I sat there in the hospital room holding my dying baby brother in my arms.
Prior to this moment in time I was a happy, outgoing, carefree 16-year-old girl. Everything in my life seemed perfect…until I got the dreaded phone call.
I was on my way home from a week long summer camp and was laughing over the week’s memories with my friends in the car. My mom was 8 months pregnant, and from my perspective seemed to be doing great.
Little did I know that tragedy struck home while I was away.
“Mom’s in the hospital. The doctor says something is terribly wrong with the baby. They have to do a C-section immediately. We’ll pick you up as soon as you get home and take you to the hospitable”
Those were the tragic words I heard coming through the cell phone line. Tears immediately began streaming down my face as I realized my baby brother (the one I had been hoping for and praying for) had very slim chances of survival.
The next few days went by in a blur of tears and before I knew it I was holding my dying brother in my arms.
As I sat there with my family in the cold hospital room, I couldn’t believe what was happening. I couldn’t believe my baby brother was dying and would be gone within a few hours.
I tried my best to cherish those final moments and soak up the beauty of his adorable face.
The moment we were all dreadfully expecting came and little baby Matthew breathed his final breath. He was now in Heaven and I was absolutely heart broken. I had never experienced anything so painful in my life and can honestly say, even ten years later, that that day was the hardest day of my entire life.
How I handled the hardest day of my life.
In the days, weeks, and months that followed my brother’s death, I was faced with a choice. I could pour my heart out to God, cling to His promises, and trust in Him for healing. Or, I could question His goodness and grow bitter and angry.
I knew what I needed to do.
Instead of choosing bitterness, I chose to trust in God. I chose to believe that His ways are perfect and that He was using all things (including my brother’s death) for my good and His glory.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Choosing to trust in God during that time was not an easy thing to do. I had SO many “why” questions that I knew I would probably never get answers to.
“Why did he have to die?”
“Why did You allow my mom to get pregnant if You knew he was going to die?”
“Why did You answer our prayers by giving us a baby?”
“Why does this have to be so painful?”
“Why, why, why…”
Despite my questions, feelings of sorrow, and confusion over the “why,” I learned two very important truths during this time.
Let me share them with you:
1. Trusting in God is a choice, not a feeling.
During this time, I learned that I have to choose to trust God despite how I feel. It’s easy to trust in God when life is going the way we want, but, when life is hard trusting in Him is SO much more difficult.
I’ll admit that I still struggle with this. I have to constantly remind myself to choose to trust in Him despite how I feel.
The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
God will direct our paths and show us His plan for our lives if we fully and completely trust in Him. Do you believe that?
2. God is always there for me.
Through this situation I learned that God will never leave me. He is always there and will bring peace and comfort if we choose to cling to Him. Even though my heart was breaking during this time, God gave me incredible amounts of peace and comfort.
I felt so confident that God was working in the situation and that He was very present in my life, and my family’s lives, during this time.
The Bible says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He will strengthen and help you if you choose to trust in Him.
God will strengthen you.
The next time you are going through a hard situation remember that God is sovereign and loves you SO much. He desires for you to trust in Him and find peace in His promises. He wants to offer you the strength to make it through those hard times.
Let’s talk about it…
Are you struggling to trust in God with a hard situation in your life?
What have you done in the past to find peace and comfort in God?