Five years ago tonight about this time,(I should be in bed) I was on an airplane, wishing it to go so much faster than it was. My dad had been rushed from an outpatient procedure at a small hospital to Mercy hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. It was a night just like tonight. Snow, wind blowing and frigid. My sister had called just hours before saying he was not doing well, I should probably come.
So I did, I’d had this type of phone call before and he had pulled through.
My sisters picked me up from the airport around midnight and we headed to the hospital where dad was in intensive care. I had been in these rooms many times visiting those who were critically ill. But this time it was my dad and I was filled with dread as to what I might find on the other side of the curtain. Thankfully he was awake, the ventilator had been removed and he knew I was there, would I hold his hand and stay close to the bed he asked…and Idid…he said…I knew you would come…the last words he said to me as he slipped into unconsciousness and woke up 24 hours later seeing Jesus. I am convinced beyond any doubt he was ready to meet his Savior, I, on the other hand was not ready for him to go, nor had I brought clothes for a funeral.
Into the valley I plunged. One of the hardest, if not the hardest, times in my life…and yet God was with me in the valley. I found His Word to be TRUE, God would never leave me or forsake me as I traipsed through a couple of years of hard grief. My heart was broken and only Jesus could mend it.
As I thought about this anniversary this week, God reminded me of His comfort and care during those minutes, hours, days, months, and yes years. His love was shown to me in a million ways through His Word, His people and close friends who let me drench their shoulders. I didn’t think I would be able to take my next breath after he died, but He breathed life into my heart and soul. I did come out of the valley, but only with His grace, love and mercy.
I share this 5 year anniversary with you to encourage you in your own grief, whatever may be the cause. The ascent out of the valley of the shadow of death is an uphill climb, but our Great God can and will be with you all the way and He does not leave. Black and white words written in a blog post cannot do justice to what God means to me…but you CAN trust Him today and tonight and in the valley.