Finding HAVEN

Refuge.2What is a haven?

Dictionary definition: any place of shelter and safety; refuge; asylum

Joining the Five Minute Friday community with a one word prompt. We write for five minutes (I confess, I’m not so good at the time limit), post it, and then link up over at Kate’s blog.

This week my church family reached out to provide refuge and shelter for one of our families. They lost their 17 year old son. Every death of a child is traumatic, but this one was a result of suicide, a death that leaves family and friends reeling with questions, guilt, and despair.

Teenagers from our church have spent time with the family; their loss, their questions need a place of refuge. Wednesday night Bible study found the teens gathered in their classroom surrounded by our ministers, elders, and counselors. Adults don’t have any simple answers to their pain, but they provide refuge, a place to cry, to question, to remember.

Fourteen years ago when we suddenly lost our daughter in a hiking accident we were surrounded by family- family by blood and family washed in His blood. They wrapped us in their arms, held us close, and gave us a haven.

How do we survive trauma without support? How do we survive without the refuge God provides? Even when my questions to God seemed unanswered and I stopped praying, I knew in my heart and soul that He was just waiting for me to reach out.

Gulf Coast, a place I can find a haven with God

Gulf Coast, a place I can find a haven with God

Even after fourteen years the death of another young person can put me right back into those familiar emotions of grief, sadness, and depression. This morning when I awoke, I felt it. The lump in my throat, the pressure on my chest, the lack of joy. I ache for the parents and siblings of  this young man. I know the days and weeks ahead will be difficult.

A place of haven: quiet moments in meditation

A place of haven: quiet moments in meditation

This one thing I know. My haven is in the tight circle of my family, in the circle of my church family, and in the arms of Jesus.

I thank God for the family of God who weep with those who mourn.

I thank God that He sent His Son to bind up the wounds of the brokenhearted.


I found some wonderful prayers from Emily P. Freeman for those who are grieving. Sometimes I need the words of others to express my pain.


2 thoughts on “Finding HAVEN

  1. Joy Lenton

    Hi Joy. I, too, wonder at these things: “How do we survive trauma without support? How do we survive without the refuge God provides?” How, indeed. He is our refuge, help and strength, especially in times of trial, trouble and tribulation. When no-one else understands the pain we go through, God always does. He comes alongside to offer all we need to survive hard times, and life in general.
    We have also lost family members to suicide and the ache of it remains. Early deaths are always tragic, no matter how they occur. I am sorry for your loss and that of your church family. It’s when we experience loss, pain and tragedy that the support of other believers become so precious. Prayers and practical help are greatly appreciated when we’re hurting, aren’t they? Be gentle with yourself as wounds open afresh. You’re in my thoughts and prayers. Blessings from your neighbour/sister in Christ at the #FMF link up


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