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Being There

Grief is a strange thing.  Conversations sometimes bring back memories that bring tears to my eyes.  As I sat in a meeting,  conversations about death and loss caused my mind to return to a moment from long ago.  Tears kept coming to my eyes and I fought to compose myself as memories continued to flood my mind.  Loss is something I will grapple with for the remainder of my life.  One moment I will be fine and the next I'm fighting off tears.  But thankfully Celebrate Recovery has allowed me to take off my mask and be transparent. 

During my meeting, I shared the memory that was pulled from the wreckage of my past.  I had woken up early on a Saturday morning to work my shift at the dormitory where I lived.  After working, I was exhausted and looked forward to taking a nap before preparing for church.  But as I rounded the corner toward my dorm room, I saw one of the women's Deans standing in the doorway of my room talking to my roommate.  When the Dean saw me she told me she needed to talk to me and took me downstairs to her office.  As I descended the stairs, I wondered what she wanted to tell me.  She was quiet for a few minutes after we entered the room.  Then she began to tell me that my boyfriend had gone to the beach with his friend the night before.  He went out to the pier and a twelve-foot wave caught him and swept him into the lake.  He drowned. Tears were in her eyes as she told me what happened.  I remember her hugging me as I cried.  There was silence for a long time as she held me in her arms while I sobbed.  After a few minutes of quiet, she began to probe for who she could call to be with me.  Eventually, friends came, my family was called and a chaplain came to minister to us.  That day will remain firmly etched in my mind.  It was a day that changed my life forever.  

In this life death and loss happen.  We are filled with much sorrow and pain on this earth.  But that day God taught me that sometimes the most important thing for us to do is to be there for someone. Words don't always minister like the presence of people do.  What I needed that day were people to be there with me.  I needed people to hold me, to be by my side and to just be present in my life as I grappled with the reality that my boyfriend was gone forever.  

May we learn to be people who can be there for individual's God places in our lives when they are going through a difficult time.  Sometimes the best thing we can do is to be silent and just be there when people are facing difficult things.  Lord, please help us be there for people this year.  May we remember that sometimes all people need is for us to just be present with them in their difficulties.  

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