“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”-Matthew 11:28-29
In September 2000, I gave birth to our third child. My husband, Scott, and I were so elated. We had our three children, lived in a nice house in a friendly neighborhood, and found an awesome church. God and life were good. My beautiful, perfect, normal world crumbled the night of February 3, 2001. Scott had left earlier in the evening to go to his indoor soccer game. Let me tell you, Scott played on more recreational teams- softball, soccer, and of course the inexpensive game of golf! The two older kiddos were downstairs watching television and I was upstairs feeding the baby. I heard the phone ring and my daughter answered it (she was eleven). The next moment she is in my doorway with a ghost white face, and murmurs, “Mommy, he wants to talk to you”. I take the phone and all I can recall is certain words; your husband, collapsed, cardiac arrest, the hospital, and I need to get there right away. At this point, I have handed the baby to my daughter, and both she and my seven-year-old son are following me around the house like puppies. I am trying to get away so I can process what the voice on the other end is saying. Plus I have a million questions, first of which is, are you sure you have the right family? My husband is athletic and fit, and he plays all kinds of different sports. Surely, this is not the man you are describing to me over the phone? How dare you interrupt our quiet little evening with such a horrific set of circumstances?
I am not sure how the next thirty minutes played out. My neighbors were over to take the kids and my mother in law (Scott’s mom) was picking me and we were driving to the hospital. As we rushed down the highway, I could hear her talking to me, but could not comprehend what she was saying. It was a dream, a bad dream, and all of the sudden, everything around me drowned out, lights, noise, and motion. I heard a voice, but could not understand what it was saying. In my mind, I said, “Okay God, I can’t do this. I can choose to turn towards You or away from You. I choose You because I can’t accept this situation. HELP ME!” All of the sudden, there was an aura of light around me and I felt all warm and peaceful. No words were spoken but I knew; He was there. He continued to be there through the funeral, through the paperwork, through the tears, through the anger, through the pleading, and through the deepest- seated sorrow I have ever experienced. God was also there in placing the right people in my life to help me survive, sustain, and subsist. “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”- Isaiah 46:4
The first two years after Scott’s death were foggy and vague to me. For me, it was all about existing and taking care of my children’s needs. And God was there. My prayers in the early days of my grief were short and simple, “Take away this pain, I can’t bear it anymore”, and it would subside: temporarily. “Help me Lord, I can’t make this decision” and the answer would come clearly to me either in thought or from a friend. I was able to meekly articulate the little prayers because I had a relationship with God. He knew my heart and knew what I could and could not speak or handle. He provided. It was not necessarily a spoken word, but it was the clear answer when needed so I could move on down the grief path. This season in my life was a little more one-sided, where I was at my most vulnerable, and He protected me. God definitely protected me from Satan’s attacks and can only imagine the spiritual warfare that played out around me and my children. God was faithful in moving me through my grief and assisting me in the realization grief is part of who I am.
I look back at the last sixteen years and am in awe of God’s presence through it all. This type of prayer was like a conversation between two friends. I did not have the energy or the ability to wholeheartedly give my all to Him, and He understood. I can say during this time in my life, I felt closer to God than any other time. Because of this experience, I cherish my daily prayer time with Him. I don’t use the word normal anymore because it died with Scott. I do love my life the way it is today; different, rich, meaningful, and with purpose. I am truly blessed by His love and compassion.
Please let me know if you have a prayer request. I would love to pray for you!