"I got laid off today," Lyn told Carol as they pulled out of the parking lot of Joey Bravo’s.
Carol glanced at her friend. "I'm so sorry, Lyn." She reached out and gently squeezed her hand. "What are you going to do?"
Lyn shrugged. "I have to start looking for another job," she said, resigning herself to what lay ahead. She sighed.
Carol thought for a moment. "Tonight we have prayer meeting at my church. I would like you to come with me. We can ask the members to pray about your situation."
Lyn considered this for a moment. "It has been a long time since I have been to church," she confessed.
"The people at the church I go to are really wonderful. They will make you feel welcome.”
Lyn considered some more. "All right," she agreed. "I’ll come.”
Carol smiled. "Good. You will feel better. I know because when I was going through a dark time in my life I found help.
I want to share something with you. Before Alan and I had the boys, we had another child. It was a year after our wedding that I got pregnant. We got busy setting up a room as the nursery and we filled it with all sorts of fun things. We decided that we would not find out what the gender of the baby was. We wanted to be surprised. Secretly I was hoping for a girl while Alan was hoping for a boy. I got my wish and we named her Emily Ann. Alan was mad about her. Emily Ann was a sweet child. She had the most beautiful blue eyes. Staring into them just melted your heart. And her hair fell about her face in gold ringlets. She looked like an angel. She was loving and very smart.”
“One day on her way to school, Emily Ann was struck by a car. Alan didn’t want her to walk to school by herself but I told him that it would be okay because the school was just ten minutes away. Emily Ann was eight at the time and she wanted to show him that she was a big girl. So, the two of us pressed him until he relented. I was in the kitchen fixing myself a sandwich when I heard the horrible screeching sound of tires before the crash. I saw people gathering around, looking on in horror. A terrible feeling came over me, almost suffocating me as I dashed out of the house and ran to the corner. When I saw the little body lying on the road I stopped in my tracks. I couldn’t seem to move. And then Alan ran past me and dropped to his knees. He clutched the lifeless body in his arms, sobbing. After that everything became a blur for me. The next few hours were agonizing. I felt numb. My family had to take care of the funeral arrangements.
"Alan and I handled our grief differently. He buried himself in work and I lay around feeling depressed. I blamed myself for Emily Ann’s death. This went on for a while until one day, Alan heard a co-worker talking about grief counseling at her church. He decided to go. There he met other parents who had lost their children. They shared their stories and at the end of the session they prayed.
"Alan encouraged me to go with him to the next meeting. At first, I resisted but then I decided that it was better than staying home and being an emotional mess. One of them invited us to visit her church. Alan was willing to go. I was reluctant at first, but something compelled me to go. I went and my life changed. I went to church and found Jesus. He helped me to cope with my loss. I stopped blaming myself for what happened. My daughter lives on in my heart. Alan and I grew closer and God blessed us with twins. If Jesus could help me with my grief, He could help you with your situation. Just give Him a chance.”
Lyn turned to Carol, her face wet with tears. “Thanks for sharing your story with me,” she said. “What I am going through now is nothing compared to what you went through.”
Carol met her gaze. “In life we all have our thorns but God’s grace gets us through them.”
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