Revisiting an Old Story
When I wrote this blog five years ago, my heart still ached from the loss of my husband. I longed for just a few moments with John to share daily events and accomplishments. I longed to hear his voice one more time. As I considered what to post today, I realized that recent events triggered similar feelings of sorrow. However, the triggering events were not losses, they were achievements that I wanted to share with John. I wanted to tell him about starting to write my memoir and graduating from HBU with a Master of Arts in Apologetics. I wanted to bounce ideas off him as I wrote the chapters of my memoir, but he is not here. I miss him. Reading this blog renewed me and reoriented my heart toward the ultimate comforter.
How to Cope when Life throws you a curve
Sometimes life throws you a curve that seems insurmountable. You are moving along with life. All is well. Then suddenly, without warning a loved one dies, you get a negative report from your doctor, or you lose your job. Suddenly, your world is turned upside down. You feel alone. You frantically search for someone to comfort you, but friends and family are not available. In these times, remember God provides the greatest comfort through the Holy Spirit.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
Several months after my husband, John’s death, I was feeling well most of the time. The intense emotions surrounding the day of the month that he died were a faint memory. However, at the 20-month mark, I felt a level of intensity that reminded me of the days immediately following his death. There seemed to be no relief.
Friends and family were unavailable due to their own circumstances. They reached out to me via text messages, phone calls, and prayer, which helped for a moment. A simple text from my grandson, Isaac “Miss U,” brought a smile. A word from my daughter, “I love you,” calmed me for an instant. My sister-in-law asking, “How’s your day going?” eased the sorrow. But none of these things lasted. I felt disconnected from God. Somehow, I believed I should be “over” this and be able to move on. I told myself, “get a grip.” I was not prepared for the emotional intensity that consumed me. I longed for comfort. Then I remembered a scripture that I memorized as a child.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Ps. 23
When life throws you a curve, God can use it to bring you closer to Him.
While I do not feel God necessarily removed my support system, I know He used the circumstance to force me to turn to Him. One morning I decided to listen to music while I drank my morning coffee. My thought was to connect with God and hopefully find relief from the sorrow in my soul. The first song was a man singing,” God gave me you…” to his wife. Surprisingly, after the initial, “you’ve got to be kidding me.” I smiled. I felt God whisper, “It’s going to be okay, Charlotte. I am still here with you.” In that 30 second connection, I realized that although my friends and family could not comfort me, God was ever present to “refresh my soul… lead me beside still waters and comfort me.” This truth got me through that day.
God’s Presence overcomes any circumstance
No matter what life throws at you, God’s presence can bring comfort. Whether the curve is a death or some other significant loss, He is always the ultimate source of comfort. We all have people in our lives who are good at comforting those who are in pain, but there will be times when these “comforters” will not be able to connect with you. In any circumstance, God, through the Holy Spirit, can bring a peace that passes all understanding. If only for a moment. Sometimes that is all you need. Peace at the moment. In times of most profound sorrow, His presence will refresh your soul as he leads you beside still waters to comfort you.
When has God been your comforter when life throws you a curve?