How come?

A while ago... A long while ago... I mentioned a friend of a friend who had been diagnosed with a very serious form of cancer. Shantelle and her husband Jo are the pastoral couple of an MB church in Moose Jaw. When she was first diagnosed the doctors told her she probably wouldn't live for more than a day or two, but she did. She lived, and she fought, and she loved and praised God through a whole year of living and fighting. This summer she took a break from treatments and this fall she had some special tests done to see how she was doing... AND THE CANCER WAS GONE! Shantelle now had the daunting task of coming to terms with the life stretching in front of her. She struggled with her fears and her insecurities (she wrote them all down on this blog), she comforted and encouraged her 8 year old daughter, and she started to imagine a life and her place in it...

But suddenly, last week Thursday, she died of a brain aneurysm. Like everyone around me I am wondering why. How can you not wonder that? Why give a mommy back to a daughter if she's going to be taken away again so soon? Why give a wife back to a husband? Why heal a body that is going to lose its fight against a whole new enemy? Why make a miracle and then... ? Why get everyone's hopes up?

I can't stop thinking about Shantelle's little daughter, Mikhayla, and I wonder how a child processes something like this. I am having trouble dealing with my anger towards God, my sense of betrayal, and it isn't my mommy who died. How do you explain to a child that even though God could heal, did heal, He didn't this time? I can't explain it to myself so I can't imagine what this precious little girl is feeling.

So please, let's all remember Mikhayla and her dad Jo in our prayers. I know we Christians say that all the time, "Remember them in your prayers", but seriously, let's remember them. I want to write a prayer down here, but honestly, I have no words right now except for "why" and "how could you" and "you better be there for them". Not very uplifting, but hopefully that will come in time. For now I am just ticked right off and hurt.

So God, just have mercy... Please.


  1. Oh yeah... The funeral is tomorrow. Shirley is going, so lets remember everyone involved okay?

  2. That is sad, tragic and doesn't make any sense. I know that right now there are no words to encourage you but I will pray for them and for you. So sorry to hear such a sad story. When we run out of faith and understanding and we have no idea what is going on, we place our trust in the God who does. That is all we can do. I heard a quote from C.S. Lewis after his wife died of cancer that I will never forget....'the tragedy is not that I would stop believing in God but that I would start to believe such horrible things about Him". That is so true. God is good. He cannot be anything else. As much as everything screams differently sometimes, GOD IS GOOD and faithful. I am not trying to minimize your pain or the sorrow of that poor little girl. I don't understand it either but I have to place my trust in the ONE who does for He is good.

  3. Sorry to hear of someone who has passed away, especially when they are so young, and are leaving behind younger children. It is God's plan, and as humans we all struggle to understand his plan.(I know I did when my Dad passed away.) I will keep them in my prayers.

  4. My dad struggled for 9 months before dying of cancer. It is hard to watch someone you love wither away into a shell of what they once were (the biggest evil of cancer). You feel a piece of yourself withering away as well, leaving an empty void -- a hole you don't know how to fill up again.

    I suppose I was fortunate. I had 9 months to adjust to the fact that my dad was dying. At the time of his passing, I even felt some relief and joy -- his suffering was over and he was in heaven. I can't imagine how Shantelle's family feels. How do you come to grips with the fact that someone you love is going to die, suddenly have all that overturned, and before you even get a chance to smile again, have that hope ripped from you? Personally, wonder whether Jo and Mikhayla have emotionally processed as far as the questions Becky's asking. If it were me, I think I would be left with one unending word: "Why?" Echoing in the silence. Echoing in the emptiness of my heart.

    As a young father, I've seen my 2 year old son look up to me in tears, silently asking "Why?" through uncontrollable sobs. It breaks the heart. How do you explain to him that he has to endure the pain of brushing his teeth, or he won't have any in the future? To him, he doesn't understand why I have to hurt his teeth by brushing them. He begs me not to each time I brush them. What kills me even more is how he dutifully lies down on the sofa and opens his mouth and waits for me to brush them each time. Sobbing the whole time, he trusts me that it has to be done for his own good. I wonder many times whether I deserve that trust.

    Does God have a purpose in taking Shantelle home? Although Jo and Mikhayla don't see it now, will they grow up to understand it later? I don't know. I wish I could have even a fraction of the trust my son puts in me sometimes. But maybe it helps to know that our heavenly Father's heart breaks for his children. Maybe it fills a little bit of the emptiness to know that God is in control and He loves us so incredibly deeply -- even when life makes no sense.

  5. That's it. You're getting your own blog.

  6. no doubt!!!

    *starts smearing warpaint all over himself in preparation for glen's new blog*

  7. Oh goodness, I can't even imagine. As you said, it doesn't seem to make any sense that He would heal the cancer only to later take her so suddenly. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family, Shantelle's family and all others affected by her passing. Though these words sound so hollow and meaningless, I cannot think of anything to say other than, I'm so very sorry.

  8. This was NOT God.

    A not uncommon side effect of cancer treatment is an aneurysm.

    While here on earth she chose to go to heaven rather than hell, so when satan stole her earthly life, her spirit went home to God.

    God can only give what He is.
    God is life, not death.
    God is wholeness, not sickness.
    God is love, not hate.
    God is peace, not fear.
    God is restoration, not separation.
    GOD IS GOOD!!!!!!!!!!



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