I don’t think it was worth it

I had a conversation tonight in which I was able to reflect on the past two years. The brother-with-cancer part. The loss part. The grief part. The horror part. But most of it was the part where God came through.

I have this story to tell now, a story where God came through despite the cancer and the loss and the grief and the horror. I wouldn’t have had this story otherwise. I wouldn’t have known this version of God otherwise. A version who inexplicably works all things together for good. All things. For good. Inexplicably.

I wouldn’t have gotten to know this version of my God if Shane had lived. I wouldn’t have had this story to tell if Shane had lived. And it’s an extraordinary story. An extraordinary God. I believe deeper now, am more sure now. Because Shane didn’t live.

But I don’t think it was worth it.

I’m seeing life turn out differently because he’s not here. I’m seeing good things happen despite Shane being gone. Every time I realize the good things that are falling into place are as a result of my brother’s death, I reasonably have mixed feelings.

I may or may not have made the career changes I made. I’m finding a deep fulfillment in this new job that I don’t think I could have ever found in the previous one. I’m being challenged and I’m growing and I’m learning and I feel alive.

But if it’s because Shane’s dead, it wasn’t worth it.

My sister-in-law wouldn’t have met Jeremiah, who makes her laugh and introduces her to new hobbies and loves my nephew fiercely and does all those things differently than Shane would have, but he’s the kind of person you feel thankful to know.

But I don’t think it was worth it.

I wouldn’t have thought to use my photography to serve others with cancer, and I wouldn’t have met some really wonderful people as a result.

But I don’t think it was worth it.

My mom wouldn’t be so diligent about taking her Betaseron shots, since she promised him right before he died that she wouldn’t miss any more. Maybe as a result, she’ll live many more years without her MS symptoms progressing. I’m really thankful that he had that stern talk with her right before he died.

But I don’t think it was worth it.

There are more, I’m sure. Stronger faith. Deeper relationships. Better perspective. But if I could change it all right now, I would choose Shane over any good God has done with these circumstances.

That’s the truth about God working all things together for good. I don’t think He expects us to think it’s worth it. I just think He works it together for good.

And that’s going to have to be good enough for now.

3 thoughts on “I don’t think it was worth it

  1. Melissa

    Yup, that’s good enough. Some things we won’t fully understand until we get to heaven and God shows us and we go “Ooooooh, THAT’S how that all fits together.”

    But here on Earth, in the meantime, it can really suck. And it’s okay for it to suck.

    I appreciate your honesty. There is no timeline on grief, and it is not always a linear journey.

    Reply
  2. Alicia G

    Yes this. Sometimes things just suck. The part where God takes the yuck and brings something good out of it – IS GOOD. But it doesn’t mean that the original circumstance still didn’t suck. My mom got Alzheimers and I had to watch her slip away and turn into a child while I became like the parent. It STUNK big time and now she’s gone which also stinks. I can look back and say – I am definitely not the same person. I am more conscious of the small moments. I think I have a bit more patience and in the midst of the awful there were some really brilliant beautiful moments that I cherish. But it doesn’t make the yuck and the missing that person go away for sure.

    Reply

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