August 31st, this coming Tuesday, is the deadline for our withdrawal from Afghanistan.
August 31st, our country may leave fellow Americans and allies behind to face torture and perhaps death by the Taliban. It’s horrible and heartbreaking.
And I shake my head because August 31st, twenty-five years ago, was also the worst day of my life.
It isn’t just hearing that the date on the news, over and over; but i think it’s also the feel and the smell of the late August, Tennessee air that carries me back to that day.
That awful day.
It’s other things, too, like the anticipation of the first Tennessee football game and the reminder of how much he always looked forward to that.
Today, I will hug the men, who were his little boys 25 years ago; and I will still wonder how he could’ve left us.
But 25 years ago, on August 31st, my husband did leave.
It would be five long, gut-wrenching, days as I sat in the hospital, by the bedside of our premature infant son, fighting for his little life, before answers would come.
Five long days before my husband’s body would be found.
He didn’t leave a suicide note.
No, some answers have never come.
And with that, I could stay a miserable mess; but I won’t stay there. I’ll turn from what I don’t know, to what I do-
This I do know, and this I deliberately remember, though my husband left, God has not.
Though I screamed in anguish and told God I couldn’t go on, He didn’t leave.
Though I questioned God’s goodness and yelled—
Are You here?
Do You see?
Do You care?
God didn’t leave.
So many times, I have doubted and been faithless, but God has always been completely faithful.
God didn’t leave.
And that has been enough.
More than enough.
And so often, it was through the tear-stained pages of my Bible, that God has spoken. This is why I post the things I do on this page.
With His Word, God lifted my head, He comforted, He gave me real, keep-going, HOPE.
God was there then.
God is still here today.
He has been there in all the days in between.
And this I know, and still believe with all my heart, though a very real war was waged against my family, the enemy did NOT get all he wanted.
Though I have seen pain, and still see it in this hard world in which we live, I have seen RIVERS of God’s faithfulness and goodness in my life and the lives of my sons (and godly husband and daughter the Lord has blessed me with).
And so, 25 years later, I stand as a witness of God’s sustaining, healing, steadfast love.
I don’t understand all that has happened in my life. I don’t understand the hard things happening in the world right now.
I just know, God will not leave His children, even when death stands at our door. He is there. He will always be there.
And that same God who carries me, He WILL carry you too.
He will speak to you and encourage you through His precious Word. Pick it up.
He will encourage you through other believers. Go to church. Those Afghani Christians are risking their lives to do so.
Oh friend, God loves you, and He can and will bring beauty from ashes as you run to Him.
He won’t leave.
And knowing Jesus, in real relationship like this, is enough to sustain us when all else seems to fail us.
He is so very faithful and so very good.
And so, I WILL WORSHIP HIM this day! And I’ll worship Him on August 31st. Because He is Truth to Hold On To and forever faithful!
*to read more about my story and just how God carried me through the hard days, check out Truth To Hold On To, on Amazon or follow my blog at kimjaggers.com