After 13 years of struggling to find HOPE again, I can finally draw some closure to the most devastating moment in my life. Hopefully as you read this book, simply put, short but with much thought to who might read it, you will understand the importance of closure. Not FORGETTING…. but closure. Closure to pain….and openness to completeness, hope, joy, and peace again.
Having searched these exceptionally long and lonely years to find “a new kind of normal”, I realized it is about recognition of life gone…new beginnings, without quilt, with new, sweet, precious memories. Well, second thought, maybe that IS a NEW KIND OF NORMAL.
Realizing .... there is HOPE....JOY.... PEACE...in knowing without a shadow of a doubt that my heavenly Father loves me more than life itself.... that is where I gain my trust. For you see, normal is different for everyone. And for me, there is nothing normal about losing your spouse so suddenly at the age of 54 but then again, there is nothing normal about dying on a cross for my sins and yours. What's normal about a kind and gentle man being crucified, spit upon, beaten until blood ran down his face, hands and sides, cursed, and then left to hang on an old rugged cross while his mother sat and watched, weeping for the loss of her son. But she too had HOPE, JOY and PEACE knowing her heavenly Father was loving her more that day than the day before. Even though she KNEW it was not a normal kind of death she knew it was right in the eyes of God and that He ordained it as His will and that HIS perfect plan was coming into place three short days later. GLORY BE TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST!
Now, mine has not been three short days...but then again...i am certain that Jesus felt as though it was YEARS as he went through the torture he experienced., uttering those last words, “It is FINISHED” (Matthew 27:50)
One thing I have to say before you begin reading the journey of my walk as a widow, is there is NO journey too deep or too long that Jesus cannot hold us up and get us through the valley of the shadow of death. Have you even heard of the word Paraclete? Look it up...it will bless you beyond measure. Jesus wants desperately to be that Paraclete for you.
I will never forget the words my daddy said to me on that horrible day back on April 21, 2007 “Lillian Anne, Tim is more alive today than he has ever been before. We will all see him again and what a glorious day that will be.”
Death use to scare me, but not anymore.
We are just the shell that holds the GOOD STUFF IN. One day I will never have to worry about, eating alone, worshiping alone, having that morning cup of coffee alone or sleeping alone. Well I don’t know about the sleeping alone part, but I do know I won’t be lonely. I will be whole.
And one day I will hold my two grand babies in my arms that I never got to meet but knowing their Papa Tim has played with them for hours upon hours, up and down golden streets. I KNOW there is a Heaven.
And the pain my children also felt, so deep within their souls.
There is no amount of research that can capture this distinctly painful and powerful grief, as it affects each of us individually. The emotional trauma can be devastating for your child, even as a young adult. They lose some of their own identity. I did not recognize this and instead felt as though I was the only one in pain, as they ached inside. They graciously took the responsibility to assist me through my journey, with me not recognizing their need for assurance and validation and that it was ok for them to also hurt and cry.
You see, recognizing the PAIN from GRIEF and the true depth of it, helps one grasp the HARD journey before them.
We generally think of GRIEF as a reaction to death.
But it is the process of ACCEPTING the UNACCEPTABLE that is GRIEF.
Because of the deep pain….as humans we do all we can to avoid it….and escape it. The process of grieving is normally dependent on the type of loss. When it comes to a spouse, the pain will often seem intensified, because of the guilt, anger, anxiety, loneliness, and sense of despair. Also, because we cannot FIX IT. Often, as was in my case, when it is sudden, we spend much time in denial. THIS TOO SHALL PASS….AND HEAL…AND GET BETTER. Then the shock of reality….it IS FINAL. Then comes the confusion and pain of needing answers…. searching as to WHY.
Much of the grieving process, and the way we walk through it, can depend on our support system, our spiritual beliefs, our families, and our friends.
You will find throughout this book that all the above are mentioned in my journey and that without each piece of this puzzle, I could not have made it.
So now let me share with you my journey and how that journey has made me know without a shadow of a doubt...there are no longer WHY questions...but only WHAT questions. WHAT precious Father do you want from me at this time in my life. Let me be a vessel for you....to bring people to the foot of the CROSS that you so lovingly sacrificed yourself for....I humble myself before you to serve you and to minister to those who walk the walk of a widow.
“Lord help me daily find RAINBOWS, in order to see your promises of love and protection for me.”
Had it not been for HIS AMAZING GRACE I would not be able to share with you today, “Stories from the Heart.”