Father of New Jersey girl, 6, who died following badminton accident shares daughter’s child-like faith

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The father of the 6-year-old New Jersey girl who died from head trauma caused by a freak accident involving a badminton racket on the final day of a family vacation shared his daughter’s child-like faith and the hope they hold onto in the midst of tragedy.

Jesse Morgan, whose 6-year-old daughter, Lucy, unexpectedly died following a badminton accident while playing with her siblings, shared with Fox News Digital his daughter’s faith that continues to sustain the family of six during unexpected tragedy.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that she and her imperfect understanding of life loved Christ and loved God,” Morgan said. “And, that God welcomed her into heaven.”

“It was incredibly huge,” he said, speaking of Lucy’s faith.

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Morgan said that after the family returned to their New Jersey home following their daughter’s death in a Portland, Maine hospital, a friend dropped off Lucy’s backpack – which contained the 6-year-old’s well-loved journal.

Lucy’s prayer journal became a shining point during the family’s darkest days.

“She got it a month before she passed,” Morgan said. “It was my wife’s idea. My wife is a journaler, and she said, ‘hey, you can use this to write stuff, write to God if you want.’ She also wrote some spelling words in there.”

Pictures from Lucy’s journal showed the 6-year-old’s thoughts, writing, “God is amazing” and “He created everything, and He died on the cross for our sins.”

“She’s a kid and part of our concern is that we want our kids to know God,” he said. “It wasn’t a fear-based thing or a demand or forcing them. We want to compellingly show the love of Christ to our children so that they imperfectly see God’s love mirrored in us, and want more of that and want to pursue him.”

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Morgan said that witnessing Lucy’s child-like faith was “one of the most beautiful gifts.”

“I believe that she had the faith of a mustard seed,” he said. “And Jesus calls the children to come to him and she, while her understanding was limited as a child, yet, that was one of the most beautiful gifts to open up and see the things she wrote, the things she drew.”

Morgan, who is a pastor at Green Pond Bible Chapel in Rockaway, New Jersey, prioritizes sharing the gospel of salvation with their four children.

“We’ve explained the gospel to our kids every day,” Morgan said. “It wasn’t a one-time event.”

“We view it as a continual conversation with our children, all the time, but doubt circled in,” he said. “Did I say it right? Did I do it right?”

Morgan shared that he and his wife struggled to decipher if they had articulated the gospel to their 6-year-old prior to her death.

“Was I good enough as a father, as a mother, to articulate that Jesus died for you, loved you, that we need his love, we need his death and resurrection,” Morgan said he asked himself.

Lucy’s father said that he turned to his blog, New Creation Living, as a “simple cry for help.”

“The first post was simply a cry for help to people who I knew would pray for us, and it was a way for me to unpack the trauma that I was holding in my body,” he said. “I continually found that to be a helpful process, for my process of grief and, confusion and anger.”

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“I think God’s just been pleased to use it, and it’s been overwhelming,” he said. “Yet I continue to seek to just be myself and to be authentic.”

Morgan said that people keep telling him that they are amazed by his family’s faith during the heartbreaking death of his young daughter, but he explained that it was not as simple.

“We didn’t want to hang on. There was a big part of us that wanted to be done with God,” he said. “And we simply couldn’t do it. It simply wouldn’t happen.”

Morgan shared that he believes  God placed circumstances in his family’s life to prepare them for Lucy’s death.

“God put all these things into our lives to, I feel like, to prepare us for this,” he said. “I don’t even know what that means in God’s plan, and I don’t want to try to do divine math and figure it out and explain it away.” 

“It is not because of my strength,” he said.

Morgan said that two days before Lucy’s unexpected death, the family sang, “He Will Hold Me Fast,” by Christian singers, Keith & Kristyn Getty and Selah.

“It can be summed up in one of the first lines, “When I fear my faith will fail, Christ will hold me fast,” Morgan recalled. “I never really felt that, and I felt the prayers of millions of people, thousands of people. I don’t know how many people are praying and helping us. And that was it.”

Morgan said that he wants people to see the “miraculous” in the midst of his family’s sufferings. 

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“It is Christ alone sustaining us,” he said. “I don’t want people to be gawking at the tragedy, I want people to see the miraculous. God didn’t do a miracle and bring her back, but God did do a miracle,” he said. “And that’s what I want people to see, that in our hearts that we’re still trusting Him.”

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Lucy succumbed to her head trauma injuries after a freak accident involving a badminton racket on the final day of her family’s vacation in Maine.

Lucy was unexpectedly struck when the shaft of the racket, which was being used by her 10-year-old brother, broke apart and flew into her skull.

“Due to a freak accident with a racquet that broke on a downward swing, a sharp piece had entered Lucy’s skull while she was sitting on the sideline and caused catastrophic injury,” Morgan explained in a series of blog posts on his blog, New Creation Living. “She was still breathing but unresponsive as I held her with Bethany crying out to God.”

Lucy was taken to a local hospital before being moved to a hospital in Portland, Maine.

Four days after the accident, Lucy succumbed to her injury.

“After significant thorough testing and even more repeated tests to be certain, brain death was declared at 1:32 a.m. on June 5, and her heart stopped beating around 4 a.m.,” Jesse wrote. 

“Lucy was with Jesus,” he said.

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