Friday, March 5, 2010

Speaking to Sadness thru Psalms

Linking up today with my Coffee Company girls, a Friday favorite of mine. Right now I'm sipping on a Mexican roast coffee that I made even yummier by adding a little cream, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mmmmm. My students are busily working on skits for a chapter final project (a school appropriate version of Dr. Phil meets Jerry Springer), so I thought I'd steal a few minutes to catch you up on the week.

Thus far, I've been faithful to my committment to read a Psalm a morning (I'm only on Psalm 4, so it's only been four mornings, but hey, that's a start, right?) Each morning I've had jotted down a quick thought from the Psalm I've read and have tried to hang on to that thought throughout the day (no easy feat considering how much I think about and have going on in a 10 hour period). Both Psalms 3 (yesterday's) and 4 (today's) have had a verse or two that have really spoken to my heart, particulary in light of what's been on my heart this week. Let me share that with you, and then you'll see how God's been speaking to me.

(First thing to acknowledge is that I need a scanner, because I really wanted to scan some old photos and upload them for you to see. Sadly, no scanner, no photos.)

13 years ago I started at a new high school as a freshman, knowing only one other girl. Quickly, she introduced me to her friends, one of them being a really nice girl named Janelle. Janelle and I clicked- we even became locker partners sophomore year. We survived some serious high school drama and stayed friends even after I switched to a different high school for junior and senior year. When we went off to college, we roomed together freshman and sophomore year, again surviving some big drama. We dealt with a lot of stuff together, supported each other. We've been living in the same town for the last 13 years of our lives, and although for these last 6 we haven't hung out every week, we're the type of friends who get together every couple of months and it's as if no time has passed.

About 2 1/2 years ago, we called each other within months to relate our engagements- and then we chose wedding dates a month apart, too. Coffee dates in those months were filled with plans, dreams, laughter. We talked about her new favorite movie, P.S. I Love You- she was so deeply touched because she was on the verge of being married and she couldn't imagine what it would be like to lose your spouse after such a short time. She and her fiancé, Dave, came to our wedding to celebrate with us, but also to "take notes." Dave commented to me during the reception that they had thought of several things they wanted to do/not do at their wedding. I could only find this picture of the two of them from the wedding (they're the couple talking to each other in the bottom right corner of the picture), but I'm sure they're talking and joking and planning and dreaming their future together.

A month later, Husband and I enjoyed celebrating their marriage at their wedding, a beautiful and simple ceremony. In the months that followed, Janelle and I continued to get together for coffee dates periodically, talking about our adventures in marriage, our husbands, our in-laws. Our last coffee date was a while ago, but I'd been planning to call her soon.

On Monday, I was sitting in my classroom grading when I got a call from another college friend. I knew right away something was wrong, because we hardly ever talk. She wanted me to hear from a friend that Dave had passed away. Unexpectedly. He'd been "missing" and Janelle and filed a missing persons report and the police found him. Thank the Lord that Janelle was not the one to find him. She had no idea anything was wrong, no one appears to have known.

My heart is broken for her. I cannot even imagine life without Husband now. A year and a half of marriage is such a short time. The shock of it, the reasoning, the living with it. Unimagineable. I didn't know Dave well, but I know Janelle. And she LOVED him. And he was GOOD for her. And now? Now it's broken. She's broken. We're all a little broken.

But God has been speaking to me through His Psalms. Yesterday (in Psalm 3) He told me, "Look, there are more enemies than I can count, and they're saying I can get no help from you. But you shield me on all sides. I stretch myself out and I sleep. I'm rested, fearless before the enemy mobs. God help me! Real help comes from God, blessings." And today, from Psalm 4:7(ish), "I have God's more-than-enough, more joy in an ordinary day."

Though enemies are numerous, God is faithful, and rest will be provided. Though my heart is broken for my friend's loss, for the heartache and pain that will continue to come, though Satan tries to trick me into feeling guilty for not being a good enough friend, though I do not know that Dave knew Christ and I do not know where Janelle stands, God is faithful, He will defeat the enemy, and there will be rest.

Though today holds sorrow and pain and darkness, yet there is joy to be found. Joy is not dependent on circumstances. God is more than enough.

God is more than enough.


  1. oh Beth, I am so sorry for your friend. Hugs to you too, and bravo for letting Truth seep into your soul when you most need it. Hugs.

  2. Hi Beth - I am sorry for your friend's loss and for your own heartache on her behalf, and I hope that your support during this tragic time will ultimately lead her to a deeper relationship with God. I pray that He will use you to bring comfort and that the testimony of your peace in the midst of trial will encourage her to seek God with her whole heart. I am sure that it will draw you closer to your own beloved as the reality of our very fragile mortality sinks in again. May the Lord bless you with His sufficient peace in the midst of the storm.

  3. Oh my word Beth. How sad. I am deeply sorry for your friends loss. How horrible. And hear I have been dwelling and whinning all week about houses! I was very encouraged by your visit today. And so I wanted to come by and thank you. I will pray for your friend and you as you look for ways to comfort her. May God be with you both.
    Have a great evening,

  4. Sorry to hear about what happened to our friend. I'm praying that she will find comfort in the Lord. I'm glad she has a friend in you who will be there for her.

  5. Oh, how sad and I pray that you will be able to minister to your dear friend in a special way during this very difficult time in her life. I pray that she does know Christ as her Savior, for He is what she needs to see her through this journey of grief. My prayers are with you both!

  6. gosh. That completely knocked the wind out of me. We've only been married for a year and a half and I just can't imagine it. Your poor friend. My prayers are with her and with you as well.

  7. The Psalms are beautiful words of encouragement during times of discouragement. May God use you in a special way in your friend's live during this difficult time.

  8. I love the Psalms. So often they express what I cannot seem to.
    I just prayed for you as you comfort and minister to your friend.

  9. hey bethie, wow - i'm shocked. would it be okay for you to email me janelle's address? i think i only met her once or twice, but i feel compelled to write to her. i love you for the reals...

  10. Oh Beth, I am so sorry to hear. I was deeply touched by that movie too, for the same reasons. I've only been married about 2 years now and I couldn't imagine not having my husband anymore. My heart goes out to you, and to Janelle. There is much solace to be found in the psalms. I pray you'll find something to share.

  11. Very sorry for your friend...what a tragedy to endure. It's good that she has friends to support her.

  12. I am so sorry for your friend. I cannot even imagine how I would handle such a tragedy! What a blessing that you can find strength and peace in the Psalms and that God has equipped you through His word! You will be a blessing to her!


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