February 18, 2024

Always Loved, Never Forgotten, Forever Missed

Written by Pat Elsberry

Only God can turn our mourning into dancing, and take what is the worst thing to happen to you and turn it around for His good.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 18, 2024

He is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

Today marks 4 years since Melanie ran ahead to Heaven. Time is a funny thing because it seems like yesterday and forever all at the same time. While all loss is hard, child loss is a loss like no other, and although I may never understand why life unfolded as it has, I no longer ask why. Instead, I trust in God’s plan, knowing there has to be a greater purpose for this painful path, and one I will be made fully aware of one day. Yet, as hard as the grief journey has been, God has made beauty from ashes in a way that only He could. 

We will all walk down this road called grief – no one is immune. But I’m grateful to be able to say I’m still standing. Even though this journey has been the hardest thing I’ve ever walked through, there comes a time when we can choose joy and remember the love more than the loss. My faith has continued to sustain me, and even when I was crawling through the valley of the shadow of death, Jesus was right there beside me. He never once left my side. What the enemy meant for evil, God has turned for His good (Genesis 50:20). Today, when I think about Melanie, I am choosing to look back at how God has brought me through the last 1,460 days.

HIS ALL-ENCOMPASSING PEACE: Within the first 24 hours after learning of Melanie’s death, I felt an overwhelming, powerful, all-encompassing sense of peace that could only come from Jesus. There is nothing and no one who can give peace like Him. “And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

HIS ENCOURAGEMENT: My Heavenly Father has encouraged and strengthened me in ways that go beyond my understanding. He delivered His words of love and reassurance through song deep into my spirit on many nights. “No one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night’” (Job 35:10).

HIS HOPE: Even during that first dark night, I never once doubted where my hope and strength would come from. He is my deliverer. My hope. My strength. My rock. My promise keeper. My way maker. “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (Psalm 56:8).

Only God can turn our mourning into dancing, take the worst thing to happen to us, and turn it around for His good. I once read something that said, “Your ministry is found where you’ve been broken. Your testimony is found where you’ve been restored.” Such a powerful truth and something only God can do. Moving forward does not mean that we leave our loved ones behind. That is impossible. I miss Melanie every single day and instead choose to bring the best parts of her with me.  

If you’re walking through loss today, I am deeply sorry. Even the saddest experiences can become a source of wisdom and strength once we have made peace with them. I could write about all the sadness that surrounded the loss of my beautiful girl, but I choose to remember the good. I am choosing to remember the love. Due to the loss of my one girl, her story lives on and touches hearts and lives across more than 25 countries. The main message is this: There IS Hope During Loss, and it’s all because of Jesus. If you, too, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you will once again see your loved one. 

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4). 


Jesus, you are our everlasting father and prince of peace who comforts us through every loss and hardship. Thank you for covering me with your love, strength and courage every day.


If you are walking through loss today, please don’t try to walk this journey alone. Reach out to a friend who will sit with you and hold your heart in their hands.

Related Reading

Genesis 50:20; Proverbs 16:4; Romans 8:28; John 16:22

Worship Resource

Casting Crowns: Scars in Heaven


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