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Teen talk: Strength in sorrow

Even when we don’t understand all that happens in life, God gives us hope and peace.

Kelsie Bramstedt

I woke up to my alarm clock on Tuesday, thinking it was a normal day. I turned on my lamp and started reading through some texts from my friends as any normal teen would. I noticed that I had received a text from my grandma. She normally messages me about her day and the things she has been up to, so I opened it excitedly. The words “Samantha is with her Lord now” weren’t the words I wanted to hear at 6:00 on a Tuesday morning.

Samantha was my 29–year–old cousin.

She’s married and a mother of two daughters. I remember when she and Eric, her husband, wanted me to stand up in their wedding as the flower girl. That was the first time I had my hair done all pretty, and I wore a white sparkly dress. I can’t remember too much about that day, but I know it was windy and rainy. When we went outside to take pictures after the wedding, Samantha was still so happy and thankful, even though the weather didn’t cooperate.

I also remember the trouble she faced. It all started with back pain and surgery. The surgery was supposedly successful, but then more pain started to occur. The doctors confirmed that it was cancer. That meant many chemo treatments in the next months. She had a second surgery to scrape her organs in hope of removing the cancer and then to give her organs a “chemo bath.”

Soon afterward, we got news that the surgery was unsuccessful. The only option was for her to receive hospice at home, where she could be close to her family. She was only at home for less than two weeks before passing away. Cancer had controlled and depicted her life for about six months.

Samantha was a very strong person and never wanted to be the center of attention. The Lord blessed her life here on earth by giving her a strong faith and much time with her two little girls. She loved to take walks with her dog, Cooper.

Following her death, we all wondered, Why?

Why would God do this to such a good person? How are her daughters going to grow up without a mom? The things that go through my mind are to rely and trust in God above all else. I know he has done this for a reason, and he will provide for her family in the ways that they need most. We may not understand why God gives us struggles, but we can find peace in his great knowledge and tender mercies.

God has given us his Word so we can trust his plans. He says, “I know the plans I have for you, . . . plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). Those words give me comfort every day. When something just doesn’t go your way, you can look to God and ask for his help.

Samantha never doubted her faith. She somehow found God’s love in that dark time in her life. We, as Christians, can learn from her. Samantha was a great example of a strong faith and a loving person throughout her whole life. “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:10).

Author: Kelsie Bramstedt
Volume 106, Number 2
Issue: February 2019

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