Deeply Sad


My heart has not been this heavy in years. My sweet friend Rhonda just lost her husband last week. He was the pastor of our church for the first year that we were in Orlando. He was a great man. They have three brave, wonderful kids. Rhonda is a beautiful, strong, courageous wife and mom. I am so incredibly honored to know her.

There is so many things I want to write about that I shouldn’t. I am not her best friend, but a new friend. I know enough of the story to get really frustrated by the folks that don’t know the story. Those that take to the media and the comments sections of articles to spread lies.

I want to defend my pastor.

I want to defend my friend.

I am still mad at my pastor.

I am still deeply saddened for my friend.

I want to defend my God.

I am clinging to my God.

I am personally OK but mourning for our church, his friends, his family – all of those this is crushing as I write.

I want to write on redemption and hope.

I want to save someone that is close to giving up.


The truth is I am a fixer and I want to control things that are out of my control. I am learning that God has all of this life – the good, the bad and the ugly in His control. Sin and hard times has come and will continue to come. However, we are never alone. And there is a plan and a purpose. I don’t have to understand every detail. I can still TRUST and BELIEVE He is good.

So, as much as I want to write about Light ‘Em Up and something else cheerful often until Christmas – I’m just going to duck out for a couple weeks. Take a true holiday and work through this with my God. Instead of writing to solve something – I’m going to pray like crazy. Journal what I’m feeling to God. Be there for my friends that need help.

Imagine what showed up just now in my devotional this morning from She Reads Truth.

In this Christmas season when hearts ache as much as rejoice, let us hold fast to the promises of our Lord of a second coming, of life after death, of grace covering our sins. We can believe in what we have been told, and we should.  Like any relationship, distrust whittles away a bond over time. While God knows our humanity and weakness, our prayer should be, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

For all of you that are going through these holidays with heart ache, please know I am praying. Please don’t give up. Please reach out to someone and tell them you’re pain and how real and big it is. You are never ever alone. God will never leave you. And there are people within arms reach that care deeply about your life.

Please know that I am truly OK – my heart is aching for Rhonda, the Hunter Family and the Summit Church Family. If you want to pray – I’d ask that you do that. There is a fund for Rhonda and her kids if you’d like to support her financially. Thank you so much.

Similar Posts


  1. Bless you for being so open about your struggles here; it’s so important and useful for us to be honest about the times when faith is hard. Praying for the Hunter family.

  2. praying Courtney. i just can’t imagine. and in times like this .. you just have to hold onto the only thing that we KNOW. God is good. and even when it seems He’s not. he is. a young boy in our community died this weekend .. and it’s just TOO much to comprehend. praying for you. praying for peace.

  3. Bless your heart and may the Lord bring peace and comfort as you spend these days seeking HIM more than ever. Hugs!

  4. Thank you for sharing your pastor’s (and Rhonda’s) story, Courtney. I pray your gut honest words will bring many to share their pain and hurt and realize they are not alone!! Praying for you, your friend Rhonda and her family and your entire church family. Trusting the God of all Comfort will meet each and every one of you just where you are and pour out His amazing love, mercy, grace. and HOPE. It’s times like this I’m so very grateful for His promises in Romans 8:28 and Romans 8:38-39.

    Christmas Blessings to you,


  5. oh courtney….i am so sorry. i just cant imagine ….
    i’m praying for ya’ll. the congregation. rhonda. and those children……

    ( he’s from atlanta right? randy just posted about one of our former lug heads & suicide)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.