In 2013, my life changed in ways I wasn’t ready to accept.
Looking back, I see there are many things I learned. I know God was in control throughout every day, every hour, every minute. I’ve always been a person who wants to be in control. I want to fix things that are wrong. Over the past three years, God humbled me and taught me to turn control over to Him.
I learned in the early months of 2013 that I couldn’t leave my husband alone. His health had deteriorated over the past three years and my heart hurt at seeing the strongest man I’d ever known grow weaker. My role became one of showing him how blessed we’d been and how much we still had. Yes, we’d planned to spend our retirement years in a much different way. God, however, planned for us to spend time together in the peace and calm of our home. Though we couldn’t participate in a lot of things we’d done in the past, we learned to accept the blessings we had, especially in having each other. We were best friends.
In spring of 2013, God led me to get rid of things we didn’t need like discontinuing the “go everywhere” internet connection, reducing the cable “bundle”, and the biggest thing…selling the truck and trading the small car in for an SUV which more readily accommodated Ron’s oxygen needs and ease of getting in and out of the vehicle. We stopped eating out except for Sunday brunch. None of this impacted our lives in a negative way.
During these months, I felt God was preparing me for something and deep in my heart I knew what it was. See in 2010, I almost lost my husband. I was broken and terrified. God brought me to my knees HARD as I prayed that He spare my beloved. I told God I wasn’t ready to lose him yet. And God answered my prayer.
During the next 2-1/2 years, God prepared me for the time I would have to say goodbye.
On Father’s Day, my beloved Ron was rushed to the hospital. Though he coded in the ambulance, he fought to stay alive. He wasn’t ready to say goodbye in such an unconnected way. During the days when he laid in the hospital bed, angry at the ventilator which kept him from communicating with all of us he loved so much, we kept vigil by his bed, assuring him of our love and telling him he didn’t have to worry about us if it was time for him to go home with Jesus. He and I had talked a lot about death and about his fear of the unknown. I told him about a Bible Study with Beth Moore where she said death was simply shedding our body and walking on with Jesus. This brought him comfort. Spending time in the Bible daily and reading devotions gave us both comfort and helped deepen our faith.
When he took Jesus’ hand and walked into his forever home on June 26, I grieved. I didn’t know what a broken heart really meant until I faced the reality of living without him by my side. It’s a slow process of healing and I may never heal completely. His memory is with me continually. He lives in my heart.
I’ve learned that God is always in control, even when I think I’m creating my way. God prepared me for this new stage of my life and He sustains me now. I’ve learned what the “peace that passes understanding” really means.
I’ve learned how to be more frugal and how to live within a budget half of what it used to be.
I’ve learned to trust in God and have faith that He will provide for my needs.
I’ve learned it’s hard to be alone sometimes, but that even though the house is quiet, I’m not really alone. Jesus is here and the memories in my heart keep Ron here as well.
2013 was a year of learning things God wanted me to learn, not necessarily the things I wanted to learn. I’m stronger. I’m weaker. I’m humbled. I’m lost. I’m found. I have too many blessings to count.
Most of all I’ve learned to look at the true blessings in my life. The things that mean more than anything money can buy.
In just a few days, 2014 will be here. I don’t know what it holds, but God does. I’ve learned to trust Him and lean on Him.
I’ve also learned that by sharing my heart, perhaps I am helping someone who is struggling with issues only God knows.
May you have a blessed 2014,