My mom passed away on July 12, 2018, after 14 years of battling cancer three separate times. This last time took her life, and I have wrestled with the daunting question, why? Why did the God who is able to heal all diseases choose to let her disease kill her? Why did the God who is good allow the bad to win? Why did God not heal my mom? Why did God let my mom die?
Throughout the process of learning about her diagnosis this time, I was much more involved than I had been the previous two, simply because I was old enough and mature enough to fully understand what was happening and assume my responsibility for caring for her. I learned the severity of how and where the cancer had spread, and I heard the number of years they gave my mom to live. So I prayed, diligently, for her healing on this side of heaven. I prayed for new life, for God’s power to overflow in our family, for a miracle to be done. I prayed this until one day God told me to stop – he told me to stop praying for her healing and instead to pray for peace.
You see, it wasn’t a part of God’s plan that my mom be healed this time and live. I don’t know why, nor do I understand how something so ugly and painful and horrible can be part of a good God’s plan. However, I choose to trust that he knows what he’s doing. Coming to terms with the fact that healing wasn’t where God wanted my attention was hard.
I began wrestling with the very real truth that though God is able to do anything, it doesn’t always mean he will.
God was able to heal my mom. He was able to cause all cancer to leave her body and never return. But he didn’t. He wasn’t willing because it wasn’t a part of his will. As I read scripture, stay steadfast in prayer, and choose to trust God throughout this entire process – from my mom’s sickness to the grief I’m experiencing now that she’s gone – I have begun to understand why God didn’t heal my mom.
God is Good
“You are good, and what you do is good…” Psalm 119:68a
God is a good God. That is a foundational truth, and until you’ve solidified it in your heart, when tragedies and struggles and pain come your way, you will be shaken. However, if you know and believe in the unconditional love, grace, and goodness of God, nothing – not even death – will make you question.
My mom loved God. My family loves God. And the Bible tells us God works things together for good for those who love him (Romans 8:28). Therefore, my mom’s battle with cancer and her eventual death is – somehow – good. It doesn’t make sense to me; I have limited understanding due to my humanness. Though God may bring some clarity and understanding to the situation eventually, he also might leave it a mystery. Regardless, because I have rooted the truth of God’s goodness in my heart, I am able to look at this ugly situation and know my good God knows what he is doing, and what he is doing is good.
God Has a Purposeful Plan
“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’” Isaiah 46:10
God knows what is going to happen from the very beginning to the very end, and he has a purposeful plan for every day. He cannot be defeated, and his plan cannot be ruined.
Cancer would not have been able to take my mom if it was God’s will that she live.
Therefore, I know her passing away – regardless of how painful and sad and horrible it is for me right now – is a part of God’s plan. It does not make sense to me, but he is a good God with a purposeful plan. He knows what he is doing, and I truly believe my mother’s story and passing will not be wasted but will instead bring glory to God and bring his heavenly kingdom closer to earth.
We Only See One Side of the Story
“One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the LORD, ‘From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.’” Job 1:6-7
We live in a physical world that is very real to us. We feel pain, joy, sorrow. We experience friendship and heartbreak. We have to eat food, drink water, and sleep in order for our bodies to continue functioning well. We have eyes that see everything in our world around us and hands to touch what is real to us in front of our eyes. Yet, the physical is not the only thing by which we are surrounded.
There is a spiritual world – one that is very alive. Though we cannot see it, we do experience the effects of the battle between good and evil that is happening on a spiritual level. I believe a lot of our confusion and lack of understanding comes from the fact that we only see one side of the story, even when we are most likely experiencing the effects of both.
Just as Job in the Bible didn’t understand why his world was falling apart because he didn’t know the spiritual battle between good and evil happening on his behalf, I don’t know what was happening in the spiritual realm – what type of battle was being fought or conversations were being held as my mom was fighting cancer with all her strength. I do know that God is good and victorious and his plan will be accomplished regardless.
My Mom Is, in fact, Healed
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning, or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4
My mom is in heaven. I have no doubt about that whatsoever. I also have no doubt that she is now fully healed, living joyfully in abundance with Jesus. Her strength has been restored, her voice has been restored, her hair has probably even been restored. She is full of life. She is happy and at peace. She is with Jesus.
So, no, even though God was able to heal my mom on this side of heaven, he chose to take her home to be with him. And even though it doesn’t always make sense, I know God didn’t heal my mom because he is a good God with a good plan that reaches beyond our physical experiences and instead impacts the heavens. That’s why God let my mom die.
I miss my mom immensely, but I am so glad she is finally at peace, and I cannot wait to see God’s glory revealed through her story.
32 comments on “Why God Let My Mom Die”
Your Faith is great! I am sorry you lost your mom with such a bad illness and so young. God bless you and your family, may He always remind you that she truly is happy now, No more pain no more tears Revelation
Thank you so much for your sweet words. It has definitely been one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through but I’ve chosen to let it strengthen my faith rather than destroy it. Not always the easiest choice, but knowing my mom is in heaven and healed sure does help!
Very well written account of your journey. You made a choice based on your knowledge of a good God, to leave the issue to Him. When he chose taking her, you accepted with peace. God has taken note of your journey. Every tear you have cried is “put in the bank” for rewards to you when the time comes. Blessed be the name of the Lord. You are a winner.
Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. It brought tears to my eyes. I appreciate you!
Your testimony is so encouraging. My mother is currently in hospice care. It pains me too see her sedated, not eating, and no fluids. I understand that God’s way of healing my mom is by taking her to be with him. But your personal story makes me feel more at peace. Thank you!
Victoria, I am so sorry to hear about your mom. What you are experiencing now is one of the hardest times, and I will be praying for you, your mom, and your family. I am so glad my testimony and my mom’s story brings you peace and encouragement even during some of the worst times. If you ever need or want someone to talk to, please reach out—email@example.com
Mom went to be with God Jan 2022. I am angry, guilty and empty cos Mom was my only friend. I never needed any when mom was here. I am struggling to pray and depend on God. Cos I wished he gave me time. Mom passed away in india when I was here in usa. I had so much stuff to tell mom. Struggling with faith but your letter is sweet and much needed. My moms name is Lydia too. You made me cry
Hi Sue, thank you for sharing about your mom with me. I am so sorry she is no longer here and you’re dealing with all of the emotions that come with losing someone you love. I know it is easy to be mad at God, but it’s important to remember that we weren’t made to live here forever but to live forever with Him in heaven. There will be justice and all will be right, even though it feels unfair now. I encourage you to remember not what you didn’t get to say to your mom but all of the amazing memories, conversations, and experiences you had with her. Those are what matter most now. And know that I am here for you too and praying for your heart during this time.
My mom had a heart attack in my living room 4/2021, I did cpr with the neighbor but it didn’t work. I watched her take her last breath. Oh it’s painful, but taking it day by day. Thank you for this message.
Hi Kathleen, I am so sorry to hear about your mom’s passing. I cannot imagine how hard that must have been to experience. While I know it’s hard, day by day is the only way to make it through. I’m glad you found the message helpful. Please reach out if you have any questions or just need someone to talk to… firstname.lastname@example.org
Why god took my Mom so early?She want to live but covid has taken her so early.
I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I hope you find peace in the hope of Jesus. Please reach out to me via email if you’d like to chat about this more.
I lost my mom less than 4 months ago… she was my best friend and the closest person I had on earth. She loved Jesus and so did I. But my heart is so grieved I’m not sure how to love Him from now on…
I am going through the same experience. I do not know how to trust God and how to love Him. My mother suffered a massive stroke on 12th/01/23 and died on 29th/01/23. I prayed and fasted more than I have ever and trusted God and believed from the day it happened till the day she died. She was my best friend and more.
Liz—it can be so hard when God doesn’t answer our prayers how we want. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom’s passing. Even when we don’t understand why certain things happen on earth the way they do, we can trust God is still good and is working in ways we don’t yet understand. But the end is always the same—we can have hope that in the end Jesus wins and that we’ll be in heaven for eternity when we choose to have faith regardless.
Thank you for sharing your story. My mother died from cancer too, a slow painful death, sedated, mumbling incoherently as I sat by her hospital bed crying. I wept and prayed for her all night. Her once beautiful thick hair was gone, her healthy body, once shapely was reduced to skin and bones. A nurse asked me if I wanted to sleep after staying up all night and I did. I slept for one hour in another room and she died while I rested. She was the only person who ever loved me in my dysfunctional family. That was 20 years ago. I was devastated because we both believed God would heal but to be honest I had my doubts since she was declining over a period of time. I’ll never understand why God thought it was a good idea to take her in such a cruel way. In fact, I am still in disbelief of the goodness of God. I think I still believe in the idea of His goodness, but my experience does not line up with His word. My faith was strong when she died and for a long time I refused to let this horrific experience and thoughts torment my life and damage my faith. But it was just that, my father abandoned me too. I’ve had no one and honestly for the first time I understand why people drown themselves in drugs and alcohol and become homeless. Every Christmas or holiday is a reminder of her beautiful life cut short and robbed by an enemy. These tragedies along with others shaped my life in a much bigger way than my faith could. I held on tight to my faith, reached out to God for comfort, a sign or help dealing with being in this psychological prison of despair and anguish. I took meds, got counseling sought help at Bethel Church in Redding Ca but after decades of battling no breakthrough ever came. The only thing that seemed to help was to try reinforce my thoughts with the idea that she was alive and well in heaven. Sometimes I hear her beautiful voice laughing in joy or telling me she loves me. Other times the reality that this is just a social construct of my mind to help me deal with this nightmare. I don’t think I lost my faith, I think I just grew up and realized how wounded I am, and how religion helped my mind but ultimately failed my heart. After all these years no matter what I have told my mind to think in order to line up with His word my heart refused to believe. In fact, my heart went down a dark path. It wasn’t the beginning…I lost my fiancé who was my first love, cheated on me. My dog died of cancer and I never did find my calling, etc etc. Instead I’m a successful social worker and hate every minute of it just as every other job I have had. At some point I thought this is ridiculous! Beautiful people are thriving all around me and I am drowning in sorrow, numbness and bitterness. The bitterness set in while praying pouring my heart out to Him but there was no comfort. I never let the bitterness overtake me completely because I understand it’s natural effect on the mind and how it destroys your life and I don’t want to be a bitter person throughout life. But my religious tools began to fail me a long with the positive thoughts. I felt hard and indifferent reality slowly becoming my truth. The great mystery became a terrifying unknown with the only end in sight being alone throughout my days and then death. I still pray because I just can’t let go of God…but my heart just couldn’t take it anymore and took comfort in smoking weed and women. Many times I see the downtrodden homeless dressed in rags, bodies wracked with malnutrition and hardcore substances or diseases and I realize that my spirit is in a very similar state. Despite my best efforts and crying out to God, life has beaten the crap out of me and I’m in a survival mode of sorts. Yet I still reach out to God hoping for some meaningful point to all this suffering but have yet to find any after 20 years. I’m getting help now but not through church because after decades of trying something that didn’t work. Dependencies set in. I have a life coach now and he is an amazingly genuine man who says my heart has so much pain that he believes it to be a miracle that I’m even functioning day to day tasks…he calls me a miracle. I agree but then I turned to God when I am alone and ask, is there any point to all this misery? Why was I born into such a wonderful but also dreadful experience? I am thankful I breathe and live but the reality of lack, pain and suffering in my background has broken my heart and I’ve been running around in this life trying to keep the pieces together and God is does not heal so I take care of myself by swimming at the YMCA and yoga. But God has not healed my heart. I sincerely question the reason for my existence and I have yet to find any. I mention this here because not everyone can be strong. I hope everyone of you finds Gods comfort but just know sometimes these experiences have a way of crippling our walk in life despite our best intentions to “believe” that it isn’t. What I believe now is that acknowledging pain is the way to deal with this mess and learning to love myself when no one else will. I’m 6,1 and good looking in shape but none of that matters if you are alone and have no love. My life looks great on the outside but my heart is so sad, lonely and disappointed/discouraged and I have absolutely no control over it. I hold onto His word that He is the author and finisher of our faith. Merry Christmas
Lawrence—you’ve shared a lot and I hope my blog provided some peace , hope, or understanding. I think it’s important to remember that Jesus says we will have trouble in this world. But there is HOPE in Him, in heaven, and in eternal life. While our experiences on earth can be hard and painful, God wins in the end. And so do we if we believe. He came to save the hurting. He came to save you.
My mother died from cancer as well. She was the singer and piano player at our church and loved Jesus with all her heart. Everything does happen for a purpose. I have started taking piano lessons and singing in church. If my mom had not passed, I would never have gotten as close to the Lord as I am now. Her passing was so hard on me, but if she had not passed, I would not have ever acknowledged my calling from God. With her death came my realization. And my purpose is continuing her path with music to help bring others to Jesus.
Brooke—how amazing and beautiful that you drew closer to God after your mom’s passing. God has a way of bringing beauty from ashes. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for this message. I recently lost my mum and accepting the situation is really hard, talking to God has been so difficult to do too.
I am trying to get it right with God this time
UC—it can be difficult to talk to God when we’re hurting. The good news is we don’t have to do it perfectly or well. God just wants us to come to Him, even when it’s messy and confusing. He promises comfort to those who need it.
Your faith is strong. God let my mom die. (It’s mother’s day as I’m writing this) In church today, I told God he was to blame for my mother’s death and that I may never fully forgive him.