I got the phone call very early in the morning; I knew immediately that something bad had happened. She was crying and my heart was pounding like a kick drum in my chest.

My foggy brain heard the details and was trying to connect the pieces: middle of the night, heart attack, he didn’t make it. Her wonderful, amazing, larger-than-life hero-daddy had died.

I heard myself speaking, and my brain was trying so hard to keep up. I said, “Let’s pray,” and then a minute into the prayer I heard myself say, “This is too big for words, Lord. Please be with her like you were there for me…” I still tried to speak words of comfort, care, and love, but those few words held the crux of the message.

I’ve known God’s faithful comfort, and now, in my friend’s desperation, I want her to feel it too. I’ve felt God minister to me when I didn’t even know what I needed. I’ve known his presence when nothing else could penetrate the pain.

The chaotic thoughts were flying: He’ll never walk her down the aisle. Christmas will be so hard. They are such a close family. He loved so big; he probably has no regrets. Heaven has been celebrating already. She’s hurting so badly.

Oh, Jesus. In my times of excruciating grief and heaviness, pain and sorrow, you came to me as the Prince of Peace, the Counselor, and the Comforter. Please do the same for my friend and her family even now. Comfort them like no one else can. Envelope them with grace and peace, like a warm quilt on a cold day. Oh Lord, I know you understand that this is too big for words.

And I know you understand our hearts, even when the words won’t come.