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I spent the rest of that day crying. Jean, Julie, and Kathy are three of the five women in my prayer group. Knowing that Jeff had been praying for me before we met had always touched me. But learning that my spiritual sisters had also prayed for me left me shaken.

Piecing it all together, I wept and wept, unable to imagine the grace of it all. In 1997, when I was an agnostic widow living in New Jersey, a group of Christians in Massachusetts had been praying for me. And while my own attempts to find a faith never adequately explained my conversion, this did. I had been prayed into the kingdom.

These days I am in awe of how little we control, of how ugly life can be, and of the beauty that seeks us out in the midst of all the horror. Now, when I sit with the broken and mourning, I pray for God's love to do what I cannot: to bind up the wounded places, leaving their scars to bear witness of the power of both loss and love.

Tara Edelschick is a Patheos blogger and a homeschooler who lives with her husband and three children in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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