“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or see in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Never have these words meant more to me than during the past few weeks. When my husband was rushed to the hospital, my life spun out of control. The long days and nights at the hospital ran one into another. Time had no meaning. My prayers were constant, both silent and aloud. I sat by his bedside while he was on a ventilator and read from the Bible, prayed with him, and told him how much I loved him. He couldn’t respond, but he could hear me. Occasionally, he would open his eyes and nod. One such occasion was when I was talking to my Pastor and I said I knew where my husband was going and that one day I would go there, too. My hubby nodded his head.
There were many answered prayers during this time. Many small blessings which deepened my faith that Jesus was with us every moment, holding us close, crying with us, comforting us. During the last hours, as I sat by my husband’s bedside watching him struggle to breathe, I prayed for God’s mercy. I prayed hard, cried, and kept reassuring my love that he was not alone. These were the hardest hours of my life, and the most difficult thing God has ever asked me to do.
My love, my soul mate went to be with Jesus in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday, June 26. No longer is he suffering. He is walking on streets of gold and he has no more pain, no more need for oxygen tanks and hoses, breathing medications, and heart medication. He is not grieving, for he is rejoicing and singing praises to our LORD.
The grieving is for those left behind. As a Christian, my grieving is not the same as a non-believer, for I know the truth. I know that my love has not died. Only his earthly body died, but his spirit lives on and he has a new body, a new life. I miss him terribly, especially in the quiet hours of the night. God gave us 33 1/2 years together…the most wonderful years of my life.
Now I must move on and follow the path God leads me upon. He has deemed my life here is not yet over. He has things for me to do. And I continue to pray ceaselessly and am filled with the peace of God.