Take Heart.

 

“Are you okay?”

“I’m so sorry. I will be praying for you.”

“Have you heard about what’s going on?”

On January 17th, 2012 as I walked out of class and turned on my phone, these are some of the many text messages that greeted me. My first instinct was to call my Mom and ask if something had happened to one of our family members. I was panicked, nervous, and anxious to find out what was going on. A phone call from one of my close friends left me with the devastating news that my best friend, Ariane Patterson, had passed away in class. It was her 21st birthday. As I hung up the phone and sunk into the driver’s seat of my car, the first thing I thought was, “God why would you do this?! How could you let this happen?!” I felt like my world was caving in. That was hands down the toughest day of my life thus far. 

On Monday, it will be a full year and four months that my best friend has been gone. In the time that has passed, I have cried, I have been heartbroken, and I have even doubted God. However, I have also prayed, had my broken heart restored, and I have learned to trust God again. It has been an amazing time of testing and healing and restoration. God has truly been my Counselor, my Provider, my Healer, and my Shelter. 

When I first became a Christian, I thought that meant that my life would get easier. That I wouldn’t be tempted with sin, that God would be my genie and give me anything I asked for, and that all my trials and hardships had come to an end. I was so wrong. As a Christian, I am still tempted to sin, God is not my genie and doesn’t always give me what I ask for, and I still have trials and hardships; however – in ALL of these things, as a Christian, God is right there with me! He is fighting for me, standing beside me, and going before me.

A few days before Arie (my best friend) passed away, she wrote John 16:33 on my Facebook wall. It says, “I have told you these things so that in me, you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (ESV). In this verse, Jesus is telling His disciples that although they are followers of Him, they will still have hardships in life. This seems like a hard truth to accept, and in many ways it is, but Jesus also tells the disciples that they should take heart, because He has overcome the world! This verse has really been an encouragement to me over the past few months. It says that yes, even Christians will have struggles and trials in this world, but that Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer and King has already overcome this world. That hasgiven me so much peace and comfort through all of this. And although it has been a rough season of my life, I know that Jesus has not only overcome this world, but because of His amazing gift of Salvation, my best friend and I will one day see each other in eternity and be able to worship Him together again.

 

Arie and I

Rest in Peace, Arie. ❤

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3 thoughts on “Take Heart.

  1. this resonates so deeply with me. I remember that day in class, everyone scrambling, not knowing what was happening and then, in the next period when Summer got the news, I followed her out and that was a rough day for everybody, wasn’t it. .

    Then, almost 4 months later, my best friend fell off of a mountain and I knew the same kind of pain you felt. Or at least something similar. The next several months that followed last summer were so full of doubt and pain. Why? That was the only question I could ask for a really long time. And some days, the glorious hope of heaven wasn’t enough to keep me from feeling the same throbbing pain.

    It was a year last Sunday since Jordan died. And I don’t think I’ve been the same since. But God has been incredibly faithful and I’ve learned so much in this last year. I can confidently see his hand moving in all of it, even though it still hurts. I see the good God did through Ariane’s life and her death. And I see the good He did through Jordan’s death. And sometimes it’s not enough to keep the tears back. But the thing about God is this: he doesn’t leave us when difficulties come like we so often pretend he does. He is right there with us, not leaving or forsaking us. And he might not always answer our toughest questions, but he hears them all.

    “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”-Romans 15:13

    • That truly was a really tough day. I am so sorry to hear about your friend Jordan; it breaks my heart to hear that you had to go through that kind of pain. It’s heart-wrenching…there’s no other way to describe it. But you are right! God is faithful. And He’s always right here with us, through all of the pain and tears and heartache. And I’m so glad that you have been able to see that through all of this. Thanks so much for your reply, Stephen!

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