I prayed more often and with more urgency in the last few months of Lyndsie’s life than I had at any other time. I was in constant communication with God and I had so many reasons to trust Him with the outcome. Lyndsie had been dealing with cancer for nine years at that point and we had seen God work in incredible ways to take her desperate situations and turn them into stories of hope and restoration. We had seen tangible purpose come from the pain and we had learned how to trust God with both the small details and the big picture. So even though I knew Lyndsie’s situation was very serious, I still knew that God was more than capable of bringing healing to Lyndsie’s body. I fully believed He was going to show out in the way he restored her health…just like he had done over and over again. I didn’t allow doubt to creep into my mind and my conversations with Lyndsie were always encouraging. I remember multiple times when I prayed things like, “Ok God, this would be a great time to do your thing…she’s in a lot of pain right now.” or “God, your word says you are the great physician and healer, so how about you show that right now and let her walk out of this hospital on her own strength declaring your name!”. As Lyndsie’s health kept getting worse, the cries became bolder and more urgent but always believing for a yes.
It wasn’t until the moment when I whispered my final “I love you” to the only girl who had ever had my heart, that I realized I wouldn't get that yes that I had cried out for. I was destroyed that Lyndsie had died in spite of the strong faith and relentless prayers of myself and so many others. It didn’t make any sense to me, but I was somehow more convinced in that moment that God was real and that he cared. Still such a weird concept to grasp.
In the aftermath, the Lord began speaking to my heart so clearly and showing me the brokenness of others and the joy that comes from longing for Heaven more than the things of this world. The desire to be involved in ministry and doing things that had an eternal impact took over my heart so quickly that I really didn’t let myself question why God didn’t choose to heal Lyndsie. I kept telling myself, I was going to be a stronger Christian in response and not waste this pain…especially since people were watching for my reaction.
So many breakthrough moments happened in the weeks and months after Lyndsie went home to Heaven, but even in those moments, I began to realize that my questions and doubts that I had buried deep down were beginning to surface and I wasn’t sure what to do with them. On one hand, I had experienced God in so many real ways and knew he was capable of healing Lyndsie. But on the other hand, I was so broken and struggling to understand why God didn’t heal her. I finally realized that until I dealt with my doubts and frustrations with God’s plan, my relationship with him would not be what it should be and would be weakened eventually.
So I worked things out with God.
For me, that meant getting in my car and driving until I was away from everyone and everything. I still remember the hot tears running down my face and and just straight up yelling out to God from the bottom of my soul and at the top of my lungs! I remember saying things like, “Why God?” “Why didn’t you heal her?” “Why didn’t you answer my prayers?” “I needed her” “Why does it have to be this way” “What do you want from me?” “What am I supposed to do now?” “I can’t do this alone” “Don’t let this pain be wasted, God!”
When I got done, I didn’t have the answers to all my questions or have a clear picture of how I should move forward in my grief. But the Lord spoke to my heart in a very simple way and said, “I am enough…not because of what I have done for you or what I will do. I am enough because of who I am. I am enough.” I felt peace in my soul for the first time in a long time.
Sometimes as Christians, we put pressure on ourselves to respond to our situations in a spiritually mature way, even when it’s at the expense of dealing with hard hurt. We push down the brokenness and proclaim that God is good so everyone watching will approve…only to have that hurt surface later in a much uglier and obvious way. So take it from someone who has been there…if you are in a place of brokenness and you are confused and upset at God for the way things are happening, deal with that hurt in a way that is honest and raw. Cry out to God and tell him how you feel. He already knows but going there and saying it out loud can make all the difference. Be brave enough to hurt and be uncomfortable because that is the place where you will begin to heal and grow. When you finally go there, you will find God really is enough and that His plans are far better than anything we can ask or imagine.