Return to A12 to Heaven


By Phil Stoddart. £7.99. ISBN: 978-0-9559439-0-4


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The early hours

This is both a sad and glorious story. Sad, because it involves death and grief at times too heavy to bear; glorious because alongside the suffering there is joy and a provision from God that I never thought possible. Throughout this account it will be revealed that those who trust in him receive both strength and joy in the darkest of places.

They say that the worst kind of bereavement is the one where a child is lost. I heard this a number of times from a variety of sources, including the psychiatrist who assessed the damage caused to us, the parents. I didn’t really agree with any of them at the time. For me, the worst loss is to lose your spouse. After all, at least we had each other to share our loss with, but for people who lose their partners of many years it must be so lonely. I’m not sure if I agree with them even now.

What I do know is that to lose loved ones is a dreadful experience that some people are unable to cope with. On many occasions I have wanted to die and considered how I might do it. At times I have lost all zest for life, my thoughts and dreams have been haunted and my stomach has churned over and over. Yet my story is about how knowing Jesus personally is sufficient to meet the deepest needs. He is able to shine in the darkest of places and to replace tears of despair with those of utmost joy.

Wishful thinking? I can only say I believe it more now than ever before. I have met Jesus in a new way since that horrible day and am looking forward with joy to being re-united with my girls in Heaven. I have good reason to believe that he is faithful and true. This trust provides the foundation for my hope and is what enables a believing family to climb a mountain and walk in the face of a storm. No one removes the obstacles but there is one who strengthens and guides. He is the great comforter and it is my belief that our testimony will bring much comfort to others who also walk dark paths.

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