“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”
Hi there! I’m Laura, I’m a new guest blogger for the Christian Women Blogging network! I’m beyond thrilled to be blogging here as I’m a Christian and a new blogger to the scene. Blogging has been an amazing outlet for me and my faith, and I continually find new people out there who inspire me in the blogging world. When brainstorming a topic, I kept feeling like I wanted to share probably my most powerful life-change. I’m currently in a wonderful relationship with my boyfriend, Jon, and we’ve been together for a year and a half and living together for about 8 months (we were quick!). He’s someone who is truly the biggest blessing in my life, and God found a match just for me. We met online (we’re truly an eHarmony couple, go figure), and my life is enriched daily by him.
(Jon and I, Valentine’s Day 2013)
This is not always how my life was, though. He is not the first man in the world to have been a true gift from God. Jon, um, wasn’t supposed to be in the picture, as bad as that sounds! The man I dated before Jon was an amazing, caring, and loving man who was called up to Heaven while we were dating. On April 9, 2011, PFC Richard Pinchoff, USMC, was killed by a drunk driver on a highway in southeast Michigan around 1:00 a.m. He was coming home from visiting his best friend, and a drunk driver was driving the wrong way on the highway and hit him head-on. Richard and I were extremely close, very much in-love, and we had a great future ahead of us. His unexpected death was truly and honestly the most trying experience of my entire life. I found, though, that although I was never more tested, God was at work every single step of the way.
(Richard and I on New Year’s Eve, 2010/2011)
When I was a teenager, my sister and I did our own bible study of the book of Job, and I remember thinking how remarkable it was to be tested by both God and Satan in a pseudo-duel, and still come through with your faith in God as strong as ever. Never did I think that I would be put in a similar situation in my own way. Richard’s death came as the biggest shock to my core, and turned everything upside down. I even picked a fight just hours before he died because I was tired from work and frustrated for no good reason. The last thing he heard from me was me hanging up on him. I apologized via text the next morning. By the time I sent the text, though, he was already gone.
The days after his death, I was furious at God. I yelled and screamed, I insulted and criticized God. How could He ever take away such an amazing man from the world? What possible reason would be good enough to do this to me? What happened to all the amazing plans we had? I remember feeling guilty about how I yelled later, but I was quietly reminded by God that He knew what He was putting us through; He knew our frustration and anger. My mom’s pastor even said “He’s a big boy, He can handle it!”
“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him…”
This post won’t even be able to scratch the surface of what I went through and how I had to find ways to survive and overcome the shock, grief, and confusion I felt for such a long time. This was likely the biggest test of my faith I would encounter in my life thus far, and the only answer was to survive and to lean on God. A lot of people tell you to see the good out of any situation, and it seems impossible to find the good in the death of your significant other. However, I can tell you there are lessons to be learned, and those lessons end up bringing peace. Here are the lessons I learned:
- Don’t drink and drive. Ever! This is the obvious lesson. If you personally feel too tipsy/drunk to drive, call someone to take you home. If you see someone who is borderline, take care of them. If all else fails, email me, I’ll pay cab fare! You never know who you will save by stopping yourself or someone near you from driving drunk.
- God is there for the good and the bad in life. He cares for us, hates seeing us in pain, and is right there to helps us through the trials in life. Keep your faith in God, and He will keep faith in you, too.
- Treasure every single moment with your loved ones. Those moments will mean the world to you and your loved one, and we all need to remember how precious that time is.
- We are all Job. At least once in our lives, we will face a faith-shaking trial, and God is watching how you react. You can be mad, you can be furious, but God is there and ready to help us. Keep your faith in God, trust that He knows what He’s doing, there is a grand plan. We may not know what His plan is in our earthly existence, but remember how Job stayed true to God through his test.
- There truly can be a life better than you could imagine after a trial/tragedy. If I hadn’t lost Richard, I wouldn’t have been blessed with Jon in my life. I remember thinking that Richard was the best I would ever have, and God proved me wrong. I relied on God through my grief, and He blessed me with a great relationship after. My eyes were opened yet again.
The memories of Richard are still strong! I think about him and smile. He was a great person in my life and in many other lives. He lived for everyone else and for God. One time we talked about how he went bungee jumping and I asked why he would knowingly put himself in harm’s way like that, and his simple reply was “Well, if God wants me, He’s going to take me, and I’m fine with that!” He truly knew God’s power and had peace with God’s plan. We all can smile and emulate that!
Thank you to Blogs by Christian Women for letting me share this, and thank you to you readers for giving me a chance to open up about this pivotal moment in my life. I hope reading this gives you some new appreciation for how God works in our lives along with the love and power He possesses. I hope you also have a renewed love for those in your lives! God puts wonderful people in our lives! Please feel free to stop by my blog any time!
Laura writes at October Darling. She is a graduate admissions officer in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with a blog that’s a little of everything.
Have you ever found yourself angry at God? Share what lessons you have learned through loss in your life.