This past September marks 3 years of when I hit my absolute rock-bottom in my grief journey. It took 6 months for the "bubble wrap protecting my brain" to fully unravel after Tony's death. The pain was so intense. To be quite candid, I felt as if I had nothing, absolutely nothing in life to look forward to. I was surrounded by darkness so intense I could not see any glimmer of hope.
I had reached the depths of the depths.
Nothing and no one on this earth could pull me out.
I was in so deep, only Jesus could reach me.
And He did.
He has slowly pulled me out; He has set my feet on firm ground again; He has gently restored my heart and my life.
He continues to heal me.
He is amazing. Nothing is impossible for Him.
It's hard to describe but for the last 3 and a half years, I've carried an underlying sadness. Even as I've moved forward and settled in to my new normal, it was still there. It haunted me; it caused me to falsely believe that this is how I'd feel for the rest of my life.
It was a different feeling than the reality that I'll always miss Tony; that he'll forever have a place in my heart. This sadness was more like a thief, slowly stealing my joy, distorting my view of the Truth.
I got to a place where I was just tired of feeling sad, of letting it defeat and deflate me. I sought wise counsel, and through a series of steps that God set in place, I faced those feelings head on.
3 months later, I can honestly say, the underlying sadness is gone.
Sure, I'll still have days when I'm sad; that's normal. But sadness is no longer the lens through which I view all of life. Being a widow is no longer the lens I look through either.
Widowhood is a part of my story; it's not my entire story.
It's not my identity either.
Funny, my trip to Uganda, where I served alongside the most beautiful widows, affirmed this. Yes, I feel the Lord calling to continue to serve widows in some capacity. But it's because of verse after verse in the Bible commanding His followers to care for the widow. My story just gives me leverage and a common experience.
I don't have to be a widow to care for widows. I just want to give life and love to these most precious women; I want to give them something to look forward to too.
I'm more hopeful than ever before. I am expectant again that I do have things to look forward to, that my future is bright.
My identity is rooted and secure in Christ. He is my identity.