Sobbing uncontrollably, she embraced him with all of her strength as his body turned lifeless and he gasped for his last breath. This was not the way it was supposed to happen. She had finally found her “Happily Ever After,” and now, at age 53, he was gone.
If you were to ask Gigi today, “How are you?” her response without pause and with a beaming smile would be “I’m blessed!” Even during the weeks and months that followed her beloved Andy’s death, her response was the same. Those who knew Gigi’s story were often left puzzled. Some would even challenge her, “Gigi, how can you say ‘I’m blessed’ when you just lost the love of your life?” She would just smile and with a calming assurance respond, “I’m sad and I cry every day for Andy, but God took Andy in His perfect time. God knows best.”
Clearly, Gigi knows something that many of us cannot even comprehend. “Blessings” can come through hardships – even through our deepest pain. For Gigi, the blessing is not in the gifts we receive in this world, but in the giver of the gifts. The true blessing lies in a relationship with our first love, Jesus Christ – and often it grows during our deepest sorrows, when we are crying out for comfort, answers, or a change in our circumstances.
While our world sees blessings as material possessions, prosperity, loving relationships, and healthy family members, these are just temporary gifts. When Jesus is the center of your life, nothing – not even the loss of your beloved spouse – can take your blessings away.
Thank you, Gigi, for reminding us that blessings are beyond what we can receive in this world. The greatest blessing is to walk with the Lord – no matter what valley we are trudging through.
We ARE truly blessed!
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4