I haven’t written for some time. There has been a lot going on – at school, with Felicity, but mainly in my own heart. Since I began co-leading Grief Share, in February, I have found myself painfully re-grieving the loss of Jaime. I have even grieved over my loss in ways that I never have before. For weeks, I have been OK on the outside but carrying such a heavy load from within. I would lay in my bed, unable to fall asleep (just as I had following Jaime’s death), and say aloud, “I can’t go on like this.” My colleagues and friends would ask, “How are you doing?” “You look exhausted. Are you OK?” And, of course, I would answer, “Yeah, I am fine,” make a joke and then move the conversation along. But the truth is I wasn’t fine. The truth is I need to work through this new wave of grief and allow God to do in me what He needs to accomplish. And even more important is that I need to stop trying to be OK when I am not.
Tomorrow morning (3/25) at 8AM, the condominium that Jaime and I purchased back in 2005, a short time before our wedding, is being auctioned off. The property is in foreclosure and it, along with a million dollars’ worth of medical bills, will soon all be wrapped up in a bankruptcy that has become the extra reminder of all that has been lost. It’s more than a piece of property to me. It was my wife’s home before we ever were married. It’s the front door I walked through to pick her up for our first date and the same door I walked through, with her, as we shared the excitement of our engagement. I never wanted to buy that condo – I was a penny pincher! But after talking with Jaime, I knew that in the short-term, it would mean her mom and brother would continue to have a place to live and that one day, with the property sold, my family would be able to purchase our own home. In the course of several months, I have had to come to accept the fact (once again) that what Jaime and I planned is not going to happen. Trust me, I knew that in 2012 when I had to let her go, along with so many plans and dreams we had once smiled about. Each letter I have received from the mortgage company has just been one reminder after the next that life continues to be far different from what Jaime and I planned.
Before I sat down to type what was on my heart (what you are reading), I was spending time in needed prayer and reading of the Scriptures. During these quiet, tiring days, God has continued to meet me where I am and remind me that nothing about Him has changed. Even when I am not faithful He is! He knows me because He put together all 6’ 3” of me! What a privilege it is to just sit and say, “God I am really hurting right now. I don’t understand any of what You are doing. I need You to overwhelm me with Your strength and Your presence.” That has been my go-to prayer the past month. I imagine it will continue to be my prayer moving forward. Even in the midst of painful moments – those that have already unfolded and those that are yet to occur – God is weaving His goodness into my life in such a way that I know He is present, meeting needs far beyond what I could ever ask or think…or imagine. God is not asking me to be OK. He knows my heart is broken. He has me right where I need to be – fully dependent on Him.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Isaiah 41:10, 13