Rita knew the local sheriff knocking at her door wasn’t good news, but she wasn’t prepared for the devastating report of her only child’s death.
“She had some health issues,” explained Rita, “but nothing I saw as life-threatening. My world crumbled. Jennifer was my reason for being.”
Rita withdrew from everything that had given her life meaning. She took a leave of absence from work and avoided church. She couldn’t face hearing, “Are you okay?” or even worse, “It will be okay.” And she couldn’t understand how God could allow this to happen to her. “I felt abandoned by God – I had served Him the best I could.”
Then one day a TV preacher gave her the answer she needed: “God never allows someone to be removed from your life until their work in your life is complete.” And suddenly, it all made sense. “God gave me Jennifer at a time in my life when I desperately needed her, and she had fulfilled her mission. God allowed her to return to Him, but He left me here on earth for a purpose, and I needed to find it.”
Rita fanned the spark of hope by returning to prayer, church, and Bible reading. She found Inspiration Ministries and signed up to receive daily reminders from God’s Word. One day, Romans 8:38-39 came alive in a fresh way. “My anger and loss lifted as I read of God’s love. Jennifer was my gift of love from God, and her last words – ‘I know you love me unconditionally, Mom’ – brought me assurance our bond was eternal.”
Now, Rita encourages others to run to God, not from Him, with their pain. “God’s not surprised by what you’re feeling. He’s the only one who can get you through it. Give Him your ashes, so he can make a crown of beauty for you” (Isaiah 61:3).
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