It is one of the worst moments of my life.
I was six days shy of my eleventh birthday and, as my six-year-old brother would say later, though the day was called Good Friday, it wasn’t a very good day for us.
Instead, there we stood in a sterile hospital room with our dad. We had just taken an awful ride in a police car as we followed an ambulance carrying our mother to the Emergency Room. Our mom had collapsed suddenly and shockingly at the kitchen table that evening and we had just been told by the doctor that she had died of a heart arrhythmia.
The pain I felt was indescribable.
Now the four of us were in a room alone together for the last time. My dad, even in the deepest grief of his life, had the wisdom to ask the doctor if we could see our mom’s body and so there we stood around her. And though it may sound morbid or scary, it was actually just the opposite. It was helpful.
My dad, my little brother and I were able to say goodbye, although my dad reminded us that what we saw was just my mom’s body and not really Mom. We held hands and prayed together, and my dad told us that even though we were heartbroken and we didn’t understand this, he believed God was still in control.
To say that the evening of March 24th, 1989 impacted my life is a gross understatement. The loss of a mom to a preteen girl is full of impact. I was so very sad.
Yet, I had hope.
The conversation with my dad in that horrible room where my mom’s body lay changed me as well. I was taught a deeply profound lesson in a few minutes’ time, and it has helped me in the days, months, and years since that night.
By pointing me to a God who is unchanging in a moment when my entire world had just been completely thrown off its axis, my dad gave me hope that God could not only handle the change, but was in control of it.
By reminding me that God is sovereign in a moment where everything seemed so utterly unfair, my dad gave me hope that I can trust that God not only knew about my mom’s death, but that He was still in perfect control of her death and my life.
By leading me in prayer around the bed where my dead mother lay, my dad reminded me that I can always turn to my Heavenly Father for comfort, hope and love.
It has been 24 years since that night. I’ve grown in stature, maturity and faith. I’m now a wife and a mom and have now lived longer on this earth than my own mother did. I’ve had other hard moments since that night too, and I know I’ll have more to come.
Yet, I have hope.
When I graduated from college and was in a season of life where everything was changing and there was so much unknown…
When I desperately prayed for a godly husband and didn’t know where I would meet this guy or when…
I was able to trust in an unchanging God who knew my desires and needs and was able to faithfully provide for me what He knew I needed and when.
When I miscarried two babies and struggled with surgeries and issues that caused me to not get pregnant…
When I was told by a doctor that because of these issues I would most likely have a small family…
I was able to turn to my God who I believe is sovereign and I cried out to Him for his comfort, love, hope and mercy. He was faithful. …and He not only blessed us with hope and peace, but has blessed us with children.
When our two-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia and we struggled through three-and-a-half years of chemotherapy and treatment…
When my days were full of dark moments of seeing my son suffer…
I was able to turn in prayer to a God whom I believe is real and not only knows my pain but also cares deeply for both my son, and me. And just like his Word says, He gave me a peace that passes all understanding.
The evening of March 24th, 1989 was one of my worst moments. And yet, through the pain and darkness I was reminded of a sovereign, loving God who offers hope and peace.
And even out of one of my worst moments of my life, God was able to bring good.
And I trust He’ll be faithful to do the same in every moment of my future.