Prayer is my favorite way to talk to God. I often picture us sitting on a park bench or at the beach just watching the sunrise as we talk about what is going on in my life. We laugh, cry, and talk for hours. We are intimate friends.
I actually pray out loud to God like I’m having a conversation. (<====Click to Tweet.)
If you were a fly on the wall, you might think I’m talking to myself, but in reality I am communing with God. Our conversations are very endearing. God speaks back to me through my thoughts, the Word of God, or through other people throughout the day. Just like I know the voice of my loved ones, I know God’s voice too.
Yet when my friend Tracey died unexpectedly, I became silent. I couldn’t speak to God. I was so wrapped up in my grief, I lost my words. (<====Click to Tweet.)
At first I was mad at God. I was in South Africa when I received the news that Tracey had passed away. I didn’t know the details of her death yet, but I knew God was aware that she would die. God knew how her story would end, yet he gave me no warning. Instead he sent me to South Africa to lead a mission trip.
My first words to God were through tears, “Why did you send me so far away if you knew this would happen?”
After more sobbing, I had to ask the harder question, “Why didn’t you warn me so I could forgive her?”
Tracey and I hadn’t spoken in months. I had walked away from the friendship due to a hurt. I thought I had forgiven her for a past hurt. Then the issue arose again and I decided I couldn’t keep going through the cycle of hurt.
Tracey did reach out to me a couple of times, but I didn’t return her phone calls. I needed space and time to process. A couple of days, turned into weeks, then to months. Almost seven months had passed since our last conversation. When Tracey passed, I lost the opportunity to forgive her in person.
In my heart, I knew God would remind me about forgiveness and his expectations. I knew God would tell me I could still forgive Tracey now, even after her death. I knew God would remind me that he would be with me every step of this grief journey.
Only I couldn’t bear to hear his voice yet. I just wanted to hold onto His hand and walk with Him in silence. For five days, I found myself sleeping long hours and avoiding communication with everyone, especially God.
My prayers were faint. I could only utter light prayers. The heartache felt heavy, like an elephant on my chest.
I was numb.
Two days after the funeral, I boarded a plan to Houston to a God-sized Dreams retreat. I would be with ten friends I have grown to love dearly.
I was with my tribe.
Their loving arms and joyous laughter helped me feel again. When my friend Mel tried to recruit someone to jump in the cold pool with her, at first I gave a list of reasons why not. And then I remembered my friend Tracey, who was my ride or die friend. We lived on the wild side together.
In honor of her, I jumped in the pool and came back to the living.
The act of living in the moment gave me the courage to speak again to God.
And it was in my quiet time that God reminded me that it’s okay to walk in silence with him. Just don’t let go of God’s hand in the silence.
Shared by: Delonna Gibbs
Photo Credit: Big Golf