My husband and I were married for 7.5 years. With the exception of two work trips for me and a short trip to California, my husband and I spent every single day of the last 7.5 years together. When he was healthy, we spoke on the phone multiple times a day and spent much of it texting each other. His face was the first one I saw each morning and it was the last one I saw each night. Every single plan we had for our future involved each other. Even though he had cancer for the last two years, he responded so well to treatment, that I really didn’t think he would pass away. He was admitted to the hospital on January 31st and we were discussing discharge plans on February 9th with his doctor. In fact, the discharge date was written on the calendar in his room for February 14th. He was sent home on the 14th. Only it wasn’t to his earthly home, it was to heaven.
When I got married, I thought I would have 50 years with my husband. Every single dream and plan involved him. When I pictured myself at 40, 50, 60 and 70, I pictured my husband alongside of me. Yet, at 36 I find myself a widow and starting all over. Those dreams I had are shattered. Our plans involved me staying home after Mel finished school. Our plans involved co-parenting. Our plans involved me as a wife and Mel as my husband. And those things have changed. I now a single mom. I am widow.
I look at pictures of my husband when he was paralyzed and I am thankful God called him home. He required total care and while I would have cared for him for 50 more years, I know it was painful for him. I have peace because he is no longer in pain. He isn't hurting anymore and that brings so much comfort to my heart. And then I look at pictures when my husband was healthy and that is where the pain is real intense. Because I think of the memories we are not able to make. It is so easy to get trapped with our memories from the past. I look at pictures, videos and just close my eyes and I can think of all of the good times I had with my husband. And if I am not careful I can be trapped in the past. It is just as easy to be crippled with fear of the future. If I am not careful I can spend time lost in the thoughts of what should have been. It is just as easy to get lost in the thoughts that this is so unfair. And to look at what others have and think that I have been robbed. And these are all ploys of Satan to keep my eyes off of God.
And so while it hurts that my husband is not here. I look towards the Lord. There is nothing I can do to rewind time and as painful as it is that my husband is not here, I have to accept that the plans I devised while he was living are going to be altered. This doesn't dismiss or diminish the pain I am in but it does help me go forward. I have no idea what my future holds. And that is kind of scary. But while I did not know that February 14th was the day that Mel would be called home to heaven, God did. God sees our future. Trusting in God involves trusting that even if your life didn't go according to the plans you devised, God still has a purpose and a plan. I have to trust that in the midst of the pain, God is there. I have to believe that if God allowed something to take place, God will give me the strength to make it. I have to believe that God wasn't surprised on the 14th of February when my husband died. And so while my plans may have been altered, the plans God has for my life remain intact. God is not scrambling to re-write the story.
It is uncomfortable starting over. It is hard going from a family of four to one of three. But my trust and confidence remain in God.