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The Peace and Comfort of God

It was a beautiful day on Friday, April 27, 2001. When I woke up that morning, I had no idea that my life would never be the same.

I was a college student and had plans to go home for the weekend because it was my brother’s prom night. I couldn’t wait to see him in his tuxedo!

My best friend Angie was going to catch a ride home with me, along with our friend Diane. We all grew up in the same neighborhood and often made the 2 hour trip home together.

Angie and I had been friends since we were in the 2nd grade. Our backyards connected together and when we were growing up, we used to go to the fence and talk to each other. Her family was like an extended family for me and vice versa.

After we graduated from high school, we went to two different colleges, but we always kept in touch. I went to graduate school at the same college that Angie was attending. It was great for us to be together again and hang out like old times.

The night before we were supposed to travel home, Angie called me to make sure that I saved a lot of space in my car. It was right at the end of the semester and she wanted to start bringing some stuff home. We made plans to leave after my study group the next day.

After the study group meeting, I called Angie but couldn’t get her on the phone. I left multiple voicemails, expecting her to call me back soon. After about an hour of waiting around, I snuck into her dorm and knocked on her dorm room door.

She didn’t answer. I turned the knob, but the door was locked.

I called Angie’s mom to see if she had heard from her, but she had not. I left Angie’s dorm to go pick up Diane at another college and came back.

Still, no Angie. Something was wrong.

I went to the clinic on campus to see if she had been by there, but she had not. At this point, I started to get nervous. Angie had been sick with headaches off and on for the past two weeks. As a matter of fact, I asked her the night before how she was feeling and she said, “I’ll be alright.” I knew she wasn’t feeling well.

I went to get campus police to do a check in her dorm room to make sure she wasn’t in there. I couldn’t leave without Angie. I promised her mom that I would find her.

When the police officer opened the door, my world came crashing down.

Angie had passed away. Her headaches weren’t ordinary headaches. They were the result of an aneurysm. I had been the last person to talk to her before she died.

Words cannot express the despair that I felt! I was so grieved in my heart that I felt like a weight was on my chest pushing me down.

All I could do was call on the name of Jesus through my tears. I needed help and He gave me emotional strength in a supernatural way.

I was able to remain strong to give the police and campus officials all the information they needed, make the two hour trip home, visit Angie’s family and tell them what happened, AND send my little brother off to the prom. God helped me to focus on what I had to do.

I didn’t break down until late that night, the first of many nights.

I wondered why she had to die so young. I felt robbed. She was supposed to be in my wedding and babysit my kids someday. The college counselors wanted to send me to counseling. They were sure that I was going to lose my mind.

But God had other plans. He kept my mind in perfect peace and I never would have made it without Him. He raised up people to help me cope with Angie’s death. My family members and friends rallied around me with tons of support.

Matthew 5:4 NIV – Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

My church family kept me lifted up in prayer. My professors gave me extensions on assignments.

My husband, who was just a friend at that time, decided to keep in touch with me and help me get through my grief. We never knew our friendship would progress to a beautiful marriage.

It’s been 8 years now. Time heals all wounds, but you still have to deal with the scars. Even as I type this post, I feel a little sad. Her mom and sister came to my wedding, and that was so special to me. I wonder what Angie would say about my husband and son. I think she would approve.

For those of you that may be grieving over the loss of a loved one, God can heal your heart and give you peace that passes all understanding. During this time, I really got to know God as a comforter and mender of broken hearts.

I have peace in knowing that Angie is in heaven. She loved God and I know that she is with Him.

What about you? Do you know where you will spend eternity?

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do on today. Jesus loves you.

If you are already a follower of Jesus Christ, I encourage you to share the gospel with someone this week.

John 3:16 NIV – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 10:9-10 NIV – That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Beams of Light Ministries April 28, 2009, 8:43 PM

    Hey! I talked with Angie’s sister tonight. She read your blog post today. Call me and I’ll tell you the other part.

    Love you,
    Big Sis

  • Krystal April 28, 2009, 8:00 PM

    Wonderful post! I like the fact that, in your grief, you drew CLOSER to God, not away from Him.

    I used to be very carnal in this area. When things weren’t going well in my life, I used to distance myself from the Lord. But I’m doing a lot better with that. When I fell frustrated or emotional, I pray more instead of avoiding fellowship with God.

    Great post.

    Also, Pastor Creflo Dollar recently aired a series on Hell called The Truth About Hell. It’ll make the unsaved HIGHLY MOTIVATED to think again about their decision to get saved. Phew.I’m telling you… It sobered me up, and I’m already saved!

    😉

  • Kennisha Hill April 28, 2009, 6:31 PM

    Also, your blog looks FANTASTIC! Great Job!

  • Kennisha Hill April 28, 2009, 6:31 PM

    What a touching story. My husband’s father passed from a brain aneurysm. Yes you are absolutely right. God gives us amazing peace as we mourn. It’s so awesome to hear that she knew the Lord! I’m sure that alone gives you an incredible peace. This is one excellent post Tonya! Praise God for how he gave you peace and prompted you to share this testimony. I pray this touches many hearts and cause those who don’t know the Lord to come to Him!

    Blessings,
    Kennisha

  • Shara April 28, 2009, 3:16 PM

    Oh my goodness, what an amazing story. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, but I believe you will truly minister to many people with the comfort you found in Jesus.

    Thank you for sharing this!

  • Jolyn April 28, 2009, 2:14 PM

    What a tragic loss, I am so sorry. I am so glad you came through it as well as you did.

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