Have you ever been stripped? Whether stripped from loved ones, material things, hope, or needed things? Have things ever gotten to the point that you just don't know if you could recover from it? Has being stripped brought you to the point that it has shaken or rocked your world?
I'm not to sure about you, but it has definitely happen to me. You see, although I am a Christian and try to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord, I still get rocked. Being a Christian doesn't necessarily mean that everything is smooth sailing and challenges will not exist. That is far from the truth! Truth be told, sometimes we are the ones that get the big hits.
Many things have happened in my 39 years of life. But the one thing that rocked me the most.......... The death of my three year old daughter. Who would of thought? Why me? Lord I have been serving you faithfully, I love my kids, I have a strong family support system, and I live to worship you...... Why me? The life of my three year old daughter gone, without reason, I just don't understand why me of all people to choose from.
There came a point and time that I questioned God so much because I wanted answers! I even told Him, "there are so many people that abuse their kids, and don't love them. Why would you take mine? I love my daughters and take very good care of them. Why my little girl?"
Julie was her name, Julie Yvette Gonzalez! Our second daughter. She was the funniest character. She definitely was one to give me a run for my money. She was a spit fire, observant, talkative, attitude (a good one, ha), and just plain real. She impacted many people by simply being herself. She would play with all the other kids and would act like little mother goose.
One thing that I would say about Julie is that her worship for God was so pure. Every service, she would be the first one in the front dancing before the Lord. Giving honor to the King is what my baby girl would do continuously. What a joy for me to see her honor God, I was a proud mom! :)
Julie, after she was about 1 year old, she would continually get sick. Sick, as in cold symptoms.... runny nose, fever, some vomiting, puffy eyes, etc. We would take her to the hospital and they would never find anything wrong with her. "Oh she's fine, just give her some Tylenol, and pedia-lite." But this went on for way to long. It was getting so bad that doctors would check her and still "nothing is wrong." Then they would check her veins.... and guess what? Her veins would be collapsed due to the lack of liquids not being held down.
One day, on August 18, 1997, our daughter, Julie Yvette Gonzalez, never made it through the night. Julie was resting in my room because she didn't feel well,(mind you she had a doctor's appt in the morning). I walked into my room and as she was laying down on my floor in my room, she was taking her last breath........... I started freaking out.... I ran out screaming my mothers name... MOMMMMMMM...... She was foaming at the mouth, my mother picked her up and brought her to the kitchen floor. Our neighbor, Amy, who happened to be at our house, was on the phone with 911, and my mother was trying to revive her. This had to be the longest hours of my life.
Paramedics arrive..... I'm huddled in the corner sobbing, my father bust through the back door to try and help, and my husband had just gotten home from work. The blank stare in her eyes...... No words! We rushed to the hospital in the ambulance and as were both(my husband & I) were wondering if she was going to make it. After at least 2 hours of the doctors trying to bring our Julie back, the doctors came in to our room to give us the news. Mr. and Mrs. Gonzalez, we are truly sorry, but your daughter did not make it. We did everything we could. If you would like to see her and spend time with her, we will gladly provide a room for your family and friends.
Wailing, hearts crushed, heavy and hollowed hearts, hurt, stripped and shaken!
Disbelief! My heart is still heavy just writing about it.... my eyes are full of tears... Our little girl will not go to high school, college, marry, or give us grand children. Our little girl has left us, how do we live without her? I wanted to shout out to the WORLD....."EVERYBODY STOP TALKING, WALKING, GOING TO WORK, AND LIVING, OUR LITTLE GIRL HAS PASSED. DON'T MOVE!!!!!!!" My mind was everywhere...... Why me?
I know that this is not everyone's story, but it is my story. We never knew what happened? We had an autopsy done and the results..... UNDETERMINED! Why me Lord? Everything came back normal in the autopsy. I couldn't wrap my head around what had taken place. My Lord, help me.
I understand now that her mission in this life was accomplished and she is with the eternal Father. When I think of what we went through during that time, I can't help but think of Job in the Bible. Job lost everything, his family, his crops, his livestock, land, health, etc. But even through all that, Job was a man of faith, patience and endurance. Through his loss, he still believed in the Almighty God and trusted that the Lord would not forsake him, nor leave him. Job suffered intense emotional and physical pain. And he too, didn't know why he was suffering.
In the end, God gave Job more and abundant. Job was a blessed man, he stood faithful to God regardless of what had taken place and there was no answer.
Often we suffer consequences for bad decisions and actions. Job's willingness to repent and confess known wrongs is a good guideline for us. Sometimes suffering shapes us for special service to others. Sometimes suffering is an attack by satan on our lives. And sometimes we don't know why we suffer. At those times, are we willing to trust God in spite of unanswered questions?
I know I am! It was a hard, long process for our family. But GOD!!! He restored us, and although Julie can NEVER be replaced, He gave us a double portion. The Lord granted us two more daughters, in which are 11 months apart. They are now 13 and 12, and of course our oldest, which is 22 now. The Lord gave us the strength to carry on and fill us up again. If it hadn't been for God..... I'm SO sure that I would have been stripped, shaken and destroyed! BUT GOD!
For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.
This was rather big for our family..... What are you stripped and shaken about? Are you really trusting God to pull you through?
Julie Yvette Gonzalez
2/10/94 - 8/18/97 RIP...... Until we meet again! Never forgotten!