Peace Like A River

Two rivers of tears rush down my cheeks as I write. Tomorrow is his birthday. He would have been forty-three.

I was a young woman in my early twenties, kneeling on the floor of a bathroom stall pouring the agony of my heart out to God, pleading for strength to let go of the greatest love I had ever known.  My young husband, attached to "life" support, lay in a bed at the end of the ICU hallway. Our precious baby boy was at home with my sister.  A horrifying storm of emotions rolled inside of me, nearly turning my heart inside-out. The doctors had made no announcement of impending complications. We were watching and waiting. Watching and waiting. Yet I knew in my heart that in a few moments I would face the brain surgeon and hear the words my heart already knew.  He was gone.  I felt a part of me leave already. Life support machines do not manufacture mortal connection.

Nothing in mortality manufactures true peace.  I unequivocally declare that amid the torment of that moment God heard my prayer. I felt the most overwhelming peace wash over me. It was instantaneous and unexplainable to those who do not believe in God. What is it that causes peace like a river to rush in and wash away the sting of death? What is it that speaks peace to the mind that rushes like a river through my body in my darkest hours? It is Love. His Love.

We were driving. I hardly remember it.  My mother, also in shock, found the strength to drive us both home so I could feed and hold my baby.  All I can remember saying to my mother over and over is, "God loves us so much.  All I can feel is His love."  

That night all eight of my husband's siblings and their spouses, my parents and my sister sang my husband to his final sleep with the most beautiful song called I Am A Child of God. We turned off the machines and watched my husband take his last breath and slip through the veil. I held his hand, my face was near his.  I felt his heart stop.  I saw him leave, my love, my son's father, our future.  And still the peace remained.  It was like watching a spiritual birth.  It was peace like a river.

I feel it all to this day.  The pain, the agony, the shock, the disbelief, the love.

I've never gotten over it.

Especially the love. It remains with me.  His love is the peace that runs through my soul like a river.  In reality this peace runs like a river through every moment of our lives.  Ours is the challenge of seeing it.  Feeling it.  Being it. It breathes life into faith, hope and love.

It took me a while, but I eventually realized that my sole mission in life is to invite others to feel that peace by being that love that He gives me. It happens through a look, a touch, a word, a deed, even a song.

His love heals and cleanses.  It is steady and deep like a river. Have you felt it?  Do you know it?  If not, I pray that you will begin to feel it through my words.

- Alisa

1 comment

  • Dad Van Horn
    Dad Van Horn
    Thank you sweet alisa. Happy birthday to Mark!!! After all of these years, I still weep when I think of our wonderful son. I have a small glimmer of what father must have gone through with his beloved Son. We so look forward to seeing you and the kids when you are out here for Christmas. Love, Dad

    Thank you sweet alisa. Happy birthday to Mark!!! After all of these years, I still weep when I think of our wonderful son. I have a small glimmer of what father must have gone through with his beloved Son.
    We so look forward to seeing you and the kids when you are out here for Christmas.

    Love, Dad

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