Thoughts from 11:20pm on October 22, 2016
Here I am at Gull Lake for a widows retreat. Our cottage looks out at the lake - its beautiful here! The fall colors show just how creative God is & I am truly in awe of his handiwork. The speakers - Susan VandePol, Miriam Neff & Jolene DeHeer - have all been wonderful & they have blessed me with their words & hugs. I have had wonderful fellowship with the ladies here. I'm grateful to have gotten to spend time with Marlene, Bonnie & Mary. We have each been called to this new calling by God in different ways, but we truly know what each other is going through.
I am truly glad to be here.....but what am I so drained? Why do I feel like I should be seeing everything in a gray haze? Why am I even on this new journey?
God, I know You know how all of this will turn out. I know You have a plan for my life. I know that all things work together for good for those you love You & are called according to Your purpose (Rom 8:28). I know that You know the plans You have for me & they are plans to prosper me & not to harm me, plans to give me a hope & a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
I know all of these things & yet I am still struggling with my faith. I am still wanting to hold onto my life with Daron. I want him back - like he was when we got married. I don't want him to suffer & pass away though. I want him to stay how he was so we can continue our life together. I want him with my when Taylor graduates High School. I want him with me when Taylor goes to college & the house is empty. I want him with me when Taylor gets married & has kids. I want him with me to help spoil the grand kids. I want him with me when we are 90 & 80 years old & we can pass away in each others arms.
I want all of that, but You decided I'm not worthy of that life. Why? What could You possibly have planned for me that is better then a long life with Daron? Better then a long marriage with Daron?Why was that taken from me at 35 years old? Why am I now being forced to raise my son alone? Why would You take my sons father away from him? Why did You call me to be a widow at such a young age? Why???
I know Daron wasn't perfect & neither am I. I won't deny that to fact at all! But he was my husband....He was Taylor's father. Why couldn't You let him stay here with us? Why did his health have to get worse? Why did he have to die? Was it something he did? Was it something I did? Was it something we did together? Is this my punishment for something I didn't repent of?
I don't understand any of what has taken place of the past 5 years - especially the past (almost) 3 months. Maybe I'm not meant to understand any of it at all. Maybe I am supposed to take a larger leap of faith & trust that God will catch me before I hit rock bottom. Maybe I am supposed to hit rock bottom & trust that God will lift me up & restore me. Maybe I am already at rock bottom & God is trying to teach me something before He will lift me up & restore me. Maybe I need to deepen my faith & loosen my grip on what I want. Maybe I need to truly let go of what was & trust God for what will be.
God, please be Taylor's Father. Please guide him, teach him, train him. Taylor is You son & You have seen fit to allow me to raise him here on earth. Please forgive me for my parenting shortfalls. Please strengthen me as his mother. Please give me the grace I need as I raise him for You. Please draw him closer to You through this time.
God, please be my husband. Forgive me for my doubt, lack of faith, lack of trust, my pride, my stubbornness & my fear. Please remind me daily that You love me with an unconditional & unfailing love.....a love that will never be matched on this earth. Please speak Your love to my heart & soul daily - many times a day. Please help me to remember that Your thoughts are not my thoughts & Your ways are not my ways (Isa 55:8). Please guide me in paths of righteousness daily. Please help me to see that I am worthy of You plan, love, grace, mercy, salvation & this calling. Please remind me that I am Your daughter - royalty in Your eyes. Please remind me that I was bought with a precious price. Please break my pride, break my strong-will, break my stubbornness. Please mold me into the beautiful vessel that You want me to be.
Thank you, God, for speaking this precious passages into my heart now.....
Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Ephesians 4:25-27 (NIV)
Therefore, each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
2 Corinthians 7:10 (NIV)
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Deuteronomy 33:25 (NIV)
The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days.
Job 14:5 (NIV)
A person's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
Isaiah 54:5 (NIV)
For you maker is your husband - the Lord Almighty is his name - the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.
Psalm 13 (NIV)
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long with my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, :I have overcome him, " and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord's praise, for he has been good to me.
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.
Thank You, God for all that You have done for me. Thank You for being my God. Thank You for listening to me. Thank You for holding me close & loving me beyond what I deserve. Thank You for the wonderful women surrounding me this weekend. Please be with each of them in a wonderful & loving way. You know their hearts & I ask that You meet them where they are. Please continue to grant strength, grace, peace, love and mercy to Susan, Jolene & Miriam. I am blessed to have them in my widow sisterhood.
(12:02am on October 23, 2016)
We sang this song today before our final session. I am thankful for God's steady heart!