It is amazing how generous God is. In the difficult, dark moments of life, He is there. He is at work. He is faithful to carry us through those moments.
Barry was in the hospital for less than 48 hours before he died. To me, it seemed like weeks. On the morning he died, I met with his doctor at 5am. The doctor did not have good news and hope was gone. We made plans for the course of action for the day. We knew that Barry would not live through the day.
The ICU was closed to visitors from 6-8am while nurses changed shifts. After getting the worst news of my life, I had to wait 2 hours before I could go back into my husband's room. Knowing it would be a long day, my parents insisted I eat and took me to a nearby restaurant. It was one of the most surreal moments of my life.
There were lots of people eating that morning - talking and laughing and going about their normal day. As we sat down, my eyes filled with tears. At that point, I didn't care what anyone else thought. The waitress came and took our drink order. What an awkward moment for her! When she came back, I had somewhat pulled it together. I had ordered a Dr Pepper and she handed me my drink in a styrafoam cup. She had drawn a butterfly and smiley face on it, trying to cheer me up. I think my parents told her briefly what was going on, but I really don't know for sure. She was very respectful - she took our order, brought us our food quickly and kept our drinks filled without being intrusive or chatty.
As we finished our meal, she came to our table and told us our ticket had been taken care of. Then she placed a piece of paper on the table in front of me and said, "I am praying for you." Then she walked away. As I looked at the paper, my eyes once again filled with tears. But this time, they were not tears of grief, but tears of overwhelming gratitude. Here is the piece of paper:
She very easily could have said and done nothing. She didn't have to comp our meal. She didn't have to reach out to me. In fact, she took a risk. She had no idea how I would respond. But she saw someone hurting and did the most loving thing she could do - she showed me Jesus. She reminded me that, despite my troubles, Jesus was in control. Despite the loss I was experiencing, Jesus would win.
On the darkest day of my life, God was not absent. It was quite the opposite. He was there. He was close. He used a college girl, a stranger, to remind me of His victory over sin and death. He broke through the darkness to shine light into my heart.
I will be forever grateful for the courage and compassion that girl showed to me that morning. And I will be forever grateful to God for His salvation and His faithfulness to carry me through times of trouble.
I can take heart - He has overcome.