We all get them...those emails that are mass-forwarded by a well meaning friend that contain some sort of miraculous story with a happy ending and a profound revelation or deep thought at the end, often-times religious in nature.
These emails are meant to bring a tear of joy at the "triumph-over-tragedy" and make us appreciate life/God/children/puppies/etc.
I got one of those yesterday and the main character happened to be a baby who was born too soon and after a night of prayer by the parents, the baby lived to grow into a beautiful little girl who brought a profound message from God to her mother. Trouble for me was, I couldn't see past the heartache caused by the fact that the little girl in this story, when born, was 3 days older than Becca (24 weeks) and only one ounce heavier (1 lb 9 oz).
I prayed for 2 weeks straight in the hospital...heck, I "prayed without ceasing" since the moment I knew she existed in my womb since we had lost Jimmy the year before and had a miscarriage in-between. I prayed and prayed and did not get my "miracle story with a profound revelation or deep thought and tears of joy."
Reading that story made me angry and sad! I prayed too, but my baby died!
And *story* is just what I decided that was. In real life, you pray and pray and pray and your baby dies anyway. In real life, you get pregnant again and whereas in a story you would get a living baby the second time around (and thereby your triumph-over-tragedy miracle story), in REAL LIFE you get a second dead baby...and a third...and who knows maybe even a fourth or fifth.
Real life is not full of miracles and happy endings and in real life bad things happen to good people. In real life, God doesn't always say yes, he says NO a good bit of the time. And God says no in situations where the storybooks have almost guaranteed us a yes....like after having a baby stillborn at full-term and a miscarriage at 2 months, the storybooks tell me that I DESERVE and will get a happy ending with the next pregnancy...but that was not the case. I had a baby literally die in my arms as I was praying for her life to be spared.
Fairytales should stop being told all the time...its really not fair. Or, at the very least, someone should be telling just as many real-life stories. In these fairytales, they always praise God for his love and kindness and mercy because he showed these things BY HIS MIRACLE that he bestowed upon the people in the story.
But what about when God says no? What about in the situations like mine? Where are the email mass-forwarded stories about the woman who has 3 dead babies who praised God anyway and whose "profound and deep revelation" is *merely* that God is still great and merciful and loving even when we are suffering and get a big fat NO instead of our "miraculous happy ending?"
Where are these stories??
Perhaps losing a baby 3 weeks before his due date, losing another at 2 months to miscarriage, and losing a baby an hour after birth because she was born to soon would have been just a little easier to bear if I had not had it ingrained in my head by fairytales that God shows us he loves us by giving us what we ask for or by happy endings or "being blessed."
So let me just say this from experience....even if God says NO, even if you are suffering, even if you think you cannot bear one more ounce of bad news, even if you did not get a miracle when you thought you should....God STILL loves you!! And yes, in real life, we still love God even when we are angry with him. (They don't tell you that in the stories, do they?)
In real life, we don't always get our tragedies turned into triumphs and wrapped up in a neat little story with a bow and happy ending that we can tell our Sunday school class or pass on in an email to everyone and their Grandma.
In real life bad things happen to good people and tragedies don't always make sense, but we trust that God has a reason for doing what he does and we praise him anyway.
Go ahead...forward this to your email group. You never know who might need to hear that God still loves us even when we don't get our happy ending.