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Aug7WedI lost my mother and my husband, but God never left me. August 7, 2019 by Nico Avery-Weitzel
(Above) “God always blesses his children,” says Nico Avery-Weitzel
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As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.—Joshua 24:15 KJV
This verse has always hung in the entrance to my home, reminding me that I need not worry because God is in control. There is comfort in knowing you are never alone. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a Christian. That’s not to say things always went the way I wanted, because that is not part of God’s promise.
When my mom died of breast cancer, I was six years old, and couldn’t believe that God could get it so wrong. Then I thought Jesus would return to earth before the funeral service and we’d all be together again. But he missed that, too. Obviously, God had not been listening to me very well. God’s grace was to bring my mom release from a terrible situation, but when you’re six, life is all about you. Eventually, though, I came to understand that God is good, and that he always blesses his children.
Trusting in God is not the same as expecting God to give you everything you want, but it does mean you can see how things could have been so much worse. In my darkest moments, I was not alone.
When my husband passed away suddenly of a heart attack, I was 40 years old with two young children. Whatever I had expected life to dish out, this wasn’t it. I was afraid, alone and 230 kilometres away from our kids, who were being watched by a friend. Prayer carried me the whole way home, as I asked for the words to help them understand that Daddy wouldn’t be coming back.
Thank God I had gone with him that day. Thank God the children were not with us. Thank God he simply collapsed and there was no drawn out suffering. Thank God we had not waited until the weekend to celebrate our son’s seventh birthday. Thank God for the wonderful morning we had as a family, the last memory the children would have of their father. This is how God gives us strength and helps us understand that he is holding us, even in the pain.
Christ gives us everything we need. If we simply let go and let God, trusting him in all things, it might not always look how we expect or even want, but we won’t be alone. You can rest assured that the outcome will be the best possible.
There is one more chapter in my life where God has blessed me. After my husband’s death, I thought I’d have to go it alone, just me, the kids and God. But like so often before, God’s plan looked different and was better than mine.
About six years later, I met Bob, the only one who responded to my plea in the church bulletin for a kidney for my niece. Although he had his own challenges, suffering from hereditary spastic paraplegia, a chronic progressive condition that kept him wheelchair-bound, it did not slow him down when it came to reaching out to his neighbour or, in this case, my niece. Bob clung to Christ and his promise, and lived his life as an example of love.
This year, we will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We have since retired, moved to Maple Creek, Sask., and joined The Salvation Army’s Maple Creek Community Church. A few months ago, we enrolled as adherents. It’s a church that fits with our understanding of what Gods asks of us, and what God gives in return—always enough. God provides us with all we need, and more, allowing us to praise God through blessing others.
We can never give back everything that God has given us. We can’t even begin to clear the tally, but then, we are not expected to. We are simply to love the Lord our God with our whole being and love others as ourselves. How great is our God!
Whatever chapters are still to come, one thing is sure—those who come to our home will be welcome, and will find in our entrance hall a declaration of what to expect.