By Bree Hodnefield
About three years ago, I received a phone call from my mom that led to one of the toughest heartbreaks of my life – the loss of my grandpa.
My senior year did not end as anticipated. I missed the next three or four days of classes, only coming in for important exams or to inform my coaches and teachers why I’d be gone. I began to feel the exhilarating ride of senioritis and life after high school crumble into a pile of rubble around me. I remember thinking to myself, “I just wanted him to make it to graduation.” And upon realizing he wouldn’t, nothing seemed important anymore. My world was moving in slow motion and there was no point in striving to succeed for the next month.
No one teaches you how to cope with losing a loved one. And while I saw it coming, my heart still wasn’t ready. I wasn’t prepared for how empty I would feel inside, or how unmotivated I would be to get out of bed, or how sad and broken my heart would feel anytime I saw or heard something that reminded me of him.
A few days after receiving the news, I was lying in bed nearly paralyzed, listening to my worship playlist on Spotify hoping to feel even the tiniest ounce of reassurance that things were going to be okay again soon. That’s when “Healing Begins” by Tenth Avenue North began playing. And then I sat up and realized: I wasn’t ready, but God was.
God was ready to catch me as I fell. He was ready to pick up my life and piece it back together. He was ready to hold my hand as I found the courage to stand. He was ready to give my heart strength. He was ready to wipe my tears and tell me “Child, everything will be okay.” In the midst of all the pain and uncertainty, he was ready to be my Rock, my Firm Foundation, as I made it step by step through each new day. He was ready to take my brokenness and make it something beautiful.
When I decided to go back to school later in the week, I dreaded getting asked questions, I was afraid of breaking down in class, I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to focus, that school would be too much. Before leaving the house, I asked God to help me through the day because I knew I couldn’t do it alone.
As I walked to my locker, there waiting for me were my three high school best friends. One was holding a bag of chocolates, another holding a silly card, and the other with her arms ready to wrap me up in her love and hold me tight. As I collapsed in her arms, I felt three others join in the embrace, my two other best friends and God.
I listened to “Healing Begins” for the next six months as I witnessed God lift me up in every way possible. He gave me more strength than I could imagine, filled my life with love and joy again, and showed me that no matter what I face I will never be alone. But most importantly, He reminded me that He is the Light that will shine through my darkness.
“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.”
“This is where the healing begins/this is where the healing starts/when you come to where you’re broken within/the light meets the dark” – Often we will never be ready for the hardships and heart breaks that come with living this life, and that’s okay because the God of the universe, our Father in Heaven, the one who knit us together in our mother’s womb, is standing tall, ready to catch us and pick us back up at any given moment. I now know, that not a day will pass where He is not by my side.