My Brain

Stuff’s Broken Philosophy

I am living out the age-old stumbling block: how can a good God allow bad things to happen? The question becomes so much more interesting when you add two little words: …to me? God, how can You let a brain tumor happen to me? Because when it happens to someone else, we can justify it by saying perhaps somewhere deep down where only God can see, they deserved it. Or we just shake our heads and figure it’s too complex an equation. So long as our stuff’s not broken, we have neither the time nor the inclination to be philosophers.

Now I am faced with the question as to why my good God would allow me to go through this. I confess: the idea of a Sawzall going through my skull does not appeal to me. (That’s authorial minimizing. Truth is, I’m quite terrified.) People keep calling me brave, and while I think they’re kind, they are mistaken. I am a woman on a train. I can’t get off. My train is taking me to a destination I dread. While the train speeds onward, I can move about my “cabin” doing things like dishes and homeschooling. Sometimes, like yesterday, friends join me. We paint together and laugh and remember good times. I am so distracted with their love, I forget my destination. Then they leave. I look out the window. There it is again, my head.

There is no brave in things like this. There is no choice, except to trust God laid these tracks and built this train. I ask God to make me fearless. He just keeps the engine moving. He directs me to His Word. He loves me through His people. Each day I receive encouragement. Notes, flowers, verses, meals, prayers, presents—even a song. Two sweet souls gave us a pre-surgery celebration: dinner and a night away. All these acts hug me. God, He holds me. But as of today, He has not administered a spiritual barbiturate. In my present fear, I trust God loves me.

Just yesterday I had a concern. I learned that after a craniotomy, most people can only sleep sitting up. Laying flat puts too much pressure on the skull. One person wrote that she slept in her La-Z-Boy for months. I thought about how much trouble I have sleeping right now, with a whole head. A new fear began to take hold: I have no La-Z-Boy. I mentally screamed and immediately searched Craigslist. I may have prayed. I don’t remember.

Even used, recliners are pricey. I gave up on the idea of one, gave myself my usual pep talk that making do never killed a person. A few hours later, a friend showed up with a plastic bottle full of cash. “Someone was praying over this money and felt God wanted you to have it,” she told me. “I’m sure you can use it for something.”

Here was my recliner money. Arranged before I even knew I needed it.

So how can a good God allow me to go through this? He goes with me. At each step there is a small sign confirming I am not alone, that an orchestration is happening beyond my comprehension. And this morning I got another sign I’ll save for my next post. I leave you with this: plumb yourself as if stuff’s broken. Ask God to show Himself to you. We are so good at distracting ourselves from what really matters until what really matters is threatened.

 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?   Matthew 6:26


11 thoughts on “Stuff’s Broken Philosophy”

  1. Today is Brian’s birthday. Thanks for giving this gift from your hand, Kelly, to both of us. We continue to pray for you and Bob daily. We’re thankful to our gracious, merciful and loving God who daily shows you His presence, peace and provision. May you continue to lay your fears at Jesus’ feet and find hope in His eternal Word of truth and promise. Psalm 27:13-14

  2. Oh, my dear Kelly… My heart goes out to you. It is no easy road to walk. I don’t pretend to know what your experience is like, but I do know that feeling of fear invading, trying to pull me away from keeping my focus on God. It’s hard, really hard, but I see you, your faith, your beauty, your heart. Brave people never think they’re brave.

    I ask myself time and time again that question: Why me, God? Why my son? Why does my son have autism? Why must our family suffer? Why must Luke suffer? I don’t understand what good comes from this.

    I have no easy answers. There are good days when I can believe that God works good through the bad, but those bad days…well, that’s where I just have to let God carry me as I cry.

    I see how your pour yourself into what your write, whether it be a blog post or your fiction. You create something beautiful out of the mess. You play your part in God’s creation.

    I leave you with a poem I wrote during a time when I was questioning:

    When darkness claims the day,
    And sadness won’t go away,
    When God seems so far,
    And clouds cover every star,
    When doubt and fear close in,
    And you feel you just can’t win,
    When friends are lost,
    And you don’t know the cost,
    That’s when faith can grow,
    And God’s light will show.
    It’s sometimes the harder path,
    Where we feel the world’s wrath,
    So much suffering and pain,
    Wondering what there is to gain,
    That teaches us what matters,
    Even when our spirit is in tatters.
    There is no price for love,
    Heaven-sent from above.
    Keep your feet on the ground,
    And strength will abound,
    But hold fast to the Lord
    And His mercy out-poured.

  3. So much truth here. Tears. Tears for you of course, but tears for me too. This is the journey of lost children adopted into the loving Father’s family. Still broken, still suffering from past traumas, still messed up thinking, minds and bodies that need healing. But He is with us. It’s not about being brave, although we are commanded to be strong and courageous. That really just means “trust God laid these tracks and built this train.”
    Praying for you on this ride of your life. May you experience first hand His love and faithfulness so that your life and His will blend seamlessly into one beautiful bullet train of Glory.

  4. I’m praying for you more than ever. You were an amazing crutch for me when you taught me, and now I’d like to return the favor by praying for you as you did for me. ❤

  5. So true. Adding “to me” makes all the difference. No matter how well-grounded I am in God’s unconditional love and grace, when I’m hurt, broken, under attack, I find myself asking, “Why didn’t you protect me, Lord?”

    In class Sunday, we talked about how we can’t relate to other’s sufferings unless we’ve suffered.

    “Praise be to the God… of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ (2 Cor. 1:3-5).”

    You’re already spreading God’s comfort. Thank you. And praying your experience of God’s comfort will abound, my friend!

  6. I am not a very prayerful person, but my sisters are. My big sister “Ladycakes” (WordPress name) had a double mastectomy not quite two years ago, the same week my little sister’s 15-year-old daughter died of a massive coronary- while praying. On my birthday.
    Know that I am thinking of you, wishing you well, and, in my watered-down, supportive way, praying for you.
    You’d better read my post “Bright, Fresh Morning” on April 19th. It’s the way fools like me pray.
    Best of luck, may god bless.

  7. You must promise to get Bob to let us know how you are. I keep thinking, “I have an appointment April 6” and then I can’t think what it might be and then, I remember. I’m pretty sure God knows you are his good and faithful servant. Sending love…

  8. My heart goes out to you. I really stopped to think when I read this post. Why does a good God let bad things happen to people? We do not always know why things happen. The very reason why we can have hope in God. God is not bound in time and because of this simple fact, his knowledge of you is eternal and constant, it will not increase with time or decrease with time. This is why we say God is omniscient. God Knows what you are going through and I promise you, he is going to be there by your side, even though you may not see him in the circumstances. Just as the bible says- ‘He makes all things work together for good for those who love him’. Trust God. I promise to pray for you and hope you find the answer to why God let you go through it. God bless you abundantly!!

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