Life is full of unfathomable challenges, moments of cataclysmic contradiction: Seasons when our faith takes a nosedive, and yet, it is that very faith alone that sustains us in the depths of our despair.
Christian writer Shannon Dingle and her six children are standing at the precipice of that heartrending contradiction right now, just days after her husband and their father passed away in what can only be described as a “freak accident.”
Dingle’s husband, Lee, was playing on the beach in Oak Island, North Carolina, Friday with three of their children when an intense wave hit him, catapulting him into the sand, the mother of six wrote in a blog post published Monday. Her husband’s neck snapped instantaneously.
“If you didn’t know him, I’m sorry,” Dingle wrote. “You missed out. As you hear people share stories, you’ll find, ‘no person can be that wonderful,’ but? He really and truly was.”
In addition to his wife, Lee leaves behind six kids, two of whom are biological and four who are adopted, according to The Archibald Project. Three of their children are from Uganda and one is from Taiwan.
April Schweitzer, a family friend, told WRAL-TV anyone who knew Lee “was just a better person for having known him and for having that example of kindness and love and generosity in our lives.”
Dingle is, unfortunately, no stranger to the depths of despair. In May, she wrote a column for USA Today about the sexual abuse she endured as a child, becoming pregnant at just 12 years old, and the subsequent miscarriage she experienced.
That’s the bitter reality of this world, and the faith that carries us on this side of heaven: it doesn’t always pluck us out of our despair, but, if we allow it, our faith will hold us in the midst of our heartbreak.
Please pray for the Dingles, pray that in this unfathomable season of despair, their faith will sustain them.
If you would like to donate to a GoFundMe campaign set up by a family friend for the Dingles, click here.