One year ago today, my amazing 30 year old husband suddenly and unexpectedly died when his heart went out of rhythm and he was ushered into eternity. I was thrust into a life I never wanted nor could have imagined. I became a widow and a single mom at the age of 25 with three boys under the age of 3.
It has been a year filled with unimaginable pain, so deep you don’t think it’s possible to live through it. BUT it’s also been a year filled with so much grace and goodness from Jesus that the only explanation of how we are living is HIM.
I have learned how faithful, constant, trustworthy, gracious, and kind God is. I have felt more gratitude than ever before because of the amazing gift Christ gave us. When you experience the GREAT sting of death, you also feel the GREATER gift of eternal life and victory over the grave through Jesus. Even though my life is forever changed, and my heart is forever missing part of it, I have HOPE. Jesus is hope and He is the same good God He was when my life was comfortable, as He is today when everything about my life is out of my comfort zone. Jesus is my greatest treasure.
I have learned about the power of the body of Christ. I have never before witnessed a living, breathing, God-story like I have before we began to walk this road. The Holy Spirit has led His people and they have been obedient. I can truly say God is a Father to the Fatherless and a husband to the widow, we just have to look for it and believe He is going to do what He says. He NEVER fails. I could go on for days about how the Lord has used people to uphold us and encourage us. Every card, text, meal, gift, word of encouragement, and act of kindness, and MOST OF ALL PRAYER, has been used by God to encourage our hearts and enable us to survive another moment in the sea of hurt. He shows us He sees and cares for what we are walking through and we are never alone. Thank you SO much for being obedient to the Lord and allowing Him to use YOU to be Jesus with skin on to us.
As I process the events of this past year, I have seen in a very real way how legacy survives death. When a godly person dies, their death doesn’t take away their impact, but rather furthers their reach as it reminds those living of what truly matters. It changes perspective and it encourages us to live better for the glory of God. There is no one I have ever met more humble, humorous, and handsome than my man Patrick, but there is also no one I knew that loved others and Christ so well. Patrick’s legacy continues not because of what he did by himself but what Christ did through him. He would always want God to get all the glory for what HE has done. Patrick’s death has made people ask themselves, “What’s my legacy? What am I doing that will outlive me?”
As I reflect on this past year, I can say that it has been a year of trusting what I can’t see, hoping when I can’t feel, and believing that there is life ahead even when I feel like death has stolen my future. We are hurting deeply, but hurting with hope. This doesn’t mean it hurts less, but it means our perspective has been changed in the midst of the pain.
God never wastes suffering. One day the pain of this world will be conquered and Christ will make all things new. But until Christ calls me home, I have a mission and a purpose and I want to do that to the best of my ability. I will run this race, and do it for His glory, although I am running with a limp. My heart is wounded, but by His grace I am still on the road, carrying out my God-given purpose. We are trusting the same faithful God who has upheld us this past year to continue to carry us for the rest of our lives as we grieve our Patrick. NOT ONE DAY HAS HE EVER FORSAKEN US. To GOD be all the glory for who HE is!
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