Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:35-38

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Is God still good when my daughter dies?

Five years ago today, I woke up at 7:30 to take a shower and get ready to take Savannah to the doctor.  She was sick the night before and the emergency room told us what to do and they made an appointment with her pediatrician's urgent care facility for the next morning. Since she was still sleeping, I ate breakfast and I put her oatmeal in the microwave so that it would be cooled off by the time I got her ready and brought her downstairs.  I went upstairs, turned her lamp on, and was walking around her room getting her clothes out and her fresh diaper ready.  I was talking to her the whole time telling her it was time to get up.  I walked over to her crib since she appeared to still be sleeping.  That's when I realized she was no longer with us.  I knew right away. I screamed for Eric and he raced up the stairs.  I had no idea what to do next, so I just laid on the floor, hunched over, in the other bedroom upstairs.  Eric told me to call 911. I did so and could do nothing but scream at the lady on the other end.  Those lovely people have been trained so well how to handle frantic people.  Our neighbor was out in his yard and helped Eric but there was nothing that could be done. She was gone and had passed away sometime during the night. The first people there were the firemen since the fire-station was pretty much in our neighborhood.  It seemed like only seconds went by until friends started showing up and family was on the way. The whole cul-de-sac was filled with firetrucks, police cars and emergency trucks. Our precious police officer was so wonderful.  He was (is) a believer and that was such a gift from the Lord. A lot of that morning is a blur and I'm sure that Eric could tell a different story of what happened as it was very different but the same. The next few days were full of friends and family loving us so well! Also, people we didn't even know sending us cards, flowers, and prayers. I don't know how we would have made it without our friends and family. God truly blessed us.

The first few hours after knowing Savannah had passed away were so strange.  There was this numbness and I felt like I was just going through the motions. Through it all, I could feel a peace from God that I can't describe.  It was almost like I could reach in my chest and touch it.

We stayed in a hotel for the rest of the week.  We went to the funeral home and had to pick out a coffin, clothes for Savannah to be buried in, and what we wanted for the funeral service. Our friends made this process so easy and the sweet people at the funeral home made our decisions very few.

We had Savannah's funeral a few days later (on Eric's birthday) and then we buried her two days after that.

People ask me all the time, "How do you get through something like that?" "I could never go through that." All I can claim is God's grace.  Is God still good when bad times come? YES! If you're believing that only good things happen to Christians and that tragedies don't happen to Christians, you are believing a false prosperity gospel.  God may choose to take everything from us or He may choose to bless us.  Either way, He is good all the time.  It doesn't even have to be death.  When we lose our job, don't get the promotion we wanted, things are hard financially, God is still good!!!  He never promised the Christian life would be easy.  Those that are preaching/believing that the Christian life is easy are preaching/believing a false prosperity gospel and that is scary! We must trust God when things don't go how we thought they would.

That has been so heavy on my heart lately as I see people believing in a prosperity gospel and not even realizing it. God chose to take Savannah Grace at 15 months old.  It hurts!  It still hurts.  I wish she were still here. I wish I could see her blonde hair and crystal blue eyes! I wish I could see her, Penny, and Ford play together! I think P would love having a big sister! Grief definitely changes over time. Some things are easier and some things are harder. P asks a lot of questions about her sister.  Today at church, she looked at my necklace that has a picture of Savannah on it.  She said, "That's Vavannah. I love her still!" She kissed my necklace, then put the picture up against her cheek and cuddled with it for a minute.  It was sweet!  She misses her sister.

Our friends arranged for a photographer to take pictures of Savannah's funeral.  She did an excellent job and I didn't even know she was there.  Just last year, our photographer had to say goodbye to her sweet girl that passed away after only 11 days with them.

 Savannah's first birthday pictures!

Savannah's grave

 Swinging at our neighborhood park!

 Rocking in her pink rocking chair!

 Hanging out at the beach!

 Savannah loved this Little People barn!  She played with it so much!

 Chubby Cheeks!

 First ponytail!

 Go Cardinals!!!

 Picture from her 2nd birthday!

 The mural that was in her room at our house in Raleigh!

The look you give when you've been caught pulling everything out of your bin.  Haha! So cute!

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