Former Blue Peter and Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas has opened up about how God’s peace sustained him following his wife’s sudden death.
Thomas married Gemma in 2005, and they had a son Ethan, but their lives were thrown into turmoil when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and passed away just three days later.
Speaking on Songs of Praise, he explained how before Gemma’s death, he had never truly understood the “peace that passes all understanding”.
“What it did is it gave me peace, even amidst the noise and the fear.”
“I just thought it was a nice place to be, and I feel peaceful, but actually it’s because you feel that sense of peace in almost the impossible situations in which to find peace.
“And in those three days where everything’s coming at you – we’re wondering what on earth acute myeloid leukaemia is, and we’re wondering is she going to survive this, and all those kind of things are crowding on your mind.
“What it did is it gave me peace, even amidst the noise and the fear. And it gives me the hope that one day I’m going to see her again.”
“At times I’ve literally been holding on by one finger to my faith, because that gives the direction for everything else.”
Cross of Christ
He continued: “The story of what Jesus did on the cross is what my faith is based on, and yet at times that’s impossible to get your head around and to draw comfort from.
“Because you’re thinking ‘How does that help me in the here and now?’, I’ve got however many more years left on this earth without Gemma.
“At times I’ve literally been holding on by one finger to my faith, because that gives the direction for everything else.
“It was the glue in our marriage, and it helps me in terms of how we, and now me, bring up Ethan. You know, it’s the reference point for my life.”
Simon promised Gemma before she died that he wouldn’t give up on his faith, but admits it has been hard.
He prayed: “God, I will not forsake you, I’m not going to give up on my faith, this is going to be the biggest, hardest test of my faith I’m ever going to go through.”
He recalled there were times when he thought: “I’m trying to find you, God, in all this and I can’t. It feels like you’ve gone quiet.”
But he told presenter Sean Fletcher: “He’s not left my side, he has not left me.”
Simon chose In Christ Alone to be sung, describing the hope that he drew from the message of Christ’s resurrection.