How to Insert Steel Rods into a Friend’s Jell-O Legs

About a half an hour from my mom’s house I thought I was going to be ill. Stomach knotted, I wondered how I could walk my own grief to the front door and face the mirrored grief of my mother.

The next several days presented some of the most difficult challenges I have ever faced. I kept thinking, How can I do this? How can I see my mom’s pain? How can I look at my dad’s boots by the patio door? How can I walk into a funeral home and pick a casket? Pick a cemetery plot? Write an obituary? 

But in every experience the pain seemed to be diffused into something bearable, and all around it shot up flames of beauty and goodness that have now become some of my most precious memories. I think you did this for me when you prayed.

You put steel in my legs.

Paul tells some believers about the hardships and great pressures he has gone through, but then he says, “…you help us by your prayers.” (2 Corinthians 1:11 NIV)

Does your prayer for people really make a difference?  -christyfitzwater.com

On my urgent journey home last Sunday that ended in a cancelled flight in Denver and a long wait in a customer service line, your words kept coming to me as I scrolled on my smart phone.

Praying for you…praying for you…praying for you…praying for you. 

All week long you kept letting me know you were talking to God for me. Facebook notes, texts, blog comments.

Praying for you…praying for you…praying for you…praying for you.

We all pray sometimes and wonder, Does this prayer really make a difference? It does. I should have been devastated and crumbling because of the death of my father. Instead I experienced one of the most valuable weeks of my life. I laughed so hard and often with family that my stomach muscles hurt, as we remembered funny stories about dad.

Love was strong.

Comfort followed quickly after spasms of pain.

Joy snuck up in the strangest places.

You prayed and even cried for me. God loved it, and he bent in close, his touch and yours coming together on my soul. Thank you.

Who needs your help in prayer today?


  1. Julie Early says:

    You inspire me in the way you can turn such a difficult and painfully time into something so filled with joy and God’s graciousness.
    At dinner last weekend I was telling my in-laws about the post you did about your dad and how inspired I was with your tremendous faith in God. I said I hoped that I could be the same for family in a time of death. I have only lost one really dear friend and some co-workers. To date I have not lost someone that not having them around would alter my day to day life. I am blessed in that way to be surrounded by so many people I love!
    Tonight at dinner my father-in-law was telling us how at 81 his blood work and annual physical came back perfect. I said one night he would just go to bed and wake up and heaven. His response was “I can’t wait!”
    With the recent death of friends’ family, I have been doing a lot of thinking about death. I am not afraid to die. I am afraid I can’t handle the living when those I love get to go home to the Lord before me. How will I be that pillar of strength and God’s light when I feel like I am still learning and depending on other’s examples of God graciousness and mercy.
    Thank you so much for sharing your journey through your dad’s passing.

    1. I very often say to the Lord, when I feel afraid of bad things that could happen -that I’m trusting he’ll give me what I need in that moment. Sure enough. That is exactly what he has done. It’s a peace that passes my ability to understand or explain it. Losing dad hurts deeply, but God is close. I would say it sure helps when we turn to God as the center of our joy and strength on a daily basis. I think it’s something we have to practice in a thousand little circumstances before we’re ready to know God in the hard stuff.

  2. Sabrina Freeland says:

    Welcome back! 🙂

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