I’m grappling with my friend’s death and God speaks to me gently

My heart is heavy because I lost a good friend last week. Her death was completely unexpected and what I want to say is untimely because she was only 39 years old. She loved Jesus with all her heart and so did her family. She leaves behind a husband and three children. Their son Zach went on to heaven even before Katie when he was just 5 years old. Such devastating loss this family has endured.  Katie’s brother passed away in the last few years as well. He was younger than she was.

Katie was a wonderful person. To know Katie is to love her. Her laugh; her heart; her humor. She gave generously and she had a heart of gratitude. She wanted people to know about Jesus and so she went on mission trips and took her kids with her. She held Happy Birthday Jesus parties for neighborhood kids and friends and we brought gifts for charities. Katie had people over for dinner even if her house wasn’t perfectly picked up and she was fine with serving pizza and salad because she was about relationships. She was authentic.

And so I have been turning to the scriptures daily asking God to show me a verse on behalf of Katie and the pain we feel on her family’s behalf and just our own personal pain. I scramble through verse after verse that reminds me that God is our Protecter, our Defender, our Guard. I read verses in Psalms that proclaim God’s goodness and his watch care in a time of trouble. I find comfort.

But I admit that way in the back of my head in a whisper I secretly wonder….. where do these truths fit in with my friend who is no longer here on earth?

Defender. Yes, I believe with all my heart that God is my Defender and Katie’s Defender. But how does this fit right now? She’s gone.

God protects. I know and I am comforted by this but I still have the haunting question of  ” but how is that protection for Katie?”

And then it’s as if  The Holy Spirit nudges me and reminds me that He is protector and He is Sovereign both in the same sentence. He knows our days. They are ordered before we are even born. He knows us that well. And so it’s not that He doesn’t protect or guard. It’s that He is working out a purposeful plan we can’t possibly understand but we choose to trust. God is so powerful that nothing can thwart his plan. Not our own plans and best intentions can interfere with God’s plan. And this is why I must keep trusting and believe that God is good. All the time. Even when I don’t understand and can’t see the plan.

Today I’m clinging to these verses in Psalms 62

Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Yes, my soul, find rest in God  my hope comes from him.

Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

Would you pray for the Emerson and the Glover family? That the God of all hope and peace will be lifted high in the celebration of Katie’s life on Friday afternoon.


  1. sorry for your loss, melody. will pray, specifically – on friday afternoon. been reading through hosea recently and struggling very much (yet again) with some of those same questions but always come back to clinging to the character of God… Who He Is.

    • Thank you for your prayers Richelle – that means a lot. I think that’s exactly it…. clinging to who God is.

  2. stopping to pray right now.

    • Mel,
      I have picked up the phone several times in the past week to call you, but each time I hung up thinking I’d call when I had more time to talk. I had no idea you were grieving. Please know my prayers are with you. I miss you sweet sister.

      • Natalie…I love how God puts it in our hearts when we need each others prayers and thoughts. He has always done that for us – so wild. Thanks for your prayers and we’ll talk soon.

    • Thank you Kendal for your prayers.

  3. Oh dear Melody, I’m so sorry to hear of this unexpected loss. I am praying for these precious families – that they may experience God’s Presence and Peace in very real, tangible and physical ways. I pray that God would surround them with others to be His hands, feet, mouth, and arms. May God reveal Himself so clearly that there is no doubt that He is with them.
    I also pray for you, my friend. May God hold you close as you sort through your emotions. May He comfort you as only He can. May He sprinkle your path with tokens of encouragement to remind you that He is with You. And may your faith be strengthened in the midst of this difficult time.
    Look for His hand, dear Melody. He is with you.
    You are loved. –
    Cindy 🙂

    • thank you Cindy – I appreciate your prayers. I know they come from a deep personal understanding of loss and grief. Love you friend.