Monday, February 20, 2017

Back in Deep Waters

Here I am again…somewhere between what feels like a cruel joke and utter insanity. I am in a place of complete shock. Extreme pain. A pit of sadness that seems to have no bottom floor. Twice widowed in less than six years.

I have asked God over and over…how can this be? How can someone be so much alive one day and simply gone two days later? I don’t have the answer yet, and I may not this side of Heaven, but I still trust Him!

For all who have asked, we’re not exactly sure what happened, but my precious Joel got sick, had a successful surgery and at some point in the hours following surgery – he contracted double pneumonia and sepsis. His body went into septic shock, and he never recovered. With his family surrounding him, and with my hands on his head and chest…he entered into His one true home of Heaven at 12:37 am on February 12.

I still lie awake at night, expecting him to come join me in our bed so we can chat about the day and dream about our future. There have been so many times over the last eight days where I’ve had to stop myself from saying, “Let me check with Joel…” I simply can’t believe it’s over. Our beautiful marriage of only 4.5 years, and our life together with four newly adopted little ones. What happened?

I’m grieving like I’ve never grieved before. I’m trying to be strong for our children, but…in doing so…my grief bottles up for a time, and when it finally pours out when their little eyes aren’t looking, it hurts so deeply.

We’ve had an outpouring of love upon our family. Meals coming in daily; monetary gifts through GoFundMe, MealTrain, PayPal, and in cards; car maintenance; house cleaning; laundry; playing with the children while I rest my brain; two meals for our family on the day of the service and burial (in two different towns hours apart) and so much more!! My mind can’t even conceive how deeply we’re being loved on. People continue to ask how they can help, but I honestly can’t think at this point to create a list. As a I told the principal this morning at the school where three of our children attend, “Simply do whatever God leads you to do.” He knows our needs – the immediate ones and those down the road. Allow Him to guide you.

Thank you for your love, your prayers (which are completely sustaining us right now), and your concern. While I’m deep in the darkness of the tunnel right now, I will one day see light again. And…I know He rescued me from these deep waters before, and He’ll do it again. Until then…I hurt…


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  1. Mary Tullila says:

    I’ve been down on that threshing floor …I’m there in spirit with you now. Holding your arms up in grief battle..praying over you and your precious babes. May Jesus breathe grace upon you.

  2. The right words don’t seem to come, I feel like I am living this grief with you from many miles away. My heart aches for you and your family. Just know that you are constantly in my prayers. We both know that God is able and that He will carry you through. Much love to you and the children.

  3. It’s good that you are writing down your thoughts and allowing your true emotions to come out on paper, Leah. I know that there truly are no words to comfort your broken heart and no human understanding as to why this happened. I continue to grieve with you and for you as I pray much for you daily.

  4. You are constantly in my prayers.

  5. Don’t like it that you are in the tunnel – don’t like it that you are in deep waters again – don’t like it that you are hurting so ….. But we have a God of all comfort – our beloved Abba – He knows. Praying for you dear one through the very raw and tough human stuff of grief.

  6. Continually in my thoughts and prayers, Leah. I wish I lived closer to give hugs and help in a tangible way. I’m thankful for those who are.

  7. Therese Koehler says:

    Praying for you and your sweet family….much love to you all.

  8. Gwen Cameron says:

    Widowed twice…Bride of Christ forever.

  9. I may never meet you in person, but I have a husband in Heaven also, widowed at 47. I feel an aching kinship as I read your words and ask our Comforter to be ever near you and your family. He has rescued me as you said He has done for you before and will do again. May you sense it’s approaching as you travel the road between.

  10. ginny pierson says:

    “There is always, always, always something to be thankful for” they say. And right now, after reading your post through my tears, I am so VERY thankful that in all you have said in these last eight days, never have you been “confused.” PTL!!! For we all know who the author of that is. So, precious Leah, though you are in a tunnel, your light is shining brightly for those of us who weep with you and for you AND for those who don’t even know our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. You are a beautiful witness, a beacon in this storm, and I can only hope and pray we are that for you as well. Love, hugs and prayers… <3

  11. Love you, Leah!

  12. Hello, I was widowed for the second time two days before the 39th birthday. This was 5.5 years ago and I’ve hit another wave of grief and I’m trying to find others like me. I’m trying to get others to join a group I have started so that we can chat about this situation we have been delt. Please visit my page called Living as a double widow. I’m looking for insight as to how to navigate through this. I want to help others as well. I’m looking for info to help us and trying to share my thoughts as to whats going on with me. It’s a path not many have went down and for us to be so young the possibilities are wide open.

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