Finding God in Loss

"I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Comforter instead of me - and by the Comforter I mean the Holy Spirit - he will teach you much, as well as remind you of everything I myself have told you.

"I am leaving you with a gift -- peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn't fragile like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid." John 14: 25-27 (TLB)

Jesus comforted his disciples after their last supper together, telling them how he must leave for a while and assuring them they would not be alone. After Jan McDaniel husband's suicide, she saw more clearly how the disciples must have felt when faced with the reality of their loss. Jan could imagine how they waited through interminable moments of the night, hearts quaking with uncertainty and fear as they tried to understand what was to come.

Jan is from Georgia and as she drove to and from her assignments for the local newspaper, mourning the loss of her husband, she did not see how she could survive. Drying her eyes to do interviews and take pictures, she recorded the lives of others even as her own seemed to be ending. Jan questioned and cried out to God, who had been there for everything else in her life. In time, Jan felt God helping her rebuild her life by sending her other people who had experience traumatic loss.

Now Jan can write about the long journey toward healing she has experienced and the blessings she continues to receive. A sense of peace, her grandsons, the support of family and churches, and a connection with others who have lost loved ones to suicide are some of the gifts that have turned her life's greatest tragedy into something powerful and good.

Prayer: Redeeming God, thank you for turning our mourning into joy. Your love is our most precious gift, in Jesus' name, amen.

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