I was still numb from the news: "Your numbers are dropping. I'm afraid…this confirms a miscarriage."
As our friend set the food on the table, we told her what happened.
She was so sorry. She had been praying for us fervently. She had even shared that she had seen a vision of God cradling my womb during her prayers. This had been a great comfort to me.
"Can I pray for you?" She asked.
She slipped her arm around me in our kitchen and we bowed our heads.
"Oh, Lord," she began. "We thank you for your goodness…"
Everything in my soul recoiled.
How could she thank God for his goodness?
This was not good! This was bad, evil, horrible, a nightmare!
If God was good, then why did my baby die?
I begged God to let the baby live, let the bleeding stop, let the midwife say "We have good news!"
That was the phone call I played over and over again in my mind. I couldn't imagine the alternative.The pain was beyond my imagination.
Yet here I was, in the midst of it.
And she was thanking God for his goodness?
God was not good. Not to me.
Her prayer and God's presence hovered over my soul at that moment and I shoved them away as hard as I could.
I couldn't pray. I had no words. Only deep pain and suffering that I had never experienced before.
Oh, I had suffered, of course. But as a result of my sin, or someone else's. That suffering had a reason, a purifying effect, a course that led me to repentance.
This. This was new. Stark, and bleak, and shocking, numbing and white hot. Suffering that hit me physically and spiritually.
"We know you are a good God…" she prayed.
I almost wanted to laugh. But I couldn't and so I cried.
We know you are a good God.
I don't remember anything else from her prayer in my kitchen that day. But her words about God's goodness both shocked me and have stuck with me.
We know you are a good God.
I knew, in my head, that God is good. I had repeated those words since I was a child. I had memorized hundreds of verses, could recite every Bible story that spoke to this fact. I had prayed these words myself. I had never doubted God's goodness.
Until now. I doubted in my heart because it was filled with so much pain that there wasn't room for my faith.
But my head knew that God was good. The scriptures came rolling in, the ones I had tucked away for such a time as this.
I heard a song a few days later, a familiar hymn: "His eye is on the sparrow, but I know he watches me."
His eye is on the sparrow….but the sparrow still falls.
And all I can ask is why? Why did he let the sparrow fall? Why did I have a miscarriage?
That was my only prayer: Why did this happen, God?
I don't know why. But I do know he is with me, watching me. And weeping with me.
This is faith--horrible, hard, gut-wrenching faith: God is good.
I'll be sharing more of my spiritual journey through suffering and grief in the coming weeks and how God had brought comfort to my heart through this difficult time.