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Oct 27, 2021 625 Elizabeth Livingston,

Does God Really Care?

When grief comes crashing down on you…

As I gazed at my daughter’s innocent face while she nestled back to sleep, my heart melted. I felt a sudden heartache and wept for her as I drew her closer and kissed on the forehead. In her brief seven years of life, she had overcome so many health challenges, with multiple hospital stays. The trauma we underwent was fresh in my mind, especially the day we received the grave diagnosis of permanent brain damage. My heart broke for her as I considered all that she would miss out on. I thought, I was much stronger emotionally, but I was not.

According to the Swiss-American psychiatrist, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, there are 5 stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

Our first reaction to grief is denial. In shock at what has happened, we don’t want to accept the new reality.

The second stage is anger. We feel angry at this intolerable situation and anything that has caused it, and even irrational anger towards the people around us, or God.

As we seek to escape our new reality, we enter the third stage: bargaining. For instance, we may attempt to make a secret deal with God to postpone the crisis and the related pain.

The fourth stage is depression. As the reality slowly sets in, we often feel sorry for ourselves, wondering why something like this could happen to us. The feeling of depression is often accompanied by self-pity and feeling like a victim.

Acceptance comes in the fifth stage as we come to terms with the cause of the grief and begin to focus on the future.

Unexpected Relapse

Once we have reached the acceptance stage in dealing with our grief, we move towards resurgence. In this phase we take full control of ourselves, our emotions, and the situation and begin to think about what we can do next to move ahead.

In response to my daughter’s medical condition, I had transitioned through these stages and I felt that I was in the resurgence phase: able to maintain my emotions to keep motivated through each day, while sustaining a constant faith and hope in God’s plan for her life. But I had recently experienced a sudden, severe relapse into grief and despair. I felt shattered.

My heart grieved for her so much that I just wanted to scream; “God, why does my child have to suffer? Why does she have to live such a difficult life? It isn’t fair that she is suffering? Why does she have to spend her life struggling and being dependent on others for so much?” As I held her close to me, I let my tears flow. Once again, I couldn’t accept the hard realities of her life and I sobbed through the night. It seemed that I had retreated back into the stage of denial—all the way back…

The Full Picture

However, in the midst of this sudden surge of grief, I prayed for her, remembering Jesus on the Cross and the agony He had endured. Was it fair that God sent His son to die for my wrongdoings? No! It wasn’t fair that Jesus shed His innocent blood for me. It wasn’t fair that He was ruthlessly mocked, stripped of His clothes, whipped, beaten and crucified on the Cross. The Father bore this painful sight for love of me. His heart grieved, just as my heart aches when I see my child suffer. He endured this so that I could be accepted, forgiven and loved.

God truly cares about my pain and understands how I feel. This insight enabled me surrender to His sovereign plans for Jennie, knowing that He loves her even more than I do. Although I don’t have all the answers, and I can only see half of the picture, I know The One who sees the full picture of her life. I simply need to place my faith and trust in Him.

I finally fell asleep, consoled by His love. I woke with renewed hope. He gives me just enough grace for each and every day. I may emotionally relapse from time to time, but God’s mercy can carry me through. With Him by my side to give me hope, I have faith that I will always return to resurgence by seeing my pain in the light of His glory!

I pray that you may also find His strength and assurance in the most painful and bewildering moments of your lives, so that you may experience His deep and abiding hope. When you are weak, may He help you bear your burdens and see your suffering in the light of His glory. Whenever the question, “Why me Lord?” enters your thoughts, may the Lord open your heart to His loving mercy as He bears the load with you.

“Weeping may remain for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning”. Psalm 30:5


Elizabeth Livingston

Elizabeth Livingston is a writer, speaker and blogger. Through her inspiring write-ups, many have been touched by the healing love of God. She lives with her husband and two beautiful children in Kerala, India. To read more of her articles visit: elizabethlivingston.in/

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