that everything happens for a reason. So maybe I lean towards God plans everything? What that reason is, I have no idea.

    Part of me thinks the reason that I lost my son was because life for him on Earth would have been too hard. Had my son survived, he would have been in the NICU for about 12 months. He would have more then likely come home with on a ventilator, which he would have been on for years. He would have had severe brain damage from the birth defect that he was born with. So life would have been very hard and very painful for him. He is pain free now. He is in a better place.

    I don't know if you have heard the song 'Second Chance' by Shinedown, but in it the lyrics say, "Tell my mother, tell my father . . . sometimes goodbye is a second chance." When I hear that song I think that his second chance his to live pain free in Heaven.

    But then I think, why was he ever born with the birth defect that he had? And my thoughts get all crazy and I get confused about everything again.

    So I don't really have anything to add, I just wanted to comment. :)

  10. I have struggled with this question too. Thank you for stating it so well.
    Our family friends, Brian and Kathy, lost their 15 year old son in a tragic football accident. Taylor was their only son. He was a son of God who readily and quickly spoke of his love of Jesus to anyone who would listen.
    When he died, I struggled with the "why" question. Why would God do this? What could possibly be the reason to take the only son away from this couple, knowing that they can never have another? What could possibly be "the reason" for that. I HATE when people say "Everything happens for a reason." I don't buy it.

    I think I'm in the group who believes that God didn't make this happen. He didn't "plan" on Taylor dying. But good can come from his death. And that good is up to us. It is up to us to make his life mean something. So bad things happen to good people...I'm learning that more and more everyday. But it's our actions, our words, that can make good from a tragedy.
    My heart hurts for you. I love your honesty and your willingness to show us how you feel. Thank you for that.

  11. I will admit that I have lived in both camps. There was a time when I wanted to blame God for causing hurt in my life. But in my very darkest moment my faith was reduced to three simple words 'God is good'...If I believe that then I cannot accept that God would directly cause such pain in my life. However I won't even try to pretend that I understand why he allows these things to happen. I can remember a time when I was really praying to God for help and I opened my Bible to a verse in Psalms that said, "I asked God for help and he gave me courage". At the time I felt like the child who asked for a bike for her birthday and got a pair of socks instead. The thing about courage is noone wants to be in the position of needing courage.
    I've been reading your blog for a while now and this is the first time I've commented because I realise that I can not even come close to knowing how much pain you are in. I have learnt so much from you that hopefully will help me to be a far more understanding to those around me who are hurting.
    Thank you

  12. Hi Lori, I posted this really long answer this morning as your first comment and got totally discouraged cause the internet went out. I'm on my way to post my answer on my blog so as not to create too long a comment.

  13. Lori, I look at Matthew's picture everyday and hurt for you and love you. Some glad morning....we will know. Salley

  14. Hard, hard, hard, Lori. How can WE know? How can we? We can't. These are just not questions any one of us has the true knowledge to answer. xxx

    I read what Kristin wrote, too, and felt so compelled to answer. I prayed for the right words. But STILL we don;t and CAN'T know. Would it even make it easier if we could? I think this is just where our faith has to step in and just say---I TRUST YOU, LORD! No matter your plan, your how, when, where or why. I TRUST YOU.

  15. Ah, Ha! Thanks Pastor Mark....I echo your thoughts.

    FAITH, I choose FAITH :)

    Much Love sweet friend and continue healing :)


  16. I don't even know what camp I'm in, to be honest. I tend to lean more towards the "we live in a fallen world camp", but to be honest, i can't tell you why other than it is the only thing that makes sense for me, because I have a really hard time dealing with the idea of a God that kills babies.

    Here's another question for you about Job. Why did God even allow the devil to do those things to Job? Since when does God need to prove anything to Satan?

    I'll have to come back and read the comments, because honestly, I'm just not strong enough in my own faith right now to give a good answer. I definitely feel like I'm wandering in the wilderness, trying to find who God really is.

    And (((hugs))) about your cycle. I'm still praying that you are able to trigger and that all will result in a BFP and a healthy baby in the end. You deserve it so much!

  17. Lori, I wasn't going to comment on this post not because I don't care or am not interested but because I've not experienced this level of heartache and thought -- still do, actually -- that those who have been through this same fire may be the better responders. The issues that affect my life -- having children with special needs -- while still issues, aren't the same as your having lost sweet Matthew.

    Having said that, here I go anyway: I don't have an opinion. I figured this was just my typical "sitting on the fence" tactic of not committing / offending. I read the comments to your question with interest, but I wasn't swayed one way or the other.

    Today I was cramming for tonight's AWANA Truth Scripts recitation, and every time I practiced two of the verses, I thought of you:

    Romans 12:11-12 (NIV) Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

    I can't help feeling that the answer to which camp isn't the point; the point, I think, is that you have faith. God loves you.

  18. Thanks for sharing your heart so openly with us Lori.
    I'm guessing you pretty much know where my heart stands on this topic from my latest blog post. But I don't feel as though I belong to one camp or the other. I don't believe our God is a God who wants tragic things to happen to us. I think sometimes things happen biologically that wasn't always part of His plan. When things do go terribly wrong, I believe He shows up for us all. He shows up in the people that we've never met that support us, in our church families that bring food and prayer and He shows up in those that love and take care of us when we are unable to do so for ourselves. He is the love that surrounds us when something tragic does happen.
    Whether or not God caused those things to happen is such a personal question for each of us. Each of us as individuals have different experiences and therefore will have different feelings and none are wrong as they are unique to our personal relationship with God. As you know, my heart failed after giving birth to J and my chances of survial was about 30%. I coudn't imagine what possible reason God had back then for taking a mom away from her child. Looking back, I do believe this happend for a reason as I would not have ever thought about adoption and therefore would not have Leila. (This is why I say I don't belong to either camp). I've also taken care of many patients sent to hospice to die, literally they were in the process of dying. Miracles happend for some of them. Some even went off hospice all together. Why miracles happen for some and not others I don't know. God is beyond all reason with us humans. One day we will know everything. But for now, we are not meant too and it's so difficult to not have the answers we need. This is where faith enters the picture.
    No one can know what you are going through, even if they've lost a child themselves, we all are so unique with our thoughts and feelings.
    I think the fact that you are questioning all of this is healthy and natural.
    I have not been through what you've been through, and we only know each other through our computers, but I am always here for you Lori.
    God Bless you Lori.

  19. I think it's both. We live in a sinful world where bad things happen, even to good people. We make choices that can lead to things we don't desire, but then things happen that don't appear to have any rhyme or reason. Frankly, it doesn't matter to me which it is because knowing isn't going to change the situation or make me love God any less.

  20. Lori, I am writing this being a year from losing my Magdalena, and so it is hard to know how these words will come to you as your pain is much more fresh. When God created Matthew he knew the exact plans for his life. The doctors will tell you all of the things that went "wrong", but in reality he was perfectly made by God and just as he was intended to be made. I think that the struggle lies with our sinful nature that causes us to hurt more. My sin definitely would take Magdalena back in a second that for her purpose to be a short one in which many people were brought to Christ. That is my heart talking, but the truths that I know have to remind me that her purpose was not to make me happy. She did make me happy and many others, but her purpose was to glorify God. And now my ultimate purpose is not to be her mother or my son's mother, but to glorify God and I try to do this through being their mother.

    Just remember Job. Why did God allow Satan to take everything away from such a godly man? He took away his family and caused him physical pain. He was enduring the greatest form of suffering. Because through this suffering his life still glorified God. He wasn't perfect, but he did glorify God.

    Let me encourage you to seek The Bible when you approach questions like this. These feelings are so "normal", but seek after God. He will dry your tears. Christ has felt the same sorrow that you have felt, so he does understand and loves you. You will always long for Matthew to be in your arms. God created this special love between a mother and her children, but seek after God. He will give you peace. He will hold you when you cry. He will give you rest.

  21. Lori-

    I have been reading your blog for some time.You and I share LBC and a few mutual friends. You, Matthew and John have been in my prayers since the day Matthew shared this earth with us and then left. One of our mutal friends shared your story with me.
    I have never posted before because I did not ever think I could offer you comfort in any way. You have had my prayers. However this post today offers a place for my thoughts.

    I believe truly that you just have to "TRUST" GOD uncondtionaly and forever more.
    I have grieved in my life over two of my children not because they died, but because they went to live with their mother. I being their step-mother had raised them for most of their lives and for a very long story that does not need to be told again, they have left.
    At the time when they left I could not understand why or how GOD could take them away.
    However the day before all the change started, God did prepare me.
    I found my self in a cerman at our church crying for no reason, crying so hard I did not even know that the service had ended. I was five months pregnant at the time with a mircale I never thought would happen on it's own with out "IUI". Because that is how my first miracle came to be. I was feeling like I had it all at the time.
    So, back to crying, there I was in LBC crying thinking to myself I have all these doubts about being a step-mother. Why was I doubting myself. I could hear GOD telling me, something was about to happen. A battle I was not expecting or ever wanted to have.
    My husband thought I was nuts. However sure enough the next night a messenger came to our door that changed our lives forever. This messenger listened to me as I sat on my floor weeping telling him that GOD told me he was coming. He felt so awful for the news he had brought us.
    I still see my step-children but it is like looking at a store window when you have no money and seeing something you desperately want to take home and keep with you forever.
    You want so badly to touch them and keep them but you can not. I only now,"can try them on like a piece of clothing for a short time. Then must return them back to a shelf where they came from.
    I have two more children that GOD has blessed me with, that I gave birth too. However, at times I can only focus on the two I live with out on a full time basis anylonger. I know that might sounds nuts. And I have guilt over those actions and thoughts as well. Because my entire life, since I got that first Cabagepatch baby I have dreamed of being a mother. I have wanted nothing more. And I am so grateful for the two babies I made with my husband.

  23. (POST #3 BY CYNTHIA)
    So back to questioning the "two camps". Even more during the time the process of my-stepchildren leaving happened and afterwards. This is more truly should be my husbands grief because he is their Father who has been in their lives since the second they took their first breaths.
    I am just the lucky one that got to raise them for the short time of 6 years.
    I questioned the "two camps" over and over again. I could not understand why my husband and I were being punished for raising our children. Or being attacked while we were supppose to be enjoing a miracle I never thought we would get twice. The question kept going through my mind,was this the begining of much more to come? Was his ex-wife the evil that follows us day in and day out? Why God has senteseced my poor husband to this womens evil behavior for life?
    My husband and I have had the "two camps" conversation maytimes before(sorry to keep repeating that,it is 3am as I writing this) all this however, for the last year and half since my step-children left goes in and out of my mind at least once a day.
    The only peace I can know in my heart and what I have to believe is that, I have loved God with out the knowldge of who he turly was since I was a child. I have felt him guide me and listen to me since I was a cognitve child. That all things in my life that have happended, good, bad, small, huge, bring this question of the "two camps" up each and every time.
    So back to how I started what I believe and live off of in my heart. Is that, God, loves me. He has since I was concieved and now to this momenet as I breathe. That all he wants of me, is that I BLINDLY, TRUST HIM and LOVE HIM. And Stand withness of him everyday.
    I have caught myself using the phrase,"He is punishing me for these actions", However my husband always corrects me and says he does not punish anyone!" And I truly believe that as well.
    So again it brings me back to, I choose to BLINDLY LOVE AND TRUST THE LORD. It feels safer to me then any other path I can take.
    My unanswered questions of the 'two camps" has actually become one of the things I am most excited to ask, when I finally meet my creator in heaven some day.
    Jesus died on the cross for my sins and that is the biggest gift I will ever get. Having to blindly trust and love is the least of my problems. I choose and find comfort in the unknown.
    So no Lori I do not think God is punishing you or your questions in parts of your faith will ever stack the odds against you getting to have a second miracle of another child again.
    What I can offer you, is I see it exciting that GOD offers you everyday the possibilty that today might be the day that you have a second mircale of another child. A sibling may come today for your Matthew. I think that GOD offers you hope everyday. And I think hope is far greater then the question of being punished.
    My prayer for you is that you might find comfort in the fact that hope is there. And that you know that you were the best mother ever to Matthew since he was that little miracle inside you.
    I hope my thoughts have not made you angrey or even more confused.
    With much compassion and prayer, Cynthia


    Lori I also want you to know, that too not a day goes by that I do not think of my step-children or how I wish when something cool happens that I wish I could have shared that moment with them.

    However GOD has blessed my husband and I since that time of pain when they left. GOD has blessed us in so many amazing ways. Ways I could never imagine or even believe were possible.
    I believe that hope of unimagineable blessings is there for you too!-Cynthia

  25. Lori, I read your post yesterday and have no doubts about my point of view. I was not going to comment and the more I thought about it, I kept coming back to your post. My son, Eli, was diagnosed November 30 @ our 20 week appt. with Potter's Syndrome. He was born Feb. 21 and lived two hours. God began preparing my husband and I both for this journey long before it began. I believe that when Eli was conceived it was with a purpose. I believe that God gave us him for a reason. Otherwise, I would have had no problem terminating once we found out he was sick. If I thought that it was just a bad thing that happened and God did not plan it then terminating would have taken care of the "mistake" of carrying a sick child. I believe that Eli was a miracle as are all children, not mistakes. Your precious Matthew was a miracle. They are miracles that God gave us for His purpose. A greater purpose that we can not fathom. If I believe the bible and I do, then I must believe all of it. Psalm 135:6 says, Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.
    We are put on earth to glorify God. Our children are given to glorify God. I must believe that Eli was given and taken to glorify God. Here is where as a human I struggle. I want to know why. I want justification for my grief. Believe me when I say I ask Him. God is sovereign and he is loving. We are his creations and he loves us unconditionally. He weeps with us when we weep. But he also wants us to glorify him. I think people sometimes have that backwards. They think God should glorify us and that is just not right.
    As hard as it is when one is walking the journey that we are on now, we must rely on our faith. God is constantly working on that with me. Praise be to Him that He is patient. I will be praying that God would give you His peace. John 14:27

  26. Lori,
    Oh, how I relate and struggle with the same questions. I'll spare you the long answer at this point, but I've been reading Randy Alcorn's "If God is Good" and he answers the question for me in a way I can actually understand, all backed up by scripture. I highly, highly recommend this book for anyone, but especially for moms like us who have experienced tragedy. It has deepened my faith trememdously.
    Love to you,

  27. wow, I am so late to the party ... 25 comments came before me.

    You know my feelings on this, and by feelings I mean confusion, anger and heartache over these very same questions, but I will share this with you for what it's worth... in the last few days since discussing on my blog about the conflicts I am having with my faith, I have had one thing in my head over and over, something I have heard a million times and never given any level of deep thought to, that now suddenly seems so-very-important. It has brought me some level of peace as it pertains to all the questioning that I can't seem to stop doing.

    It's the serenity prayer.

    I have heard it a million and one times, but it's like finally I am HEARING it.

    "Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference."

    My faith is SO fragile right now, but for whatever reason, saying this prayer feels true and comforting for me, and that's why I am sharing them with you, in the hopes that they will do the same. In all my questioning between the two camps I feel like I don't know what to believe or feel as it pertains to God anymore, but for whatever reason, I CAN believe these words. I CAN ask for this from God, and believe it may be attainable. I CAN strive for that courage, This is do-able for me, and believable for me even among all my questioning. Does any of this make sense? Probably not, I ramble alot. Anyway, that's why I am sharing it.

    PS when you said "Maybe I'll look through my Pottery Barn Kids, my Babies R Us insert, my Similac coupon packets, my Gerber Life Insurance info or the Explanation of Benefits that stated yet ANOTHER procedure for Matthew was denied "Because your newborn was not added to this policy. Contact your administrator to add your newborn." Thanks, he's dead. No need."

    These words brought so much back for me from the early days. It feels so cruel the way the mail continues on for our children when they are no longer here. I remember a woman calling and saying, "if you want us to treat Peyton in the future you will have to get our records in order," and I snapped at her, asking how it was that the hospital in which she died had no record of her death. The reminders and triggers of what we don't have are everywhere, and I am so sorry that you have to deal with any of this. You are such a wonderful person, I wish you never knew this pain.

    Thinking of you xx

  28. I think is predestined and God is always in control. We do have free will and can TRY to go outside of God's will and his plan for our lives but God will urge us back on track via his ways that are sometimes subtle and sometimes extreme. I do not believe that tragedy is as simple as teaching a lesson tho. I think God's universe is obviously very complex and that is why we can never understand WHY God allows such heartache. I have shared with you previously tho that I do not think God's plan for our lives is always set in stone. He is not a distant God. He is close to us and he CAN intervene and answer our prayers. I have had 2 very real conversations with God (9 & 6 yrs ago) and in the first instance God gave me an option that was mine to choose should I truly want to make a drastic change in a very painful situation that I thought I could not handle. So I think there is a middle ground in the 2 camps as some other comments have stated.

  29. Lori, you know me & I think you know how I would respond to this question because of conversations we've had. I just want to add that I heard two things recently that really resonated with me on this topic. I was at the Casting Crowns concert where Caleb & Will Chapman (Steven Curtis Chapman's sons) and Kutless opened the concert. Caleb said that when he was asking all the "why" questions, someone told him that it was like he was holding a painting as close as he could to his face and couldn't make sense of all the blurry lines and brush strokes. But now, almost 2 years later, he is able to hold the painting out a little bit further and can see a bit more of picture. Of course, when he gets to heaven, he will be able to see the whole beautiful painting that God has been creating in and through his life. I've also heard our lives compared to a tapestry. What we see in this life is the back of the tapestry. It's all crazy looking and makes no real sense. At times you see glimpses of the beautiful design, but other times it looks like nothing good can come from those ugly, squiggly lines or clumped up balls of yarn. That's what we see, but God is looking at the finished tapestry from the front, even as He weaves the circumstances and relationships in our lives into a grand design that is even greater than we can imagine. I have faith that even in the hardest times in our lives, God is still in control and, if we let Him, He will use those experiences to make an even more beautiful picture of His grace.

    The other story I heard that night was from the lead singer of Kutless. He was introducing one of his songs (I think it was "Strong Tower") and he said that he has traveled to some very poor parts of the world and watched people who have absolutely nothing praise God and lift Him higher than most of us in America ever do. So, he asked this question of us: If we were to lose everything - our homes, our jobs, our families, our health - would Jesus still be enough for us? Of course, we all want to say "yes", but it is a very hard question that we have to answer. We have to know beyond a doubt that Jesus is and will always be our sufficiency. It's easy to say "yes" when life is wonderful and we've been so very blessed, but in the really hard times like you, my sweet friend, are facing, will we still be able to say that He is enough? I know you've already written a follow up post about this very thing and I just am AMAZED to read as you go through this process that you do know that He is sufficient. You know that He is faithful and true and that He loves you. I'm so proud to know you, Lori, and though I am still so absolutely heartbroken for you, I am so thankful to have the chance to watch God work in and through you. I love you so much and miss you more than you know.