"I'm sorry, it's not good news." Those were the words spoken by the emergency room physician. My two-year-old daughter had unexpectedly passed away in a freak playtime accident. I sat next to my husband, my belly swollen with the growing life of our fifth child, and tears fell furiously down my cheeks. Our pastor drove us home, where our three surviving children waited for the worst news they had ever received. Within minutes, our comfortable and happy life was completely upended.
Sorrow came upon our family one winter evening suddenly and without invitation.
February 24, 2020, left our family shocked when Jane unexpectedly passed away. Our story drastically changed, but the Author did not. God is good, and He is faithful. God was not surprised. Psalm 139:16 says, "Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." We know that Jane's days were ordained by God and that she is now in the presence of her Creator and Savior. We do not mourn on behalf of Jane but instead for our own loss.
God continues to show us grace and faithfulness. As if the gospel of Christ were not enough, He lavishes His love on us, even amid great heartache. We are living a story we did not anticipate, but we know that "You (God) hem me in-behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain." Psalm 139:5-6
I've always loved Jesus, but loss has taught me to rely on Him entirely. A story of suffering has made me rightly long for eternity like never before. My story isn't finished, and neither is yours. Dear friend, no matter the narrative you find yourself in, don't forget who is writing it all. Don't lose sight of God's goodness and sovereignty. You have a purpose, and God has a tremendous plan for your life to bring Him glory. It's the most extraordinary story we could hope to be a part of. It's easy to get lost in the heartache of life. It's tempting to become apathetic in comfort. But ultimately, we need to fix our eyes on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary.
Who am I, and why does my story matter? There is nothing special about me or my family in a traditional sense. My name is Casey, and I grew up in the loveliest village on the plains in Alabama. I met my husband, Robert, in 2009, and we got married in 2010. We started our married life in South Carolina and moved to Georgia in 2014. We had our first child in 2012 and had an additional child nearly every two years after. This brought us to a grand total of four children in September of 2017. For most of our marriage, I have been a stay-at-home wife and mother, and Robert works as a family physician. We have lived a quiet and simple life, and I'm thankful for that.
The importance of my story is less about the narrative and much more about the author. My story is a story being written by Jesus. We are a family that loves God and His Word. Though we are far from perfect, we hope to be empty vessels filled with the Holy Spirit, ready to do His will.
But our quiet story took a painful and unexpected turn.