Imagine one day, you’re doing great. Nothing could be better. Maybe you’re chillin with friends, catching some waves, or teaching teens how to climb things. It’s going great until you are told something that fills you with doubt, fear, and sorrow. Finding your fears to be true, feeling like your whole world has descended into darkness. Chances are, this has happened to you in one way or another. I had it happen to me a little over a month ago when I received a call I never wanted to hear and was completely surprised by it. My mom called me telling me that my dad had just passed away. I was filled with questions, grief, and sorrow. I didn’t know what to do so I cried, and cried and cried.
Some of y’all might have experienced this with a close loved one. Whether it was sudden or drawn out, it is a terrible experience. After having cried my eyes out, I knew a place where I could go to seek some consolation in this tragedy. I went to the chapel to pray: praying for peace, strength, understanding, God’s will, anything and everything. I felt desperate, like I was drowning and struggling. Like a man crashed upon jagged rocks by a mighty wave. Then I felt like I had to do something. I was on the other side of the country; I felt I had to get home as soon as I could. Disoriented and confused still, I got on a plane to California, still not sure if my prayers would be answered.
I got home, and my mom could finally rest and grieve on her own, and my siblings had their older brother to look to. Christ gave me strength through a situation I would never be prepared for on my own. Reliance on Christ, and prayer had opened my eyes when I got home. God was able to give my family, friends, and neighbors strength through me. Through a time I thought would be filled with immense sorrow and numerous boxes of tissues, I found joy. It was sad, but my eyes were opened to love: seeing Christ in those around me, seeing his love poured out over my family. To see this love and to be a part of His love was amazing, but it wasn’t me trying to be strong and stoic sucking up all my emotion and locking it down where no one could see it. In fact, it was by being open and vulnerable that Christ lifted me up.
We have a window in our chapel of Jesus holding a lamb. I see it as myself, lost and injured. He picked me up, nursing me, granting me strength. For this to happen, we must run to the Father. By running to Him, I felt His love, and most importantly, I knew my dad could feel it too, so much more than I did.
I want you to feel this love, too. It’s not easy. No, it never is. When we leave the door to our heart open to Christ and the Holy Spirit, the result will truly amaze you. The love God has for you: it’s all you really need. Yea, the food and gifts we received during the funeral process were nice (I mean I LOVE food), but it was nothing in comparison to His love, for love will truly hold us together.
If you are going through something like this, or have before, check out Psalm 42 and pray about it. Think and look back, for tragedy can bring love. Christ wants to bring that love; we have to let Him do it though. He’s a gentleman: He will knock on the door and if we don’t let Him in, He’s not gonna break down the door and flood into your life. Open that door, and find love. I love you, and I’m praying for you all.