If you lost someone precious to you way before their time, could you still say “God is good?”  If one of your greatest fears was realized, could you crawl out of the darkness and despair?

That’s where grief left Joy Sheehan after she lost not one, but two children.

“The phone rang, and it was my husband, Rob.  He said, “There’s been a fire, it’s not good.  Pull the car over.”   I said, “No, I’m going to find my boy.” And I drove to his house.  The lights, the sirens, and the caution tape.  I ran in there screaming his name.”

Joy’s son Christian died in a house fire.  He was 24 years old.  He lived just two miles down the road, and Joy struggled with wondering what she could have done to save him.  She struggled with feeling so alone. But God showed up in miraculous ways.  One day as she knelt outside Christian’s bedroom window, crying and praying, God sent someone to let her know she was not alone.

“As I was sitting there on my knees, I heard someone come up behind me and they put their arm around me. And this person proceeds to say, ‘You are not alone. God told me to come here and tell you, you are not alone.’”

It was a perfect stranger. For Joy, though, it was perfect timing. In the next year, loss continued. Her mom passed away unexpectedly, and her father died after an extended illness. As the losses mounted, depression crippled her relationships, drained her, and even led to thoughts of speeding up the time when she could see her sons in heaven.

But God. God continued to meet Joy in miraculous ways. He showed up and demonstrated His love for her, and gave her hope for the future. He taught her a valuable lesson about living for the future, instead of staying focused on the past. Now, Joy says the experience of loss and grief has been a gift. Because of what her family has walked through, Joy feels closer to Jesus than ever before. She has a God-confidence that flows through every area of her life. She lives for heaven, and is more convinced than ever that God is good.

If you struggle to believe that God is good, Joy’s story will give you hope.  Hear Joy’s full story in Chapter Two of Epic.

Joy Sheehan - tragedy, grief, and the goodness of God

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