Nothing prepares you for an immense loss.
No amount of mental stretching makes you fit for the experience.
No exercise in being strong or tough prepares you.
There is no way to know ahead of time just what places of your heart will break.
No way to experience just how deep the loss will be felt until it happens.
If not for Jesus, the loss of my husband, Mike, would be too heavy for me—the weight of its emptiness would crush me.
Mike was my best friend. The one who believed in me long before I did. The champion of all my efforts. The one who made a safe place for me to explore God, writing, and art. He brought daily laughter and kindness into my life. He introduced flowers, bubbles, cartoons, and joy into our life together.
When God called him home in August, my life changed forever.
“The past is prologue.” Shakespeare
Every ending is a beginning. For me, this ending opened a new awareness of God as comforter. Jesus as the lover of my soul. Grace as an empowering force that holds me each day and enables me to see a new future. To live, hopefully, in a new beginning.
Life is a series of changes, transitions. Stretching my faith. Calling me always ever deeper into intimacy with God. Calling me to explore who He is for me and with me and in me.
Increasing my awareness that every breath I take comes from a love for me so deep I can’t even imagine it.
There are new rhythms to explore now. New things to see and draw my focus. I’m walking carefully. Watching where my foot falls next. But always aware God is with me. Still leading. Still making a path before me.
I’m exploring an unknown, unimagined, future from His heart and a call to explore the newness in what looks and feels sometimes like a barren land when I can’t let go of the ending and face fully the beginning.
I’ve been asking God how to mourn as though I don’t* and I see as I mourn any loss—of a dream, a career, a place, a person, I see I don’t move at all if I’ve got one arm holding onto the ending and one reaching toward the beginning.
In faith, with trust, I must fully embrace the new. In surrender and sometimes forgiveness, I must let go and turn my back on the old dream, old place, old way of living.
One day, I felt God nudge me to write down all the goodness I received from Mike. All the things he brought into my life that changed me. I saw the legacy he’d left within me.
I felt the heart of God telling me to take those things and live them for others.
Hunger for what is gone can never be filled. It can only consume me. Immobilize me.
But if in trust I surrender it to the One who knows me best and loves me most, I can face the new beginning.
His plans and thoughts and love do not stop because I experience great loss. Darkness and light are alike to Him. He is with me through the valley of the shadow of death. No matter what kind of death we’ve encountered, His life, light, and love will forever be calling us forward into exploring the unknown mystery of new life.
*1 Cor 7:29-31
29 What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.