He Made It So. So, I Will Praise Him.
The doctrine of God’s sovereignty—it has been the greatest source of my peace since Noelle was born into glory. Scripture is replete with verses on this doctrine:
The LORD Almighty has sworn this oath: "It will happen as I have planned. It will come about according to my purposes. I have a plan for the whole earth, for my mighty power reaches throughout the world. The LORD Almighty has spoken—who can change His plans? When His hand moves, who can stop Him?” (Isaiah 14:24, 26-27)
Then Job answered the LORD and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. (Job 42:1-3)
Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are His riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand His decisions and His methods! For who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be His counselor? For everything comes from Him; everything exists by His power. (Romans 11:33-34, 36)
I think of this verse in terms of Noelle’s life:
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! (Psalm 139:16-17)
Every moment of her life was planned by God. Blessed be the Lord—I have the hope she has gained an eternity with Him!
And while I will not fully understand until heaven the full reasons for my deep loss, the reasons for why we are not fortunate enough to be able to know Noelle now, I will understand one day. In that day, my heart will be fully assured why not a moment of separate from her went to any waste.
Until then, I trust in His goodness, in His sovereignty, and in His truth. As C.S. Lewis wrote: “Comfort is the one thing you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth—only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair."
In taking to heart the truth of the sovereignty of God, I have found comfort because I have found peace. Even when my days are difficult, the world still rests in His good hands. He will make all things right. So, I will praise Him.
Just over three months have passed since I lost my daughter. I went into labor naturally at 41 weeks and 6 days along. I felt my little girl move just before going into the hospital. When the nurse placed the monitoring band around my belly, she could not find the heartbeat. Neither could the second nurse. Neither could the doctor, ultrasound monitor in-hand. I had never witnessed people move that quickly in a hospital. I had been in the emergency room for a concussion when I was younger. I remember waiting for over an hour before being shown my room and more time before ever seeing the physician. I had no idea that a doctor could materialize that quickly. I had no idea that I would ever be in a situation that would require it.
Yes, just over three months have passed since I lost my daughter. It is a “drop in a bucket,” as my mom has said. I have more time to process and grieve. Yet, so much has already happened since then. I have come to understand that the one baby person with whom I wanted to share my days will never breathe earthly air. I have learned about moving forward. I have come to believe—deeply—that moving forward is not leaving her behind but getting day-by-day closer to her. Through the life of my daughter, I have been drawn closer to the Lord. He has meant everything to me during this time.
He has never promised that I would have an easy life. He has not promised that I will not have even more difficult days ahead. Yet, I can never lose Him. I lost my dear daughter, the little one to whom I was yearning to devote my time and energy. Because my days’ purpose and time have—in so many ways—become empty without her, I have learned that my purpose and time can never be voided completely. Serving the Lord is a purpose I will never lose. I can always increasingly make my life a testimony to how He has forever changed me through His gospel.
I have told the Lord on multiple occasions that I would love for Him to take me to Noelle—right then. I would still welcome it. It would be better to be with her, with Him. Yet, I have learned what somehow makes the time between losing her and reuniting with her feel bearable and, little-by-little, beautiful again: knowing Christ's love and serving Him.
Though life is so far from what I imagined, I have peace about where I am in this moment. I owe that peace to God’s sovereignty. Could He have prevented Noelle from being taken from me? Yes. Absolutely. He is God. He can do anything He wants. Yet, that fuels no bitterness or anger in me. Instead, it is the very reason for my peace. It reminds me that first, there is more to my existence than life on this earth. My life goes on forever; my time on this earth is only a small, small part of the larger thing. Also, it means that there is something more important to God and to His glory than me being with my daughter right now. I believe He has and will use this circumstance for His glory, as He desires. And I desire to do everything—through His power—that I can do to see Him glorified.
Though three years, thirteen years, thirty years will all bring more and different lessons than three months, I pray that I will still say: He made this so. So, I will praise Him.