Advent devotion: Black Friday
For some, Black Friday is a fun time to shop with family and friends, making good memories. For our family it has a different meaning.
On Black Friday 2009, our son-in-law, Matt, called to tell us that our daughter, Missy, had died. Missy and Alex, our then 15-year-old grandson, were house sitting for their best friends while they were in Florida. Missy had planned to go shopping early Black Friday morning. When Alex found her purse still on the kitchen counter, he went upstairs to investigate.
The coroner explained that Missy died of congestive heart failure around midnight. One second her heart was beating – and the next second it wasn’t. Thank God she did not suffer. Poor Alex found her lying face down on the bathroom floor. This is an image that he will have to live with for the rest of his life.
God was instrumental in helping us plan her funeral – which pastor to lead, what scripture to read, which flowers to place on her casket and where to bury her. God’s love helped us get through those dark days.
Missy’s family lived in Coal Valley. They were very involved with community and school activities. Missy had coached the girls’ softball team for years. We were amazed when more than 700 people came to her visitation. At least half were teenagers. Every girl that Missy coached was there! I spoke at her funeral and urged those teens to carry on Missy’s legacy; to not give up even when it is tough and to remember that she would be with them in spirit.
Our faith in God’s love continues to get us through dark days. I believe that God’s light of love, grace, peace, and joy is at the end of every dark tunnel.
Don Hiesterman lives in west Davenport with his wife, Barb.