Tuesday, August 17, 2010

God has a plan

Words cannot express how much it annoys me when (yes, even well-meaning) people use this phrase as a platitude to comfort someone who is grieving.  Especially a mother who is grieving the death of her baby(ies).  Especially when that particular mother doesn't have the same beliefs as the person who said it.

While I do believe that yes, God has a plan for me and my family, it was my place to decide that.  I don't think anyone at all should use this.  Unless they are a clergyperson who has been directly asked.  And then only when they are directly asked.

But like I said, I do believe it.  It took me a while to resolve, though.  All my life I have been taught that my Heavenly Father was a God who is perfectly just and infinitely merciful; and that I am His child whom He loves and therefore desires happiness for.  How then, could this Being allow His righteous daughter to experience something so incredibly painful, and so incredibly UNjust?  I spent most of the month I had of maternity leave, when I was home alone most of the time, pondering this very thing.

It all came down to what God's purpose for putting us here truly is.  It is not, like we would tell ourselves, for us to have happy lives.  Not that that means His purpose is for us to have miserable lives, but that His goal is not simply for us to be happy here on Earth.  No, His purpose is for us to choose.  This entire mortal life situation comes down to choosing one of two things: Do we choose to become like Him by following His instructions on how to do so, or do we become whatever else we think it is we want to be, by doing whatever we think will get us to that point?  

That ability for us to choose is the greatest gift we have.  God could very easily have made us so that we always completely obeyed, but He didn't.  He gave us the ability to choose for ourselves.  And to truly have that ability, there has to be opposition.  Do we choose chocolate, or vanilla?  After all, a choice of chocolate or chocolate isn't really a choice, is it?  If only good things happened to good people, and only bad things happened to bad people, would that be a choice?  Who in their right mind, then, would choose anything else?  Everyone would be good, obedient and righteous.  Not because of faith, not because it is good or right, but because it is the way to prevent sadness and pain.

But God wanted us to be able to choose what we wanted for ourselves.  So He made it so we could choose goodness because it is good, even though sometimes bad things still happen to good people.  So we could be free to choose for ourselves.

I have seen the grief of parents who watch their children make very self-damaging choices, but let their children have the freedom to choose what they want, even if it goes against their very loving and well-meaning advice.  I'm sure that my Father in Heaven feels the same way about me.  But His greatest desire is for us to have choice, so He must allow the pain when it happens, even though it hurts Him to see us hurt.

Is it worth it?  Is the freedom of choice something I desire enough for it to be worth the grief and pain of having the only time I held my baby girl be after she died?

I can't speak for any other baby loss mommy, but for me, the answer would be yes.  Maybe if the it were just my freedom at stake it wouldn't be (but that would require me making a choice, wouldn't it?), but when it comes down to the agency of my other children, my husband, my siblings, parents and other family, and my friends, and all mankind.  Yes.

If you think otherwise, go to a library and check out the book The Giver by Lois Lowry, and then reassess.

"wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin." (2 Nephi 2:23) [emphasis added]


  1. I have been following your blog (I was blog jumping, hope you don't mind) for the last little while. I'm intrigued by your touching and strengthening posts, although extremely heartbreaking to read for me sometimes, it does help my testimony grow to see such a strong person make it through such an insanely difficult trial!
    I have not had the priviledge of having children yet.. But I too know, that God does not take a child away from their mother to be cruel. I know that to be the truth. I also know that God will ONLY give a person a trial that he believes they can handle! You must be one amazingly strong person if he felt you could handle the death of your precious baby girl.
    I know he cried with you. I know he felt your pain. I know he understands your anger, hurt and confusion at times. But I also know how much he must love you if he has given you this trial.
    I heard the most beautiful story of why some children are chosen to return to heaven so early over others. You're daughter Cora, must have been the purest of the pure and the happiest of happy. He must have known that she needed to be a teacher in heaven. Where only the children of God preside. She must have had a greater calling to teach the other Princesses and Princes in heaven! What a calling to have :)
    I hope and pray that you are comforted in knowing what a special daughter you must have. I'm sure she is doing some amazing things in heaven and always smiling down on you! You will have the chance to raise her again, someday.

  2. :'-( Thanks. Been having some hard times this week. Heard a Cora song, burst into tears in a parking lot... Made me miss you.

  3. Needed to hear this today. Dealing with a lot of let down...a lot of "choice" in the midst of this storm...sometimes I waver. Today you brought me closer to Him. Thank you.