203 Days. 29 Weeks. 6 Months, 19 Days.
Those numbers don’t seem like much time since Jeff died and went home to be with the Lord. In reality though, I have been grieving and healing 24/7 for all those days, weeks, and months. It feels like years since the accident and even more years of intense healing. I feel like I should turn 60 years old any day now. The Lord is rebuilding me and refining me every moment He is able. On March 10th, I was shoved into this fiery furnace and today, on September 30th, I am more refined than ever. It is interesting that in the refining of metal, the final material is often identical to the original one but more pure. This is what I am experiencing. I am still “me” but I am a more pure, more passionate, eternally-minded version of me. I cannot think of a better season to walk with the Lord alone and be refined by Him each day.
Wouldn’t it be easier to have my husband back and live 7 months ago when life felt comfortable and safe?
Here’s the truth…I don’t want my husband back.
Yeah, it surprised me too!
If the Lord told me that I could go back in time and keep Jeff here but NONE of His great miracles and works would have happened…
- NONE of those looking in would see the Glory of God.
- NONE of the broken and hurting would have hope.
- NONE of the 600 people at Jeff’s memorial service would hear the Gospel.
- NONE of the testimonies of God’s grace and mercy would be heard.
What would I choose?
How could I ever want to trade Jeff being in glory with Jesus, with him staying here and none of God’s miracles happening?? Friends, I want to be married still and I want my kids to have their Daddy. But God keeps reminding me in my grief that His plan is more than I can fathom and His ways are not my ways. Every day I cling to this Truth and I hold tight to His promises. Jeff finished the race set before him and I will too. I will not wish for things to go back to how they were because they cannot. This is my new life. This is my new normal.
“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well…” —Psalm 139:13–14
We were all fearfully and wonderfully made. God created each one of us with a purpose to intimately know Him and glorify Him with our lives. Our lives are not our own. When we go through suffering, even when it doesn’t make sense, we can trust that God’s works are wonderful. We can trust that He has a plan and that it is good. We cannot live in the past so we live in the present with Christ. We hope for a future where His glory shines and we are refined into who He created us to be.
We’re Being Transformed
My kids and I are in the fiery furnace every day and it is sweltering. But who else is there? JESUS. Jesus is in the fire with us and we will not be burned up. We are being made pure. We are being transformed and the gunk is being burned off. My beautiful teenagers are becoming who Christ intended them to be all along.
- Emilee is at the University and thriving each day. She is a fighter. She does not roll over but tenderly moves forward in her new normal.
- Arie is becoming the strongest young man. He is a protector now. The Lord has given him a strength and perspective he wouldn’t have otherwise.
- Zachary is sensitive to all of our memories of Jeff. He struggles. But in those moments of struggle, the Lord lifts him and gives him compassion for others who are suffering.
My prayers are that the Lord makes me a trumpet for Him. I pray that He brings glory to Himself and that He uses our pain to bring others to Christ!! This life is not about me, it is ALL about Him!!! So when the heat gets turned up and the valley seems long, I remember that my life is not my own. It doesn’t matter if it’s 3 months, 6 months, or 2 years…I will shout to the world all of His glorious and marvelous works. I don’t want my husband back because this is God’s story and I want to be apart of it!
“Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples!” —Psalm 96:3