Why do bad things happen to good people? When I was a child, my parents taught me the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Those words still ring in my head almost daily as it seems that those “others” don’t always play fair. As a child, I thought that all would be well for me as long as I was nice to everyone else. Bad things don’t happen to good people. Right?
That was a far cry from the truth. When I was 29 years old, I was pregnant with a beautiful baby boy. We named him Joshua and my two youngest children were so excited. They really wanted a little baby brother to love and care for. I was 30 weeks pregnant and all my checkups had been great. Just 10 more weeks left and I would meet my little bundle of joy.
I had been working a full time job as an Office Manager and left work to go to my doctor’s appointment and planned to return afterwards. I showed up as usual to do the normal check-up routine. However, when the doctor went to check for Joshua’s heartbeat, he couldn’t hear it. At first he didn’t seem too startled, although I was panicking on the inside. What if something was wrong? Surely, the baby was just turned in position where he could’t hear the heart beat. When he called the nurse in to assist, the tears welled up in my eyes and I could hardly keep from crying out loud. Why couldn’t they find my baby’s heartbeat?
After a couple more minutes, the doctor instructed me to drive to the hospital right away to have an ultrasound. I kept my cool until I got to my car. As soon as I closed the car door, I sunk down in the seat and cried out in agony. What was happening? I had always prided myself with taking good care of my children. I gathered up enough strength to call my co-workers to inform them I was headed to the hospital. The conversation started off calm, but by the end, I was frantic. My co-workers were concerned about me driving, but I assured them I would be fine. I told them I was sure it was just a mistake and everything was just fine.
I don’t remember the drive to the hospital as it was a miracle that I even made it there. My vision was extremely blurry from all the tears and my mind was in disarray. I reached the maternity floor of the hospital and they immediately escorted me to a room. The expressions on the nurses’ faces were disturbing me even more. It was as if they already knew my baby was dead. I didn’t want to believe it and held onto hope that they were all wrong. After the ultrasound, they told me that Joshua had passed away. At that moment I felt a rush of every emotion possible all at the same time. I was torn with grief, anger and shock as they told me I would still need to deliver the baby.
Hours passed by after they gave me the medicine to induce labor. These were the worst hours of my life and it was miserable knowing the pain of labor wouldn’t come with a reward of a new baby like in the past. It would come with even more pain and grief as my baby would be dead.
The time had come to deliver the baby and I didn’t want to push. I wanted to hold the baby in and maybe, just maybe, they were wrong. I started praying to God. If He could bring Lazarus back from the dead, then maybe my baby could be born alive. As the doctors and nurses helped me deliver Joshua, I couldn’t look at any of them. I knew they felt sorry for me and their look of eminent gloom pierced my heart. Once the baby had been delivered, I listened intently for the sound of crying, but no sound was made. I noticed they laid Joshua down on a table in the corner of the room. During my last 2 deliveries, they took the baby and begin immediately cleaning, weighing and examining them. This time, they left my poor baby Joshua on the table all alone. In my mind, they had abandoned him. Why weren’t they caring for him? He was still my baby and deserved to be loved and cared for.
I was then faced with a decision to hold my baby, or let them take him forever. This was one of the most difficult decisions I ever had to make. I chose to embrace him as it would be the only chance I had to hug and love my baby here on this earth. When they placed him in my arms, there was such a feeling of agony and grief. He was 4 – 1/2 pounds and a fully developed baby. Perfect fingers, toes, eyes, nose and mouth. I will never forget his tiny little face and hope to see him again in heaven one day.
I could not avoid the question exploding in my mind. Why? Throughout my life I had always tried to be the best person I could be. I treated others as they wanted to be treated. I had a personal relationship with God and thrived on being kind to others. This is one of those questions that people ponder on quite often, but I had never thought on it quite so hard.
People may never know why they have experienced tragedy in this world. However, I do know that God is a loving God. He is real and I experience his love daily. He holds the universe in His hands and knows the whole plan from beginning to end. He sent His only son Jesus to die for all of our sins so we can have eternal life. One day I will be united with my son in heaven and I will understand why he never lived here with our family. But for now, I have to trust God and trust that He has my best interest in mind. Bad things DO happen to good people, but God provides us with the strength to rise from the calamity to encourage and support others going through the same struggles.