Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The goodness of the LORD

A few months ago, a friend asked me to share some of my thoughts on grief. She had been asked to prepare a lesson plan on the subject as she interviewed for a job as a high school Bible teacher. Most of the following is from our email conversation but it also represents much of what is swirling around in my head and heart as we mark the third anniversary of saying goodbye to Noah.

(It is probably worth noting that I have been wrestling with the wording of this entire post ALL night long... it is a disjointed and imperfect representation of my thoughts but it is my attempt to honor Noah's life and all the lessons he taught me.)
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:13-14
It may sound strange but God convinced me of His goodness in the midst of Noah's short time with us. It is hard, or even impossible, to call Noah's diagnosis 'good'... but there was SO much good that we saw during his life. From the joy that he brought us to the impact he had on others to the way we saw God's hand provide in so many tangible ways as we walked through a dark, dark valley.

And, amazingly, it was in the valley where I discovered everything that God had done in my life up until Noah was born was to prepare me for the journey of his next 364 days. Youth group, college Bible study, His Life, church, late night conversations about theology, volunteering with youth ministry, Damascus Road, mission trips... I could go on and on and on. It was those faith building experiences, those opportunities to learn about the character of God, those moments where I wrestled with what I believed that gave me a faith and a confidence in the Lord during the hardest time of my life. As it says in Esther, "For such a time as this."

Josh and I walked the days of Noah's life holding tight the simplest of truths: God is good. God is love. God loves Noah. God loves us. God will provide.

By no means did this make our journey with Noah easy or prevent my heart from being broken in two when I had to say goodbye to him, but it allowed our marriage to withstand the weight of our loss and for both Josh and I to emerge with a strengthened faith rather than a wrecked one. And it allowed me to trust God enough to let another sweet baby into my life to love.


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