“God doesn’t change. My circumstances have, but He is the same. Even in the hardest places this is still true.” –Stacey Carroscia
The last time I saw my friend Perry Carroscia was on Thursday, July 26th. I wrote about it HERE. Perry went to the hospital the next day and went to be with the Lord six days later. Like many, many others, I miss him. But no one misses him more than his wife, Stacey.
I met Stacey last week in the church atrium for an interview. When she arrived the look on her face said, “I’m not sure I can get though this.” She clutched a brand new box of Kleenex and described her state of mind as “a fog.”
But I soon discovered the person I was listening to was strong even in her weakness. And her words were clear. Here are some of the highlights:
In my 24-year marriage with Perry, I have no regrets. I am thankful for all the wonderful years we had together. If it were up to me, Perry would still be here—I am not thankful that he died—I am thankful for the way the Lord has shown Himself faithful each and every day in this new journey.
Just then she paused and bit her lip.
That last cup of coffee. We had it at the island in the kitchen on Friday morning like we often did. Come to think of it, there is one thing I’d do differently. I’d live out each morning with the awareness that we might not both be there in the afternoon.
There are a lot of emotions in events like this, and emotions can trip us up. But circumstances do not change who God is. He is faithful and mighty and holy and good and sovereign. But that’s hard to remember when emotions are running high.
It’s times like these that show what we’re really made of. Are we really living what we say we believe?
Her question shot through me like an arrow. I’ve never been through anything as difficult as this, and yet . . .
For a moment I was speechless. I almost had to ask her for a Kleenex. I looked down at my hands. I saw the page of questions I had written out. I blinked a couple times and cleared my throat. But before I could ask any of them, Stacey smiled and continued,
God is faithful. I have more than I need every day. In spite of being broken and sorrowful and weary and spent, I can be obedient. I can say to Him, “If this is the way you want to use me then so be it.”
Stacey closed her eyes. I could almost see the pictures going through her mind. I told her Perry’s Memorial Service had a profound and lasting impact on me.
Did you know people came to Christ through Perry’s death? I can think of two in particular. Perry would have given his life for them—and in a very real way, he did.
As she spoke, I began to think about death—the death of the Savior—Perry’s death—my own death someday. A question came to my mind. How has your understanding of grace deepened since that last cup of coffee?
All I have to give to God are my needs. That’s what grace means. When we are weak, His love is strong. The experience of His full, strong, rich, complete love is there for me like never before, precisely because I’m in the darkest and deepest pit of my life. In my loss, He is my gain. Not because I deserve or earn or merit Him—Jesus did that for me at the cross—but because I’m more dependent on Him than ever before. And because His resources in Christ toward His own adopted children are without limit. It’s all grace.
These powerful, paradoxical words, are proof-positive of something I’ve come to believe more and more: The Good News outweighs and overpowers any and all bad news that ever comes our way if we are united to Christ by authentic faith.
Throughout these difficult days Stacey’s posts on Facebook have brought blessing, comfort and perspective to many. She recently started a blog called A Deliberate Trust. I’m glad she is so willing to share. I hope she writes a book someday.
By the way, if you’re wondering how you can help, click HERE to discover a practical way to meet a very real Carroscia family need.
If you want to experience Stacey’s heart today, listen to this and join in singing the Ten Thousand Reasons: