Sunday, March 1, 2009

What Was Lost, in Darkness Found

What was lost, in darkness found.
(By Nathan Prince)
The worst of all realities had come: I no longer had my dear companion by my side. My closest friend, one who had helped shape me into the man that I am, was gone. Our lives now utterly and completely separated, Merry Katherine, the sister I knew would always be there, had died. The many roles she had in my heart that used to be so precious to me had now formed gaping holes. I lost the baby sister I cherished; the young woman I lovingly watched over; the sidekick in whom I delighted; the soul I had dearly bonded with; I would never know any of them again.

As you can probably gather, we were close, and pretty inseparable growing up. We actually referred to each other as our other half most of the time. Her death had indeed left me with a feeling of incompletion. I had to suddenly accept that of all the people in this world, it would be her presence that my life would now be missing. I do not know what it would be like to lose the mother who had given me life and love. Or my father who had inspired me to be courageous and a humble servant of the Lord. Or my brother who had brought me constant laughter and camaraderie. No, of all people, this was the single most capable person that “got me.” Merry and I shared a lifelong commitment of intimacy and partnership.

I think (the) majority of the pain was the timing of it all. Both of us being in college, we had regained our solidarity. This was the time in our lives when we most needed each other and we could really appreciate having the other to count on. Her troubled romantic life and my lack of a romantic life gave us the solace in knowing the other would be there for us. Through thick and thin, we trusted it. In depression or elation, we relied on it. In quarrels or harmony, we understood it. Both of us knew deep down that neither of us would ever leave the other’s side.

Neither of us would lose the hope we shared when we were little: “You’ll always be my best friend no matter what.” It was a pact that we were confident nothing in this world could break…but we never considered it could be broken without either of us deciding it to…or so suddenly.

As much grief that I experienced in the next 2 years would provide me with a lingering feeling of betrayal that I had no say in losing my best friend. I had zero say in the matter. Oddly, I did not blame God for it. I did not really blame Satan (as much as he is the root of all deaths). It felt kind of like the feeling when you lose the one object you hold most precious to your heart. Whatever that thing is, you greatly value it in your heart. When it goes missing you feel almost incomplete without it, and losing it devastates you to the core. Depending on what that thing is, the amount of sorrow that follows varies from situation to situation, but we have all had it happen. You don’t have anything else to do but accept that it’s gone. You don’t look at God to blame that it went missing, it just did. No matter who is to blame for losing it, it just hurts, and that’s all that matters to you.

. . . This was how it was after her death, when I had to start from scratch in my perspective on life itself. I began to view life in an eternal sense, simply because I had to. Peace only came when looking at things eternally. Temporarily, her death was certainly tragic, but eternally it was majestic. My sister was now in the presence of the King. How could I stay in a state of sorrow when the one I looked out for the most was now in the loving arms of her Creator? The one that loved her the most had welcomed her home, and I accepted my new life out of the trust that she now had a new, perfect life.

When we both were at Lee (University), I used to cry when we would worship in the same room because I knew that she was rekindling her relationship with the One who wanted her most. I felt at peace knowing she and I were worshiping the God that had blessed us with each other and that we were sharing in the joy that comes from being in His presence. The world would assume that it would only logically follow that with her absence, my worshiping God without her would feel incomplete or lacking. Illogically, the next time I worshiped the Lord, it was even more emotional. I was worshiping the One she was now with, and I felt her with me more than ever before in the presence of our Father. It was as if there was now an overflow of joy like never before knowing that she now worships as a way of life as I do it with a conscious effort. More tears had never fallen out of my eyes when one day, during worship in chapel, I was standing, hands raised toward heaven, singing along with all the angels, and I could feel her hand in mine as we truly worshiped God in awe of Him in all His glory.

I now see (from) her death. . . a gift from a loving God. Do I think (God) caused (her death) to happen? I don’t believe so. Did He just let it happen? I think He has more control than that. . . . He mourned with me over it . . . . I had never felt the Lord like I did when I was at the depths of suffering in, (grappling) with the loss of my truest friend I had in this world. That is when God came down to me; He took that hole that she left, and not only filled it, but replaced it with a perfect friendship with Himself.

I understand my heavenly Father as love. I felt His love more powerfully at 21 than many people ever get to. . . . I miss (Merry Katherine) and the closeness we had with all my heart. But it was with losing her that God was able to make Himself all in all in my life when I had to start from scratch. On August 2nd, 2006, I lost my best friend, but I gained a Savior I had never known before. I had known a lot about who He is, but I had not known Him as He is. He is not a God that loves us from atop the clouds, but a God that stoops down low, comes into our deepest places, lifts our eyes, picks us up, wipes away our tears, and holds us…as long as we’d like, and covers us all over with the comfort and peace that surpasses understanding. That my friends, is the love that I could never have known before she left . . . and it’s a priceless gift that I would wish (for) all of you. Let God bring you out of tragedy and into His arms. He loves you, and He waits for you.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing. ----Romans 15:13 (KJV)

I love each and every one of you. . . . (A)s much as we need love, I pray for all of you to find it in the only Person that can love you infinitely and unconditionally.

(Written by Nathan Prince for Facebook Friends, highlights mine)
Yesterday at 7:26am (Feb. 27, 2009)

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