Pictured is my granddaughter, Emily, at one year old, waiting for her appointment with her chiropractor. Chiropractor? Yes, she has been going to a chiropractor since she was an infant. Reading her expression, I’m unsure of what is happening inside her. It could be fear, anxiety, or concern for her mom, whose spine was making cracking sounds at the hands of the pretty blond lady in white.

We are living through chaotic times. The chaos is primarily external—social, political, ideological—you name it, the list goes on and on. Our reaction depends on the importance we place on our beliefs, values, and worldview. You may feel unaffected and just go with the flow. Que sera sera. What will be will be, so why worry, right? Or you may feel the opposite—outraged, furious, and fighting on the political frontline. To varying degrees, most of us are somewhere between the two extremes.

What about internal chaos like losing your spouse? When it happens, it is all-consuming, like an inescapable earthquake, 8.6 on the Richter Scale—collapsing everything down to the foundation.

Hundreds of people were praying for Jasmine’s recovery. It was only a matter of time before she would be on an upward healing path. So, I felt blindsided when the doctor said, “Your wife will never regain consciousness.” The ground beneath me shook like an earthquake, 8.6 on the Richter Scale! Inescapable! Internal chaos instantly collapsed any hope of recovery and dreams for the future! Emerging from the rubble were disbelief and disillusionment. After the initial shock subsided and I had a few days to process the tragic reality, I questioned, “What now, God?”

I understand that not everyone reading this shares a common faith. Still, we share the common experience of losing our spouse. When the life we built collapses, everything that drives us is tested—our spiritual beliefs, values, lifestyle choices, goals, dreams, priorities—everything. Only the foundation upon which we built our life remains, but it, too, may have crumbled. We must decide whether we will rebuild on the same foundation of faith or nonfaith, or consider something else.

My faith was put to the test. What about all the prayers? Did they matter? What will my future be like after I get through the funeral, settle legal matters, and begin living alone? Can I trust You, God? I was faced with a crisis that could make me or break me. I was left with the rubble that was once our contented life. Would the foundation of my faith be strong enough to rebuild? Ultimately, this was a crisis of faith.

Like Emily in the picture, I looked upward for answers. If you haven’t noticed, a plaque behind her displays a verse from the Bible, Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” Through the process of grieving and navigating the path forward, during periods of loneliness, anger, pain, and facing an unknown future, I have taken many moments to be still and remember that the God I trust is present—leading me, guiding me, imparting wisdom—and my future is in His hands.

Thankfully, the foundation of my faith withstood the earthquake. The rubble has been cleared away, and the rebuilding is ongoing. With a few unexpected turns in the road and bumps along the way, my life is moving forward as my faith grows stronger, deeper, and more authentic every day.

Emily is now seven. A few weeks ago, Jesus became the foundation of her faith! Her picture hangs on my wall in a koa-framed shadow box as a timeless reminder: When struggling to move forward, He says, “Be still and know that I am God.”