The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7 (NIV)
Last Friday I texted a friend with a question. She answered it, but then she added, “Did you see the post about Jennifer?”
“No,” I responded. “I’ve been busy writing under deadline and haven’t been on social media much lately. What about Jennifer?”
“She died on Wednesday night.”
To say I felt stunned is an understatement. My gut reaction was, “No!!!”
Jennifer Kennedy Dean had become my friend over the past several years. She was a prayer warrior and gifted Bible teacher who radiated love for Jesus and her family.
I’d prayed for Jennifer and her three sons years before I met her in person. She and I belonged to a mutual writers’ association. One day I read online that her husband had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. I followed her blog through that experience and I prayed.
Getting to know Jennifer personally has been a lifetime highlight for me. We attended an event earlier this year where we were assigned to the same small group. She led it, and oh, how I loved listening to her pray. She clearly enjoyed intimacy with her Savior.
The news of Jennifer’s passing—due to a heart attack—has left me saddened and reeling. I can’t imagine how her family must be feeling right now. Once again I’m praying for her sons who are now married and parenting small children.
I’ve wrestled with wondering why God would take Jennifer so suddenly and so young. I’ve taken walks and prayed for her family, crying for the pain they’re experiencing. And I’ve sought comfort in the only One whose presence soothes the soul. I choose to believe that He is truly who He says He is—sovereign God—and Jennifer’s passing was no surprise to Him. Somehow, in some way, this tragedy will someday evidence purposes beyond what we can see. I believe it with my whole heart, and I know others do too.
Life takes unexpected turns. Sometimes we have no answers. But we always have a Comforter. And in Him we always find hope.
How has the Lord helped you when life took an unexpected turn?
#bgbg2 #FindingHope #GrievingLoss