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All Services Located At: 70417 SR 19 North, Nappanee, IN, 46550 (Get Directions)

  • Worship Center

    8:00, 9:30, 10:45

    Services in the Worship Center featuring light, contemporary worship music with live teaching.

  • Connection

    9:15 & 10:45

    Video teaching with progressive worship music in the Gym.

Blog

God is Just and Merciful- The Tacketts

God is just and merciful.

That was the meaning of the name Rod and Angie Tackett chose for their unborn daughter, their miracle baby. After a devastating miscarriage, they found out they were pregnant again, and with hearts of faith, they named this new baby Aviden Caris Tackett.

They talked about calling her Avi for short. She was their tangible reminder to fully trust the Lord, and although the pregnancy seemed to be progressing perfectly, a routine doctor appointment at 38 weeks brought an unnerving silence.

Aviden, Avi, their miracle baby, didn’t have a heartbeat.

God did not feel just and merciful.

Some events rock us to our core. They shake our faith. They challenge all we think we know about ourselves, about this world, about the God we serve. And in the silence of the doctor’s office, one word felt too painful to say for so many reasons—Aviden-God is just and merciful.

Well over a year before this, Rod and Angie were anticipating the birth of their first daughter. Having been married for six years, they decided it was time to start their family, and like any couple who was expecting their first child, they waited with excitement and joy and the occasional nausea. But all this was short-lived when the pregnancy ended at only ten weeks.

“We took a good amount of time just to process through that and decide if we wanted to have kids,” Angie explained.

After much thought and prayer and tears, they decided that, yes, they wanted to try again, and God gave them the gift of Aviden.

“After two weeks of being pregnant, I had a dream,” Rod said. “In my dream, I saw this beautiful girl who looked like Angie but was just a little bit taller and had brownish hair like me. And so I told Angie, ‘I think we’re going to have a girl.’”

It felt almost too good to be true. After the miscarriage of their first daughter, the pain of loving a person so deeply and losing that person before you can even meet her was very real to the Tacketts, especially Angie. She wondered how excited she should get with Aviden. She wondered how much she should prepare. She wondered how high she should allow her hopes to soar. As they passed several milestones in the pregnancy, she and Rod gained the courage to prepare a place for her in their family.

So it seemed especially cruel when that routine doctor appointment at 38 weeks revealed the most devastating news of all—this pregnancy would end the same way the first one ended. Only this one would end significantly later. It would end in a stillbirth. It would end after baby showers and Saturdays spent preparing a nursery. It would end after growing attached to a tiny human they hadn’t even met yet. It would end after repeating her name over and over again—Aviden-God is just and merciful.

God did not feel just and merciful.

“I believe that God is healer and Savior and a miracle worker, and He didn’t do the miracle for me. And that shakes your faith a bit,” Angie said, wiping tears from her cheeks.

When Rod and Angie were supposed to be bringing their baby girl home, they instead found themselves calling friends and family to tell them the news of a funeral.

Days after Aviden’s birth, her obituary was published. In it, Rod and Angie describe a little girl who “was a natural achiever, jumping high during ultrasounds. She also had a penchant for giving her mom love kicks in the uterus.” Later, they explain why they chose her name. They write, “Though our innate bent as humans is to do life our own way and hurt God, others, and ourselves through our choices, God in His great mercy, allowed His son to be a mediator on our behalf. His life, death, and resurrection was a gift to us—the people who turn from their Father—so that those who put their faith in Him might have a restored relationship with that same Father and eternal life with Him.”1

God is just and merciful.

One of the biggest truths that has sustained Rod and Angie during the last ten months is the promise of eternal life. It is through the gift of Jesus that they hold onto the hope that they will see Aviden again. This time, though, she will be full of life. Her eyes will be wide open, and she will be filled with light and life and joy. She will be free of pain and will stand among those who are living a life designed by a perfect and loving Father.

This doesn’t necessarily make the days easier. It doesn’t make the process simpler. Grief has a nasty way of striking when its least expected. But even in the midst of intense pain, they are holding onto a promise.

Aviden—God is just and merciful.

You’ll Get Through This

This story was originally shared during our series, You’ll Get Through This. To watch the video of Rod and Angie sharing their story, please click here.

This series focuses on the life of Joseph as we learn to navigate difficult circumstances. As a part of this series, our team has created lots of resources to help you as you find yourself facing challenges. These include a daily devotional, podcast, recommended reading and music, and more. To check out these resources, please click here.

1Aviden’s Obituary