It may not look like it on the surface, but the photograph below captures a sacred moment.
I wrote about this dear friend in my book, A Place to Land. When this photo was taken last week at our church in Cape Town, we hadn’t seen each other for more than five years and she hadn’t yet read about the impact her story has had on my life.
When I went back and read the portion about her in my book after this picture was taken, I was struck by the significance of this moment. As you’ll read below, I wrote about standing with my friend, my fellow motherless daughter.
I wrote those words while living more than 8,000 miles away from her, meaning that we stand together as sisters in Christ. But here we are, standing together in person, side by side.
She’s holding my story in her hands, but it’s her story, too. It’s our story.
She holds our story and God holds us — year after year, mile after mile, by His sufficient grace.
I decided to share the excerpt from my book here so you can put a face with the story, and because I pray it will be an encouragement to you as well.
Disclosure: Affiliate links have been used in this post. If you choose to click through to make a purchase on Amazon, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your support!
Without further ado, here’s an excerpt from A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging . . .
Over the next several weeks, I thought back to a Ladies’ Coffee Morning at my church that took place four months before my mom died. I had served as the MC, and had asked a college-aged friend of mine to share her story.
She stood up to the podium, microphone amplifying her voice throughout the church hall. She told us how her mom had died recently. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. And how, when she had heard the news, she didn’t know what she was going to do. How she was going to cope. How she would ever make it through the deep, dark valley.
But she stood in front of that room full of women, captivated eyes fixed on her small frame, and she explained it simply: “It was grace. It was all grace. That’s what got me through. I never thought it was possible, but He did it. It’s still hard, and it probably always will be, but His grace is how I can face each day.”
That’s when the tears began. I couldn’t contain them. They hovered on the brink of my eyelids and I tried not to blink, but they spilled over anyway. At the time, I was smack on the other side of her story, clinging with exhausted fingertips to the opposite side of the fence. It loomed large before me, dangling right in front of my face, this story of hers that would soon become my own.
But even as she spoke, I didn’t believe it would be true for me. I knew the Bible said His grace was sufficient, but I had deemed myself an exception to the rule. I doubted the grace of God.
Four months later, my mom died.
And what I never expected, happened.
God carried me.
He caused me to keep my composure as I traveled alone to the funeral. He gave me the strength to make it through the visitation and the memorial service. He helped me to console my grandma at the grave site as we watched the casket get lowered into the ground. He gave me a clear mind to make decisions that had to be made, like which belongings we would keep, and which verse should be inscribed on the gravestone.
It was awful and it was grace, all at the same time.
And it’s still grace, with every day that stabs and stings and sleeps and wakes.
I doubted, and God proved me wrong. I was faithless, and God was faithful (2 Tim. 2:13).
And now, I can stand with my friend, my fellow motherless daughter, and testify myself that His grace is sufficient. His power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).
To God be the glory.
PURCHASE YOUR COPY OF A PLACE TO LAND HERE