About the Author

Aliza Latta is a Canadian writer, artist, and author, who is a huge fan of telling stories. Her artwork and writing has been featured in publications for LifeWay, Dayspring, and (in)courage. She is always searching for the goodness of God, even when she has to squint to see it.

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  1. Oh, Aliza, I am so sorry for your loss, and, I assume by the time I am reading this you are already in England. Praying for your mourning to be turned into dancing at some blessed future time, but for now, that you will begin to live your way into this new season of making art and of wearing that Shield of protection cinched up snug, because He is the Healer of broken hearts.

  2. Aliza,
    I’m so sorry about your beloved Nana. What a gift you two had….therein lies the perfection….your relationship. Many are there for their grandparent’s passing, but you were there for the living and for the passing on of her love of art and beauty. You were there for the living!! I think of the song by Big Daddy Weave that sings that,” I’m not really gone; I’m just changing neighborhoods.” I know you will dearly miss your sweet Nana, but she is merely changing neighborhoods and you will get to catch up with her in her/your new “hood” for eternity. I am squirming under God’s plan right now as I go for an MRI tomorrow to determine if I need a 6th surgery. I, too, wonder how can this be perfect?? Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on your/my own understanding. Leaning on this right now.
    Loved your heartfelt post!! Praying for your broken heart….
    Blessings,
    Bev xx
    ps. For all of you who prayed for my daughter. It is no coincidence that the day after you prayed she ran into a friend she’s known since Middle School. He had moved to NYC, was engaged, but now has been back in NC for a year and half. They went out to a ballgame and had a great time together. Don’t know where this is going, but ladies, God does hear and answer your prayers….just wanted you to know 🙂

    • Bev I will pray for you during your upcoming MRI…as Aliza said Gods plan is mapped out and perfect for us even if it doesn’t appear so. May God bless you and be with you during this time. Great news about your daughter! I will add her to tonight’s prayer also x

    • Oh that is so sweet! Love to see God at work… and remember girls whatever the days bring, we are all a sweet aroma manifesting the presence of God .. wherever you go! I would have LOVED a nana like yours! Didn’t have such a blessing but hearing and reading it has somehow soothed that emotional dark corner of my heart.. my own mom is the best Grammy and all kids and grandkids love her sweet self.. she’s instilled in me as I’m a happy Noni to my grandkids.. so let those warmest memories carry you through the warm summer days as you grieve and live in the presence of our beautiful awesome Lord & Savior!

    • Bev,

      Praying the MRI shows what needs to be done. May He send healing quickly. Sending prayers for your daughter. I know she has wanted to be married for a while. I pray this is God’s person for her. Glad to hear she had a good time!

      Blessings 🙂

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss. I can very much relate to the heartbreak of missing the opportunity to say goodbye. Two years ago my father, who lived across the country and had cancer but did not seem anywhere near the end of his journey, took a rapid decline and died on the day of my son’s First Holy Communion. We were frantically trying to arrange and pack for a flight when we got the call that he was gone. It had been almost a year since I had last seen him, due to a medical crisis that my mother had (on my side of the country), among other issues. My son and I had already had a flight booked to go see him at the end of the school year, but it turned out to be two months too late. God’s timing is often difficult to accept, but in retrospect it is easier to see the graces that were there all along. You were blessed to have such a beautiful relationship with your Nana.

    • What a precious incident(s) of “When God’s Way Doesn’t Feel Perfect” which Aliza and the other women’s comments shared with us out here in ’email land’…!

      • Thank you Aliza. God is healing me in his time, and I pray that you too will be healed from the tremendous loss you have experienced. Grandparents are so special.

  4. Aliza, I’m very sorry for your loss. We just went to a funeral today of my husbands family friend. This lady was a mother and grandmother and it was a terrible shock and her diagnosis to passing happened in a month. It is so sad especially for her husband four children and numerous grandchildren left behind. But she is with God now and in paradise, we do not understand Gods timing or what’s ahead but we can only trust as you said in his plan and his timing.

    This post is so timely as I too wait for Gods plan to reveal itself as I too am applying for internships and I need to trust in his plan for me. Much love to you Aliza as you heal and experience life in London xx

    • Jas,
      So sorry for your loss…may the God of all comfort wrap His arms around all of you!! Praying for the right internship and that God would make His perfect path apparent to you.
      Blessings friend,
      Bev xx

    • Jas,

      Praying for you in the loss of your husband’s friend. I pray God will comfort you & send peace to all. May He send the right internship your way. I pray for a discerning heart to know His will and plans for you life!

      Blessings 🙂

  5. I am so sorry about your loss of your beloved Nana. Loss of someone you love is never easy and grief doesn’t care when or where you are at, it just veers its ugly head without prior notice. Although we may not understand or see God’s way, as you say, it is the perfect way for us. We just need to be still and trust that He knows what is best for us. Praying for healing for you and your family and know that one day, we all will see our loved ones again. Until then, laugh through the frustration and cry it out when needed and remember to celebrate the memories of them. Thank you for sharing and be safe as you travel to England.

  6. Praying for you in this time of grieving, Aliza. How wonderful that you have the promise of new life to celebrate soon! The heart is an amazing thing in the way it stretches with each loss, birth, challenge, and new experience. May your heart be stretched but not torn open in all of this.

    • Hi Vicki, thank you so much. And yes, that new life — my beloved niece — was born two weeks early, so I got to spend some extra time with her before I left for the summer. A definite picture of God’s goodness towards me!

  7. Aliza, dear sweet child. Thank you for sharing this precious part of your life with us. I only wish I could have known your Nana. I am giving thanks for her life and the time you had together. You know, she is never far from you. You are who you are because of her. Praise God for the Godly influence she had in your life. Praying for comfort and peace and abundant Grace as God wraps His arm around you in the coming days. With much love from another Nana,

  8. Aliza,

    I am so sorry for your loss, but what beautiful memories you have of your Nana. She sounded like someone I would have loved to me, and I will in Paradise! That same Jesus Calling devotional and scripture you mentioned, have blessed me in many ways and continue to do so. May God bless your internship and may you give Him the glory in all you do.

  9. Aliza, dear sweet child, thank you for sharing this precious part of your life with us. I only wish I could have known your Nana. What a wonderful , kind, compassionate and supportive teacher she was to you. She really is never far from you, because you are who you are because of her! She will always be a part of your heart. I am giving thanks for her life and the time you shared together! May Father God wrap His loving arm around your shoulder and walk side by side with you in the coming days, blessing you with His peace, comfort, and Grace as you celebrate Nana’s life and look forward to the day when you will see her again. Sending love and hugs.

  10. Good morning ladies…from Toronto, I am right now engrossed in admiring and praising God for His Goodness – which really becomes Spiritual Perfume and Protection that He slathers upon me in a difficult trial and season. I am as well in a season of immense and intense “wilderness journeying” – wondering when the plane will land. But as I write this, the plane has landed. The One who SOARS allows us to RISE above With Him – when we abide in choosing to praise in sorrow and SEE a glimmer and shimmer of His Goodness. He is our Majestic Creator and our Kind and Compassiomate Father. Thank you Aliza for your beautiful post that demonstrates the beauty of His Power – to allow His Goodness to transcend and break through your brokenness.

    Thank you for revealing and not concealing your pain. But in sharing it in such a way that resonates with our own faith walk.

    Gos is the Mighty Healer, Helper, Sovereign Saviour. He is all of this and ever MORE in creation and in any adversity, sorrow or challenge we may face or experience.

    In the world, we shall have tribulation. Jesus says: Trust “Me” – I have overcome the world, Aliza, Michelle, Bev, Janine…and ALL who read this post – insert your name – He kNOWs us by our name.

    And He knows our frame.

    “Trust Me. I have overcome the world________[insert my name]

    And I respond: Yes Lord, Your Goodness will …
    enrich us/me
    console us/me
    inspire us/me
    Infuse me [in Your Living and Loving HOPE]
    encourage and envelop us/me

    As I write this and I have read the posts, I sense the Spirit moving and dancing. For, in Him, we live and move and have our being.

    This morning as I was at the lake, I started a meditation and it was on “where 2 or 3 are gathered, I AM in the midst of them.” I pondered that I did not have another but said – Lord, it is you and I – Your Spirit makes the 2 or more relevant.

    Now, His Spirit is laughing with me – He lavished with Aliza, Michelle, Bev…He never leaves us alone. Wow! So grateFULL!

    We shall not despair (in any trial or tribulations)…we shall RACE to His Throne is gRACE …abiding Grace that pours out His Goodness without meaSURE. And He does His Work in silent,solemn Mystery that infuses is with HOPE.

    This is our Abba daddy – who sings over us and quiets us In His Love.

    As I finish writing, I am blessed to convene with Women of Christ – I am blessed to unite in “Spirit and in truth” – the surf is at my feet, geese, ducks, gulls, blue expanse sky, trees, a soft breeze…His Gentle Majestic Splendour is before me -before us.

    May we see His Goodness – have spiritual eyes to see His Goodness in and through the trials . To receive His blessing of strength and courage- to Trust in Him.

    Bev : lifting you in prayer for your MRI and your medical issues – praying for Peace that surpasses.

    Aliza : praying that the Goodness He prepared for you in England will compassionately embrace you in your time of grief. I think Jesus had a huge canvas waiting for your beloved Nana to
    Paint in Heaven. The word PAIN is in the word paint and God can make your pain turn into something beautiful- this is what He does when we bring him our pain.

    I will not write out the pain or the calamity that seems to be continuing at intervals often in my own midst and life – instead, I will CHOOSE like you and the women who have written to do : to just keep surrendering the pain and confusion, the loss and the challenges – trading in the ashes for the beauty that God promises.

    I thank you for this forum to share, UPlift, inspire and to be inspired by others who love the One who loves us with an everlasting Love.

    He has called us- We are His. I pray for His lavish and extravagant and extraordinary Grace to overflow and embrace all reading this today. I only said names that were reading this in the early morning before I push send.

    I pray we will SOAR with Him “like eagles” in whatever way that looks .

    May He give us grace to SOAR over and above sorrow…may He give us His “SOAR Oh!”

    The Grace that we are amazed by – where He surprises us with His Goodness and Splendour each step of our journeys.

    Blessings dear sisters. Thank you for your inspiring posts.

    • Janine,

      Thank you for your prayers. I pray God will open your eyes on this journey. May He send a discerning heart for you to know His Will for your life. I recommend Bonnie Gray’s book “Whispers of Rest..40 days of God’s Love to revitalize your Soul”. It has many good soul care tips in there. Talks about breath prayers to pray when stressed out.

      Blessings 🙂

  11. Aliza,
    I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear Nana. She sounds as though she was a true blessing in your life, and gifted you with lot’s of special memories. As hard as it might be (not to be there), sometimes I’ve wondered, if maybe it’s God’s way of sparing us from what might be even harder. So yes trusting it’s in, “His perfect way.” In your new journey in life, be safe and be well.
    Have a blessed day all,
    Penny

  12. Thank you for sharing about your Nana’s legacy that lives on in you! I questioned God’s perfect timing when my husband died in 2014. I went through many of the emotions you describe, including training God for the outcome. I love that Psalm you shared, reminding us that He is our faithful shield.

  13. I am so sorry for your loss, Aliza. Sounds like you and your Nana were very close. I am sure her legacy will live on through you. I pray for God’s peace and comfort to be with you.

    I also want to thank you for your vulnerability and courage. I am inspired to keep my eyes on Jesus and trust His ways are perfect because they are above my own.

  14. I’m so sorry, Aliza. :'( — How sweet that your Nana taught you how to paint. I love that. My youngest son is teaching himself how to draw. He loves it—but, his mama can barely draw a stick-figure. I admire those with the talent to make beauty appear on paper out of nowhere. — I’m sorry you missed your grandmother’s memorial service. So thankful for the hope of eternity. (((Hug)))

  15. First off – condolences on the loss of your Grandmother.
    Secondly – congratulations on your program and the chance to visit the UK! I’m sure your grandmother would be terribly happy for you and excited to see what comes of it!
    Thirdly – as a military spouse who is often far from family, unable to attend key moments, has had to miss important events like this big hugs and understanding on the intermingled joy and sorrow and the fact that sometimes you just.can’t. Thank you for your honesty in this piece, I too often struggle with I know you can God so why don’t you? It is hard to trust at times.

    Wish you all the best.

    • Hi Holly… I’m sure that has been so difficult on you. It is hard to trust some times, and I have to admit, I’m not generally very good at it 🙂 Praying for you today.

  16. Praying for you sweet girl, just want you to know you’re one of my favorite writers

  17. Losing a Nana is one of the hardest things to bear. I lost both my grandmothers within 6 weeks of each other and there is still a hole in my heart. They each taught me so very much and I try to ensure I honor them in my daily life – how I tend my garden, bake for my family, cook Sunday suppers and love unabashedly. Sending you prayers that you can continue to see glimpses of your Nana in your everyday life and feel her love in those moments.

  18. My daughter in California sent me this article, telling me she gets your devotionals every day.. And this one sounded familiar……. your Nana was inspirational in the growing up years of our children, especially musically, when they pastored in Thorold, Ontario she was a precious lady and will be greatly missed. On to her heavenly home.

  19. Aliza, you don’t know me, but I knew your Nana. She and your Papa pastored our church in Thorold for a few years when I was growing up. I live in California now, but the internet has made this world so small! On top of being an amazing artist(I have a few pieces of her calligraphy work that I treasure), she was a wonderful musician, and most of all a woman of Grace and Strength who poured love and encouragement into the lives around her. I’m so grateful for her influence in my life as well. I’m sorry for your loss. Praying for you in this season.

    • Thank you so much, Kristi. It thrills me to know that you’ve been impacted by her incredible art and by who she was. Thank you for your prayers!

  20. I’m so sorry about your Nana. I, too, am struggling with trusting His perfect timing. All I wanted was for my business to be successful so my husband could retire next year, and I prayed so hard that it would come to pass.

    And God decided to call my husband Home suddenly.

    So here I am.

    • Sending you love Dani, I’m sorry for your loss. May the Lord be by your side as he is always that you may turn to him and gather strength and comfort. In Jesus Name, Amen

    • Dani, I am so, terribly sorry for your loss. Praying now that God would be your great comfort during this horrible time. I’m so sorry.

  21. I am so sorry for your loss. Not only can I relate to losing a tremendous force in my life, my grandmother, but I needed to hear your message today. His way is perfect. Hugs to you as you remember, grieve, and celebrate her.

  22. Nana is with you, just in a different way. When I lost my Nanny, I was devastated. She had wanted to live to see me married; when she passed suddenly, I didn’t even have a boyfriend, let alone any serious prospects of marriage. Five years later, I walked down the aisle to aman who is the love of my life. When I cried on his shoulder about Nanny not being there, he said “She has the best seat.” I don’t know if our loved ones can really see what is going on, scripture only says believers are in paradise with him and that the dead shall rise again. But somehow my husband’s words comforted me. I like to think she would have been very pleased that I waited for the right one…
    All this to say, don’t let your talents die with her. Use them. Grow with the knowledge that your Nana gave you the right tools to do what you are called to do, and God has provided the way. Prayers for comfort and peace through your tears.

  23. Aliza, I wish I was in a field picking Hollyhocks with you. Thank you for so tenderly helping us all to see the beautiful legacy your nana passed on to you, as well as the hard heart wrestling you’ve been through with the Lord. I’m so sorry for your loss. But I’m also deeply touched by your resolve to trust God despite how the heartbreak of His timing feels. Trusting Him with you today for all His good and care in what we cannot yet see.

  24. His comfort and peace for your loss, what a wonderful memory and legacy. Perhaps, you said goodbye in spirit, He has no limits.

  25. First my condolences to you on the loss of your nana. This post is beautiful and the timing, well, let’s just say I needed to read this. This weekend my siblings and I will move my mom into her new assisted living community. For memory care… The varied thoughts of how the next few days may unfold are almost paralyzing. Needless to say, it’s been so hard to hold onto the truths of God you’ve shared here. But He does know every moment of each day of this transition that lies ahead. He’s able to calm our hearts, cover our hiccups and above all else give my sweet mama’s heart peace.

  26. Thanks for writing ✍ and sharing this Aliza…My deepest condolence on the passing of your Nana…May God comfort you and our family…

    I am trusting God for total healing from depression, place to lay my head by dusk today and a place I can call home for the next 2 months and I can cook ‍ my own meal, have some peace and serenity, a safe space for living through depression before I am totally healed, for strength to return to thé work I have now and to finish well, for £2000 to secure my future studies by July 12th, for a home in England in 2 months time, for full funding for my further studies by September 17th when school resumes, for a divine life partner, for my kids when they arrive, for a life of joy, love ❤️ and happiness fulfilling divine purpose and doing what he has called me to do and above all for faith in this storm ⛈ to « Be still and know that HE is God… » and the patience to wait for the new thing He is doing to spring and for God to make a way in the wilderness for me and cause rivers to flow in the desert places of my life…

    Thank you again for sharing and travel safe and I hope I see you in England someday soon…

    Sending you love ❤️ and hugs through this time of grief…Be strong and rest in God’s perfect way and love ❤️ and hope in the joy of resurrection…xxx

  27. Aliza,

    So sorry for the loss of your beloved Nana. You were blessed with a great woman who taught you many things in life-especially how to enjoy little things. You were there for the important times in life-daily living. The two of you had a great relationship & taught each other much. My dad always said do things for me while I am alive. Don’t wait till I’m dead. She would be proud of you going for the internship & the paintings you make. We may not understand God’s timing, but we can trust His way is perfect. I had to trust God knew what He was doing when my parents dementia got bad. He knew the outcome & why dad was still living. I have to trust Him to care for my FIL & his cancer.

    Blessings 🙂

  28. Aliza: Sweet Sister, it’s okay not to feel okay ~~ our God can handle all of that, and the emotions and questions and uneasiness and just plain out disappointment ~~ He is BIG enough to carry all of that, Girlfriend, so just turn it all over to Him. I’m sure it’s not going to be easy to do, and I can understand that it’s going to be difficult these upcoming days. So let it all out, and allow your thoughts to run through the pen (or keystrokes) and onto paper (or screen) ~~ He will receive it all; He gave you the talent to express.
    Thank you for sharing how beautiful your relationship has been with your loving Nana ~~ surely, there are those of us who will have the pleasure to meet her in Heaven, and to be proudly introduced by you!
    I most especially would like to thank you, Aliza, for your penned words of inspiration today, because I am wrestling with having to make some hard decisions. I am reminded to obey ~~ He will take care of the rest.
    Bless you, Sweet Sister, as you step into your current Journey ~~ I pray God’s loving comfort for your broken heart.

  29. Aliza, I’ll think of you when I see the hollyhocks in our yard…may God tend your broken heart in the tender ways only He can. Hugs!

  30. I too had a wonderful “Memom” who taught me all kinds of things that only a grandma can teach. What fun we had. I love the “neighborhood” analogy! Going to look that song up. I value this community of women and I ask for prayer for my son, Kyle, not anything “life threatening” but a big deal to him. He accepted the position of president of a Christian group in college and served the spring semester. He is supposed to also serve the fall 2018 and as a junior w a job and hard classes he isn’t sure he can serve in this position effectively this semester. He doesn’t want to be a “quitter” and he doesn’t want to disappoint others (especially his dad), and he feels guilty if he leaves this position in the middle of the commitment. Please pray for guidance in his decision. Thank you ladies!❤️

  31. Aliza, your mature faith belies your age. You allowed God’s Word (and Sarah Young’s inspired impressions!) to minister to you. And though the pain is still present, you are choosing to trust in God’s perfection. No doubt he will reveal to you more of his perfection as you begin this new adventure in England. God speed, young friend!