Warning: Raw and emotional material ahead. Read at your own risk.
Okay. Here I sit at the keyboard. I haven't written anything in a long time. It's not that I haven't had topics come to mind. It's not that I've lacked for material.
I have avoided blogging because of a particular fear.
Most likely a stupid one, but a fear nonetheless.
I do NOT want to whine, gripe, complain, moan, groan, or otherwise have a pity party either on this blog or on Facebook.
I AM endeavoring, however, to be realistic and share things on my heart and mind to give others a window into the life I now live so that they can 1) feel more comfortable around me or others who have faced a similar situation, and 2) know better how to pray and care for widows and their families.
Plus, creating some sort of structure out of the chaos of my brain is extremely therapeutic for me.
The emotions swirling around in my head at this very moment are varied and intense. That is often the case. And just as often, I hide these things in the deepest cracks and crevices of my person so that they don't overflow onto and unduly burden those around me.
Why? Because I know this...
Life isn't all about me. My pain. My problems. My grief. My memories. My desires. My reality.
Living for Jesus demands the surrender of this desire for life to BE all about me.
But sometimes the right choices are the most difficult.
And sometimes I realize the deep need I have for the patient help of my sweet Jesus in this area.
I. can. not. do. this. alone.
i often ache under the weight of the new responsibilities that are mine
i often fight hand-to-hand combat with a feeling of inadequacy for this new role
i often struggle valiantly to keep frustrated tears at bay because something ELSE has fallen apart
i often face a deep dread of familiar places because of the memories that crash over me while there
i often grapple with understanding why so many seem uncomfortable when i speak of my husband
i often deal with intense fear of the uncharted territory facing me in that moment
i often writhe in the anguish of intense loneliness for my soul mate
where can i go now with my deepest, darkest secrets when i need to de-brief and download?
where can i turn for help when the hard drive crashes on my biggest and best computer?
where can i obtain advice for dealing with tricky family relationships?
where can i find direction as i stumble through the grief-induced fog controlling my mind?
where can i gain the wisdom, steady calm, and insight that was my children's father?
where can i feel the wind beneath my wings that was my husband?
where can i crash and truly be me without fear of judgement or rejection?
please. i know full well the answer that springs to everyone's mind as they read this.
believe me, i know.
and i also know the guilt i feel because i long for a human being to be here...with me...bridging the chasm left behind by the one person on the planet who influenced every decision i made for over twenty years.
i know Jesus has promised to be a father to the fatherless and a husband to the widow.
and i believe He will. i do.
because i know Who God is. because i know what He's done for me already.
and i'm not in the least bit ungrateful.
but i'm not exactly sure how that part works...
and i still long for someone "with skin on-"
who knows me inside and out and loves me anyway;
who can hold me close and calm my fears with gentle caresses;
who can sip a cup of coffee and share the beauty of a sunset with me;
who can be the other half of this parenting team and balance out my indecisive nature...
no. that doesn't sound super-spiritual, does it? nor does it make people comfortable.
but there isn't much about widowhood that i would call comfortable.
especially not with four precious children involved. they need me. every day.
and yes. i know there are many who can and would try to help where and when they can.
but they have to tend to their own lives. their own responsibilities. their own children.
their own spouses.........
they can't abandon their duties for mine.
see? this is truly my very own burden to bear.
no person can do this for me.
or with me.
except on a very temporary basis.
and then they are gone again.
doing what they must.
i know they must go.
i can't hold them here forever.
and that's life.
life in a tough, dark, harsh, but temporary world.
things will change someday.
God has promised.
and God keeps His promises.
i know He does.
one golden sun-streaked morning will be our last here on this planet.
we will take our last breath in this atmosphere and our first in heavenly realms.
all will be set right in the land without darkness or pain.
Jesus. Jesus will be there.
and i hope He will hold me close...
i want to thank Him...
...for His intense love for me, for mankind.
...for His faithfulness to me, to my family.
...for His patience with me, with my pain.
...for never giving up on me...
but for now, well, life hurts. just....hurts. more than i can bear...
there. you stuck with it. not pretty, is it? i'm sorry.
was that complaining? probably.
feeling sorry for myself? some would say so.
being realistic? definitely.
there's no pretending this doesn't hurt.
i can't pretend my best friend didn't exist and drastically shape my life.
there's no denying the gash in the fabric of our lives now that he's gone.
but do you see??? part of my healing and processing is doing just this...
naming the struggles and the pain in a safe setting and in doing so, facing them head on.
feeling it. all of it.
dealing with it.
now...when my children are asleep and no one needs me to be strong...
letting the emotion of the moment rush over me and surround me...
then the tidal wave recedes and there is a lull in the storm
i catch my breath and pick up the leftover pieces of my battered heart.
i hold them up to Jesus and ask for mercy and healing.
He gently calms my spirit and asks me to trust again.
i remember all that has come before and know He is worthy of that trust.
i rest, knowing that the battle begins again as soon as the sun comes up in the morning...
Every day, the amazing blessings of God on our lives are acknowledged in our household.
Every day, the needed grace and strength to fulfill the most important tasks is received as promised.
Every day, the faithfulness of my wonderful heavenly Father ends up in some form of testimony.
Every day, the sure knowledge that God will be with us in any challenges enables us to go on.
Every day, the support team with which we have been blessed continues to pray and care.
And I do my best to use each moment I've been gifted in a productive way.
I strive to keep the perspective that life, indeed, is NOT all about me, but instead, all about HIM.
So never fear, I'm not some helpless bowl of jello that needs immediate psychological intervention.
I'm just a normal mother who happens to also be a widow.
This blog post happens to be one outlet for processing that serves as a steam valve - thus keeping me from overflowing onto and burdening my precious children. Also, in order to reach out to and care for other hurting souls, I must in some way disarm my own pain time-bomb so that there is room to absorb some of their pain which results in the true compassion Christ calls us to.
Thank you for understanding.
May God reward you for your kindness to our family and your patience with me!