Personally, it’s been a difficult year. My kids and I have experienced a full 12 months now without a husband and father. We have celebrated things like Christmas and birthdays, anniversaries and Father’s Day through tears. I know that many of you have experienced the same or similar and the fact is that ‘Life is difficult.’

Comfort has come in many places and in many different forms. Just recently a teacher sent me an outstanding article from a Year 8 student. Here is an excerpt:

“Everyone feels sad and moody at times, but depression is a common mental illness where people feel these feelings intensely for long periods of time. This can cause people to withdraw themselves from situations. These feelings can last for weeks, months and even years, this can also happen without any apparent reason. Some people describe it as being an extremely dark place that is difficult to come back from, others describe it as a numb feeling. Depression is more than just feeling down and having a low mood; it’s a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health; there are a lot of ways to treat it and you can feel better.”

While I haven’t got clinical depression, the truth is that pain is pain. Your pain and my pain may be the result of different circumstances, but we can all identify with feelings of loneliness, disappointment, grief, sadness and the list goes on.

Some things I have learnt along the way:

The gift of community. In the beginning, God saw that it was not good for man to be alone (Gen 2:18) and so he created the human race. As a strong, independent woman, I have appreciated the comfort that another can bring when I open my heart and accept the help of others. I have also learnt that it’s good for them too. We all need to be needed.

God cares deeply. Life on earth was not easy for Jesus. He understands the struggle of humanity. He wept, he rejoiced, he suffered. The difference is that he chose to leave his kingdom (which I’m sure was much nicer than here), and willingly suffered for our sakes. His life reveals the heart and nature of God. We can never read and ponder this too much!

This life is not the end. Death can cause you to ponder life like nothing else can. I take comfort in the fact that the best is yet to come. Jesus spoke very clearly about this. If you Google “What does the Bible say about Heaven?” you will be overwhelmed by the results. 1 Cor 2:9 says “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.” Now, I have seen some pretty amazing things and heard some absolutely magnificent music, I can also imagine some pretty wonderful stuff, yet none of this compares to what God has prepared for those who love him. Knowing this helps me not be angry or revel in self-pity about the situation I find myself in. God has it covered.

The truth is that God hates death too. It was not part of His original plan. We were not meant to endure it. We were not created for it. We were; however, created to know and be in relationship with Him, (and each other). Nothing compares to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus crucified. (Phil 3:8)

Mrs Tammy Perrim / Head of Middle School