Unexpected comfort in the midst of loss
by Evelyn Gee
After the Boxes Are Unpacked study leader at Ft. Leavenworth
Evelyn's study group is our featured Group Spotlight for the month of March!
Though Evelyn and her family had been burdened with an unexpected move from their rental home to a house "on post" at Fort Leavenworth, she felt God telling her to take on the added responsibility of leading the After the Boxes Are Unpacked study for the military wives at Ft. Leavenworth.
As if the move wasn't enough pressure, Evelyn's father - 8 hours away - suddenly fell ill. Throughout Evelyn's life her father had encouraged the family with Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God." Now it was Evelyn's turn to encourage her father with this verse before he underwent surgery.
The After the Boxes study was scheduled to begin in August. "I honestly felt like it was a 'little crazy' for me to sign up to teach a class, having just moved and my dad, eight hours away, having such major surgery and recovery. But I just kept feeling God nudge me to teach this study," wrote Evelyn.
At first Evelyn's dad appeared to be recovering well. But, shortly after the study began, he took a turn for the worse. "On September 30, 2017, my dad finished his earthly race and crossed the finish line into the heavenly kingdom with Jesus."
When Evelyn returned from the funeral, she wondered if she should continue leading the After the Boxes Are Unpacked study. Was it too soon to return to the responsibility?
But then I saw it. The middle of page 111 of After the Boxes Are Unpacked. "God didn't speak to Elijah through the clamor and chaos of the big things that were happening. He spoke in the quietness of a still, small voice - a gentle whisper. 'Be still and know that I am God."'
I knew that God was telling me it was okay. He was with me! I just had to be still and let Him work.
Then something even more amazing happened! As I continued to read on to page 129, Susan included an excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit. It was part of the SAME excerpt that was read at my father's funeral the week prior! I felt God's power in an AMAZING and UNBELIEVABLE way! You see, my dad LOVED The Velveteen Rabbit and had a [copy] on his dresser. I burst into tears for missing my earthly father, but also felt the INCREDIBLE arms of my heavenly Father surrounding me!
How was it possible that my group study would be at the section of the book with this verse and book excerpt that meant SO much to my Dad, just a week after his funeral! I believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that God had Susan write those things for me!
I believe God knew that, if I was obedient, I would be right where He wanted me to be so He could reveal himself to me in a way that could only be attributed to Him! Quite simply, the experience has CHANGED my life and the story has moved the lives of others.
Through Susan's book - at a time of extreme change, loss and sadness - I was given the gift of true peace that only comes from our gracious loving God. He loved me enough to have her write these words for me long before He knew I would need them. It has carried me all these months since and will carry me the rest of my life!
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