Tough Times - Aria MacDonald

Tough Times

We have pretty much unpacked into our new place.  At least all the stuff we want to unpack, there is still lots in the garage to sift though.

We love the house, it is pretty fab.

Moving into a semi permanent place has been incredibly difficult.  I finally I understand now when people say they are afraid to start crying because they feel they may never stop.  It feels like Aria should be here and she really isn’t.  The sense of moving on is so hard.  Seeing her stuff is so hard.  Missing her is so hard.

It brings up all kind of hard questions.  Like – why did her bone marrow fail?  Why did God rescue her from a failed 2nd transplant and gift her wonderful working organs only to take her a year later?  Why did He do that?  Even if we had just gotten her back to NZ, even for a year, it wouldn’t of felt like we were so desperately robbed.

Yes Aria is in heaven, freed from her body that didn’t work quite right.  But it did work for a good period of time post transplant and it could of kept working for many years.

Actually- here is some home truth- I don’t care she is in heaven, I just want her back with us.  Yup I am selfish, because being back on earth isn’t something she would want or wish.  But I want and wish it.

But some more truth is this.  I am 100% convinced without a doubt she is in heaven and I am 100% sure I will see her again, grownup and beautiful and perfect.  And not because I am a good person or perhaps she was.  But because the only thing I have to cling too is that God put Himself in my grieving place and sacrificed His Son for me.  Jesus’s death makes me perfect and I get to enter heaven.

Not that God and I are on good terms right now.  Actually I feel He is patiently loving and providing for me while I ignore Him and question His goodness to my family by robbing us of a daughter, sister, granddaughter and niece.

Yeah, so not much faith inspiration in this post!  But I share this because it is a process, God holds me and not I Him.  I just don’t know how He plans to pull me out of this dark dark valley.

34 Responses to “Tough Times”

  1. Moira says:

    Nothing I can say other than we’re praying for you. That valley is a place only time and God’s healing can get you out of… Love you!

  2. Mon says:

    Love sent your way. Xxxooo. Thank you sooo much for sharing your journey, truly inspirational xo

  3. Kiwi Hannah says:

    Hi Anita, sending you much love and prayer. A few weeks ago I wrote a short song in memory of Aria – I don’t know how or when, but maybe some day I can share it with you xx

  4. Coralie says:

    Anita, don’t put yourself down, I know how hard it must be to figure out the reasons why? but the truth is, the longer Aria was on this earth, the more chance people had to get to know her and gain so much from her. I really appreciate your honesty and hope the road gets smoother for you to travel. Love to you all. xxx

  5. Marianne says:

    I cannot fathom what you must be going through. Your emotions are normal, it is okay to feel angry, sad and all the other things you must be feeling. You will see aria soon again and spend eternity with her. Hang on to the hope that jesus has given you and to all of us who are believers. Marianne x x

  6. katie says:

    Oh Anita, I can’t begin to imagine this and my heart aches for you. I’m sure though, that everything you are feeling, all of it, is normal, and its allowed, and its ok to think and feel all of those things. Gosh, you could say a whole lot worse and we’d all understand – and so would God. I know you probably prefer quotes and words of wisdom from the Bible, so I hope a little Winston Churchill is ok this time as its all I have: “When you are going through hell, keep going” don’t stop where you are Anita, keep going, the journey will get easier – in time. Still so much love out there for you, Aria and all your loved ones.

  7. fiona says:

    I disagree Anita- there IS faith inspiration in your post. God is God- and that’s why He is strong enough and loving enough to hang onto you when you can’t hang on to Him. That is exactly who He is. Unfathomable, immeasurable, omnipotent- and our very best friend. Awesome God- keep you all in His mighty hands

  8. Josie says:

    Thankyou for your raw honesty and openess. You are always an inspiration. and I agree pure and simple, we may know that our love ones are in a better place – but we just want them back here! Love you guys let us know if you need anything anytime xxx

  9. Tiffany Keller says:

    One day God will pull you out of the dark valley, but He knows you need time to grieve. When you feel ready to talk to Him again, He will already be there to listen. God Bless!

  10. Jan P. says:

    thanks for the update love to you all I am walking this with you.

  11. Jes says:

    Praying as always for you. May God continue to comfort, strengthen and help you out of this dark valley in His perfect timing. xx

  12. Joan Marshall says:

    It’s all part of the grieving process Anita. I believe greatly in Elisabeth Kuhbler Ross (can’t spell that properly) and her process of grieving and it all takes time. It would break my heart to unpack Aria’s things but not have her there to be part of them so just keep on keeping on and don’t worry about your friendship with God. Good friends understand and accept everything otherwise they aren’t much good as friends! Loads of warm fuzzies to you all.

  13. Katrina says:

    Thinking of you often Anita, Hamish and Asher. How lucky we are to be loved by a God that never gives up on us no matter how much we might give up on Him and ourselves.
    At the end of this storm, when the sun begins to shine again there will be a most beautiful rainbow. God is good.

  14. Cecelia Kermeen says:

    Anita I am not very religeous person but I can offer you a little of what I know. It is great that you feel God holding onto you but it is not him that will pull you out of the darkeness, he will be there with you always but it can only be you that pulls yourself out of that horribly sad place. You have to be strong and be confident in the fact that not only God but Aria is also there with you every step of the way. Its ok to be a little sad and reflect back but think of the future and the possibilities, keep your head up not down. If you cant talk to God talk to Aria and you will find the answers. Much love to you and good luck. xxxx

  15. Marguerite says:

    A quote that spoke to me was “Faith – seeing the light with your heart when your eyes see only darkness”. It’s totally ok to not be on speaking terms with God. He is constant and He understands without you having to say anything. It is an uphill road out of the valley, it will take time, but, step by step you will make it. You guys continue to be in my thoughts. Much love xxxx

  16. Monique says:


  17. chrissy Hallberg says:

    I always think unpaking is like xmas,cause you forget all the stuff you have and there is just lots of suprises.Glad things are going well in your new house,blessings to you all ,chrissy 🙂

  18. Samantha Sutherland says:

    Oh honey, there is no sense or right in this whole situation. Why Aria? Yep its really unfair and wrong and heartbreaking. I don’t know why some are taken and some are saved. I have learnt not to question why some people seem to have it all and lead perfect, stress free lives either as I know that somewhere along the line we all bear some harsh lessons, yours is earlier and harsher than most. Just know that whatever you are going through and however long it takes, there are so many people here just loving you and wanting to take all your pain away. xxx

  19. Cousins Kathleen & Anita says:

    The burning question: did God rob a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter and a niece, (and for that matter a third cousin)?
    Robbers are never good and well yes, you know what’s coming ….. perhaps our criteria of “good” and God’s criteria of “good” are very different!

    Anita, keep writing, keep sharing, keep being honest. Your blog is not unlike the book of Psalms.

  20. Ann says:

    I have followed Aria’s journey since the begining but for a long time I have not been able to comment, your grief seems so familiar, then I remembered a book that helped me the auther is Harold S Kushner “When bad things happen to good people” reading that book helped me to get some measure of peace of mind.

  21. laura says:

    Keep clinging, dear Anita, keep clinging. We all wish we had the answers, or even better, the ability to have made Aria completely well. Please know you are loved, valued and cared for.

  22. Judy Palmer says:

    Oh Anita I feel your pain. On 31st October this year it will be 44years since my little girl was taken from us suddenly. It took a long long time to start praying again, but it does get easier with time and now my husband has gone to join her in Heaven I take comfort in knowing that she was there to greet him. I am still praying for you every night and believe you will start to feel better soon and that God is surrounding you with His love and care. Blessings to you all,Judy.

  23. lisa says:

    Dear Anita, thank you for your raw and honest post. The ”why’ questions are so hard and there are no answers. I cannot imagine the intensity of pain you must feel looking at Aria’s things. It is natural to want her back. Please know there are so many people loving and caring for you all. I wish I could take some of your pain away. Aria will always be with you in your heart and soul and every minute of the day. Her memory lives on in hundreds of people. What comes to mind is my favourite song…’One day at a time, sweet Jesus’ All my love to you. Lisa xxxx

  24. H Wilkie says:

    Love to you and the whanau xx Just letting you know I’m here and thinking of yous xx

  25. Vikki Bland says:

    Dear Anita, I too have wondered over the questions you wonder over, and thought why why why? Actually, I still do that although I try not to. And if one of my children went to Heaven I feel like I would ask why why why why forever. I still ask it of God for Aria, even now. But I know I am unlikely to hear the answer this side of heaven. And I know I still believe in God. And I believe that He knows why. And that’s all I have.
    I too would want my son or daughter back on Earth to ease my pain – and I don’t think I would care if that sounded selfish, so great would I imagine my pain would be. You are solid and real and so honest and anything you share is a priviledge to be part of and to hear. I know nothing in my head, but I do know in my heart, in my soul, that God will guide you out of this dark, dark valley. The path will be slow and windy, and up and down, and the light guiding you forward will be small, perhaps only enough for your feet. But He will lead you through, you won’t need to strive. I believe in His massive, incredible love for you. His heart for your sorrow. His love for Hamish and for Asher. And the fact that He can see your heart and knows all. And understands. And loves. Sending you my love, you are much loved. XXX

  26. Cary Farrington (GRC) says:

    I continue to be amazed at your faith and you have been and still are an inspiration to me. Thank you for living your life in the open.

  27. Cork and Carol says:

    Prov 13:12a: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” (NASB). This is the verse that I thought of first thing this morning after reading your post last night. You have a hope and faith in heaven, but your reunion with your precious daughter is “on hold” right now and your heart is “sick”. Well, I don’t know if that thought is theologically sound, but it makes sense to me. How I wish that your beautiful Aria was here with you and your pain would be eased. The questions you ask are ones we ask, too, and there are no good answers. Hang on to your faith in this dark valley. We will be praying that you will have better days soon. Love you so very much! Carol for us both

  28. Taryn says:

    I love you so much and am blessed by your honesty. I’m praying.

  29. iliganoa says:


  30. Emma Abrahams says:

    Oh Anita! Sending you so much love right now.

  31. Doc and Sharon says:

    Thank you God for the MacDonalds. For thier faith, for their wittness. Lord, please wrap your loving arms around them all and hold them tight. They love you so much Lord, and even tho you feel far away right now, they know that you love them so much and that you will bring them thru this. Help them cry, and grieve, and adjust to thier new home, without Aria. May Aria live there in their memories and in their hearts. May their new home one day be filled with laughter and sweet memories of Aria. Bring them to a time when the memories do not hurt SO much!! Lord just love on them like never before. Please bless their hearts and their lives.
    Hang in there Anita. Thank you for sharing your heart. Our love to you all.

  32. jen says:

    pleased you love your house

    Gods ways are sometimes a mystery
    however I think God has broad shoulders and can take your anger and questions at the moment – its part of the grieving process

    massive hugs

  33. Sam Seccombe says:

    Dear Hamish and Anita and Asher,

    We continue to pray for you often that the Lord himself would carry you through this dark and sad time in your lives. We really sympathise with you as you move and try to unpack- what a difficult job, without Aria. As you wrestle with the Lord and pour out your hearts to him we pray that he would help you hold on to your faith and that in your pain you would know His loving hand resting on you and that you would be convinced that He hears your prayers and will answer you.
    He is willing and able, our God is mighty to save!!
    We keep praying for you and trusting in our wonderful risen Saviour!!

    With our love to you all

    Martin and Sam

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”- Jeremiah 29:11