Maintaining Joy through Tragedy

“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’” Psalm 46:10

Sweet Mama,

A few weeks ago I was at my favorite beach with my family. I sat, toes digging into the sand, watching my two and three-year-old girls run up and down to the water’s edge with my husband. They squealed excitedly whenever the water came close, while I kept my ten-month-old son from stuffing handfuls of sand into his mouth. 

To anyone passing by, this picture must have looked absolutely delightful, and it surely was! Nearly four years ago, however, I sat on that very same beach, alone, in heartbroken despair. I was eight months pregnant with our second baby and it should have been the happiest of times, but our family was in the throes of unimaginable pain. Our beautiful two-year-old little girl, Grace, who had been diagnosed with a brain tumor at only 13 months of age, was fading and there was nothing more anyone could do. 

I felt so completely helpless and pleaded with God, trying to negotiate a way out of what was about to come. As I watched the waves break at the shoreline, over and over again, loud thoughts scattered in frantic desperation, I felt the Holy Spirit speak directly to my heart. 

“Be still, beloved, I am your God and hers” 

I broke down in complete surrender as the words washed over me. Overwhelmed by their truth, wrenching sobs broke from my chest. I cried out all the pain, anger, fear, and doubt that had built up over the course of this battle. I chose to accept and believe that He was still God and still good, even though I didn’t understand why this was happening.  

I left the beach that day with a very different heart than when I had arrived. There was a peace in my spirit that hadn’t been there before. It assured me that my daughter was known and loved by Majesty and perfectly safe in His embrace. His heart for her, me, and all of his beloved children is and always will be good. The cross at Calvary proved this beyond any measure of doubt.   

A few weeks later, we welcomed our sweet new baby. Her middle name, “Joy,” forever a reminder of the radiant smile spread across her big sister’s face when she got to meet her, and every precious moment, before and since. 

Soon after, we cradled our Gracie girl as Jesus received her into His perfect peace, and He cradled our hearts with tender mercy. He has upheld us, sustained us, and then lifted us out of grief with immeasurable grace, working for good all things that sought to destroy us and rewriting our story as a testament to his unfailing love.

Dear friend, whatever you may be facing, I encourage you with all my heart. Be still, and listen to the voice of the One who calls you to recognize truth. He is still your God and His heart is abundant in grace and compassion for you, in the midst of every circumstance.  

Today, as I watch my beautiful little ones play, I smile a little wider, love that much deeper, and joyfully sing an endless hallelujah to my Savior, who walks faithfully beside me through every trial and triumph. If you let Him, sweet mama, He will do the same for you.  

With Love,

Deidre Sandala and the Help Club for Moms Team

sandalafamily.blogspot.com

Deb Weakly

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