Why I'm Not Asking Why?

Caring Bridge Journal Entry — Mar 13, 2018

Yesterday, Chris told me it's been 5 weeks since that fateful day at the park. 5 WEEKS! I had no idea. I've lost a big chunk of time and to be honest, I still feel like we are in crisis mode. 5 weeks is a long time to be in crisis mode.

That first day, in the ER, Chris and I cried and told each other all the things you say to the person you love most in the world when you think you may not see them ever again. Thinking about how hard it was to breathe while coughing up massive amounts of blood, I said, "Every breath that you take is a miracle." Chris laughed through his tears when he recognized the line from a Switchfoot song, "Live it Well." (I'm posting the acoustic version below so you can hear the words clearly. That song has so much more meaning for me now!)

The bridge goes like this:

One life, one love;

One voice, and maybe that's enough;

One heartbeat, two hands to give;

I've got one shot, one life to live.

I'm going to take that challenge and use my one voice. Maybe it'll be enough.

I want to tell you why I'm not asking, "Why me?" ... "Why now?" ... "Why is this happening?"

First, to do that, I think I need to briefly explain what went wrong in my body. I have two congenital defects and they aren't playing well with each other. One is called HHT and it's a bleeding disorder caused by bulges in my arteries that sometimes burst which causes uncontrolled bleeding. Those "bad vessels" are in my lungs. It's hereditary and if you are reading this and have HHT, please PLEASE know that I have an extreme case. Don't stress. HHT can be controlled effectively in most people. The other is called Goldenhar Syndrome and it causes all kinds of issues on just one side of my body. The doctors think that this bleed was so horrible because Goldenhar decided to sort of take over the HHT bad vessels in my lungs and wreak havoc with them. That's the simplified version. Goldenhar is not hereditary but it is congenital. I've had it all my life but wasn't diagnosed until recently.

Here's the thing. Recently, Little #2 and I memorized Psalm 139. It's a beautiful poem about the supremacy of God. The part that stands out to me now are verses 13-16.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

I believe every word of the Bible is true. And so, I believe that God formed me with HHT and Goldenhar on purpose while I was still in my mother's womb. And he allowed me to be born. It wasn't a mistake. I didn't accidentally make it past God's quality control check before I as born. He wasn't on a coffee break. He INTENDED for me to be born broken, frail. He knew this day of crisis would come before I took my first breath. He PLANNED it. And, according to verse 14, He called it "wonderful." My weak and broken body is wonderful!

What does that mean? It means there is a purpose in this. I don't claim to understand that purpose yet. I hope to, one day. But suffering has a purpose. It isn't wasted. The Bible has a lot to say about suffering: that it connects me to Christ and his suffering, that it causes me to understand the suffering that others endure, that it builds perseverance and hope. All true. My role in that is to think rightly. To set my mind on Christ and his suffering. To persevere when it seems I cannot go on. To keep hope alive.

My job is to believe hope is never inappropriate. There is no pain that overwhelms hope.

My job is NOT to question "Why?" There is no point in that. God planned this. That is why.

We all suffer. It's part of life. If you are struggling with keeping hope alive in your suffering, I strongly recommend reading the book of Romans. Just read it and see what God does in your heart as a result.

So, there's my one voice. I hope it is enough.