Ruth’s story from The Difference Jesus Makes
I have known God was with me ever since I can remember. Throughout my life I have talked to Him and known that He was listening and so many times He has answered my prayers and shown me just how much he loves me. Last year was a difficult year. My father’s dementia got gradually worse and then he became ill and died. Seeing his decline in abilities and dignity was heart-breaking and I was exhausted by all the 400 mile round trips to see him. Through it all I felt I felt God was saying over and over simply, “I love you and I will not let you go.” It reminded me of when I used to hold my children’s hand as we walked along the road. They might loosen their grip on my hand but I would never have let them go. I didn’t pray long or sophisticated prayers in those times; mostly it was just telling God how I was feeling and knowing that He understood and cared. I told Him when I was sad or lonely or afraid or even angry. Knowing He really understood and cared somehow made things much easier. Often I was just saying, “God, help me please.” or “I can’t do this bit without you, please help.” Every time, I had a new sense of His being there and supporting me and of Him saying, “I love you and I will not let you go.”
I am grateful that in those times there were friends in the church supporting me too. I knew that there were always people thinking of me, caring for me and ready to help whenever they could. It was like having another family. I don’t think being a Christian means that life will always be easy. We follow Jesus and His life wasn’t easy by any means. But I do know that my relationship with God is what makes the hard times bearable and the good times so much more wonderful. Being a Christian means I am never alone dealing with things. God is always close to me, understanding me, caring for me, keeping me safe, loving me. I know He loves me and He will never let me go.