As 2012 began a few weeks ago, like so many other years, I anticipated a fresh new start. New beginnings, rejuvenated visions, and hopeful dreams could have described my thought processes. Little did I know on January 1 how quickly the reality of life would settle over our home. Rounds of sickness circulated through our family coupled with a car breaking down and problems with our kitchen water pipes. It seemed we would come up for air for a second only to be pulled back down into the vortex of perpetual problems.

But doesn’t God say somewhere that He will not give us more than we can bear?  In moments when everything is pressing down on you, it is possible to question that promise. I found myself saying at times, God, how much? How much more? Then right at the moment when my faith was being stretched to the point of snapping like a rubber band, the bottom fell out.

On January 25, just a few days ago, I received a phone call no one wants to experience. Brenda, a friend of my Aunt Cheryl’s, called to tell me that Cheryl’s son, Larry, my cousin, had committed suicide. I had to ask her to say it again just to make sure I had heard her correctly. What? How? When? Questions rushed through my mind like a freight train as the tears began to stream down my face. Larry was three years younger than me…he was my buddy when we were kids. He always made me laugh.

Over the last two years, my dear aunt and I had shared many conversations and prayer times together interceding for family situations, particularly for Larry. Deep issues had been there for a long time. We even talked at times about the possibility of something tragic happening in the future.  Through the prayers, we asked God to be our Refuge, to be our Strength, and to carry us through whatever the future may hold. January 25 became the future in present reality.

As I made the 7 1/2 hour drive to Alabama this past Friday, I just prayed and let God’s promises bathe my heart and mind. I claimed so many promises for my aunt and the rest of our family. I thanked God that He had been working so powerfully in her life these last few years to prepare her to walk through this dark valley. As I spent part of the weekend with her, I was honored to behold a woman of grace hold on to her God even in her darkest pain. When we went to funeral, I helped her out of the truck. I whispered in her ear, “We will take this moment by moment…” She gave a weak smile and said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…even this.”

The journey will continue for my family for weeks and months to come…various stages of the grieving process will surface. But through it all, God is our Refuge and our Strength. I pray that wherever you are in your walk with Christ that you will press closer to Him than you ever have before…He is coming soon and He wants to take us home to be with Him forever. All to Jesus, I surrender…all to Him, I freely give….I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live…

Guest author Marquita Klinedinst has been married for 16 years to a wonderful man and they have been blessed with 2 beautiful daughters. As a registered nurse, she works from home auditing medical records. Her passion is to share the love of Jesus with as many people as possible. She loves to speak for Him at women’s events and prayer conferences. Romans 8:28 sums up her theme for life, “And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are the called according to His purpose.”

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