On September 29, 2005, my life, as I knew it, changed forever. I haven’t wasted much of my time with wanting to know WHY my 45 year old husband and father of my children was taken from me. I am not sure any answer from God would be sufficient anyway. The why is of little importance at this point. It is the journey from here which will create character and give definition to who I become.
Eleven months ago I lived through the darkest days of my life. When Don was taken from us I wasn’t sure how I would even begin to breathe again let alone begin to heal. Little did I know God was preparing me for an amazing journey of healing and hope. Healing became a deliberate choice.
It has taken this year to realize that Don was never ours to begin with. We were blessed to have borrowed him for those short years. Not that our grief has past, as I suppose it never will completely, but we have the promise that the God who blessed the bright days of our past is longing to be the author of the bright days of our future.
“I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now CHOOSE LIFE so you and your children may live and you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life.”
My identity changed in a blink of an eye. I was no longer married; I was no longer someone’s wife and the secure identity I had owned for 24 years, was no longer mine to claim. A new identity defines me. I am now a single parent, I am a widow. I am left with an identity that is awkward. It is uncomfortable yet as I meet the challenges this “chapter two” brings, I know that it is about choice—-choosing life.
It has not been an easy choice to make. There have been many days that I would have rather chosen to lie in bed and bask in my misfortune – it would have been easier. My reality is that at 44 years old I am a single, working mother. It is not the plan I had for my life and though my plans have been forever altered I know God’s plan remains intact. I grab and hold on to the reality that my God is big enough to see me through raising two boys, educating 25 children each year, and paying the mortgage on time.
I can’t change my life history. I can’t change my circumstances, but I can change how the story continues from here. I am choosing the life mentioned in Deuteronomy 30. How do I do this – by seeking the voice of God in my life. I have become so aware of how God speaks to me. I have never been one of the fortunate ones who have audibly heard the voice of God, but I believe He speaks so clearly to me through His Word, through music and through relationships with people in my life.
The choices I make now, how I choose to live directly impacts those around me—especially my children. Though my children are making the same journey, we are on varied paths. I want to lead by example – I want them to know that God really is enough. I want them to know that “stuff” matters little compared to relationships, friendships and love. I want them to know that in the midst of it all—tragedy does not define you—how you choose to live does. I want them to also, CHOOSE LIFE.
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