Why Does God Really Let Bad Things Happen?

grand mal seizure

I feel surreal right now. There’s been a lot of that lately, I suppose. I mean, I know I’m not the only one who looks around at masked men and empty store shelves and thinks, “is this real life?” The last three months have felt more like a SciFi movie. But even more than the craziest day of pandemic pandemonium, today I feel like I’m in a haze. As I sit in a very uncomfortable hospital recliner, watching my daughter sleep, through my own grainy eyes, I feel off-kilter. Was that really me that lowered my seizing daughter to the floor this morning? It seems like something that happened in a dream.

This morning my nine-year-old had a grand mal seizure. She was napping on my lap, when suddenly I felt something and looked down. Her body was clenched tight and stiff, her muscles tensed up, and her whole body shaking vigorously. Her eyelids half open, and her eyes rolled back.

I called her name, even though I knew she wouldn’t answer. “Chloe!!!” I screamed.

It turns out she heard that part, but she told me it sounded like a whisper. The music that had been playing was barely audible to her, she had relayed. Later, in the ER, she said she was trying to sit up when she heard me, but she couldn’t move.

When I say I lowered her to the floor, that sounds graceful. I think it was more of a klutzy descent. I threw us down to the ground, more likely, and turned her to the side as I’d always been taught. As I turned my slobbering, seizing baby on her side, stroked her hair, and whispered reassurances, the familiarity of the situation didn’t go unnoticed. I had been the same age when my mother witnessed me having a grand mal seizure. I prayed, “no satan, this ends with me. This curse does not follow my daughter.”

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I can’t believe I had the clarity to look at my watch when it started, but I did. I was so happy when her convulsions stopped just before two minutes, and I kept wiping her tears off her face while repeating, “momma’s here, you’re gonna be ok.”

She was seemingly unresponsive at first, but a mild knuckle rub of her sternum caused her eyelids to flutter. I smiled at that small victory. Within five minutes she could tell me in a slurred voice where she was, and by the time I got into the back of the ambulance I could see her perking up. I could tell because she looked scared.

She cried most of the ambulance ride to Orlando Health’s Pediatric Hospital, and I prayed with her for God to help her be brave. I guess that prayer was for me too.

They decided to admit her and have attached her to a continuous EEG monitor to watch the electrical activity of her brain. It was all so familiar. The gel and electrodes, even the strobe light test in her face. I wanted to call my mom so bad and ask her, “how did you deal with this when it was me,” but I couldn’t. That made me cry, but I waited until she was asleep.

In the ER she asked me if God knew this would happen, and I answered yes. Then she asked if He knew, then why He let it happen? I was reminded of this verse.

John 9: 1-3

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

I told Chloe that He let it happen so He could show His power by healing her, that she could have a testimony like mine. I was miraculously healed of epilepsy. After taking medication three times a day since eight years of age, I was totally healed of my seizure disorder. If you’ve never heard that story, you can read it here.

I have had the opportunity to share my testimony of healing with every EMT, doctor, nurse, and tech we’ve encountered since we arrived. It’s easy when I have to give the significance of my history in light of her situation.

At one point a doctor said, “so it just went away, then?”

And Chloe interrupted, “no, Mom, you were healed!”

She was very confused in the ambulance. Imagine the last thing you remember is feeling weird, your hearing being almost gone, and you can’t move, then waking up in an ambulance. In the ER she was frightened, but now she feels better. She told me, “thank you for making me feel brave and not afraid.”

I told her it was all Jesus. He’s certainly holding me, and I’m grateful for that. I still feel like I could cry again, but I also feel God’s hand. I am grateful that we are right where we need to be. I wasn’t sure in November of this last year why I felt so certain that we needed to take a permanent job in Florida. We all loved the travel nurse life! When COVID came and travel jobs became scarce, unless you wanted NYC, I knew God’s will had placed us in a secure place. For the past two years we’ve been without traditional health insurance. With super healthy children and great health ourselves, it was easy to forgo the coverage, but I find that when we really need it, here it is. I am constantly in awe of God’s goodness to us. All I know is God is unchanging, and His goodness to us remains.

I will keep you all updated at this proceeds, and I look forward to telling you how God has used it for good. I covet your prayers. I am tired and very emotional. Ben and I are separated during this. He had a 100.0 temp, either due to rushing here in Central FL heat or a current tooth infection being treated with antibiotics, but regardless he wasn’t allowed to come inside the hospital. No children under 18 allowed either. I’m super grateful for FaceTime and Video Messenger. I’m also thankful for all the prayers already given, the hands laid on Chloe (in person and in Spirit), and the wonderful support of family and our church.

Brie Gowen
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Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.