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Hoping through Grief

Hoping through Grief

Editor’s note: Mike Nappa’s new book Reflections for the Grieving Soul was written after his dear wife, Amy, passed away from cancer. Mike sought refuge in Scripture when bereavement became his constant. Here’s a little of what Mike wrote in forward for you:

If you’re reading this book, your world has been irrevocably changed by the death of someone you love.
I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.
You are in an awful time. And you deserve help as you grieve.
Right now is unbearable, I know. Forget about “one day at a time,” right? Let’s shoot for “the next ten minutes” and see how that goes. That’s why this book exists. For you, for me, for the next ten minutes.
So this is my prayer for you now, after the funeral:
May God be noticeably near to you. May the promises and pains of His Word comfort you today as they did for me yesterday. And may they give us both the strength we need to wake up and face tomorrow. Or at least the next ten minutes.


I hope that when I’m gone, you’ll still see God’s goodness. Still see His love for you. Still find joy in each day. ~ Amy Nappa, Journal entry, July 8, 2016

But God knows the way that I take, and when He has tested me, I will come out like gold. Job 23:10 NCV

Before she died, I asked Amy to write her own obituary. I just couldn’t do it. I told her I would put in the appropriate dates, but she had to do the rest. So she did.

This is how she wanted to be remembered...

Amy Wakefield Nappa was born on November 10, 1963, in Portsmouth, VA, to Norm and Winnie Wakefield. She moved to Heaven on Sunday, September 11, 2016.

Amy was a sister, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a friend. She loved her family and her friends dearly. Her greatest joys were to spend time with family, to hang out with her friends, to laugh, and to mentor those a little behind her in the journey of life.

Amy loved Jesus with all her heart, and her greatest desire was to be remembered as a woman who shined the love of Jesus.

Looking at this now, months later, I feel a touch of pride. She was everything she said in this obituary — and much more. She left out the parts about how she was a successful business executive, a bestselling and award-winning author, a woman whose published works influenced the lives of millions of people in nations all over the planet, a speaker to thousands, and (because she ranked it highly in her life) an annual volunteer at the “Imagination Station” of our local VBS productions.

Amy changed the world. I’ve asked myself how she did it, how one little woman living an obscure life in a small town in Colorado could make such a difference for millions of people. The only answer I can come up with is this:

  • Amy’s greatest desire really was to be remembered as a woman who shined the love of Jesus.

That was just who she was; it was natural for her. And God used Amy just being herself to shine His love through her and spray it out into the world. And when she suffered, when her body failed her and her faith was tested in the extreme, she was still just Amy being Amy, shining His love on all of us who were near.

It was the worst time of my life.
And the most extraordinary time I’ve known.
God knew the way that Amy took, and like Job of old, at the final end she came out shining... like gold.


Dear Father, I think I’d like to shine — just a little bit. When I’m tested today, may Your Spirit be the help I need to come out of everything shining. Like gold.


Excerpted with permission from Reflections for the Grieving Soul by Mike Nappa, copyright Nappaland Communications, Inc.

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Your Turn

Are you grieving the loss of a loved one? We know the misery and we’re so sorry. We pray these words from Mike have made you feel less alone and loved by God. ~ Devotionals Daily