I entered the fall of 2003 more emotionally depleted than I thought possible. That summer I had juggled the joy, anticipation and proper sorrow of our youngest daughter’s preparation and departure for college along with the unexpected difficult decisions surrounding the needs of her older sister, a prodigal. Within a two-week span in late August we celebrated the adventure of college with one and mourned the admittance into residential therapy with the other.
Twelve months prior my husband and I planned to mark the beginning days of our empty nest with a trip, a second honeymoon of sorts, and so we boarded a plane within days of these two momentous events bound for England. The first four days I did nothing but sleep. My husband graciously gave me the much-needed space for recovery.
One day later that week we packed a picnic and drove south to the coast and there discovered a church, Saint Buryan’s, with a small graveyard inside the stonewall encircling the parish. Wandering among tombstones was a pleasure that day as I admired the hand carved letters and the angels or cherubs keeping silent watch. In that long forgotten cemetery I found this little rhyme which spoke deeply to my wounded heart. It marked the burial of a small family, a father and mother both in their twenties and their infant son, all dead in the year 1820.
Today these four lines are carved on the stone marking our granddaughter Molly’s ‘doorway to heaven’. And they continue to keep my heart centered on the One who—I know more irrevocably than ever—does all things well.
Does this simple but profound rhyme speak to your soul today as it has to mine in the years since we discovered it?
Every loss, not matter the size, is an opportunity to trust the sovereignty of God who does all things well. And every time we say, “yes, Lord, I choose to trust you in this hard time,” our faith is strengthened and the endurance God promises us in James 1:3 is being silently secretly built in our hearts and souls.
Will you choose to trust His purposes today?