“… he was lost, and is found.” —Luke 15:24b.
“I love you, oh Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” —Psalm 18:1–2 (NIV)
There are many kinds of loss and loneliness one can feel in a lifetime, and at some point, we all experience it one way or another. Within the last five years, my family and I have experienced a few: loss of community, home, church, friends, health, family members due to illnesses and death, and loss of faith. These experiences certainly bring up a myriad of emotions and feelings; depression, sadness, and loneliness are a few.
Five years ago my husband and I moved to Sioux Falls when he agreed to transfer to the Sioux Falls branch of the bank he works for. We were excited about a new challenge, and it seemed like the right time since our youngest son, Benjamin, had just started at the University of South Dakota, and we were empty nesters. We moved in and took every measure possible to make our first Thanksgiving and Christmas in our new home in Sioux Falls special. What we thought would be a new, exciting experience soon turned into kind of a sad and lonely experience, along with some loss along the way throughout these past five years.
What had been a busy, noisy house became very quiet. Without having yet found a new church home and still getting settled, and not having kids’ activities since becoming empty nesters, it seemed hard to acclimate ourselves. The loss of church, community and friends was palpable.
Other losses followed, with my husband losing two family members, plus my sister’s husband and four months later my dad. In addition, my husband and his brother both found out they had prostate cancer, at just 51 and 50. Both had surgery and thankfully are fine. Our two youngest sons struggle with their faith and remain a constant in our prayers.
Yes, we all have these times of trial, loneliness and loss in our lives. Throughout ours, our prayer life was strengthened, and our faith was tested.
Dear Lord, with you we are never lost. You indeed are our rock. Keep us ever close to you in times of trial, loss, loneliness and sadness, and throughout other challenges in our lives! When we are allowed to go through trials, protect us; strengthen our faith, hope, trust and love. Comfort us, and bring us peace. Thank you for sending your son Jesus Christ to save us from ourselves and our sins. In his name we pray; thy will be done! Amen!