Have you ever wondered how some people do it?
I remember sitting in a Women of Faith Conference in 1993 a year after losing Adrienne and listening to Barbara Johnson speak.
She was vibrant.
I fell in love with her that day partly because of her funny stories,
but mostly because I read her bio and in it I learned that she had lost two sons.
As I sat there, broken and grieving, I remember vividly saying to myself,
“If Barbara Johnson can be so strong after losing two sons, surely I will survive the loss of my daughter.”
The summer after Nick passed away, I was at a very low place in my grief.
I felt defeated, confused, angry, and overwhelmed with sadness.
And I remembered Barbara Johnson.
I decided to find her online, because I needed to talk to someone who not only understood my pain but also had survived something similar.
I Googled her name and these words popped up on my screen,
Barbara Johnson Foundation.
As I clicked on the button to go to the link,
I felt a sickness inside of me as the word “foundation” carried with it the possibility I feared.
When I reached the site, I discovered with great sadness that Barbara had passed away.
My shock intensified when I realized that she had died of a brain tumor, the very thing that had taken Nick’s life.
Just as quickly as I felt sadness, I felt a sort-of happiness for Barbara because I knew she was now with her two sons.
Almost as quickly I smiled at the thought of Barbara meeting Nick and Adrienne.
And a peace came over me that I had not felt in a long time.
God was still using Barbara to comfort my pain.
God was using someone who not only had lived a painful, broken life but also had passed away.
In that moment, here is what I learned.
It wasn’t Barbara who had strengthened me in 1993.
It wasn’t Barbara who was strengthening me on this day.
In 1993, I had mistakenly thought,
“This lady is so strong. I want to be like her.”
Now I knew the truth.
Barbara was weak.
God was strong.
Even death couldn’t stop God from using Barbara.
As a matter of fact, if you are struggling in your grief, click HERE, and God will use Barbara again to strengthen you.
Do you want to be strong?
Here’s the secret:
Embrace your weaknesses and hardships.
And trust God for the strength you need today.
He’s got this.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses,
in insults, in hardships, in persecutions,
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
II Cor. 12:10