Monday, November 19, 2018

Shirley's Journey

If you're curious about a widow's journey--what it might be like at year 2 or 3 or beyond--I think you'll appreciate Shirley's honesty and her insights into God's faithfulness.  ❤ferree

Nov 16...the date comes up once a year, but it's one I'd rather skip.

In 2012 and years prior, this day was just another ordinary day on the calendar. 

Nov 16, 2013 was a day that will forever be etched on my memory as being the worst day of my life, but the best day ever for my husband. You see, it was the day that he began a new, perfect, pain-free life in heaven.

While he was doing that, I was beginning a grief-filled journey here on earth. It is an uncertain, ever-changing journey. The first year passed in kind of a blur; there were lots of tears and sleepless nights. I learned that "widow fog" is a real thing.

Then came year 2 when reality hit, and I knew this was not a nightmare that I would wake up from. My best friend really was not coming back. Someday I will go to him, but he won't come here to me (and I wouldn't want him to--he's so much better off than I am!).

Year 3 brought growth and continued adjustments.

Last year was my 4th year as a widow, and it brought some hard struggles. In Sep 2017, I went on the kidney transplant list. Exciting, right? I guess it was, but I struggled with doubts, depression, and anger. I was angry with Mark for leaving me to go through my physical issues without him. Eventually I came to realize that it wasn't his choice to go; he was in God's hands.

My dear daughter-in-law Joanna shared with me a definition of peace that really helped me.
"Peace= accepting that God knows better than I do what is best for my life."
I am in a much better place today on this 5th anniversary of Mark's home going. I still don't have God's perspective on how this is best for my life, but I DO know that He has been faithful in taking care of me, and He has blessed me in totally unexpected ways! At this point in my journey, there are still moments of grief and tears, but the deep despair is gone. I can look ahead with hope, joy, and anticipation about my future and what God has in His plan for me.
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." 
And once again, Jeremy, Jo, Tim, Bonnie, Graham, and Paula remind me that though they are far away physically, they are near in thought and heart. They sent this beautiful flower arrangement to remind me this morning!




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