I (Beth), am honored that my friend Cam Malpass agreed to share an excerpt out of her new book with us today. Cam and I spent the summer of 2009 in Clearwater, Florida on summer mission with Cru. The summer was filled with bugs crawling on us in the night, a strange man dying in a room next to us, difficult students and a heat index of approximately 974 degrees. I laugh as I remember that summer in “Clearhotter.” A few years later, Cam’s mom would be diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Many of us watched from a distance or up close as our friend walked through the most difficult days of her life. Sadly, Linda passed away in the spring of 2016. A few weeks ago, Cam released a book entitled Hold Fast: Tasting God’s Goodness in Deep Sorrow. I read it in one sitting and immediately asked my friend if she would share a little bit about how she has experienced “with”ness of others and of God as she walks this road. Friends, let’s welcome Cam Malpass to the blog.
Last night I found myself perched in my disheveled bed amidst a pile of boxes containing old, worn pictures and decades of saved letters. Longing to find some piece of my mom, I desperately searched for her handwriting reminding me of her love for me or for a glimpse of a picture of her from years past when she was healthy, smiling, and full of life.
This is what we who grieve sometimes do. We invite the grief. We search for it. We need to feel some kind of connection with those we have lost so we go looking for memories to ease our minds back to a simpler time when all seemed right with the world.
I found my mom in those boxes last night, lulled back into sweet memories through funny cards, thank you notes she had written me, birthday cards, and countless long-forgotten pictures. I went looking for glimpses of my mom last night, but God revealed so much more to me.
I found note after Scripture laced note of encouragement to me from dear friends during my mom’s sickness, reminders of God’s goodness and truth spilling over the edges of these friends’ prayers written out to me. Friends who were with me in the battle, interceding on my family’s behalf during days when we were weary and exhausted.
I found pictures of me with dear, heart friends from previous years laughing, enjoying life, doing dumb things together…and I began to piece them all together realizing that these same sweet, heart friends were the ones who were there for me and with me during the hardest, darkest days of my life – they were the ones who showed up, they were the ones who texted and called almost daily, they were the ones who filled in for me and did the things in that season of life that I was unable to do for myself. They were the friends who faithfully stood by my side at the funeral when I said my final goodbye to my mom.
Last night I found myself perched in my disheveled bed amidst a pile of old boxes recalling some of my sweetest memories in this life and God showed me that it all strings together. This life is full of ups and downs – super high highs and deep, tragic lows, but through it all He and those He has placed in my life for this journey have been with me. Some friends were with me for only a season, shaping my character and bringing joy for a time. Others have continued through multiple seasons of my life. God has been the One Constant through it all.
I am never alone. You are never alone.
No matter what you may be facing, what incredible highs or what deep, tragic lows may be coming your way – God is WITH you and His people are WITH you – hold fast to that truth!
Cameron Malpass recently wrote and published “Hold Fast: Tasting God’s Goodness in Deep Sorrow”. In it you will read chapter after chapter detailing God’s goodness through Scripture and through tangible stories of ways that God showed up and used His people to show up to provide for the Malpass family during their worst nightmare. You can find “Hold Fast” on Amazon at the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Hold-Fast-Tasting-Goodness-Sorrow/dp/1548681245/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504546130&sr=8-1&keywords=hold+fast+cameron