On July 13th, 2014, I got engaged to Kyndel. That was a great day. I can still remember popping the question and having a day full of smiles and laughter as we thought about our future together. It is unforgettable. I immediately began alerting my family members of the good news. They were so excited! Not only were they ready to kick me out of the house, but they loved Kyndel and knew how much she meant to me.
I was especially excited to tell my grandfather. He would always joke around saying that he would “dance at my wedding,” and now that day was quickly approaching. However, when I told him the good news, he quickly congratulated me and then proceeded to tell me he was ready to be with the Lord. He finally had peace about his past and shared with me how God had been comforting him. I remember being confused, thinking things like “Isn’t he happy for me? Why does he have to talk about being ready to be with the Lord?” Looking back, I can see how selfish those thoughts were.
The next day, Kyndel was headed off to the beach with her family, and I was on my way to Fall Creek Falls with my Fusion life group, Shannon and Keith. Most of my immediate family members were on a cruise. I spent the day hiking, swimming in holes, and enjoying times of fellowship with my students. I was throwing a Frisbee around with Keith and some of the students, when Shannon told me to check my phone. I had several missed calls and voicemails. I quickly listened to one of the voicemails and got the bad news. “Jesse, your grandfather has passed away.”
I didn’t know that someone’s mood could change so quickly. I was immediately flooded with tears. I hadn’t experienced loss like that before. The man I had talked most to about marriage wouldn’t be around to see mine.
Yet, from that one, reality-altering piece of bad news God grew so much fruit. My students comforted me and prayed for me that day in Tennessee. My family came together and experienced a community that we hadn’t had in so long. Key conversations following his death shaped the road I am on now, toward becoming a biblical counselor.
If you spend any time around me, you’ll hear me talking about this verse: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, ESV). I’ve learned that when I receive bad news, I need to trust in God.
What difficulties are you experiencing that God is using for good?
They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. – Psalm 112:7