Friday, May 19, 2017

I Said Yes!

On this day, five years ago, I said YES…when my Prince Joel got down on one knee and asked me to be his bride!

We had taken a little drive to my favorite place in the whole world…the beach! I thought we were just going to relax on the sand, take in a few ocean views, and head home. Boy was I wrong! While we did all those things…Joel had so much more planned!

I laugh now, when I think about how fidgety he was early in the day. We were trying to find a place to eat lunch, and for some reason…we just couldn’t make a decision. At. All. Joel seemed all bent out of shape and not like himself. I kept asking if something was wrong, and he just kept saying, “Nothing is going like I planned!” Ha! Come to find out later…the ring was in his pocket, and each time he thought he had the perfect timing figured out to the pop the question…something would stop him.

The perfect timing came later…much later. We held hands that evening as we walked through the cool sand created by the night ocean air. The seaside breeze blew through my hair, and I could only imagine my version of Heaven would look something like this.

We laughed. We talked. I could tell Joel’s mood had relaxed immensely. All was well with my world in that moment. And then…he stopped. He turned and looked at me with those crystal blue eyes I could still see by moonlight. The words he spoke in that moment will forever be between Joel and me, but soon after he dropped to one knee, pulled out a beautiful diamond, and asked me to marry him.

My answer…well, you know what that was…of course, I would marry him! We both started crying happy tears and hugged until we couldn’t hug anymore. Was this really happening to me? God truly was redeeming the years the locusts had eaten as the prophet Joel spoke of so many years ago in God’s Word. How fitting the man soon to be husband was also named Joel!

My hopeless romantic man then got down into the sand and carved two hearts with this finger. One with the date we became engaged and one with the date we just agreed to be our wedding date (August 25, 2012). And…with that…my life was about to get very exciting!

 

If I knew then I would have less than five years with this incredible man and would go through gut-wrenching heartache upon his untimely passing, would I have still agreed to marry him? Undoubtedly YES! These nearly five years were some of the best of my life. We lived so much life together, and I went from a mom of one beautiful daughter to the mom/bonus mom of nine incredible kiddos. I wouldn’t trade any of that…even if it means my heart had to shatter into a million pieces. Love requires that sometimes.

Just ask God when He had to turn His own back on His son for the penalty of our sins to be paid.

#HeIsStillGood

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Never Ending Ache

You know the headache that doesn’t seem to go away no matter what you try…medicine, nap, essential oils. neck massage?

Or…how about the arthritis in your knee you feel with every step you take?

Perhaps for you…it’s constant reflux that aggravates your core and can only be controlled with medicine.

For me, it’s the ache of the heart. I live with it all day long, gnawing at the core of my being. Sometimes, the pain of it might soften just a bit, and other times, it throbs so deeply I don’t know how I’m still living. There isn’t a pill I can take to put an end to the ache. Naps might help temporarily, but I’ll eventually wake up, and it will still be there. Massages are great, but the effects from them are also short-lived. Essential oils do the same thing. They DO help, but they aren’t THE cure. So…what will alleviate the pain?

In short, I’ve discovered only two things that have been able to heal broken hearts. Remember…I’ve been down this road once before…the Widow Road, that is. Obviously the second time around brings an entirely new dimension of grief and (as I’ve learned), the former grief episode now attaches itself to the new grief episode and compounds the effects. But…all-in-all…time is a healer. How much time? That is a question I can’t answer. It’s individualistic and completely circumstantial.

After becoming a widow in 2011, I felt my shattered heart mended rather quickly. It didn’t feel that way at first, but when healing arrived on my doorstep, it was there to completely repair the broken mess left behind by the traumas of losing my spouse to suicide.

This time, however, it feels as if my broken heart is content to remain in its state of brokenness. I don’t like that feeling. I’m ready to see strides in the direction of healing…I know it takes time, but I want to see something…anything…to make me feel I’m heading in that direction. If the signs are there, they are very dim and haven’t made it to my line of sight just yet. And so…I wait, and I pray.

And…that takes me to only the second thing I’ve found that has ever healed a broken heart completely. Yes…time is a factor, a VERY important piece of the healing puzzle. For me, however, even more importantly has been my faith!

I don’t use the faith word lightly. As a follower of Jesus Christ, He *is* the Rock I cling to on my good days, my so-so days, and the worst days of my life. He has *never* failed me. Ever! Some may challenge that statement when looking at my life and all the tragic events I’ve experienced in my forty-five years. Jesus didn’t cause that. Sin and this broken world in which I still live caused that. Yes…God allowed it, because He will use it all for His glory, and His plan of redeeming the pain is much, much bigger than I can see right now. That’s where faith steps in.

I know Jesus. Oh…do I know Jesus. And…as I told a friend a couple days ago, going through this grief journey is all but impossible for me, however without my faith…I doubt I’d even still be here. Christ is upholding me on my darkest days. He catches every tear, He meets me where I’m at, and He sustains me when my strength is gone.

He will ultimately be the repairer of my broken heart. Until that day comes, I keep looking to Him to not only get me through this nightmare but to help me come out on the other side a much better woman, mom, and Christian than I am right now. To Him be ALL the glory!