Where is God in My Heartache Part 1
Sometimes the heart breaks slowly, piece by piece, creating wounds that daily grow deeper. Other times the shattering of the heart is instantaneous. Mine was sudden. On October 26, 2017, I woke in my own home with what I thought were two healthy children, and on the evening of October 27th I was making up a bed in a pediatric intensive care unit beside the crib of my ten-week-old daughter. It doesn’t take long for a heart to break.
So Much Can Change In A Short Amount of Time
Several days prior to this, I had been puzzled over my daughter Colette’s change in behavior. She was irritable and not sleeping very well, but being a second time mother, I knew that life with a baby had normal ups and downs. I assumed we had just hit a growth spurt or some other normal hiccup of babyhood. But on the night of the 26th, things began to escalate rapidly. Colette slept in twenty-minute increments between which she would scream and arch her back, completely inconsolable. I walked her, patted her, and attempted to feed her until she seemed to exhaust herself and fall back to sleep. As the night went on, the periods of sleep grew shorter and the periods of irritability grew longer.
I called our on-call pediatrician several times and was told to make an appointment for Colette in the morning. With no symptoms other than sleeplessness and irritability – no fevers, no cough, no congestion–there was not much the pediatrician could offer me. Holding her in my arms, I watched the minutes tick by… waiting for the pediatrician’s office to open. At eight o’clock on the dot, I was on the phone making an appointment.
Could we be there in a half an hour?
“Yes!” I replied.
I packed the baby bag and prepared to change one last diaper. As I laid Colette down on the changing pad, her whole body began to arch into a rigid shape, her eyes grew wide and fixated. As a nurse, I recognized what was happening. I knew now something truly was wrong and I knew we needed help. I rushed her to the doctor’s office where Colette’s eye deviations and rigid posturing began a trail of medical investigations that resulted in the final diagnosis of a brain tumor. On the night of the 27th, I was standing beside the crib of my ventilated ten-week-old daughter. In twenty four hours my heart had received its shattering blow.
I don’t know what exactly led you to this website. I don’t know the details of your story — how your own heartbreak unfolded. But I assume there is pain in your story. I assume that you are hurting. I assume that you have questions, doubts and uncertainties. And I want you to know I am so sorry for the pain that has led you here. I am so sorry for the heartache. And yet, I am so glad you have chosen to bring your pain here and so thankful you’ve dared to believe that even in the midst of your suffering there may be hope. With all my heart I want you to know true hope.
This website is dedicated to hope – the hope that supersedes circumstances and that has the power to grow in the midst of darkness. It is the hope that carried my husband and I through our journey with our daughter Colette, and it is the hope that has sustained thousands before us. It is the hope that comes from knowing and trusting the God of the broken-hearted.
Where is God in All of This
I understand that for many, hope in God may not be something with which you are familiar… or even comfortable. I don’t know your background and I don’t know what comes to your mind when you think of God. Perhaps there is mistrust due to experiences in your past or perhaps there is simply a blank void…maybe God is not a topic you’ve ever thought seriously about. You may be wondering, what does God have to do with my pain? What role, if any, does God have in my present heartache? My answer would be everything. God has everything to do with your present pain. What is more, He has everything to do with the healing of your present pain. God is the link between heartache and healing. God is the hope.
In the next section we will look more deeply at the interplay between God and suffering. But for now, I simply want to welcome you to This Present Hope. I don’t know what has led you here, but my desire is that you’ll let me come alongside you in your story, that you will let me walk with you for a while. Join me in an open and real discussion of the darkness of life and consider with me the hope that can be found even in the midst of it.