Give Thanks in All Circumstances.

My husband and I started teaching Sunday school this year, and last week was our first week.  We were not as prepared as we should have been, but it went alright!  This week I was bound and determined to be prepared and be FUN!  Who wants to teach a bunch of BORED 5th and 6th graders?  So now that we teach at 9:30, which used to be our usual service we attended, we attend 8:00 service before teaching.  Today, we entered the building at the Education side, so we could drop off our teaching materials in the room (see I was totally more prepared!) on our way over to service int he sanctuary.  After dropping off our stuff, we heading down the hall way.  I glanced aimlessly at one of the bulletin boards and read “Remember to give thanks in ALL circumstances.”  How can that be, I thought?  What about our recent circumstances?  How could I possibly have been expected to give thanks while my baby was dying?  What an incredibly hard thing to imagine.  Then I thought, as we continued our walk to the sanctuary, about all the things I was thankful for during the last 9 months.  Didn’t I thank God for allowing our families to surround us in our time of need?  Didn’t I thank him for all of our wonderful neighbors, our church family and our co-workers and all of their support.  I’m sure I thanked him for strength and courage, and will to get out of bed in the morning.  Our little girl did not die alone in her crib.  She was revived, though her tiny brain had no chance after a long hour with no oxygen, so that she could die in our arms, listening to sound of her Momma sing to her.  Surely, I thanked Him for this.  What about the most important thing of all?  We know, because of Him, our little girl is Paradise forever, waiting for us, because we too will some day live forever in Heaven.  I must have thanked Him for this a thousand times by now.  So, it may have seemed to me so cruel to be expected to give thanks at such a tragic time, but was really that difficult?  Absolutely not.  Clearly, I am not thankful my little girl died.  The tragedy will always be sad, I will never be grateful for having experienced this.  The poster did not say, however, to give thanks FOR all circumstances, it said IN all circumstances.  Though it may seem impossible to give thanks at times of tragedy and sorrow, there is always something to be thankful for.  This my friends is a powerful lesson.  People often doubt that there is a God, because surely our God can not be present if terrible things are happening.  I would ask these people to look a little closer at their circumstances.  For God did not take my little girl from me.  Death did that.  God did not cause me pain and anguish.  Death did that.  I know that He was there, because if he hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here now.  He provided me with a family who loves me.  He brought us to Ohio in 2008, where we bought a home in a neighborhood that has become our second family.  He brought us to St. James Lutheran Church.  He could not save Kaiya, for Death had already knocked upon her door, but He did allow us time to hold her, and say goodbye.  He has been there every step of the way, sending angels disguised as sisters and friends and neighbors, to carry me through my journey, when the pain was so heavy I couldn’t stand on my own two feet.  It isn’t easy to have Faith in God, when we live in the world we do.  Believe me, I know.  I spent days angry at God, yelling at him for taking my baby and leaving me behind to suffer.  This, though, made me realize that I MUST believe in Him, if I am yelling at Him.  Clearly I know he is there, if I think he can hear me.  So, although we may not always understand God’s plan, and we may not like the fact that he cannot save our loved ones from tragedy and death, He is there.  You don’t have to go to Church every Sunday to know Him.  Look in the eyes of your loved  ones, listen to the whisper of the wind, watch a flower bloom, listen to a new-born baby cry.  You will see Him.  You will hear Him.  He is there. There is ALWAYS something to give thanks for.  No matter your circumstance.  Although, I’m certain I’ve always known this, it took a simple little poster, on a Sunday School bulletin board, to make me realize it.   Even now, as I close this entry, I realize I have almost forgotten the most important thing of all.  I am thankful Kaiya Rae is mine and that I got to spend 5 wonderful months, raising the most beautiful baby I have ever known.

I miss you with pain of a thousand burning suns.  I love you to Pluto and back, forever and always.  Kaiya Rae, you are the light in my life, my shining star, my every breath.

Love,

KaiyaRae’s Momma