Comfort through my grief
After the sudden death of her husband, Shirley felt lost and overwhelmed by grief. She didn't think she would be able to cope without him but God did not leave her.
Shirley was about to encounter the love and comfort of her God in so many ways. Angel, visions, and friendships from the most unlikely sources, Shirley would once again learn to laugh.
My husband, Mark, passed away in 2012. We owned motels. There were 15 units and two houses. And I don't know why, but I would say to him, “Mark, don't you ever leave me because I would never cope with this.” And then it did happen.
He was 51. It was surreal and, of course, unexpected and just overwhelming. The sadness, the grief. I think with grief, it's just so raw. At night, I would go to bed and I would just lie in my bed with tears coming out of my eyes. I would lie there saying, “I'm strong and courageous.” It’s this passage in Joshua. I would say that over and over again until I felt it. And then I would be able to get up and go into the next day.
We had security cameras around the motels. After he passed away, we brought him home and every night until he was buried, there was a tiny angel. I would say it was a boy angel, kneeling at the doorway of the office. I would get up and I would walk out and look for this angel, but I couldn't see it. And I would come back in and I could see it again on the camera. From the day we buried Mark, I never saw that wee angel again. Dad said, "I think that was Mark's angel."
A month after Mark had passed away, I was spending time with the Lord and I had this vision. In this vision, I could see myself in our office, dressed in widows’ garments, but they were ink black. And the ink was not only on the outside of the garment but it was inside me and it was grief. Then He showed me walking from there into our lounge area. And this most amazing thing happened. It was like translucent light. I can hardly explain it. It was so beautiful coming straight down from the heavens, straight through me, transforming that garment into this beautiful light. But I could feel it. I could not only see it, I could feel it running through me. He said, "I want you to walk out of that widows' garment and into this garment." But I didn't want to do it.
I got a friend around, a good Christian friend and we prayed through that vision. It didn't take long for it to actually happen. I stepped out of that widows’ garment. I felt guilty going to church having my hands in the air. I said, “God, what will people think of me? They'll think I don't love Mark.” But I did. I still do. I still do deeply. I still wear his rings. But from that moment on, things changed for me dramatically.
A few months after Mark had passed, these guys came in. They were doing some contract work. To me, they were pretty rough. They stayed for months, and during that time, one of them got saved. I took them to church. There was just a mini revival going on. These guys were a bit like guardian angels is all I can say. If somebody rough came into the motels they'd say, "It's alright, Mrs. Shirley, we'll take care of it." You knew their presence was around. If they weren't working, they'd bring in my groceries. I would even go down and play cards with them. They took me to the rugby. And we’d laugh! God knew that I just needed to have that. They just made me laugh so much. We would laugh all the time.
On their last day, they came into the office. There were about six of them, and they just all stood around and they asked if I would pray over them. I just prayed the blessing of God, and it was one of those precious moments, you know, that you have in your life and with God. And they went on their way. One of the guys still keeps in contact.
I truly believe that God will just bring people into your lives when you most need them. I want people to know that in their journey of grief, God can walk us through it. He will comfort you through that grief and bring you out of it.