The Lord Is Close to the Brokenhearted

My dad died before he could walk me down the aisle.

This was the first thought that came to my heart when I heard the words, “Daddy died,” from my mother’s lips. There would be no father-daughter dance at my reception, no proclamation of, “Her mother and I do,” when the priest asks, “Who gives this woman away?” He was gone, and my heart went numb in a single breath.

The days that followed were filled with picking out a plot, digging through photos for a slideshow, and selecting songs and readings for his funeral Mass. The days sped by like a pointless music montage in a movie and then paused to a frame-by-frame, slow motion the day of his funeral.

In my entire life, I have never felt closer to the Lord than that day. Standing next to my mom, walking behind my father’s casket, I fully comprehended that my dad was, in fact, walking me down the aisle, not to my earthly husband, but to my heavenly bridegroom, Christ.

As his body approached the altar, I reflected on how he laid down his life for my family so we would know Christ’s eternal love. Standing beneath the cross, I recalled all the sacrifices he made for us, always unspoken, frequently unnoticed. Looking at the community assembled, I saw the village my father and mother surrounded us with as we grew up.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.” (Psalm 34:18)

The Lord was so close to me that day I celebrated my father’s life of holiness and prayed for his soul to be received into eternal rest. Just when we least expect the Lord to hear our cry, He listens. No childish tantrum or hysterics are necessary; no tear even needs to fall down our cheek. He provides refuge in the storm while the storm rages. In moments when we least expect to feel Him near, He remains close, close enough to hear His heartbeat when ours feels like it will never beat again.

[Tweet “He provides refuge in the storm while the storm rages. // @LT_TriciaT”]

Are you suffering a broken heart? Take a moment to stop by the Adoration chapel. Trust in Our Lord’s love for you and His passionate heartbeat for yours.

Tricia Tembreull is a California girl with a Texas-sized heart for hospitality. She serves as a Parish Coach for Life Teen, International, and joyfully travels around the globe training, empowering, and praying with youth ministers. When not on a plane, she is either in church, spending time with family or friends, in the kitchen cooking up something delightful, or on the beach for an evening walk. You can find out more about her here


  • Reply
    March 16, 2018 at 8:13 am

    This is absolutely beautiful.

  • Reply
    Carolyn Hess
    March 16, 2018 at 8:31 am

    What a beautiful reflection! It is sorrowful but consoling. Thank you!

  • Reply
    March 16, 2018 at 9:20 am

    Such great words, Tricia. I read this post two days before the two year anniversary of my dad’s death. I firmly believe the Lord is close to the brokenhearted, because he is close to me right now.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Aguila
    March 16, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    What a beautiful reflection! Thank you for sharing these deeply personal experiences. They brought tears to my eyes.

  • Reply
    March 16, 2018 at 2:58 pm


  • Reply
    Christi Weber
    March 16, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    “…I fully comprehended that my dad was, in fact, walking me down the aisle, not to my earthly husband, but to my heavenly bridegroom, Christ.” This is so profound! And it resonates loudly in my own heart. Adoration is also my refuge, where Jesus wraps his arms around my wounded heart. Thank you for sharing this message today!

  • Reply
    March 17, 2018 at 9:11 am

    A beautiful reflection. What about those times when we are so lost and feel so abandoned with out hearts so broken that we do not feel the Lord our God is close? There is no sign that He is with us. What does one do at those times? You feel your prayers have fallen on deaf ears?

  • Reply
    Kara kezios
    March 19, 2018 at 3:13 am

    I happened to read this yesterday early morning; hours before my mom called to tell me my father had passed after a slow and steady decline. He never walked me down the aisle. I cannot tell you how consoling your words were/are as we prepare his funeral. Thank you.

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