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A Pine Tree Moment


I was twenty-two years old, one month shy of twenty-three when my boyfriend drowned. We had been formally dating for three weeks when he died but we'd been tremendous friends for two years and had spent hours talking, taking walks, going to the beach, sledding . . . It was simple but we did many things together in those two years. There was continually a request for some new adventure and in the simple pleasures of life, we enjoyed ourselves. Those wonderful times had suddenly vanished. Grief consumed me! All around life continued but for me, my life was at a complete standstill. It was supposed to be a blissful and joyful time as I was almost finished with my undergraduate degree. I should have been celebrating but instead, I was just barely surviving. Melancholy hung thickly around me. It consumed me! I could hardly move. My heart ached for Larry! And my entire body throbbed! Being on campus with the numerous memories about destroyed me. It hurt so much to turn the corners of campus and remember the joy and enthusiasm I had once felt. Even the memories of Larry waving and shouting to me from across campus plagued me with pain. Moving on was exceptionally difficult. How can one move on after such a tragedy? Is it even possible?

I wondered if I’d ever make it. All I ached for was to throw in the towel and walk away. I hurt so deeply! But I had to continue trudging on. Somehow I had to resolutely force myself through my pain and complete the final weeks of that quarter so I could obtain my bachelor's degree.

I’m not sure what happened in the weeks following Larry’s death. All I know is frequently in the evenings during the next few weeks I would slip out of my room and amble through campus alone, sobbing, aching for my pain to dissipate. I hurt so deeply that sometimes it made me sick. As I walked, I prayed and cried. One evening as tears streamed from my eyes, I backed into an evergreen tree aching and begging for God to somehow help me. As I stood there I could feel the arms of the tree embracing me. It was as if God was reaching out His arms to surround me with His love. Peace flowed through me during that pine tree moment. God was there with me holding me when grief became too much for me to bear.

Maybe you are hanging on by a thread as I was so many years ago. God is still there willing to comfort, help and support you. Call out to Him. He is ready to take you in His arms just as he did for me so many years ago.


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