Today I woke up and my first thought was, “I don’t want to live in a world without Ginger.” I don’t usually post something like this in my journal here but amid a pandemic that has suddenly turned personal, I can’t help but write in the hope it might help someone else whose heart is broken.

Yesterday my dear friend – my sister of the heart, as we called ourselves – lost her life to Covid pneumonia. A Kentuckian like me, Ginger shared my love of the Lord & family & books & essential oils & Cracker Barrel. She even introduced me to fried cornbread on Cracker Barrel’s hidden menu:) She checked on the cabin when I was gone. She sent me laugh-out-loud memes at midnight her time which proved she was a lively night owl. When we got together we’d order BIG Sonic Coca-colas and drive around Appalachia talking & laughing & edifying. When I fell down the cabin steps to the concrete basement, she was the one who showed up after I said I was fine & took me to the hospital to be sure. I wasn’t fine and if not for Ginger, I would have been a whole lot worse.

I could always count on Ginger to pray and share any burden. She was getting ready to be married and had a beautiful, bright future before her in North Carolina where she’d recently moved. She was a redheaded whirlwind and I loved her so much. In short, she was my forever friend and my life suddenly feels dim without her. And I’m among her many friends & family who are saying the same.

Day before yesterday, I was reading my favorite devotional – New Morning Mercies – my heart heavy with the knowledge Ginger lay in ICU on a ventilator far away. Though this particular devotional book isn’t for writers, this was July 1’s reading:

“Every single day of your life was written into God’s book before you lived the very first of them. None of those days and none of the things that you have faced or will face in those days are a surprise to your Lord. He carefully authors the content of every one of those days with His own hands. He controlled every twist and turn of the plot that is your story. He introduced all the characters and determined all the locations. Nothing will happen to you that He has not written into His book. He has already determined how your story will end.”

In hindsight, though I didn’t know what July 2nd would bring, the Lord did. Ginger’s life story would end and her homegoing would begin. He also knew how my heart would break when our prayers for Ginger led to complete healing in heaven, not here. And He even arranged that day’s devotional to be written in the language of my writer’s heart when the other 364 devotional posts aren’t. That is how specific and tailormade God’s grace and comfort are.

If you’re grieving, I urge you to look at how God is uniquely comforting you in ways only known to Him and you. Grace only He can give. Not only that, we have the hope that this isn’t the end of the story. For Ginger it became a new, flawless beginning the moment she stepped into eternity. And though I miss her more than I can express, I hold close the priceless promise that I will see her again. Glory!

*New Morning Mercies, A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul David Trip

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