I’ve struggled for weeks deciding how to write this blog. It’s not been easy. But I owe you an explanation after a nine month absence. This blog isn’t about adoption. But it is my authentic offering of life (and death) stuff that feels like I’m living someone else’s life.
Since my last post I’ve moved from Colorado to North Carolina. My husband, Ray, and my mother have died. Yet amidst my grief, the limitless details of a cross-country move, and the administration of dying I’m grateful; I’ve experienced strength and peace only God provides. And His grace, poured into every nook and cranny of my life, has been sufficient.
Ray was diagnosed with a terminal lung disease in 2014. A biopsy in 2015 confirmed our worst fears; there was no cure or effective treatment for his interstitial lung disease. Four months later he died in my arms at Duke Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.
During the in-between time we laughed, loved and enjoyed our children and grandchildren. We helped prepare one another for his death and my widowhood. And we embarked on our final adventure together: we sold our Colorado home and moved to coastal North Carolina. This was our empty-nest-happy-place we grew to love through beach vacations. When Ray realized he could breathe at sea level without supplemental oxygen he wanted to move here. We thought he had more time. But Ray died from complications of his disease on September 12, 2015, just two weeks after our arrival in North Carolina. Exhausted from the move and his death, and needing time to heal, I have decided to stay for now.
I don’t like suffering. But lessons I learned in the trenches and on my knees through our adoption journey helped prepare me for these losses. God has strengthened, comforted, gone before me, and shown Himself to be tender and merciful in ways I had yet to experience. This “set-apart” season is a gift - a time to pray my good-byes, let go, and rest – a time to transition from being married to my solo journey.
One of my greatest fears was that my husband would die before me. The word “widow” gives me the creeps; it feels brittle, old, and drenched in suffering. I hoped I would never have to check that box to describe my marital status. But my fear of suffering was worse than suffering itself because my fears did not account for the presence of Jesus, the tenderness of God, or the strength of the Holy Spirit to soften the blows. His grace has been sufficient.
I think of each of you in the midst of your present trials and sufferings. I want to hug you, encourage you, and let you know it will be ok. God is for you! And He is for your children, your husband and your family. He is on your side. He is the God of comfort, peace, grace and rest. He will be the lifter of your head when you can’t. He is faithful. He is the sustainer. He is the Creator of heaven and earth. And we were created for heaven.
I have missed you. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to update me on your happenings…and your feedback. I look forward to this new season of our journey together.
“Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” (Matt. 11:29 MSG)