Just Me

Sunday, August 25, 2013

51 Days Later...

I had no intention of blogging today, but I feel like I need to. I was in bed last night settling in for the night and I started messing around on twitter. I came across Dave's account...I saw his picture...it is so strange how those moments hit you. I read his tweets...his words. That's what I have left! Memories, the things he left his mark on in this life. I have pictures of him all through the house, but something about that picture stirred my heart and mind. 

I woke up this morning and started getting ready for church. I was killing a little time and messing around on facebook when I decided it was time. I have mentioned that I miss being married. Along with that, is the fact that I do not feel married and haven't for some time. I think it was probably in December when my role switched from wife to more care-giver. It has been a long time since I felt like I was a married woman. I miss it...a LOT! But the picture I had as my profile picture was a picture of Dave and I. Today, I changed it to a picture of me and my kids. This is life now. I am moving forward in this process. They are who I put my efforts, energy, and emotions into. Another small step forward...

I went to church, as always, expecting the Lord to move. And He did. Our worship lately has been so powerful, Holy Spirit filled, moving! And today something happened to me during worship. The worship leader introduced a new song to us as a church, but it was not new to me! I have sang it many times in my van while driving, but today it REALLY hit me differently. It might be because it was the first time I have heard it since Dave died. And it might be because of where I am right now. Whatever reason, it was profound to me. The song is "Here's My Heart" by David Crowder. But I think you could sub-title it "The Widow's Song"! Here are the lyrics and what went on in my mind and heart as we were singing:

Here's my heart, Lord
Here's my heart, Lord
Here's my heart, Lord
Speak what is true!

I am found!
(As a 41 yr old widow, I could feel very lost! Where do I fit in? Most widows are much older than I am. I am a single mom too. I have a pretty unique position in this life and could easily feel so lost in this world...BUT I don't! Thank you Jesus!)

I am Yours!
(I may not belong to a man on this earth, but I do belong to my Savior! I am his daughter, his bride!)

I am loved!
(I don't have a husband here to hold me, to tell me he loves me. But I AM perfectly loved by the one with unconditional love!)

I'm made pure!
(Through the blood of my Jesus, I am made pure. He sees me covered in the blood of his son and I have the promise of heaven. I am pure in his eyes! Just like Dave!)

I have life!
(I have known people who when they have lost a loved one, life seems to stop. Life stopped for a time for me through his illness. Caregiving became my life...but life is continuing for me. I feel it. I see it. I am doing it! I have life!)

I can breathe!
(There have been moments when the pain was so heavy that I felt like I couldn't breathe! But that is being transformed into thanksgiving for what God has done for Dave and for me. I would NEVER ask him to come back to this life! He has eternal life with Jesus! Praise God! And because of that hope, I can breathe deep, the beauty of those promises! Thank you Jesus for giving Dave an eternal home! And thank you for your word that makes my life so much easier to process and be filled with the hope you offer!)

I am healed!
(I can not say, I have been healed in this grief process yet. I have a long way to go before I can say I am healed in it. BUT, I am better than I was 50 days ago. God has done amazing things in me! My view of my life is much different today than it was 50 days ago. I am learning and growing! In the eyes of Jesus the healing is done...I just have to walk through this normal, weird process called grief!)

I am free!
(This encompasses a lot! Too much to write about. But I already feel the chains of this process falling off of me. I am lighter in heart, mind, and spirit! I walk in the hope that God's word promises...FREEDOM!)

You are strong!
(In those moments when I have felt so over-whelmed and weak...days when it hurt too much to go on, He has carried me! So thankful for the strong arms of the Savior!)

You are sure!
(There is so much uncertainty in the life of a widow/single mom. So many questions and not always enough answers! BUT, God and his word ARE SURE! I can count on Him and what His word promises to me! So thankful!)

You are life!
(Life continues...because of the hope in him! Dave didn't stop living, He just started his eternity of life! He would want me to continue with my life too! And the best way to do that is with my Jesus! Life does go on...because of Him!)

You endure!
(Life with Dave came to a close. But life with Jesus goes on forever! No matter what I have to endure, God will give me the strength to endure! 
-did you get that??-

You are good!
(My motto early in this cancer process became 
"God is good! All the time! No matter what!"
Sticking with it! It's true! He has been SO good to me!

Always true!
(I can count on Him! He keeps his word!)

You are light breaking through!
(I have had MANY dark days, nights, and in betweens! BUT God's goodness always shines through those moments!)

You are more than enough!
(I know I am not enough to walk the path in front of me. It is daunting and hard. BUT God is MORE than enough for me to not just survive, but THRIVE in it! He will get me through...and He has!)

You are here!
(When I don't like where I am, whether it is a decision that I have to make that I don't want to make, or if it is those moments when I REALLY miss having my husband, He is here with me NOW, in that moment! Thank you Jesus for being here! For never leaving me!)

You are love!
(I miss getting a text that says, "I love you babe!" But I have a whole book that shows me the perfect, unconditional love of my Jesus! I have a lifetime of stories that SHOW me He loves me! He is perfect love...if I never marry again, I am loved!)

You are hope!
(A while back, I stated that my future in the eyes of earthly standard seemed hopeless...BUT I serve a God that LOVES to work in hopeless situations and pour himself out so people can see him and say, "ONLY JESUS"! Jer 29:11! I have a future FULL of hope!!)

You are grace!
(I am so thankful for his grace! I have had moments of walking in the emotions of the day...He is FULL of grace for this weary, sinful woman!)

You're all I have!
(And He is truly all I need!)

You're everything!
(He has become my everything...the one I desire and love! And when we have him, we have everything we will ever need!)

Here's my heart, Lord!
Here's my heart, Lord!
Here's my heart, Lord!
(What better hands could I put my heart into? I have a heart that needs his loving touch of healing and wholeness. I have a heart that at times aches with missing my husband. I have a heart that has wounded places that only Jesus can heal! And I know in time, He will complete the work that needs done!)

Speak what is true!
Here's my life, Lord!
Here's my life, Lord!
Here's my life, Lord!
(He has my life. I know I have a ministry ahead of me, serving women. I am waiting on him to open the doors and lead me in whatever direction that will be. My life is his! So thankful that he can use me to do his work! A life submitted to the Lord is never going to be dull!)

Speak what is true!

I think this song was my sermon before the sermon today! I am so thankful that the few words in this song, spoke so many words to my widow's heart! God is working and moving in my life. I am moving forward...and I have hope! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

47 Days Later...

Today stirs so many emotions for so many reasons. 

TODAY...I have a 6th grader, a Junior, and a SENIOR! UGH!!! I remember as a kid hearing one of my mom's friends state to her that every time she had a Senior (and she had 6 kids) it was an emotional year for her. I didn't get it then. I do now! All the lasts, thinking that this time next year, odds are we will be a family of 3 in this house. (AND I will have ANOTHER Senior!) There are many life changes in the coming school year. I have a feeling having a Senior this year will create a whole new realm of emotions! I am VERY thankful and feel so blessed though to have her in a great Christian school this year! (That is proof of Rom 8:28!!!) 

TODAY...I am a routine fanatic. Routine helps me in so many ways! We have not had what feels like a "Normal" routine for months! Today marks a start of routine for me. I am still not babysitting, I plan on starting that up towards the end of Sept. I still have some appointments to take care of and a LOT of sorting and organizing in my home. But, routine is so good for me. So with the start of routine, brings some emotions. On one hand, the fact that routine is so beneficial in my life, makes me happy. I know I am more disciplined when there is schedule. I will accomplish more and be more on top of things. But I also know that today marks the "New Normal" for us. THIS is what life is going to be like without Dave. THIS is how day to day will feel. THIS is what we are going to experience. THIS is when it will all hit us...

TODAY...is an ugly anniversary. It was 1 year ago today that we heard the words "Non-curable Cancer". I remember that very surreal moment sitting in the Dr's office. It was SO hard to believe. Dave appeared completely healthy. He had NO symptoms of cancer at all. He was working hard at his job at MAG and it was going so well. We were faced with decisions of trying a trial drug or just letting what happens happen. We left that appointment and went to eat dinner together. Both of us somber and quiet. Tears filled eyes as we sat and ate at Wendy's. I could barely eat, sick over our news. I remember looking at him and saying, "Dave, if cancer takes your life, the truth is, YOU WIN! You get Jesus!" And less than a year later, he got Jesus! 

TODAY...I miss Dave. I miss being married. I miss fixing a cup of coffee for him every day and packing his lunch. I miss doing his laundry. I miss his occasional text message telling me he loved me. I miss his kisses. I miss his strong arms around me. I miss him. 

TODAY...my life is SO different. I am walking the trail of grief. I am thankful that I have more good days than bad. I am thankful for the MANY adventures we have all had in the past 47 days! Life has not been all bad! I am thankful that through the journey of deep sorrow, I have experienced true joy...God has blessed and poured himself over me in many ways. He has redeemed some of the pain I have experienced. Through it all...



I can say, God is good! ALL the time! No matter what!

Monday, August 12, 2013

38 Days Later....

Life has been SO crazy since that night. He died then it was gearing up for the viewing...then the memorial...then the next week, getting the girls ready for Chicago...then it was me getting ready for DC...then packing for Mackinaw City, MI for our family vacation. Honestly, there has been little time to really allow it all to sink in. I have moments when things just hit like a brick wall. And sometimes those moments are really good...like when God just pours Himself out over me!!! But things do hit. 

Things like...

I miss being married. I see couples holding hands and I think, "I might never experience that again on this earth." Or, I think about never kissing my husband again. I enjoyed our kisses. I miss our kisses. I miss getting a text in the middle of the work day saying, "I love you Babe!" Babe was my favorite nickname that he called me. When Dave and I met, I was looking for a husband. We met on-line. I have no intention at this point to "LOOK" again. For now, my plan is raising my kids and seeking out the ministry He has for me. I have seen several quotes lately on God's love for his Bride and my heart can't help but smile when I think that I am the Bride of Jesus! And He truly adores me! So thankful for that truth.

I have no one to call. When mom and I were in Mackinaw with my kids, she called dad and let him know we made it ok. It really hit me there, that the other times I had gone away like that, I would call Dave and check in. I couldn't do that. I wanted to call and tell him that I missed him and fill him in on our adventures. But I can't. It was a slap of reality for me.

I have made some decisions on things for my kids. I didn't have him to talk those things over with. It was all on me. There are many times in life when two ARE better than one! 

I have had car trouble since he passed away. It all got taken care of thankfully. I knew the day would come for me, but it hit way to quick for my liking and my very talented mechanic husband wasn't there.

These are somewhat little things, that when you are grieving your spouse, become really big things. I have been walking and seen a couple together and had to gear my thoughts elsewhere or the tears would flow. I see friends on facebook talking about their husbands and their date nights together...I get envious. 

I always said the worst loss would be my child. That is not the natural order of life. But, as I have been processing my grief and thinking about this journey, it hit me that the ONLY relationship that God refers to as "The two become one" is the marital relationship. You can not "compare" what loss is greatest, but losing a spouse is a horrible loss to walk through. And I am journeying that heart-breaking road. I only had 8 years with him. But I was counting on a life time. Every so often I realize that I really am a 41 year old widow....it is sobering.

I have sat and thought about what he is experiencing. I know only my selfishness could ask him to return. My love however, is ecstatic for him and what he has in front of him, for all of eternity. As much as I miss him, I could NEVER ask him to come back to me. 

So, what next? Life goes on. Time doesn't stop. What is next in this journey of life for me?

For one, continued healing. I have plans to join a support group, with a Scriptural base, in September. I look forward to what God is going to do in my life in those 13 weeks!

I am setting some goals as a mom. Like one-on-one time with  my  kids. And a family night at least once every 2 weeks. Schedules are CRAZY, but I know we need that as a family. I have a Senior year ahead of me with my oldest and so that brings its own emotions and challenges! 

I am working on some personal goals for me. I have GOT to get the weight off that I have gained through this process. I am starting to make a few changes, just can't handle too many at once for now. BIG success for me is that I have not had pop in almost 3 weeks! That is HUGE!!! Adding little things, till I eventually make big changes! Another personal goal is to read more! I always say, I love to read, just don't have time for it. I lay in bed every night and watch tv for an hour or so before I go to sleep...I am reading a chapter (or more) each night. Currently, I am reading "Confessions of a Grieving Christian" by Zig Ziglar. Excellent book!!! At times it is like reading my own story. 

I am also gearing up for our fall women's Bible study at church. Last year was the first year that I was in charge of it. God has burned a passion for women's ministry in my heart and I am excited to see how He will use me! I am open to whatever doors he opens for me...even if it means I gotta step outside of my comfort zone! God has a purpose and a plan for me. I knew that before Dave found out he was terminal. Now, there is a whole new realm of women that I can relate to! God is going to use this...just waiting for doors to open. Until they do, I will serve where I am. And I LOVE leading our Friday morning studies. So, I am taking steps forward in my life. 

I know this isn't my typical blog. I think I just needed to write where I am and where I have been. For the most part, I am doing really well. My hope is in Jesus! I know where Dave is and what he left behind! I envy him! I am happy FOR him! But I miss him terribly! I can't take off my wedding ring. I know it is not the time for that yet. I made an Origami Owl locket for him and wore it to the viewing and the memorial. I put his wedding band on it. I have a hard time, not wearing it. I LOVE wearing it! If you see me and ask me how I am, I probably will respond, "Good"...I even responded with "Wonderful" the other day. Weird. But yet, I know where I am in this process. I know what Jesus has done in my life and heart. And I am wonderful because of him. It doesn't mean the pain isn't still there...it just means I have true, sweet, beautiful HOPE! 

I am blessed!