This past July, my beloved Grandfather, Ken Richards passed away. I am starting off this email on a very somber note, but I promise I have a point. For those of you who don't know, I am from the great State of Texas. I was born and raised in Dallas. I moved to Raleigh in December 2022 to be closer to my now husband, Aaron Thorpe. Towards the beginning of 2023 I found out my grandpa was pretty sick. I figured that I would have enough time to fly home to Texas and see him again, but sadly that was not the case. He passed away in July, and I never got to say goodbye. I am sure some of you can relate to a similar circumstance. I know I will see my sweet Grandfather again in Heaven one day, but the grief of not being able to say goodbye really hurt.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
Thankfully I was able to attend his funeral and see my family. I remember sitting in the funeral and thinking, "I have no idea how I would go through this if I didn't trust the Lord." I was able to smile as my Dad went up and shared stories of my Grandpa because I have a firm hope that I will see him again. Not only will I see him again, but he won't be in any kind of pain, or even have to use a wheelchair. I think in our toughest moments, we truly know what our faith is based upon.
We can say we love and trust God all we want, but do we really mean it? When trials come, do we run to God or do we run to things of this world? There has been moments in my life where something awful has happened and I didn't trust Him through the pain. I turned to other things to try to numb it, and of course those vices failed me. Our faith is revealed in our tribulations. Is my faith in the true, living God, or is it in the God I made up in my head? The Bible is very clear that we will face hardships and pain. We can also read verse after verse about the Lord being our refuge and comforter.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
The truth is that we will all go through dark valleys. It is just apart of living in this broken world. The Lord knew this from the very beginning. The good news is that we will never have to suffer alone. Those who are in Christ will never be separated from His love. We can have hope and peace knowing that the Lord walks with us every step of the way.
My grandfather was a strong believer. One of his joys in life was being apart of a prison ministry and bringing the Gospel to those incarcerated. Even through his pain, he still just wanted to serve the Lord. My prayer for you today is that you will want to do the same. Even in our hurt, may we always strive to be more and more like Jesus.
· Father, thank You for being my Comforter when times are hard.
· God, forgive me for turning to other things before I turned to You in my pain.
· Lord, heal me of my pain and brokenness.
· Lord, help me to trust in You in my heartbreak.
Be near to me in times of sorrow. Use my pain for Your glory. You are my refuge and shelter. Thank You for Your Word that has brought me out of so much. I can depend on You no matter what. Thank You for walking me through circumstances I never thought I could get out of. You are a Healer and a Provider. May I call upon Your Name for the rest of my life.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.
For His Glory,