Carried by God through Unimaginable Loss
by Sherri Burgess
In times of tragedy, grief, or despair, some people grow so angry with God that they turn away from Him completely. But even in turning away, we show that we do have a measure of faith, for faith is this: “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). We believe in God, but what we are doing in turning away from Him is saying, “I don’t like you. I don’t like your methods, and I don’t want anything to do with a God who would . . . fill in the blank.” What we are doing is rejecting God.
When my life’s great test came to me, I already knew God in an intimate way. I called Him my Father, my Savior, my Teacher, and my Friend. He had walked me through many lesser trials before. This time He was going to have to carry me, and I trusted Him to do that.
When I found my baby floating in the pool in our backyard, I rushed to get him and ran inside and laid him on the couch and tried to breathe air into his lungs. And there I beheld . . . my baby, the one I had just held moments before and was showing the snow that had fallen that day in Birmingham. The one I had loved and cherished and prayed and fasted for, the one I wanted. When I saw him lying there without his spirit in his little baby body, it wasn’t right. It was wrong. It was so unnatural. It wasn’t supposed to be.
Pools of water aren’t supposed to steal, kill, and destroy. They’re supposed to be fun!
Don’t you remember when you were a kid? Pools were fun! And it was a special privilege to ever get to swim in one. I felt like a princess when I was little girl and got to go to my aunt’s house that had a pool. Me and my brothers and my cousins, we swam and ate popsicles and had sandwiches for lunch. It was a beautiful day.
I wanted Bronner to have beautiful days—every day.
I wanted my children to look back on their childhood with fondness, not heartbreak! My boys, Brooks and Brody, and my stepchildren, Brandi and Blake . . . they know what heartbreak is no matter how hard I tried to shield them from it. My plans for them weren’t God’s plans for them. My dreams were only dreams, but God knew the truth, the reality. God knew what was to be. He knew what was coming. He had prepared it in advance, far in advance, before the world began, the work that He was to give Bronner, and the work that He would carry on to completion through Rick and through me and through our remaining children. He tried to prepare us for what was coming, but we didn’t listen. We couldn’t see. We couldn’t see that life here on earth can’t be manipulated into perfection. This world isn’t heaven, no matter how hard I tried to make it that.
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