I've mentioned it before, yet, it's still true. I find myself marking time in relationship to life before Rick's accident and life after. That's probably normal, after all, isn't that where we get our modern system of tracking time? Isn't that how we got here, to the year 2012 - 2000 + years since Christ lived on the earth? So, I guess my manner of "counting" time isn't so very unusual after all!
Today it was the last day of the 2nd marking period at school. The end of the first semester. Monumental for Taya as the last 2 days found her taking final exams for the first time in her high school career. Monumental for Tessa as with the end of this semester, she has only ONE semester left in her career as a high school student. Monumental to me because the last day of the 1st marking period was November 4. Otherwise known as the "day before". The "day before" life as I knew it changed forever. The "day before" I had to reach out and hang on to God with all that was in me. It didn't really hit me until I was entering attendance at school this morning. It was as I was realizing that Monday would start a new marking period (the 3rd of the year) that if I looked back, I know that the girls have a week and 1/2 of "E"'s (excused absences) filling in the days for the start of the 2nd marking period. An "anniversary" of sorts. The kind of "anniversary" that you don't want to have to mark. An anniversary that I NEVER thought I'd be marking at 45 years young. A day to remember. . . on the last day of the last marking period, November 4, Rick called and asked me to stop and get a new battery for his 4-wheeler so he could get it running for hunting season. On that day, I ran to town after school and got pizzas - one for home and one for Rick to take to go play cards with "the guys". Sometimes I got frustrated about doing things for "hunting". Sometimes I got frustrated about how many times "the guys" played cards. I remember that day that neither errand frustrated me. I happily picked up the battery - laughing as the store clerk asked if I needed it carried to my car because it was heavy. The battery couldn't have weighed more than 10 pounds, I came home and asked Rick if I really looked that "frail" . . . not knowing how"strong" I would become in the coming days. I was glad that the timing worked out so that I could get the pizza home before Rick was scheduled to go and play cards. I was actually glad that he had good friends who he liked to spend time with. I was glad that he never went out to bars with “the guys”. Glad that the extent of any of his “nights out” consisted of playing cards with a few good friends – and then coming home to us! Life was good. So, today was a walk down memory lane. A quiet observation (by me) of yet another day of "marking time".
But, guess what? Today was an o.k. day, even as I "marked time"! We had pizza for supper (from a different pizza place). The girls all have friends over. The house has been filled with the sound of laughter (one of the MOST beautiful sounds I have EVER heard!). I paid some bills, did some laundry, walked on the treadmill & lifted weights (my New Year’s resolutions included seeking God more and taking care of myself better). I "lived" life today. Less worried about tomorrow than I used to be. Knowing that GOD is already in my tomorrows! Knowing that God WILL carry us through . . . if He brings us "to" it, He surely will bring us "through" it.
This morning, I read a couple of devos and 2 of them (one a"grief" daily e-mail and one from my "Jesus Calling" book) had the SAME verse . . . For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9.
I also read a blog post later in the day in which the blogger (a widow) shared how she questioned God for years after her husband's death, but has come to realize that it all REALLY is part of His plan. It was good to read, but in reading, I realized that I have never done that (and I know there are stages and waves and degrees of grief - I could still go there . . .). But, so far, I have not questioned God. I have not been mad at God. I have not been mad at Rick (for leaving us). A few years back, our church went through some tough times. During those times, questions were brought up about God’s “elect” and the “chosen”. I am not a theologian. Rick was not a theologian. We (Rick and I) had many conversations about what WE believed. What was important to us to “split hairs” over and what wasn’t. What we thought were “gray areas” and what was “non-negotiable” to us. I’m not going to go into major detail here, and don’t want to cause any division. One thing that Rick always stood firm on was that he KNEW he was a Christian. He KNEW that would never change. He KNEW that when he died, he was assured an eternal home with Jesus in Heaven. He NEVER wavered in his belief that GOD WAS IN CONTROL. That God had written the number of our days in HIS book before we were born. That “when it was his time to go, it was his time to go” (whether he was on a roof, or on the couch watching football or the hunting channel). I believe God put those conversations in our lives so that I would KNOW. So that I would KNOW where my personal beliefs were rooted. So I KNEW where Rick’s personal beliefs were rooted. So I KNEW that GOD WAS IN CONTROL. I may not LIKE what has happened (I’m only human!). I do and I will continue to grieve the loss of Rick in our lives here on earth (but even though he is no longer physically here, he will ALWAYS be with us - we will carry him in our hearts forever!). I will miss him at every single event that he “should” be at. Yet, I will continue to trust that God IS sovereign. I will continue to believe that HE loves me more than Rick ever could have (and I KNOW that was A LOT – I never doubted Rick’s love for me – so then, how can I doubt God’s?).
Last night, I mentioned being a "steward" of the lot God has given me in life. That lot at this point is not what I imagined. Not what I expected and surely not what I would have asked for. However, God, in His INFINITE wisdom has "blessed" me with this lot. With this title of "widow". This job of being a single mom. To honor HIM, I need to look at these new titles with a heart searching after Him. With a heart desiring to be his SERVANT. With a heart desiring to be a good steward of the time, the talents, the gifts and the "titles" (widow, single mom) that He has given me.
How will I do this? How will I serve Him? I'm not sure. I'm not sure what HE is calling me to do. But, I will do my best to listen to Him. I will do my best to honor Him. I will continue to thank Him for all He gives me each day. I will continue to thank Him for the "key" people he has placed in my life (my "core four") who I can call upon - any time - day or night - happy or sad - pretty or ugly (and I don't mean physical beauty or ugliness here!). I will remember ...I know the plans I have for you . .. plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11!