What a week.

My 24 year old clothes dryer quit. Before I could make arrangements to fix or replace it, I found myself at the ER with Jake, who’d been in a motorcycle accident. My mama-drive was engaged, contending for pain relief and answers from the medical team and healing from heaven.

When he was finally released to heal at home, I slumped into a comfy corner of the couch, exhausted from sitting up all night at the hospital. My respite was interrupted by my mom’s ringtone.

“Hi Mom.”
“Robyn, I’m calling with bad news. Your dad died.”
“No! No! No!” I wailed, crumpling to the ground.
“I’m so sorry, Honey. He collapsed and couldn’t be revived.”

A flood of tears. That ugly hiccupy sobbing. Fist pounding sadness. I’m not ready. This shouldn’t be. He’s so active and healthy. I want more time. He’s gone and I can’t see him, talk to him, touch him anymore.

Loss of convenience, of control, and of connection.

When the tears slowed and my howling abated, Holy Spirit whispered peace into my heart. “This is painful, I know. Remember.”

Remember? Remember what?

Remember this.

  • Stuff can be fixed and replaced. Focus on relationships.
  • We are not in control, though we like to delude ourselves into believing we are.
  • Death is not permanent. (I will see my dad again cuz a decade ago, he said yes to Jesus. He may have exhaled his last breath on earth but he inhaled the sweet fragrance of heaven.)
  • God is with you and for you. He offers comfort and peace and security.
  • Ask for help when you are weak. You need friends to pray for you, lift you up and feed your soul.

Preach the gospel to yourself

Life is alternately sweet and hard. We will make mistakes, suffer loss and experience big change. Jesus died to save us for eternity, and rose to give us hope in spite of any and all circumstances right now.

What’s up with you?

I don’t know what’s going on in your life right now. Perhaps you are at peace and in a season of rest or maybe the burden of fear or worry is heavy? Maybe you’re plagued with sickness and hardships or you’re wondering where the money will come from?

Know this friend. We need to preach the gospel to ourselves every day. Remember. Whether you are celebrating a triumph or suffering a loss, you are not alone and you are loved.

Blanketed by God’s peace

I am blessed to tell you, that when I preached the gospel to myself, peace fell like a warm fuzzy blanket. Comforting in the midst. When I called in reinforcements, my friends rallied with food, flowers and funds for airline tickets to fly to FL on short notice to be with my mom and pay my respects to my dad.

Preaching the gospel to myself reminded me I’m never alone or on my own. God is present in his Spirit and in his People. When you are under attack or overwhelmed by life or beside yourself with worry, remember to preach the gospel to yourself and usher in the peace of God and resources of heaven.

Verse for today: I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

Prayer: Lord, I am so sad. Be my buoyancy and my guide. Lord, in times like this I turn to you with my hands open in trust that you will fill me with courage, grace and love. In Jesus Name amen.

62 Comments

  1. Stacy Routley on October 18, 2020 at 11:07 pm

    Robyn, thank you for this.?

  2. Irene klupp on October 18, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    I am very sorry for your loss and I will pray for you! We are never ready for something like this to happen. Be very grateful that he knew the Lord! I love your comment, he took his last breath on earth and his first breath in eternity! That alone says it all.
    Just hold close to Christ because he can and will comfort you.
    Love you Robyn!!!!

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 3:32 am

      Thank you Irene. I appreciate you and your prayers. Feeling pretty weak these days. sigh. Trusting God with what I do not like right now. 🙂

  3. Suzan Van Dorp on October 18, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    You are a light in this world, shinning on others even in your sorrows. Thank you.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 3:30 am

      You bless me Suzan. Thank you for your encouragement.

  4. Karen L Wedel on October 18, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    I am sorry for your loss. I understand the pain you’re experiencing because today, October 18, 2020, I lost my Cousin Bonnie to cancer. She is now reunited with Christ and both her parents (my aunt & uncle) who died of strokes 3 & 4 months ago, respectively. Then a month ago I lost another cousin, Steve to complications from his lifelong illness of cystinosis.
    I’ve moved twice this year and faced a shutdown at work for 6 weeks due to Covid-19. It’s been a rough year!
    Thank you though for reminding me God is still good and in control. Bless you!

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 3:29 am

      Girl!!! I am so sorry. Praying God lifts you up and carries you as you grieve so many losses. Prov. 3:5-6 are very comforting to me. I may never understand why, but I can trust WHO!

  5. Patsy on October 18, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    Wow, just wow! You are an inspiration to all who listen. Asking God to continue to bless you as you bless others for the Father’s sake. I am praying for you and I love you.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 3:28 am

      Patsy!!! Great to hear from you and thank you for your powerful prayers on my behalf. You’re the best. Love you!

  6. Dawn Merriman on October 18, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    I’m soooo sorry to hear about your dad Robyn. I miss mine everyday & he’s been gone 28 years. This is the 1st I’ve ever commented but I love your emails. You were a speaker at a women’s conference a few years ago that I attended in Coldwater Mi. & you’re the BEST speaker I’ve heard. My sympathies & thank you for all your encouraging & guiding emails.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 3:26 am

      Wow Dawn, I’m so glad you posted. How encouraging and uplifting this is to ME! Thank you, thank you.

  7. Darleen on October 18, 2020 at 11:39 pm

    Oh Robyn, my heart goes out to you. I will remember you in prayer for the next few weeks as you continue to deal with all that has landed on your plate.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 3:25 am

      Thank you Darleen. I receive those prayers thankfully. Appreciate you!

  8. Leslie on October 19, 2020 at 12:14 am

    So very sad and I’m so sorry. I remember a podcast you were on and you told a sweet story about your dad finally realizing how much you loved him. Prayers and hugs, Leslie

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 3:24 am

      Aw, thanks Leslie. Yes, we had a wonderful relationship.

  9. Celeste Lee on October 19, 2020 at 12:35 am

    Your words are alway comforting! I’m so sorry for the passing of your dad! May the peace that you share with us fill you as well!

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 3:23 am

      Thank you Celeste. You’re sweet for posting.

  10. Mary Baumgart on October 19, 2020 at 1:49 am

    So sorry to hear of your son’s accident, praises he is ok and lift his healing in prayer. Also the loss of your father. We have a great group of friends that we met at church and all part of the worship team and band members. The church service we served has dissolved 3 years ago but our friendship hasn’t. Almost all of us have lost a parenting within the last 5 months but we have each other to lean on. Blessed beyond measure in other areas in my life. Sending love hugs and prayers for you and your family. God is so good!

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 3:20 am

      Mary, You are so right. If not for the community of friends I have in MI and the wonderful group of women surrounding my mom in FL, we’d be sunk. This is what the Body of Christ looks like!

      Thank you for your prayers and for writing such good survival wisdom.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 3:22 am

      Mary, You are so right. If not for the community of friends I have in MI and the wonderful group of women surrounding my mom in FL, we’d be sunk. This is what the Body of Christ looks like!

      Thank you for your prayers and for writing such good survival wisdom.

  11. Rebekah Carney on October 19, 2020 at 1:53 am

    Very sorry to hear about your dad. Praying for you this week. We met at a speaking event at Liberty Baptist Church. We lost our beloved Pastor Brent Johnson this past week. Very unexpectedly. Please keep our church in your prayers. Love, Rebekah.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 3:14 am

      Hi Rebekah, I did hear about Pastor Brent passing. I am so sorry. He was so sweet. How is Kelly holding up? And his mom? Lord have mercy. Death is a beast. Thank God Jesus conquered it, but it still hurts to be left behind.
      Praying for comfort and peace from above and for wisdom and discernment for the congregation.

  12. Joan Merten on October 19, 2020 at 2:26 am

    Hugs and prayers coming your way. Glad your son is healing , and loosing your daddy is never easy, so sorry.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 3:12 am

      Hi Joan,
      Always good to hear from you. Thanks for your prayers and virtual hugs. It means so much that you’d check in on me. Hope you are well.

  13. Karen Zeldenrust on October 19, 2020 at 2:52 am

    My deepest sympathy in the loss of your father. He is with our heavenly Father now. May you find comfort and peace in that knowledge. I lost my husband September 26 unexpectedly. I was numb with schock but blessed knowing he is in heaven. Thank you for sharing.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 3:11 am

      Oh NO!! Karen, I am so sorry! May the God of our Savior be with you! Peace and comfort to you, Sweet Friend. I agree in thankfulness they are in heaven.

  14. Staci on October 19, 2020 at 2:59 am

    Robyn I am so sorry to hear about your father many thoughts & prayers are with you and your family. I hope your son is feeling better from the accident lots of love your way!!

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 3:08 am

      Thank you Staci. I appreciate your prayers and concerns. Jake is making good progress and will be making a full recovery (in the name of Jesus!)

  15. Shelly Hood on October 19, 2020 at 8:30 am

    I am so sorry to hear about your dad my heartfelt prayers are with you and your family

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 2:37 am

      Shelly, thanks for your prayers, I receive them with thankfulness.

  16. Martha Jane Webb on October 19, 2020 at 11:00 am

    So sorry for you loss! Through your loss thank you for sharing your important words of wisdom. I needed this reminder big time at this moment!
    You have my sympathy and prayers as you walk this journey.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 2:36 am

      Thank you so much Martha. I’m glad we can lean on and learn from each other. Blessings to you and thanks for writing!

  17. Ellen Shelley on October 19, 2020 at 11:48 am

    Oh, Robyn. Thank you for this. In your sorrow you are lifting others with your prayerful, trusting attitude in the loss of your father. I will be remembering you as you travel that road of grief and loss. Please remember a person whose life was shattered by the loss of her newborn this past week ( I don’t know her, just received the prayer request). It is in our grief that we can pray the most effectively for the grieving. My heart aches for you.

    • Jenny Taylor on October 19, 2020 at 11:52 am

      So sorry to hear the news of you dad’s passing! My heart goes out to you and you family and many prayers of peace to comfort you all during this sad time. ??

      Your messages have been so comforting to me during this sad “season” of mine so I hope my message gives you a little back.

      PS we met your Dad when we saw you speak in Port Charlotte. What a great guy! ?

      Xoxo
      Jenny

      • Robyn Dykstra on October 19, 2020 at 8:09 pm

        Hi Jenny,
        How sweet of you to post! Thank you, Friend for ministering to me.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 3:40 am

      You are wise as well as kind Ellen. Thank you for posting. I agree in prayer with you for God’s peace and Presence to invade our lives – especially in times of deep grief.

  18. Dianne Roark on October 19, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    No words to say Robyn, thinking of you and praying for your family.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 19, 2020 at 8:08 pm

      Hi Dianne, Thanks for posting. I appreciate your prayers.

  19. Afton Gologram on October 19, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    Robyn I pray for peace to fill your sad spaces right now! I thank you for writing this even in the midst of your sadness and trials. It is a reminder to us all to take Joy in all things! I am so happy you know where your father is. Not everyone is blessed with this assurance! Love you lady you are in my prayers and my thoughts as you travel this road!

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 3:38 am

      Oh Afton, Thank you for posting and praying. I know you understand loss and upheaval. Appreciate your kind words and good advice.

  20. Laurie on October 19, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    Very sorry for your loss and praying for you and your family. Your words are as n inspiration that there’s always hope and a God we can lean on for comfort.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 19, 2020 at 8:07 pm

      Thank you Laurie. I appreciate your encouragement and prayers.

  21. Jeanie Monk on October 19, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    Robyn, how heartbreaking. My prayers and thoughts are with you during this sad time. I know you rejoice because he is in heaven but that doesn’t stop the pain and sorrow of your loss. I’m praying for God’s peace and comfort today, tomorrow and in the days to come. God bless you.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 19, 2020 at 8:02 pm

      Jeanie, you certainly speak like a woman who’s been through it and you’re exactly right. Happy for him, sad to be left behind. Thank you for your prayers.

  22. Joyce Barbatti on October 19, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    Thank you for sharing Robin. I’m sending you prayer hugs for continuing peace and comfort. Four years ago today Jesus took my dear husband home to be with Him. I am so grateful every day that God restored Tom’s faith and that he is with Jesus waiting on our reunion! Thank you dear sister.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 19, 2020 at 8:01 pm

      Oh Joyce. Parting is so painful, isn’t it? I’m so grateful for our Jesus and the decision our loved ones made in time to see them again. Thank you for sharing.

  23. Liz Langevin on October 19, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    Perfect timing! I try to share His peace to others yet I forget to remind myself. Bad month here – 2 close family members are in the stage of life of dying; can’t see our kids and grandkids, can’t volunteer where I normally do, my spouse fell and dislocated his shoulder again and spent the night in the hospital. So tired tried and feeling helpless—- SO Greatful tha God with me/us every minute. He is so faithful! Thanks for your message – touched that we can always go to my knees and look up!!! Praise God!

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 3:37 am

      Hi Liz,
      Sounds like you are under it too. Praying for relief and for God to intervene in positive and powerful ways in your life.
      Appreciate you posting. 🙂

  24. Dina Byrd on October 19, 2020 at 5:59 pm

    Hope your son is healing! Praying for you and your family for comfort of the loss of your dad. Thank you for your encouraging words.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 19, 2020 at 6:03 pm

      Thank you Dina. That means a lot.
      Jake is on the mend, so prayers for his healing are still appreciated

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 3:33 am

      Hi Dina, Jake is on the mend and is expected to make a full recovery. Thank you for your prayers.

  25. Bartz Trudy on October 19, 2020 at 10:50 pm

    Robyn I’m so very sorry for your loss! My heart breaks for you and your mom. Hugs and prayers for you both.
    I had the same reaction 19 years ago when my dad when to live with Jesus. I still miss him very much but know one day I will be with him again.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 2:19 am

      Thank you Trudy. It does help to know I’ll see him again.

  26. Laurie Burks on October 20, 2020 at 2:28 am

    I am so sorry, Robyn! I will be praying for you and your family.

  27. Sandy Iannone on October 20, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    I am so sorry about your loss. I lost my Dad 2 years ago and lost my Mom this July. I t has been a lot of sorrow to deal with. They were both Christians and I know I will see them again, but sometimes I just miss their voice on the phone.

    I am glad your son is Ok. Prayers to you and your family.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 1:20 pm

      Oh Sandy, I hear that. I know you can understand my sorrow. Happy for him, sad to be left behind. Thanks for posting.

      • Treva Siesser on October 20, 2020 at 4:29 pm

        I’m so sorry for your loss Robyn.
        I’m thanking God for your dear Dad’s life & Salvation in Jesus.
        I know you & your family will cling to the Promises of God’s comfort and hope as you mourn.
        With Heart felt Sympathy and peace for your heart. Treva

        Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you. John 14:27KJV

        • Robyn Dykstra on October 20, 2020 at 7:46 pm

          Thank you Treva. Your words are spot on.

  28. Debra Seaver on October 22, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    By all the comments I read I know that you are loved Robyn and I just add one more I love you too. Praying for you and your mom during this time of grieving. Your dad will tell Jesus how much you loved him and that your prayers help him get to Heaven. We will all be together one day.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 24, 2020 at 11:26 am

      Debra, I appreciate you. Thanks for these comforting words.

  29. Mary Barnett on October 24, 2020 at 4:59 am

    So sorry for your loss Robyn. It is so comforting knowing Jesus is alive and there for us and with our parents .

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 24, 2020 at 11:25 am

      Thanks Mary. It is a comfort indeed.

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