An anguished mom accepts God’s help (Part 2)

“… Let him … take up his cross and follow me,” Matthew 16-24.
Still sitting in Matt’s room, Nancy finally found the courage to begin putting his things away. She found a camera that her 11-year-old son had taken to karate camp a few weeks prior to his death. After developing the roll, she zeroed in on one picture, a photo of his bunk bed. She saw the words he had written on the footboard that read, “If I don’t see you again in this life, then we’ll meet again in heaven!” She suddenly felt Matt’s presence; he was there, telling her where he was, and that he was OK.

Nancy now would know God’s grace, His gift to her and to all, and His promise that she would see Matt again. She understood that her works, our works, are our gifts to God.

She joined the church and pored over scripture, reading the Bible so as to listen to God. She realized God needed her surrender, or, even He would not be able to move in her. She understood that God is a gentleman; he does not impose himself on anyone.

Nancy continued cleaning the physical mess in Matt’s room, along with the emotional mess in her life. God was now first in her life.

One day, coming across the Walkman Matt had used when he mowed the lawn the Saturday prior to his death, she put the headphones on and pressed “Play.” She expected Metallica or some hard rock music. Instead, the song that played brought her to her knees. It was Lionel Richie’s “Love Will Find a Way.”

Are you feeling down and lonely?
Feeling like you can’t go on?
Just remember love will find a way.

I see the tears you cry.
I see the pain that’s in your eyes.
So many times you were so lonely
and no one seemed to care.
But if your hopes for your tomorrows
are drowning in your sorrows,
know your heart will show you the way.

She thought, “Where did this come from?” These were words she so desperately needed to hear. God’s love was in her heart, and the love she would have for Him and for all. That is how she would find the way.

This, God’s message, changed her life. He loved her enough to give His love, His healing power through Jesus, His son, what HE did for love. The gift she was searching for, God had already given her.

The name “Matthew” means “gift from God.” God had given Nancy this beautiful gift and she had to give it back.

Nancy was living “redemptive suffering.” She identified with Mother Mary at the 13th Station of the Cross, where Jesus is taken from the cross and laid in his mother’s arms.

“Christ willed to leave his mother, endure unspeakable suffering – to die, willingly,” she thought. His example was for Nancy to follow. “No matter how deeply we are hurt, we can forgive, learn to love. Christ is our example,” she said.

1 Corinthians 10:13: “No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial, he will also provide a way out, so that we may be able to bear it.”

“God can heal all things if I invite him, trust in him; faith, even the size of a mustard seed,” she said. “If I can love God above all things, love myself – knowing God loves me, love all God’s children, even the unlovable – then I, we, can clean up the messes in our lives, be healed. God is Love, and he will find a way.”

Terice Richards is a Kingwood resident, a hospital chaplain and pastoral care minister. She is a parishioner at St. Martha Catholic Church. Email comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Terice Richards
Author: Terice RichardsEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a hospital chaplain with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. I have been writing professionally since 1981 as a radio and television news reporter, anchor and producer. I earned an M.Ed. from the University of Houston and a B.A. from UCLA. I am a certified teacher for Pre-K through 12th grade and completed the practicum for pastoral care ministry certificate from St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston. I live with my family in Kingwood.