Ecclesiastes 3:1-“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:”
A well-known saying is the only constant in life is change. I love positive changes such as a newborn baby, a windfall of money, an anticipated vacation, or enjoying family at holiday gatherings. But not all changes warm my soul, make me giggly, or put a skip in my step. There are those changes which make me scream, cry, or ache for one more hug or conversation, and raise the question why would this happen to me? It is hard to be objective in the middle of a miserable shift in my cozy life and yet this is where I am stretched, molded, and grow the most as a Christian. I am learning to take it all in and reflect on how God will shape and refine me from one more personal growth moment.
My life changed dramatically in February 2001 when my husband died suddenly at the age of 38. Our children were 11, 7, and 5 ½ months old and the whole family was in a state of shock. Praise God for all the people He put in our lives to help nurture, support, and love on us for the first couple of years. Attending my church’s grief group was such an empowering part of my grief journey. It helped me personally experience the different stages of grief in a safe and loving environment and equipped me with the confidence to later facilitate the grief group. I continue to grow and change as I minister to those who follow behind me in their grief walks.
A couple of years after my husband’s death, I met another man. It was totally a God thing because I prayed if it was in His plan for me to meet and marry another man, God would have to bring him to me. And oh how He answered my prayer! In November 2003, I met an amazing lady, Robin, on a cruise and we became fast friends. She had me willingly divulge my information to her and introduced me to her brother Randy. Fortunately, Randy and I lived in the same area, dated, and were married in 2005. In 2008, Robin’s cancer returned and we made the decision to move from Texas to Louisiana to help Robin and her family while she was going through treatments. This was a huge leap of faith since I was leaving behind my parents, siblings, and daughter in order to support my new family in a different state. Unfortunately since our move, we have experienced several losses from 2008 to the present including Robin, Randy’s father, and my father.
I share this chapter in my life to illustrate all the changes I have experienced since 2001. They may not be my favorite events, but have developed into a beautiful story of people and places I would have never known if my first husband, Scott, had not passed away. I can look back and see how I was made to stretch, refine, live outside my comfort zone, and move away from my family and friends to see God’s plan unfold. I have forged some precious relationships over these last 14 ½ years and I am amazed how God’s hand guides and reveals to me my true purpose in His glorious plan. We will all experience loss in our lives and it can rock you to your core, but always know God’s timing will reveal to you the glory which can come from such painful losses. Change may be a constant, but I like to think God is my constant in the changes in my life, as He orchestrates the unveiling of my personal and spiritual growth.