See Luminosity

6 Months to See God is Good

6 Months to See God is Good

Today Dominic would have been 6 months old.

He and I share a “31st” – his birthday was July 31, and mine is March 31. Interesting how life can change the impact numbers can have.

Today’s numbers, the 31st, and 6 months, definitely hit home. I did, today, what I haven’t done in quite a while – just looked through photos of him, while listening to some of my favorite music. There was weeping, and longing, and also…

Praise.

Because the Lord is so very good. Yes, good, even though I have to live, on this day, with the new meaning of those numbers.

I miss Dominic so much. I wish I could see what his spiky hair looked like now, and whether he still looked more like his Daddy, or if a bit of me was starting to come through. I wish I could see how his sisters helped change his diaper and tickled his tummy, and how they argued over who got to hold him. I wish I could snuggle up to him while he nursed, and that I could bury my face in his neck and take in that sweet scent that just wouldn’t stay on his baby blankets, even though we tried. I wish I could sing him to sleep and that the only time he got to hear our family lullaby wasn’t when we sang it to him as he took his last breaths. I wish I could see him, feel him, love him.

I can’t. But I still know – even because of it I know – God is good.

6 months out from this whole tragedy, I can see things I couldn’t see at the beginning. I can see, now, some very clear things the Lord has done with Dominic’s death, in me and in people around me. I understand, now, just how very broken this world is. How painful and heart-breaking and fallen and deteriorating it is. But I also understand, now – really understand – that God is good. And I’ve learned that you only really know just how good He is when everything around you is very, very bad.

Before, when I had these moments when I just needed to grieve, to feel missing him, I proclaimed God’s goodness as grasping attempts to cling on to some part of the rope that wasn’t fraying. Now I can do it and truly feel it. I can praise, and don’t have to just do it on faith anymore. I can see what He has done, and what He is doing, and I can truly attest to the fact that He is good. In the middle of a broken, hurting world, He is good.

I see it now, 6 months later. How God is good and has been working for good the whole time. I’ve seen it in small miracles God has worked, such as friends bringing to our house, in Dominic’s honor, the exact tree that Pete and I had planned to plant in our front bed, at the exact day and time we had planned on doing planting in that bed, and how another friend showed up with a box of the exact frames I was wanting for Dominic’s photos. I’ve seen it through the new-forged relationship with a mother, whose baby is nourished by the milk my baby never got to drink – how sorrow and joy are two sides of the same coin. I’ve seen it through the way I can now be here, in the current moment, with the Lord – the miracle of being present, in a girl who always lived her life in the future. I’ve seen it through the testimony of a woman’s freedom to grieve, because of my grief, the loss of her unborn child. I’ve seen it through the germination of a friendship, based on common sorrow, with people that have completely different worldview from my own. I’ve seen it through the new way I hear God’s voice in specific, personal ways – intimate communication that meets the precise need I have at the moment. I’ve seen it through the woman who, after years of sexual abuse, somehow was able to see that God was with her because He’d been with me. I’ve seen it through a deeper intensity in my emotions – how I can love more deeply, feel compassion more comprehensively, and abhor injustice more strongly. And I’ve seen it in a transformed gratitude for life’s blessings and focus on things of eternity over things of this earth.

Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). I never really understood what that meant, before Dominic. Now I do. It doesn’t just mean Christ has overcome the world so we will triumph after this life is over (although that is true). He means that right now, in the midst of the trouble, He overcomes it, even while you’re living in it. He overcomes it one step, one moment at a time, as you walk with Him through it.

It’s like Deuteronomy 33:26-28 says, “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you, saying, ‘Destroy him!’ So [God’s people] will live in safety alone; …secure in a land of grain and new wine, where the heavens drop dew”. God has been the everlasting arms under me. He has driven out so many enemies for me through this experience – pain, fear, pride, self-preoccupation – and all of these ways I see God working for good are bringing me to a new place of security I’ve never had before. It’s a security that comes from Jesus, not from my circumstances. A security that comes from Him overcoming the brokenness of this world by giving me dew drops from heaven as I take each step through the rain.

There are so many ways, more every day – that the Lord shows me He is good. The most obvious? I’m still here, 6 months later, and I still want to be here, in this life. I wake up in the morning, not in despair or depression, but with a desire to know the Lord more and to live this life He has given me to the fullest. If that isn’t evidence that God is good and that God is always working for good, I don’t know what is.

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