Dear Family and Friends,
It’s hard to believe it has been a year since my beloved was called to his heavenly home. There have been many changes in my life this past year that I thought I would never have to experience by myself and yet even during my tsunami days of tears, days of being joyful and smiling knowing he was walking with Jesus and as the weeks and months passed how I felt God’s presence next to me each and every single day I continue to give God Glory for always being right beside me and many times feeling his peace and love encasing me in His strong arms assuring me, that I must go on and continue to spread the gospel to lead many more to Him before He returns. But many do not know that Wayne knew in 2011 he was going to be going to heaven the following year so I thought in memory of him I’d share of what took place as we vacationed and understand how in tuned he was with God. As it was exactly one year and three days he was called home from the time of our vacation.
In the fall of September 2011 before Wayne became really ill, we took a vacation that was long overdue. We went to Vegas to see The Donny and Marie Osmond Show. On this vacation, we visited many casinos, took pictures, ate at fine restaurants, swam in the pools, did sightseeing, saw a couple of other shows, shared a glass of wine and laughed, but in the middle of the vacation while we were standing at the top of the Eiffel Tower watching the water show at the Bellagio across the street, Wayne looked at me with a look I’ve never seen before on his face in the 19 years we’ve been married, he said to me, “in 2Kings 20:1- the Lord says-set your house in order”. He said we need to do this…we need to get our house in order as I won’t be here next year”.
Not really comprehending what he really meant or as to why he quoted that verse at that specific time while we were watching the water show, I came back with response “of course you won’t be here next year silly we are planning to go to Hawaiiremember?” I hugged him and said, “You’re not going anywhere”. Life was sweet at that moment while we were on vacation and I was totally aloof to his statement. Nothing is going to happen to him I thought and I remember silently speaking to God asking “why Lord would he say that to me?”Little did I know that 3-1/2 months later I would fully understand as to why he made that comment.
I read that exact verse the other day and I can so vividly remember that conversation we had on the
top of the tower,word for word as if it was just yesterday; and not realizing until the 19th day into the new year of 2012, that I truly understood what Wayne meant, we or should I say I didn’t realize that Wayne knew he was going to die in 2012 and God had already prepared and told Wayne what he needed to do. I know with all my heart that God had already given him a vision back then as to what our life was going to be like for the next 9 months in 2012. Which explained when he had his good days, he was buzzing around as if he had an adrenaline high from coffee, repairing and cleaning the house, taking care of things and on the phone handling things that only he could do.
I’m Not the Same Woman I Was A Year Ago…..
Twelve months ago today I spent the last 86 hours beside my beloved, as a wife, best friend, lover, soul mate, caretaker and strong advocate for my precious husband of 20 years. Four excruciating days later at 1:20 A.M., he joined our Lord in his new heavenly home and I became a member of a new club I never wanted to belong too “A Widow”.
I look back at this 57 year old woman today, and I hardly recognize her. And although I couldn’t see it at the time, that’s where my transformation began, a transformation that I never thought I was capable of and with the gift of hindsight, I see many changes and differences.
I have more gray hair, more than when this journey began that is for sure. There are extra pounds on my frame, most likely from “grief eating and sitting instead of out exercising”. The stress level has become low, there are more wrinkles on my face and my walk is a little slower as I’m constantly in prayer talking with God about every aspect in my life now and what does He have planned for me in this new life as a widow/single woman I am now experiencing and about the loss of my beloved Wayne. How I’ve had to write the last chapter of our life together and close this book of our marriage which I thought would last forever, and my life with my Prince Charming as it no longer exists and is now placed on a shelf in my heart if you will, with many others books on that same heart shelf as I traveled the road of life. But those are just physical changes, an all outward appearance if you will.
It’s the inward transformation that has been painstakingly beautiful with emphasis on “PAIN”. Since his death, I’ve learned to really love more deeply and do it without reservation, appreciating the smallest things, the flower budding through the concrete, the butterfly flitting around the umbrella, the baby birds chirping away as I drink my tea in the morning. The joyful glee of my grandchildren, when they are visiting me.
My patience has become greater as I no longer worry about time, drive slower to appreciate the scenery God has lain before me; I am more empathetic, and can cry at a moment’s notice. I’m stronger than I was during his illness and that’s only been made possible by the grace of God; I know firsthand how short life can be and I cram every second into every minute into every hour into each day God gives me as I know I’m not promised tomorrow.
I’ve learned to forgive more easily and love enormously. Gone are the ill feelings of stubbornness, holding grudges, revenge and sharpness of the sword (tongue) of words and anything else that doesn’t give glory to God. I listen more intently and pray before I speak or respond to someone’s question or concern. I say what I mean and I mean what I say. I thirst after God, and try to seek his input in every aspect of my life and decisions that need to be made as I began this journey of being “A Widow”.
Am I perfect? Heavens No!!!
Am I healed? Not by a long shot! Grief is a journey and the mileage traveled is unknown.
Yet, sometimes when we are faced with loss and heartache, we tend to question God, doubting His promise of love and providing what we need and His protection. Although God does have the authority and ability to protect us from every trial and tribulations we go through, He uses these hard times we go through to teach us, to purify us and draw us closer to Him. At times it may seem that God has not provided or protected us in the way we need or desire, but we can rest in knowing that He loves us and is providing for us in the way He knows is best for us to learn to fully depend on God.
I’m still under major construction as I travel this road of being a widow but I am so thankful that God has great patience with me. He reminds me that he is the potter and I am the clay that he is molding me to serve him more and reminds me daily to look to him for encouragement, for His great love he has for me; to remind me He is now my husband and will provide for me.
As I begin my second year of being a widow/single I knowWayne would want me to go on, to live life to its fullest, to love extra on our kids and our precious grandchildren and maybe one day in the future if it is of God’s will and plan for me that He will once again bring me the love of my life to be with until he calls me home, one to laugh and share life to the fullest with all the while giving Him glory for what he has given, but until that day comes, I will continue to lean on Him, to pray and depend on Him to provide all that I need to get through each day as a widow/single woman. I have been blessed to have had this wonderful godly man of 20 years as my true love in my life and I know that I will experience it once again, but it will be in God’s perfect timing and I will wait patiently and until then I will serve Him and do whatever is asked of me from Him as each new day begins with a beautiful sunrise He so loving sets before my eyes gently reminding me He has my best interest at heart and is with me.
Thank you for all your prayers and support during this very difficult year. For your heartfelt comments, for your private messages of prayer and reminding me during my days of uncontrolled emotions that God is good and will continue to be my side, guiding and protecting me and that He has a plan for my life that will glorify Him.