In Times of Darkness, Have Faith

Dedicated to Viola Barnard; Aunty Vi, I love you. I know you are rejoicing in heaven right now and worshiping the one who died for us.

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV): “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

It’s weird how things in school and in real life can connect with each other. Just the other day in my Newspaper Staff meeting, we were talking about how to cover tragedy and death.

Yes, there are actual guidelines for these things, but you never know until you are put into a situation where somebody lost a loved one; whether it be from something tragic or just natural causes. It’s a heck of a lot different though when someone in your own family dies.

Recently I just lost a loved one to the most dreaded C word of all. You hate to hear it, and you hate to say it because it sounds like castor oil to the lips. You hear it in the news and you think that it would never happen to you or your family. But it’s real.

That word is, of course, Cancer. This “special” isn’t just talking about losing someone to cancer, it’s about losing someone in general, and the answer to the question, “How do I stay strong knowing a loved one just passed away?”

Do you see the verse at the top of the article? Read that again. That is exactly how I’d envision one gets through a tragedy like this. When something like this happens, we can’t just sulk and rot in sadness. We have to have hope that God will strengthen us. As Casting Crowns puts it, we need to “Praise Him in this storm”. As Sidewalk Prophets put it in “Words I would Say”, “Be strong in the lord, never give up hope”.

In the movie I Still Believe, the antagonist, Jeremy Camp, even though he lost his first wife to cancer, didn’t fade. He came back stronger and kept writing and kept going on with his life. He got strength from the Lord and because of his testimony, he’s one of the most popular artists on Christian radio.

We can’t control God’s Will, This is why death is so unexpected. When it does hit us, we cannot be sulking. We HAVE to be strong. We have to draw strength from God because as the verse said, He is with us, He will strengthen us through these times. Because like Roman 8:31 says: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

I’d like would like to add some personal words about the dedication in this article. My Aunty Vi passed away recently from cancer. Despite all the chemo and the setbacks, all I could hear and see is the light of the Lord in her, and she is an inspiration to me and my family. I’d also like to take this time to present a call to action. Stay as close as you can to your loved ones, including your extended family; you never know when they get a diagnosis like this. Don’t take this time on the Earth for nothing. Be Salt and Light to the people around you, because you never know whose life you can bring to God with that.

I love you bunches, Aunty Vi.

Marco Milani