Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. —Hebrews 10:23 (NKJV)
Have you ever found yourself in the center of a storm with chaos swirling all around? Your mind wondering, “Where is God?” When life is rolling along smoothly, it’s easy to believe phrases like—God has a plan—God uses everything for good—God’s timing is always perfect. Yet, when turmoil strikes, it’s often difficult to reconcile in our minds how this God—that says He loves us—could allow so much upheaval, pain, or unrest in our lives. Our human nature equates God’s love with our own personal happiness. Our thinking becomes, “If God truly loves me and really wants what is best for me, He would take this burden from me.”
I can totally relate.
When our youngest, Kayleigh, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, our world came to a screeching halt. We are a Christian family that loves the Lord. We serve in our local church, teach Sunday school, give to the church, give to missions—no we aren’t perfect, but we love Jesus and are working to tell others about Him. So, why? Why would God allow our family to endure this kind of heart-wrenching storm?
Even after receiving Kayleigh’s diagnosis and hearing the doctors tell us there is a 0% survival rate, we were positive the Lord had a plan for her. We had no doubt God was going to heal our little girl. We enlisted prayer warriors from around the world and prayed diligently for complete healing, a long life, for her to be a miracle, and for her story to be one of God’s greatness shared far and wide. We chose to remain faithful to our God because we knew He was able and we trust Him completely. And then, November 15, 2016, my precious baby slipped into the arms of Jesus.
We were faithful…
Why was God not faithful to answer our prayers?
Watching our journey from the surface it would be easy to think God let us down. Some might say He did not answer our prayers at all. But oh my friends, nothing could be further from the truth. Our God proved faithful in every circumstance, and He answered all our prayers.
Do you want to know the secret to seeing God’s amazing goodness in every situation?
Change your perspective.
While the answer is simple, implementation is not easy. Perspective adjustments require we modify our fundamental thinking. Rather than taking trials and sufferings as personal attacks, we need to learn to view them as opportunities to trust, learn, and grow. We must begin making choices based on the truths of God’s word, not our emotions. Choosing to trust that God is faithful in all things, believing His promises always prove true, and looking for His goodness in every circumstance. And once we have made these choices, we have to choose to submit to God’s plan—knowing that He rarely answers our prayers exactly as we think He should.
James 1:2-3 became verse we turned to regularly: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (NIV).” This was the path our family chose to take, one of trust and blind faith. And God was good. Let me show you the amazing ways God answered our prayers…
Complete healing. Kayleigh traded her broken body for perfect health the moment she slipped into eternity. As parents, we want the best for our children. What could possibly be better than heaven? Yes, I miss her and my heart aches, but I know the Kayleigh-shaped hole in my heart is only temporary. One day I am going to make my way to heaven and my arms will be filled with a perfect Kayleigh.
A long life. What could possibly be longer than eternity?
For her to be a miracle. The miracle of Kayleigh’s journey was not her physical healing as I had prayed; it was miraculous spiritual healing for so many of us that had the privilege of knowing her. Kayleigh’s story changed hearts and drew people to Jesus in beautiful ways. For her miraculous story to spread far and wide. Before Kayleigh’s death prayer warriors checked in from every state in the union, 25+ countries, six continents, and her story was translated into more than six languages that we know about. Since her death, Kayleigh has turned this every day mom into a writer and speaker called to encourage others and share God’s goodness.
Is it hard for me to pull my focus away from the searing loss of my precious child?
Every morning I rise, the day requires a choice. Do I choose to believe God’s word is true, or do I choose to focus on what is missing? Each of us faces the same choice. Whether we are lost in the waves of a crashing storm, plodding along through fields of ordinary, or blissfully enjoying a mountain top experience; God is always with us. We may not understand His plan, but if we are willing to search with an open heart, we will be able to find his goodness.
One thing I know for certain—God is always faithful.