You've found yourself in a hard place. You are looking for a way out, a purpose, hope through this experience. You are not alone. Others are in hard places too. Others have been in your shoes and have come out the other side. Here are their stories of how they found The Rock in their hard place.
God's Sustaining Hand
By Missy Linkletter
When we were a family of
seven, I dimly understood that there was no guarantee of tomorrow. But, on July
15, 2017, I saw in full the meaning of the phrase, "This life is a
vapor." (James 4:14)
It was a beautiful
Saturday afternoon, and my firstborn, Justin, and two of his buddies were
taking a day trip to go to the lake. They met up at the local Cracker Barrel
and enjoyed an early dinner together. Afterward, they piled into Justin's
Explorer and headed out for the lake.
After driving through
the city, they turned onto the Apache Trail, which is known for its switchbacks
and winding turns and an altogether dangerous state highway here in Arizona. As
the story goes, Justin and his two friends were taking turns riding on the
sideboards of his truck, one on each side. When it was Justin's to drive again,
he slowly rounded a corner and then hit gravel. His two buddies jumped off of
the sideboards when it was almost at a complete stop. But, tragically, Justin
Explorer continued to slide in the gravel and then careened down the
mountainside with Justin behind the wheel. By the time the emergency responders
were able to reach him, our dear Justin had already passed away.
The early days of grief
were filled with groanings I cannot adequately express. I was comforted and at
peace that Justin loved the Lord, and I knew that he was in Heaven with Him.
But, I was not at peace that my son died. I desperately ached for my boy. I
grieved for the future wife that I would never have the pleasure meeting, and
for the grandchildren that would never be. I mourned for the hole that he left
in our family, for my daughter, who lost her best friend, and for my three
young boys who lost their hero big-brother. My husband and I took turns being
strong for each other and tried as we might to make sense out of chaos.
In my darkest night, it
seemed like every single belief I held about God was laid bare on an examining
table. In my anguish, the Lord revealed my heart. If you had asked me before we
lost Justin if I thought Christians suffered, without a second thought, I would
have confidently responded, "absolutely." But, when my firstborn was
suddenly gone, I found myself agonizing over the thoughts like, "Did I do
something wrong? Is God disciplining me?"
And then, I remembered
Jesus' words, "I have told you these things, that in me you may have
peace. In this world, you will have trouble…" (John 16:33a) The truth is,
none of us is exempt from suffering; we will face trials in this life.
Unbeknownst to me, Justin's days were numbered to twenty years. I would have
never chosen this path, and still, I cannot deny the goodness and faithfulness
Losing Justin absolutely
turned my world on its head. In my darkest moments, when I thought my heart
might wither and die from anguish, I learned what it meant to have a seat at
the table of suffering. The Lord is true to His Word, "The LORD is near to
the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18) He has tended
to my soul with the most gentle of care. He's comforted me with His Word and
soothed my inner-turmoil with the peace of His presence.
Today, we, along with
the rest of the world, are facing a different kind of trial. My husband, who
has worked in the travel industry for almost twenty years, was laid-off because
of COVID-19. He is our sole income-earner, and we are facing yet another
unprecedented crisis in our family. Much like with the loss of our son, again,
Tim and I were blindsided with his lay-off.
It is unsure how the
travel industry will rebound when our country returns to work. I don't know if
Tim's lay-off will be for the originally forecasted eight weeks or perhaps much
longer. With this knowledge or lack thereof, I can quickly become worried.
So, when fear and doubt
cloud my mind and bombard me with a roller-coaster of ten-thousand
emotions,I cling to my hope and
remember Paul's words in Romans 8:35-39,
"Who shall separate
us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or
famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we
are being killed all day long; we are regarded as sheep to be
No, in all these things
we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither
death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be
able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Just as the Lord upheld
me through my crushing grief, so He sustains me in the wake of the unknown. I
put my hope in Jesus, because no matter my circumstance, He is the same
yesterday, and today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
Missy Linkletter has been married to her
best-friend,Tim, for nearly 25 years. Together they have five children with a crazy age-spread. Missy and her family live in a small rural
town square in the middle of the desert in Arizona. When she’s not homeschooling her three
youngest boys, you can find her with a pen and paper in hand ferociously
scribbling down words she’s soon likely to forget. Missy’s passion is to help other women know
the true, Living Water, that forever satisfies the longing soul. Her prayer is
for every woman to treasure God and His Word above all else.
This site is a collection of real stories by real people about The Rock in their hard places.
It is curated and edited by Kara Ranck, who is a wife and mother of two children living in Pennsylvania. Kara herself has traveled some hard places in life and knows there is hope and power when we tell our personal stories about The Rock, which brings us through. Thank you for joining us here!
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