Our ballerina girl was diagnosed with scoliosis. Her spine curved with each centimeter she grew. Back pain became part of her every day. In a tutu-filled world of pointe shoes and buns, posture is everything and a spine growing wonky-like spells disaster.
Questions haunted me, chasing with their taunts. Would her dreams crumble before my eyes? Would she face crushed dreams? Why would this happen to her?
She was still so young and growth plates stood wide open. She wasn’t done stretching her height towards the sky. The prognosis looked bleak because scoliosis doesn’t reverse—it gets worse.
This summer Ella’s most recent visit to the orthopedic revealed a back without a curve. Wait. What? Her spine was straight. Head-scratching, miracle-making straight.
My girl—a walking miracle. God’s healing touch.
My social media story of the news was filled with comments and cheers. Each with the same theme.
God is good.
But if I’m honest, soul-bearing honest with you, sometimes I question His goodness. Because life isn’t always filled with unicorn miracles and pots of gold.
Sometimes dreams shatter.
And even with her miracle, our ballerina girl faced a devastating blow in June.
It happened just one week into five weeks of summer intensives. She had worked a full year and auditioned, trained, planned, and all the things to be accepted into the two programs she was attending.
She bubbled with excitement, and we burst with pride.
A freak accident. A broken toe. A shattered dream.
Only one week of dancing, and my girl was benched for the duration. No more summer intensives. No more training. No more skill growth. She would begin the ballet season behind.
Our hearts were broken.
Was God still good?
I ached for my daughter’s heart. She bravely squared her shoulders while I quietly slumped mine and wept. I couldn’t understand why. Why would a good God allow her to face such adversity? Why would He bring her to the edge of her summer dreams, only to allow them to be ripped back?
Oh, I was an angry momma. Because, honestly? There are times I just don’t understand God. I love Him, my friends. But I don’t get His ways.
I struggled deep as I waited for my girl to fly home—alone—away from her dreams.
I struggled with understanding. I struggled with God’s goodness. In reality, I know Ella’s circumstances weren’t that terrible in the grand picture of life-tragedies. But the pain was still there. And I struggled.
I struggled until I remembered a story my friend told me a while ago. Her boys were in a horrific car accident, but they came away only a bit bumped and bruised. She spoke about how everyone kept telling her that God was so good to their family.
Then she shared the questions she asked herself.
“Would I still be able to say God is good if my boys had been severely injured? Or worse, had died? Would God still have been good then?”
“Yes. God would still have been good.”
I sat with her answer and felt a shift in my world. Could I say the same? Could I believe God is good? All the time? Every moment of every day?
Yes. I could believe it. I do believe it.
But, friends, that truth can be difficult to hold onto. It isn’t easy—this holding faith and questions in the same hand.
Because bad things, terrible things happen. Hurricanes demolish shorelines and wash away homes. Spouses die and marriages fail. Children get cancer and are abused in horrific ways.
Circumstances and events take place that I cannot explain—I cannot pretend to understand. Tragedies occur that leave me shaking my fist toward heaven, questioning why my Creator allows the pain evil causes.
Suffering can’t be explained. Pain so intense, so overwhelming, so consuming we’re left suffocating in our own sorrow. And the why eludes us.
I know God’s character is good. And I know His character does not change.
If I loved a God whose character changed on a whim, in who could I trust? If God could be both good and bad, how could He be holy? Perfect? And if I knew all the answers to all of my questions, why would I need anyone other than myself?
I don’t know all the answers.
I don’t know why all the bad happens.
But I know, so often, there is a deep purpose in our pain. I know that God is good. And I’m learning how to say and believe that Truth no matter what.
Because He is the God who sees our pain and our suffering and aches with us.
We are not alone in our suffering. We have a refuge—a haven. A harbor of peace is promised even as suffering rages in our ears and our hearts.
Our Creator may not choose to remove our pain, but He does promise to calm the chaos of our souls in the midst of our trials and struggles.
He is our refuge. Our strength. Our help.
He is good.
He promises the shelter of His arms. Allow him to comfort your pain, to calm your heart, to banish your fear, to dry your tears.
He’s there, dear friends. And He is Good. Hide in His warm embrace.
And my Ella? She’s still twirling on her toes. But even if her dancing was only in her heart?
God would still be good.