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Comfort When She Needed It Most

She thought nothing would ever be right again.

Kelly Ferrier

I couldn’t believe my eyes: “Mom, is that really me?” In the mirror stood a happy young woman in the most beautiful wedding dress I’d ever seen. “The one and only,” Mom said. “This is your big day.”

Right at this very moment, friends and family were taking their seats in the lovely church my fiancé and I had chosen. Dad waited to escort me up the aisle. I’d tied white satin bows on the pews, and arranged white and lavender flowers by the altar. Lavender, to match the bridesmaids dresses.

It all seemed like a dream, especially because this day might never have happened. Not long ago, my life had fallen apart, and I didn’t want to live another day.

We’d just celebrated my 20th birthday with a big cake at home—Mom, Dad, my brother and sister all singing “Happy Birthday” at the top of their lungs. I was a junior at the community college, planning to be a teacher. My life was going to be wonderful. As far as I knew, my family and my future were solid.

Then the shock came. Mom and Dad decided to divorce. They had argued sometimes, but I never thought they’d split up. They belonged together.

I was wrong. Mom moved into a rental house, and my sister moved with her. My brother went away to college. Dad took a new job on the night shift. Evenings after school, I came home to an empty house. I felt like a child again, alone, afraid and uncertain of my future. Everything familiar in my life was gone. It was as if my foundation had been yanked out from under me.

One night after studying late, I crawled into bed. “God, have you abandoned me too?” I asked in the silence. I wanted to believe life was wonderful, but it wasn’t.

That weekend a friend took me canoeing to get my mind off my family. “You need to grow up,” he said. “Stop acting like this is the end of the world.” We got into a fight. Back at the house, he sulked on the couch. I threw some clothes into a basket and went down to the basement to do laundry.

My friend didn’t understand. Nothing will ever be right again, I thought as I walked down the stairs. Nothing. I put down the laundry basket and sat on the stairs. I felt so alone. I cried till my body shook. Maybe I was taking this harder than I should, but I couldn’t help it. As far as I could see, life was over. I wanted it to be over. It wouldn’t be hard to do something about it.

I wiped the tears from my face, then clasped my hands together. I was afraid. Afraid of my thoughts. Afraid I would do something desperate. “God,” I said, “forgive me. I need your help.”

Behind me I heard the stairs creaking. Dad was at work. It had to be my friend. I was too upset, and didn’t want to face him, of all people. I didn’t turn around. He sat down behind me and rested his hand on my shoulder. It made me catch my breath. The touch was tender, yet strong. A gentle squeeze told me how much he cared.

Maybe he understands after all. I couldn’t stop crying, but I felt comfort in the loving touch of his hand. Slowly, my tears stopped. I wasn’t alone. Relief washed over me. After a few minutes I turned around. It didn’t seem possible. No one was sitting there. I knew then that no matter what else happened in my life, God would never abandon me. He would forever be as close as the touch on my shoulder.

In five short months from that day, everything had completely changed. Mom and Dad got back together, and we were a family again. I doubled my energy in college. And then I met Jerry.

The church was filled with sunlight as I walked up the aisle. My life was as wonderful as I’d wanted to believe. Jerry reached for me, and I felt his strong hand just as I’d felt the touch of another angel. “I do,” I said. I believe.

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