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God First Sunday Post, Our Journey

Today is Sunday and time for my God First post. This past week I was asked and have been asked several times since Jamie died, how I have the strength to do what I do. I want to attempt to answer that question about our journey as truthfully as I can.


Lilly Bear First let me say I have never asked God why He took Jamie home.

Now before you think I am some spiritual giant, I am not.

I will tell you that when Lillian (my youngest daughter Allyssa’s baby) died a month later, I did ask God why?

Not once but many times.

I didn’t understand it, she was so precious and such a joy in our lives in the midst of our grief over Jamie.

I still don’t understand it.

Eventually I quit asking why, and trusted that someday when I arrive in Heaven, I will understand why Lillian’s death was part of God’s plan for our journey on earth.


When… not if,  things happen to us along life’s journey there are numerous ways we can respond. Since the passing of Jamie and Lillian I have met far too many mothers that have lost children…from miscarriages to the loss of their teenage and adult children. We grieve and talk together about our children.

Some of them have slipped into the depths of despair. My heart breaks for them and I completely understand their feelings of loss and devastation.

I visit those emotions from time to time, but I try not to live there.

I made a decision fairly early on that I could trust “in” God or I could be mad “at” God by believing He had messed up. Those were my choices.

When the unplanned happens in life’s journey one quickly discovers if their faith is real or make-believe. I always said that I believed everything was under God’s rule and control and nothing happened without His direction or permission. Now I was being forced to either embrace what I said I believed or admit that it was a lie.

Was God in control?

Did God allow Jamie to be hit by a car?

When Jamie arrived at Vanderbilt he was communicating and actually signed the admittance form.  

Five hours later he had a stroke.

Was God there? 

Did He know ?

Was He surprised? 

The Sovereignty of God

In Matthew 10:29 we read, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.”


SparrowSparrows are small birds, they are plentiful, you see them everywhere, they are common.

Yet God in His Sovereignty knows when one, little, small, common bird falls to the ground. Later in Luke 12, we hear of sparrows again where Paul says, “you are more valuable than the sparrows and God  reminds us that the very hairs on our head are numbered.

If the love and care of God extends to all creatures, even to the sparrows, and the very hairs on our head are numbered, then how much more did His love and care extend to Jamie and Lillian.

For me I was challenged in my belief that either God sees our whole life from beginning to end or he doesn’t. He is either to be trusted through the journey of hard times, the painful times, the times we don’t understand… or my faith was not true belief but a mental assent to what I had read in the bible.

We do not always understand “why” God allows certain things to happen, but we can be certain that God is not making any mistakes.

This is not a journey I would have chosen, but one God chose for me and my family. This is how I am able to do what I do.

This journey includes writing about Jamie and the legal fiction of brain death.

If our story or journey can help even one family know what happens when they sign the Organ Donor card and help them while in a hospital going through a traumatic situation it is enough.


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