And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
I was pregnant with Rebecca when the doctors were trying to count her fingers and thought maybe she didn’t have them all because she held them so tight and they overlapped. Rebecca was my first girl and I was looking forward to the day I would hold those hands in mine and give her her first manicure. But they were telling me that the number of digits she had was the least of my worries.
You don’t hear of Trisomy 18 too often because most babies with this condition are aborted or stillborn; and those that do survive birth do not usually live longer than five days.
Rebecca lived three weeks before she passed away. During those three weeks, and the many, many long ones to follow, we had to wrestle out this stuff with God: Why is life unfair, and what do we do with all the people staring at us?
It wasn’t just our daughter’s uncommon beauty that people stared at.
Losing a child is out of the norm, and it makes people uncomfortable. Many times I’ve had conversations suddenly become awkward after I spoke of my loss; suddenly I became “different” to the one I was conversing with, and unless they had dealt with grief themselves, they no longer knew what to do or say around me; they stepped back and just stared.
Some things just don’t make sense in life, and we just have to choose to trust God or not. It’s not an easy decision, but I can tell you from experience that it is easier to give it all to Him than to become bitter toward Him. My husband and I figured out that if we could not trust God, there was no one we could trust, and we would be completely alone in our battle.
We chose to cast all our cares on Him, and He carried us through … not that the battle is over, but He promises to give us strength to handle whatever comes our way. We look at it like this: If there were nothing “unfair” and we had no weaknesses or challenges, then our lives might be easier, but they would be empty and meaningless.
As they say, “nothing good in life comes easy.” Having confidence in who you are and what your purpose is may not be easy, but it is good!
If you struggle with life being unfair to you, or you are tortured with thoughts about who you are–or who you are not–wrestle it out with God. Tell Him how you feel about it. Ask Him to help you deal with it. Perhaps that is the very purpose for Him allowing it: to draw you closer to Him.
He knows you better than you know yourself. Maybe He wants to use you the way He is using my husband and me. We have come to believe it is an honor and a privilege that others stare at us because of our loss. You see, if we were just like everyone else, no one would really get drawn to God by us.
Is there something about you that makes others stare at you? Let them look! And let God use you! I believe that is why He put your imperfection there; it captures others. Think about it: He trusts you to show His glory far more than the average girl who blends into the crowd.
Catrina Welch is an image- and life-coach whose message is not as much “what not to wear” as it is, “Know Who You Are,” which is the title of her book of guidelines for your personal image identity. Catrina has also written a Bible study to help women overcome their image issues. It is titled Supreme MakeOver: a Rich and Refreshing Devotional Experience. Her other books include Footprints Through the Sand: a Consolidation of Life-altering stories about Loving and Loosing a Trisomy-18 Baby and Confident Beauty: Reflecting the One Who Made You with the Images in Your Mirror and Your Soul, which will be available soon.