Right now I am heartsick. That's the only word that I can find that even comes close to describing how I feel right now. Two wonderful, amazing, loving people were taken from us this past Wednesday. My Campbell. That was Laryn's name for Don. I'll never forget the day that they met. Laryn was 18 months old and we were at Craig park at that multi-denominational concert thing that they had. Laryn used to be the kid that didn't go to anyone. Me, Robbie, my mom and my dad were about the extent of her circle. Then Jill and Jacob in the nursery after a LONG several months of screaming the roof off the church whenever I'd leave her in there. Anyway, he sat on the grass next to us and started talking to Laryn. She hid behind me. He played peek a boo with her. She started laughing at him. He got her to give him five around my back. By the end of the concert they were best friends and he was carrying her all over. He became MY Campbell to Laryn. She would see him from across the courtyard or down the hall at church and run screaming up to him with her arms in the air, "My Campbell!!!!"
The circumstances of their deaths are unclear but it is being reported as a murder/suicide. How? I don't care about the specifics. I don't want to know the mechanics. I want to know HOW? How could people who loved God, who loved people, who WE loved end like this? And how could God let this happen?
OK...I KNOW He didn't let this happen. I KNOW it. But how could He? He's bigger than that. He COULD have stopped it. I'm mad. REALLY mad. And very, very sad. I've felt this way before. And God is so good that He understands my being mad. Even if it's misplaced anger.
I was all set to do this devotional on Sunday night. I'm not sure exactly why I didn't but I didn't. I already knew what it was about because I had several of you that have asked me to recount Jordann's testimony and I was all set to do that. See that was the time that I was ANGRY with God. I mean REALLY ANGRY!!!! And that's why God had me wait.
Jordi was born 8 weeks premature. My mom and I were out Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving when we got into a car accident. There were several things that led up to that but suffice it to say that we were not supposed to be where we were when the accident happened. Our plans had gotten changed. So there was an accident. It wasn't a bad accident. The airbags didn't go off. The car was only minimally damaged. But the seatbelt hit me where my C-section scar was and I went into labor. Ruptured uterus. Emergency C-section. Jordann in NICU. Then it got really bad. She had air in her chest. Her lung ruptured. She was sent to All Children's. Had to have part of her lung removed. 21 days in NICU. Came home on an apnea monitor. Stopped breathing several times. I was MAD!!! I honestly didn't lose my faith...actually it was the opposite. I KNEW He was big enough to have fixed this. We had prayed for a safe pregnancy. He could have done that. He COULD have...but He didn't. I was MAD!!! How could He have let this happen to me? To Jordann? Why did we have to go through this horrible thing? OK, OK, OK...I know "All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord". I've heard it since I can remember. But this wasn't working for anyone's good. My daughter was hurt! She had surgery! She almost died in my arms twice! How could this be good?
When Jordi was 3 months old we had a Dr's appointment. We had spent most of her 3 months in some sort of Dr's office. But this was the lung surgeon. A great lady. Wonderful Christian woman. Best friend to Robbie's cousin (don't tell me God didn't have a hand in THAT!). When she walked into the exam room she said, "There's my miracle baby!" Yeah, right. I had an attitude. A major one. A really major one. I'm sure that she saw that. She laid her hand on my knee and said something that I will remember verbatim for the rest of my life. "No, you don't understand. I didn't tell you all of this at the hospital because I could see how overwhelmed you were, but Jordann's lung issue was congenital. It had nothing to do with the accident and 99.9% of babies with this are stillborn because when they hit 36 weeks and they start breathing amniotic fluid the cyst blows out and the chest fills with amniotic fluid and it crushes the heart and lungs and they die." WHAT??!!
So, OK...in about 5 seconds my whole world was turned upside down. He DID allow this to happen to us. He allowed it because satan had planned for me to blame God for this. Since satan doesn't know the future and doesn't know what God has planned he tried to take something that I had said (the tongue is more powerful than a two-edged sword) to Nicole Kerr months before and use it to turn me against God. Nicole and I had been on the phone talking about Evelyn Kikta and how she had just had a baby and was in NICU at All Children's. I said, "I can't even imagine. That would be a nightmare for me. Both boys roomed in and I can't imagine how horrible it would be to have a baby in the NICU". (Secondary lesson...watch what ammunition you give the devil. He's always looking for something to use against you). Anyway, the most horrible thing that had ever happened to me saved me from having a stillborn baby. So how do you process that? How do you look at anything that happens after that and not say, "God has my back"? If the worst thing that has happened to me was an answer to prayer then what else can satan do?
I have a different outlook on life now. I can't look at anything that happens, good or bad, without realizing that even if I had never gotten the an answer for why I had to go through this with Jordann...it was STILL an answer to prayer. Just because we don't know why things happen or because we can only see the hurt and the suffering and the grief doesn't mean that God isn't using that as an answer to prayer.
Please understand that I am not saying that Don and Joanna's deaths are because someone prayed. What I am saying is that what God promises He does. And He promises that, "All things work together for good for those that love the Lord". They loved the Lord. We love the Lord. I believe in His promises. It's the faith that we stand on. When everything is falling down around me I know He has my back. And I know that He'll understand if I'm mad, that He'll hear me when I cry, that He'll heal the wounds.
I'm mad. I'm hurt. I'm grieving. I don't understand. But I trust You. I believe that Joanna is dancing at Your feet right now and that she is free of pain. I believe that Don is standing in wonder at Your throne. Lord, I ask that You will help heal our wounds. That You will give us the words to explain to our children something that we can't understand ourselves. That You will help us to not pass judgment and to be a able to be soft-hearted to those that will try to pass judgment. Please touch us. Put Your healing, comforting hand on us. We believe in Your Word and we believe in Your promises. Thank you for the lives that they led and the things that they gave us. Thank you for My Campbell.