I can hardly believe it's been eight months since my Kevin passed away. Some days it seems like it was just yesterday, other days it seems so very long ago. It seems so much of life has been lived in these last eight months. Yet, honestly, it feels like no life has been lived at all without him.
I still cry at the smallest, silliest things. The simplest tasks are overwhelming and take all the energy that I can muster. Large crowds of people make me tired. And self-conscious. I am tired all.the.time. Like, can't keep my eyes open tired. Like, I take a nap every afternoon tired.
Though they would never say it out loud, I know that just my presence makes people feel awkward. No one knows what to say or do. Most people feel like they can't be honest or share any struggles with me or near me because they feel like their struggle isn't as hard as mine. I hate that I make people feel that way. Hard is hard, no matter what your hard looks like.
I miss Kevin every day, in the big and little things. I wish I had more pictures of him. More videos. I struggle to remember the sound of his voice. The sound of his laughter. The feel of his hand in mine. I feel like a horrible wife for forgetting those things so quickly.
It's hard not to look ahead to the future and grieve for my children. Ethan will never know a graduation with his father present. Sophie won't be able to have the love and admiration of her daddy as she lives through these awkward tween and teen years. Ethan won't have a dad to teach him how to treat a lady or how to fix and build things. Those things are overwhelming to me and more than I can handle.
But, through it all; the up and down emotions, the hard days, the long nights, the sadness the kids and I feel, God has been present and shown Himself faithful over and over. His word has been refreshing and such a balm (even though there have been many days I've had to rely on His word sent to me by dear friends because reading it for myself was more than I can bear). Every time I have needed to pay a bill or needed more cash for the month, He has sent a check my way. Every time a parenting moment gets to be too much, He sends a text from a friend encouraging me to take a deep breath, cling to Him, and move forward in His strength. When all I can do is sit and cry, He sends just the right song to remind me that He is with me and for me and is all that I need. When I look back over the last year or two and I start question where God was in the midst of the darkness and the hard and the sad and the scary, He opens my eyes to show me that He was always with me and that some of the darkest times in my view were the times that He was closest and fighting hardest for me, my husband, and my children. He has shown me time and time again that His grace doesn't always look like my idea of grace. Sometimes, the most gracious thing He does for me looks like the hardest thing that could happen to me. But I don't see the whole picture. God does. He's been all the way to the end of my story and He equips me each day for what He already knows is coming my way.
There is not one single thing in my past or future that I could handle or survive on my own. If there is any amount of strength or courage or bravery in me, it's from Christ alone. He alone is my hope. My joy. My peace. My comfort. My strength. My future. My security. I hope that when you see my Facebook posts, my blog posts, my Instagram photos that's what you see. What you hear. Christ and Christ alone. Oh, Father, hold me up. Give me rest. Fill my mouth with Your praise in every circumstance. Use this pain for Your glory. Make this life the ugly beautiful with Your fingerprints all over it.