Thursday, April 18, 2013

He Never Leaves

In the days that turned to weeks following James' death, I quit praying. I didn't stop altogether or all at once. I didn't make a decision not to. I just didn't.

For years I have kept a prayer journal writing my thoughts to God 5 to 6 days a week. I love prayer journaling as it keeps me focused in prayer as I write, creates a lasting record of my spiritual journey and is often how I see God's faithfulness as He answers my prayers. Usually in times of loss or uncertainty, my prayer journaling discipline has been crucial to me as I seek God, His guidance and His peace.

I still don't know why, but after being interrupted from my journaling the morning after James died, I didn't pick my pen back up. I sent countless "Why God?" whispers to His throne. Many prayerful sighs and even desperate pleas were breathlessly uttered for peace as I witnessed my husband, his parents and James' wife, Cindy, mourn. Physically, my body was spent and I asked God to carry me through. I plead for comforting words as I held Cindy as she cried and for answers as I sought something to say to my 12 year old niece's questions about what was happening.

Looking back, God never left me. He so gently, graciously answered every prayer - spoken, unspoken by me, by our church family, by my sweet friends and family states away.

By His grace alone He never left any of us during that dark time. His peace and presence was not dependant upon me seeking Him in a quiet time or through my practice of meeting Him on the college-ruled pages of my trusty prayer journal. He never withheld any part of Himself that I needed. He never begrudgingly answered my prayers despite the fact I was neglecting my personal time with Him. He willingly, lovingly, abundantly never failed to keep even one of His promises. He never left.

Sweet Sister, I am so thankful that this is the God that we all serve! In this time of bombings in Boston, factory explosions in West, tornados in the west and all sorts of uncertainty ahead - our God never leaves! Praise Him with me!

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