A dear friend of mine, Megan Stover, has just lost her father, Patrick James Nielsen, in an incredibly unexpected home accident. As I learned the news my thoughts and prayers were with she and her family, specifically her mom. Having lost my husband last March unexpectedly I can empathize with her during this difficult time. Having known her family and spent time with them makes it that much more heartbreaking.
Pat was a wonderful dad and from talking with Meg I am confident he and Mary (Meg's mom) had a solid relationship build on love and trust. He would be celebrating his 53rd birthday tomorrow (September 14th). He was 1 month away from retiring from his position as Regional Commander of the Emergency Response Team. Read more about this beloved man here.
My heart aches and tears stream knowing what this family is facing. It is so difficult to lose someone unexpectedly. Even that is such an understatement. It's so surreal. You simply don't want the reality to sink in. It might come in waves and I think it's God's way of keeping us from being on grief overload. He allows only so much pain in at a time.
I am praying for Meg and her family for peace and strength that only God can give. Having experienced it myself I am confident that God will be there to comfort them.
A year and a half ago, Mary and Kelly (Meg's sister) came to my husband, Michael's, memorial though Meg (36 weeks pregnant and living in Ireland) could not make it. Here I am in my pregnancy the same amount wanting to support her family. Mary gave me a card that I kept in my car on the dash that I read often that read:
"So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
I pray this verse does for her what it did for me, providing confidence that God is in control and is there to comfort us when we feel weak.