August 08, 2016

Five Months

This Wednesday (Aug. 10) will mark five months since my beloved husband passed away. Five months. Almost half a year. How is that even possible? How is it possible we're all still here, still moving, still putting one foot in front of the other, without you?

So much has changed in these last five months. I've learned to ask for help. I've learned to do a lot of things I never thought I could. I've learned to pray more fervently. I've learned to sleep alone. I've learned to trust God for even the smallest thing. I've learned, that even when God is providing every thing we could possibly need, I still often initially turn to fear and worry. I've learned that God truly does redeem our stories.

Lately, I've been reading a book that dives into the book of Ruth. The story in that book has become much more meaningful since becoming a widow. It's a reminder of God's love and provision for each of us, particularly the least of these. It has been convicting to look at Ruth and see how well she loves others, even in the midst of her own deep grief. Her husband has died. She has no children. She has left her family and the only culture she has known to follow her mother-in-law to love and care for her in her old age. Who does that? How did she do that? If there's been anything I've been in the last five months, it's been selfish and inwardly focused. I can't imagine how she can be so devoted, so loving, and so hard working while she is in such deep grief. Oh, that I would have that kind of love for those the Lord has placed around me.

Here's one thing that hasn't changed:
I love this ring. I remember how angry I was the day Kevin was, unbeknownst to me, picking it out. We were all going to see Willie Aames (Bibleman) and Brady Williams (Cypher) in a Bibleman Live show and Kevin was so late I'm pretty sure he missed part of the show. I was so angry with him. He knew how important it was to me that he be there to meet these two people I was working with, but he was still late. (And if you know Kevin, you know that's just the way he lived his life. Always late. I'll never understand people like that!) Of course, the night he proposed was pretty crazy, too! (Just ask Joe Banderman, Sabrina Brookshire, or Kevin's brother, Chris.) But, I have to say, I am glad he was late that night because this ring is beautiful! I loved it the moment I saw it! (Though I would have said yes whether he had a ring or not!) I just can't bring myself to take it off, yet. I'm not ready for that very visible sign to the world that I am single. That there's no husband. No father. I'm sure some day I'll be ready for that, but not today. Also, I've gained a lot of weight since Kevin put this ring on my finger and it's pretty tight. And barely comes off. And is way too small for the ring finger on my left hand. So, for now, it'll stay right where it is!

This week brought many opportunities to be angry. Angry at the situation we know find ourselves in. Angry at the choices Kevin made. Angry at addiction for stealing my husband and my children's father. Angry that Satan is here to steal, kill, and destroy. Angry that things always have to be so hard and have so many steps. Angry that I don't turn to Christ first when I am angry and frustrated. BUT GOD is so good. So forgiving. So loving. So comforting. I needed the reminder several times this week to lean in to Him and let go of the anger, pride, fear, and selfishness. I am sure this will not be the last time I'll need that reminder!

We've survived a lot of firsts and still have seven month's worth of more firsts, but we'll make it. We'll make because the Lord sustains. Provides. Heals. Protects. Leads. Guides. Saves. Redeems. And so much more.

Oh, Father, keep me focused on You alone. Use the scary moments to draw me to You. Use the fearful moments to draw me to You. Use the frustrating moments to draw me to You. Oh, Father, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I!

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