But that dark night I couldn't even talk to God. Earlier in the day I had confidently quoted Job and said, "Tho he slay me, yet will I trust him," but the truth is, I NEVER thought God would slay me. I never thought my daughter would die.
Later I remembered a verse I wrote in my journal before she was born, when the doctor told us that the baby I was carrying might have Downs Syndrome.
'Why are you so angry?' The Lord asked...'Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you respond in the right way. But if you refuse to respond correctly, then watch out! Sin is waiting to attack and destroy you, and you must subdue it.' (Genesis 3:6-7)5 1/2 years later I had to choose again to respond in the right way or I would be destroyed by my own grief.
I chose to trust that God was in control of the situation.
I chose to trust that he would fulfill his purpose for Anna--and for me.
I chose to trust that what I could see was temporary and what I could not see was eternal.
I have that same choice today when I am faced with something that doesn't go my way. Will I respond correctly or will I be destroyed by my sin?
When I talk so someone whose child has recently been diagnosed with cancer, one of the things I tell them is, "It's not all bad. There is good. Look for it." When something tragic happens, you think that you will never be happy again. It's not true. We had some dark and painful times, but we also had some wonderful, blessed, never-trade-them-for-anything moments.
When someone dies, you feel certain you will never be happy again. But that's not true either.
Because of the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2). Because of the joy set before me, I too can endure the sufferings of this life--including my child's death.
But, Jesus didn't just come to give us eternal life someday. He came so that we might have abundant life today. For a long time after Anna died, the only thing I looked forward to was my own death. Now I am looking forward to company coming this weekend, a date with my husband, a shopping trip with Audra, a family vacation, a nephew's wedding, and so much more. It's not the life I planned, but it's a good life with good things.
If you are suffering, remember that there is joy ahead--in this life and in the one to come.