Death visited our family early in my youth, taking my father without warning, exacting its toll of loss and grief on me, my mom, and four siblings, leaving us all emotionally scarred.
We loved Dad and grieved bitterly, surviving with feelings of desolation and sorrow as our strong family circle was forever broken; my sister, ten years old, was unable to comprehend "why Dad left her."
God's Angel of Death would visit my family, inflicting the pain of sorrow and loss repeatedly, and in the years to come I would lose my mother, sister, and two younger brothers.
I would later become estranged from my own family through divorce, and relocation would sever relationships, uprooting me from my career, the old familiar places and faces, plunging me back into sadness and loneliness, grim reminders of loss from the not distant past.
In the middle of the storms I lost my auditory senses and had to adapt to an entirely new world that introduced fear and rejection, and at one point of my life I became fearful of dying suddenly.
I realized, too much later, that I never really was ever alone; God was always with me and he was keeping me here, carrying, guiding, strengthening me through every storm, giving my life direction again, restoring me full-circle to his purpose for me--writing to tell of his love.
It took a while for me to understand God's grace, how he led me through the years of stormy darkness to a relationship with him through love and mercy that is unsurpassed; and, while I am still working on life, a great part of its purpose is to share my hope and faith and attest to God's love and grace, but most of all to bear witness to the triumphant, peaceful joy of walking, talking with, and listening to God along the valleys and mountaintops of life.