Ruthie Davies shines with a passion for Jesus in everything she writes. It is a passion that goes deep, that has been tested in the considerable fire of grief. She has a beautiful Welsh accent that can be heard in this moving interview. Here is her story:
For me, suffering cued neither the beginning or end of my walk with God.
The sudden injection of immense pain into my life brought neither a ‘if there were a God this wouldn’t have happened’ crisis of faith or a new awareness of a higher being that I had not been mindful of before.
My husband and I both had work, a roof over our heads, family, friends and the most beautiful new marriage. Not only were we smitten, we could not have loved, complimented or fulfilled one another more.
“You two are made for each other” people commented. We knew it too.
Not just my husband but my best friend, the other half of me. Yes, life had its difficulties, but while we stood strong together with God at our sides, nothing could stop us right?
But from such a beautiful situation another story was about to unfold. Five months after uttering ‘till death do us part’, death did just that, it parted us.
A tragic accident.
Broken hearted, devastated, everything I knew shattered, my beautiful boy whipped cruelly from my grasp. Why?
A part of me died.
Life as I knew it was unrecognisable. I had no desire for life, no strength to face the day.
Getting out of bed was meaningless. What reason did I have to get up?
Getting dressed was a major challenge. Who was I dressing for? What should I wear? Despite losing weight, my clothes far too big, I couldn’t bring myself to wear clothes that he hadn’t seen me in.
Relating to others when I didn’t know who I was myself brought additional anxiety. I was so vulnerable without him. This new identity felt so wrong. Who was I? Where did I fit now?
I would have to learn to dress, be, and live all over again. I was 27 and crawling through life.
Life was full of uncertainty. If this could happen, anything could.
So where was God in all this?
Surely the fact He’d allow this to happen made me question His existence? Didn’t the fact He hadn’t stopped the accident cause me to turn against Him in anger?
Actually, Isaiah shows me that God’s thoughts and ways are far beyond ours. If God’s existence was only proved through my understanding of His ways then I could never have believed beforehand.
In this shell of my former life, there was only thing that remained the same. God. I never doubted this.
The second I heard of my sweet boy’s death, I knew with certainty that he was in Heaven.
People marvelled at my faith but I didn’t see it as anything spectacular. My life was now all but empty, death had come, my dreams shattered, desires frustrated; the only thing that hadn’t changed was God. I had no choice but to turn to Him.
Turning to Him wasn’t some pretty, overnight answer to all my problems though. It involved tear-filled cries of ‘why?’ when I didn’t even recognise my own grief stricken face in the mirror.
To say I hated this new state of being is a gross understatement. To say it hurt only touches the tip of the avalanche of pain that now engulfed me. It was dark, so dark. I had no faith to believe that this black widowhood would get any easier. I thought the good which life had to offer was behind me, I’d had my share, and now I just had to endure. Until Heaven that is.
This wasn’t neat faith. My questions didn’t always sit comfortably with others. Some Christian friends struggled to know what to say because this didn’t fit with their concept of God’s protection. But actually, God’s protection had never been more important.
With one eye now on Heaven, I saw everything with a new eternal perspective. I realised that God’s protection was much bigger than not allowing accidents to happen, than not allowing pain to enter our lives; it was His provision of a means by which my husband could now live beyond death, and I could live, albeit painfully, with the hope of a pain-free day ahead.
Life was far bigger than that I could see. One day, yes, the questions would be gone but right now, the reality of a God who met my desperate needs was what I needed.
Biblical truths I’d heard a million times were challenged to the limit.
‘God is close to the broken-hearted and rescues those who are crushed in spirit’ says the Psalms – this was me, broken-hearted and crushed. So, did I know the reality of God being close? Overwhelmingly so.
God could handle my challenges. He never tried to explain away the pain, the tragedy, as though it was all how it should be and so I should move on. In fact, everything in my spirit told me that in a perfect world, this is not how it would be, but God was still here, in the middle of this imperfect mess, helping me one day at a time.
Every time I woke I knew the fresh ache of a breaking heart. I didn’t know how I’d survive, but even in the most broken of times, God would bring a peace that didn’t take the pain away, but stilled my aching spirit; a peace that seemed impossible, beyond understanding.
It wasn’t my strength. Quite the contrary, I confronted absolute helplessness and desolation – I utterly relied on God to survive.
Jesus saw a widow giving just 2 small coins and acknowledged that she had given her all. When I’d little to offer, He accepted it as everything.
With my mind fixed on Heaven, not only did the hope of tomorrow help me endure the pain of the day. It also gave me a glimpse of a bigger picture, and a desire to live purposefully, determined to live a life for things will make a difference for eternity, where I will one day be.
Ruthie’s been labelled an ‘accidental blogger’ following her sudden thrust into young widowhood. Winner of “Best Writing” and “Best blog in Wales” at the 2010 Wales Blog Awards, she now has a desire to purposefully write, with a heart for bringing hope to other broken hearts. When not writing you might find her getting creative, leading her church youth group, preaching, cooking for numerous house guests or taking sneaky shots with her camera.
You can read more at her blog The 7 Journey and follow her on Twitter @the7journey
Over to you:
- ‘The Lord is close to the broken-hearted’. When have you known this in your life?
- How does Ruthie’s story influence how you think about heaven?
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