I was telling a couple of friends the other day the title of this book, and it reminded me of a story. I shared it with them, and they encouraged me to share it with you, so here goes.
Several years ago, on Valentine’s Day, I gave birth to my stillborn son, Chance Daniel Schneider. It broke my heart and my spirit, and even though I loved Jesus, my heart just couldn’t bear the pain.
I tried to believe all the good Christian statements that people told me: “God has a plan” and “God knows best.” But truthfully, at the time, all I could see or feel was pain.
And I didn’t like it. I wanted to escape it. I had prescriptions for Valium and sleeping pills, and I took them faithfully. And the pain was a bit numbed. But I had a history with substance abuse and addictions, and I knew if I continued taking the pills, I would. And things would not go well in my life. But I really didn’t care. The pain was too deep.
But one day, God told me to throw away the pills, that it was time to heal, not escape. I didn’t want to, but I obeyed him. And I started healing. But as in all healing processes, if you pick the scab, the healing will be hindered, and I picked my scab. All the time.
I just couldn’t quit thinking about Chance, and I couldn’t release the pain to God. And one day, I decided I didn’t want to. I wanted the pain because I wanted to feel my baby, and it was all I had left.
I had been in a counseling session one morning, but nothing was clicking in my mind, and I left that day, headed straight to refill my prescriptions. I knew where this path would take me, but I just didn’t care. I was too consumed with my pain to think clearly or rationally. A friend tried to convince me that “only God…” But I wasn’t listening or receiving.
At the grocery store, there was a long line at the pharmacy, and I didn’t feel like standing still, so I headed over to the deli counter with the intention of picking up some sandwich meat and then getting the scripts filled.
There was a line at the deli as well, so as I took my number, and as I looked around, I saw a book rack nearby. One of the books caught my eye, If God Is so Good, Why Do I Hurt So Bad? Boy, isn’t that the truth? I thought. I picked up the book and started reading. And the words on those pages were like a salve to my broken heart. I could not put that book down, and fifteen minutes later, when my purchase was handed to me, I put the book in my cart and walked past the pharmacy and headed home.
I read every page in that book that day, and God used the words to comfort and heal my broken heart. I never refilled those medications. I never went back to numbing the pain away. I allowed God to work; I allowed him to heal me.
I sat down that day and wrote how I was feeling, and in the writing, the pain was released. Those pages went on to become part of my first book, Chili and Chocolate Cake, a book that has helped so many through the pain of loss through abortions, miscarriage, or stillbirths.
When I was thinking about the title of this book, God brought that book back to my memory and gave me this, If God is so Good, Why is My Life Such a Mess? title. God is really good, but for so long, my life was really a mess! Why? And if that is my story, how many others share the same story? And how many others will find healing and hope through these pages?
So this is my prayer: that the title of this book caught your eye and you picked it up and in reading it, God is healing your hurting heart and helping you to be whole and complete, through his great love!
Excerpt from If God Is So Good, Why Is My Life Such A Mess? by Joyce Schneider