Three years later, in the summer of 2007, I completed my third mission trip with CTI. I was 24 years old and had already spent a month in Australia, a month in Singapore, and another month in Mexico; I was officially a missionary (at least according to the missions board at my church). By this time it had also been four whole years since I surrendered my relationship with Nick to the Lord. I thought for sure now that I had given my life to Him in missions, He would fulfill that longing inside me to move forward with Nick and start a life with him. After all, I had been so faithful. For four years I had done nothing but pray, wait, and serve the Lord. Surely I would be rewarded.
In actuality things turned out much different than I expected them to. Nick had stopped waiting for me a long time ago and by 2008 he was engaged to someone else. It was the death of a dream. I felt almost slighted by God, as if I trusted Him and He betrayed me. That wasn’t the only death that year. Just a couple months before I found out about Nick’s engagement my stepfather died suddenly of a brain aneurism.
Death is always tragic, because we weren’t meant for it. We were meant to live a life of eternal perfection. I couldn’t be angry because I found love and then lost it, or because I finally knew what it was like to have a loving father only to have that torn from me too. This was all part of living in a fallen world. I was crushed, but the Lord could repair even this brokenness; He could carry the weight of my heaviest burden. And in time He would use the ashes from these deaths to bring new life; one that I could enjoy fully.
Affects on Counseling
This is one of those instances that remind me of the Lord’s faithfulness and mighty power. In my counseling I can trust Him to show that same power. Of my own will I cannot counsel anyone through trials as big as death or despair, but I will faithfully trust Him and watch as the Holy Spirit brings beauty out of ashes.