Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

Someone is Still Watching Over Me

I am at my brother’s home.  The kids and I traveled about 11 hours yesterday to be here and were greeted with the cutest little 3 year old niece waiting in the driveway and waving frantically.  It was my first long road trip as the lone adult driver….ever.  Tim would be proud of me.  Truth be told, I am proud of me!  The kids and I made it in record time with smiles on our faces and laughter along the way.

We are here eagerly awaiting the arrival of my nephew, who “should” come next week.

Last night, as I stepped out on the back patio to join everyone else, I turned back to grab my phone “in case Tim needed to get in touch with me”.  {sigh}  Will being a widow ever feel natural?  I don’t know.  A little over 6 months into this new life and I miss his protection, his concern and care, his leadership.  I miss pretty much everything about him.  I’m sure that’s normal. 

It’s my new normal, anyway.

It seems weird that I forget he is gone sometimes.  Pick up the phone to check for a text from him.  Crawl into bed and instinctively turn to say good night.  Sometimes I am still even startled when I walk out into the garage and his truck isn't there.  Silly, since I am the one who sold it…but I guess I subconsciously still crave the comfort of the familiar.

Sometimes I just want to say, “Whoa, God.  I don’t get this.”  Thankfully, that is okay!  He doesn't expect me to fully understand the turn my life has taken; and He knows the gamut of emotions I experience on a daily basis.  All He requires from me is that I trust Him.

So this morning, as I reached for my phone to text Tim a cute photo of the cousins together, I am reminded of Scripture.    

Psalm 139:1-4
 “O Lord, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O Lord.”

Tim may not be checking on me like he used to do, but Someone already has me covered anyway.  There is such peace in knowing God is fully aware of how disappointed my heart is now that I am separated from Tim.  I may not have an earthly husband to guide and protect me, but as the Scripture continues, I am assured that my heavenly Father remains faithful!

Verse 5
“You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
               too lofty for me to attain.”

Let's be honest, I may never fully grasp the loss of my husband.  There will come a time when I will no longer reach for the phone expecting his call or text, but I’m quite certain I will continue to think of him and miss him.  Especially during important life events for the kids and me, those moments I will treasure in my heart; being hopeful that God gives Tim a window from heaven to see how well He is carrying us through.

I may be a widow, but I am still cherished and deeply loved.  My comings and my goings matter.  Someone is aware of them…even before they happen.  

That truth comforts me.   

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Six Month Mark

Tomorrow will be six months.  It feels like a million years ago and it feels like yesterday, all at the same time.  Painful memories of a two year, all-encompassing battle for Tim’s earthly life flood my mind daily.  Triggered by random experiences, I am taken back to an onslaught of flashbacks at any given moment. 

What a fighter he was.  For 16 months of his battle, he had no swallow.  NONE.  I used a headlight, medical gloves, tongue depressor, face mask and surgical tweezers to pull the dried saliva and blood out of his mouth and throat at least twice daily for 473 days.  Think on that for a minute. 

He.  Never.  Complained. 

Tim Streller was just as gracious, appreciative, and dignified “behind the scenes” with me and the kids as he was in public.  What an absolutely amazing man I had the privilege of calling my husband.  What a blessing for our children to have him as their Daddy. 

This morning, thunder boomed loudly, startling me awake.  Lightening flashed across the sky, illuminating our bedroom.  A loud thunderstorm rolled over our home; heavy rain pounding the windows.  It was gone within twenty minutes, but I was left awake and thinking.

Will I one day look back on the two years of Tim’s illness as a short thunderstorm in my life?  Not our marriage, not our love affair, and certainly not the loss of him…but the sickness and the battle to survive that we so valiantly fought side by side.  Will remembering these years eventually be less painful?  In many ways I hope so.  Oh how the rawness of it is still incredibly tender and aching memories are triggered easily; but I oddly also hope the pain never ceases to swallow me when my mind is brought back to this place time and time again.  I don’t like pain and sorrow.  Who does?  But here is my fear.  Without the sharp, physical grief that these memories bring, I am scared I won’t fully remember the ways in which God comforted us. 

The extent of His love blows my mind.  That is truly what I don’t ever want to forget; the powerful comfort from our great and mighty God during this treacherous journey.  He calls us in Scripture to use the comfort He has given us in our troubles to bless others in the same way (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).  Through Christ, my comfort overflows. 

Friends, God is faithful.  Whatever storms we face in this life, He never leaves our side.  His strength and His power alone are what have sustained our family on this journey.  The peace of Jesus Christ is beyond human explanation.

He goes before us and fights our battles (Deuteronomy 1:30).

His love for us will last forever (Jeremiah 31:3).

We can trust in Him, for He will never forsake us (Psalm 9:10).

He watches over us and He listens to our prayers (1 Peter 3:12).

So as the kids and I (and the rest of the family and friends who love and miss Tim) navigate this grief process, I pray we never forget the goodness of our God.  May the intensity of those feelings of comfort and love never leave our hearts or minds.   

Lord, come close.  Turn our sadness into joy (Psalm 30:5).  Be glorified in this journey.

Even if…..