My husband, my friend

My husband, my friend

Saturday, September 29, 2012

It's Been a Long Time

A year later and I am just now writing my second blog I grasp at explanations of why it has taken me so long to write again.  I am not even sure myself?   However, I do know after writing the initial blog and telling my story of my husband being murdered it took quite a toll on me.  I have always thought writing is a healthy outlet for your emotions.....I still do.  However, I must admit after writing that initial blog putting those words down it took me back to the "dark pit" that I was ruthlessly and unexpectedly thrown in!  The pit that I found the only way to crawl out of was on my hands and knees looking up to the light, who is the Son of God, and crawling to the Cross.  I was forced to remember that dreadful day, to examine where I was now in my life, and to face the doubts and fears of the future.  But then I was blessed to see and share what God had done in my life thus far.  If someone would have tried to tell me I would experience what I had and survive, function again, and not blame God, I would not have believed them.  But you know we never know what we can endure until we do!  A saying I love "If God brings you to it he will bring you through it."  How true are those words if we are a child of His.  We can trust that he will never leave us or forsake us.  I also felt the burden of sharing my story with others and hoping it glorified Christ.  Perhaps, I let the distractions and detours in life get in the way of my continuing to blog.  Or maybe, just maybe, I had to sit back quietly, experience life, work my way through the numbness, and feel again, to truly be able to fully express all these emotions.

So here I am, back again.   I hope someone is still lead to continue this journey with me.  I am not a prolific writer by no means.  I write what comes from the heart and its quickly jotted down, usually with little thought, but with passion from the heart.  I am no theologian, super christian, or scholar.  I am a simple woman that serves a BIG God.  I am just here to share what that Big God has done in my life in hopes that he will reveal himself to you in some form or fashion in your life.  Because I know he LOVES us that much to enter our lives and show himself to and draw us to him.  So let's share some Golden Nuggets that Christ has for us!

My journey the past year has many times been long and weary.  I still to this day do not like the word "widow."  I think is this really who I am now?   I also do not like the word "single" because I did not  choose that status. I also still find it hard to say "when my husband died" because to me that sounds like you are talking about natural causes, a car accident, etc...not an act of murder.  To me it is when  "my husband was taken from me."  In all honesty, that is the truth.  Although, his life was taken by a ruthless murderer, I know that God is actually the Author and Finisher of Life and Death.  The bible says we are "all appointed a time to die."  So nothing happens to us without being sifted through our Father's hands. So God allowed my husband to be taken, even by the hands of another man, on November 11, 2010.   That has been a hard act of sovereignty to understand.  But if I am to believe in what the word of God says then I trust in this no matter how may questions I may still have.  I could also question why do children cry alone many nights in orphanages, or die of starvation, or are victims of sexual crime.  Why did Jesus disciples die horrific deaths?  Most of all why did Jesus, the perfect man, without sin, have to die on the Cross, also a brutal murder?  Well, he did for YOU and for ME!  He did because he was the sacrifice for our sin.  I even have to accept that if chosen by God the man that murdered my husband could also be forgiven for his sin by Jesus. 

There have been many losses and voids since my husband's death.  Losing my best friend, my husband, my lover, the father of our children is a big chunk of your life to lose.  I even lost my home.  Since my husband was murdered in our home with our two small girls sleeping in the room next to him we never returned to live in our home.  We lived with friends for about 6 weeks and thenwonderful church family paid for a rental home until we could sell our home and buy another.   The home where we raised our kids, fun childhood memories made, family nights, those memories you always want to have tucked safely away in the walls of your home was tarnished by bloodshed, by an act of evil.  This place was no longer our home, our safe haven from the outside, it was where tragedy took place.  I learned during this trial, that a building does not make a home, your home is in your heart.  If Jesus resides in your heart then your home can be anywhere.  When I lived six weeks with our dear friends I saw Jesus protect my girls and I.  I saw church members bring meals to their home for all of us.  Although, many nights I could not eat, I only sat and cried, or stared off into space, I know my children were taken care of by many who loved us.  I still feel ashamed of the many nights I did not take care of my girls.  There were no fun stories, bedtime prayers, or playful hugs and kisses.  When I did hug them it was almost a hug of fear that I did not want to lose them.  I think my forceful hugs almost scared them because they could feel my desperateness to hold on to them and not to lose them too.  Then there were the many nights I could not sleep without seeing the horrific images of finding my husband's body and the brutal murder site.  My sister just recently shared when my family and friends gathered around the first weeks after his death I would sit in the room with everyone, quiet, sullen, no words, and then a sudden "scream, shriek of fear" would come out of me that would startle everyone in the room.  She said they would immediately surround me and begin to pray.  Others recalled hearing me sob all through the night and also have night terrors and have to again run to comfort me or my girls who were scared to see their mom hurting so badly.  Some of these things I do not even remember.  I think it is God's way of protecting me from some of the pain.  But I am so grateful that my girls and I were surrounded by God's people that took care of us ....when I couldn't.  Without his grace and protection, I could see me drowning my sorrows in a bottle, or pills, and then what would have happened to my children?  But God did not allow this to happen.  Those nights I cried out to him in my darkness, in that dark pit, he enveloped me with his love, mercy, and grace.  It is in the darkest hour, such as this, that you see Christ for who he really is!  You see him as the Light of the World, a Strong tower, and he became my Rock.  He was my rock that gave me refuge from the swelling tides of shock, fear, and grief  that surrounded me.  He was the solid foundation that I could cling to when all else seem to be swooped out from under me.   This my friend is what Christ did for me during this tragic journey of losing my husband to murder.  I still find it hard to express in words the power of his love.  It is something that can be told....but must be experienced to truly understand.  This is my hope and prayer for every reader of this blog.  That you experience this amazing Saviour.  That you feel his Love.  A love that this world can not offer in another person, in a material possession, in a drug, or in any kind of experience, EXCEPT experiencing the Love of Christ who can fill all voids.

So am I full circle on this grief journey?  Not hardly!  Have I traveled this road without sin, without doubts, without anger, without mistakes?  Absolutely not!   I still struggle with forgiveness for the man who took my husband's life and ask your prayers in this area.  Have I allowed Satan to distract me at times on this road and feel like I deserve to "feed my fleshly desires" because of my hurt and pain.  Unfortunately, yes, I have only to find that I still hunger for something so much more that only Christ can give. "But whoever drinks the water that I give him will never thirst again." John 4:14 

So my family is just weeks away (week of October 22, 2012) of enduring probably the second hardest thing in our life.  The murder trial of my husband.  It will be almost two years since his life was taken.  The trial will be near what should have been my husband's 50th Birthday Party and boy, would I have thrown a BIG over the hill party for him.  But now he lives eternally in a place where he sheds no tears and does not grow old.  A place I long to be and my prayer is that you do too.  Again, I face the future with uncertainties, with doubts, with fears.  What would I do if this man was not convicted and walks the streets again?  Would he come after me and/or my daughters?  Could we live in the same town with him?   Will he hurt someone else?  Will I ever be able to fully forgive him?  Will he confess?  Will Jesus save his soul one day?  So many questions that I do not have to have the answers except again to know that God is Sovereign.  The definition of Sovereignty is; Supreme power or authority,God's absolute right to all all things according to his own good pleasure Daniel 4:25, 35, Romans 9:15-23, Timothy 6:15, and Revelation 4:11.  Then the hope of his sovereignty is in my Life Verse Romans 8:28  "All things happen for the good for those called according to his purposes."  So wherever the road of life may take us, pit stops and all, if you are a child of God you can trust in knowing he can bring good even from the darkest moment of your life.  If you are not a child of His.....ask him to reveal himself to you, to call you to himself, to join his flock and be feed by the Shepherd.   

Thank you for sharing with me God's Golden Nuggets.  God Bless!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The day my life would never be the same again

Friday, November 12, 2011, I stood before hundreds of people in a Louisville, KY Conference Center, honored to be introducing one of CASA's(Court Appointed Special Advocates) board members to receive the award for KY CASA Board Member of the Year.  As I looked across the sea of smiling faces  my heart was warm knowing a very special woman was going to be acknowledged for her hard work,dedication, and loyalty to an organization that advocates for abused and neglected children. Little did I know my day would end on a much different note.  That warmness I felt that morning would end that evening with a cold, dark, emptiness.

I left Lousiville, KY that afternoon beginning my two hour trip home thanking the Lord for the blessings in my life. I had been forgiven for my transgressions and sins because Jesus died on the Cross for me, although, I was not worthy of his Grace. He blessed me with my husband of 14 years, two stepsons, and two beautiful girls we adopted through foster care system.  I had family, friends, church family that I loved.  I was going home to my husband  who had been  my best friend.  No one could make me laugh like him.  He was handsome, talented, compassionate.  However,  in all honesty, we had a very rough summer.  Our marriage went through some trials I never thought we would experience.  I questioned why a happy marriage took such a detour?  I questioned God why is this happening to us?  We were the couple people knew would always be together and enjoyed being together.  The past six months I did not recognize US anymore.  However, through all the doubts, questions, and confusion I kept clinging to my Heavenly Father's promises and who I knew had the answers to all my questions.  I prayed, fasted, cried, and yes, was even angry.  Whenever, I wanted to give up on my marriage the Lord clearly told me "no."   He told me no, because he knew the future, he designed the future.  He was doing so much more than restoring my marriage.  He was revealing himself to my husband in a way my husband had not yet received in his heart.  He was a believer and loved the Lord but he struggled allowing himself to be loved unconditionally by Christ.  He always felt he was "letting Christ down."  He wasn't good enough to be loved by Christ, which none of us are, but he loves us anyway.  He struggled knowing that a Holy Father could love him.  But our awesome, gracious, Father, showed my husband there was nothing he could do to earn his love.  Christ chose to love him, regardless of his actions.  My husband experienced unconditional love and grace and for that I would live those months of heartaches in our marriage all over again.  We were both working through our disappointments and finding that  "place in our hearts and marriage" again.  I was excited to get home, although, I knew he had to go to work that night.  But I wanted to see my two girls, hug my husband,  assure him everything was going to be alright.  I knew we would take one day at a time and get through whatever life had in store for us.  Well, how true this thought day at a time....whatever life has in store for us...but I was not going to be able to hug my husband, tell him  he was going to be alright. I would not be taking one day at a time with him because when I came home my husband was gone.  He was gone home to his gracious Saviour that recently revealed himself to my husband in miraculous ways.   However, he did not leave this world through a car accident, an illness, or any of  those things you would think a 48 year old man would die from. Later, we would find out he left this world being brutually assaulted by a man that we called our friend.  He was murdered the cause of death blunt head trauma.  Since there is an ongoing investigation, I can not give facts of the case or details of that night.  What I can say is I walked into my home with my two daughters.  They excitedly told me about their last 3 days at school.  They asked what was for supper?  I greeted my dog that had been left outside. I kept trying to call my husband confused why he was not answering his phone or did not pick the girls up from school.  His truck was gone, he should have been at home.  He had to go into work in a couple of  hours.   Later, I found him in our bedroom, and found a scene that I still can not block  from my mind.  My life quickly went into slow motion and I wanted to hit "rewind."   I did hug my husband as I looked forward to doing but there was no life in him.   I begged God for it to not be so.  I screamed my husband's name over and over.  There was no response from my husband only my daughters wails from the other room since I locked the door so they would not see this horrific sight.  I can not imagine what these girls only 10 and 6 years old thought hearing my cries of shock from the bedroom.  There are no words to express how you see something, feel something, experience something, but you are numb.  It is as if you are watching someone else's video play before you and you do not realize it is actually your life!  I think it is the brain's way of shutting down because if in the instance you realize it is your life, you feel the full extent of what is happening, I truly believe your heart could stop from the enormous weight of the pain.  I think it was God's way of giving me another breath, to take a step outside that room, leave my husband, and make that e that 911 call.  However, I did not even know what I was calling about.  I thought it was suicide.  I realize now the shock I must have been experiencing.  I know my husband would have never taken his life in our home for me and our girls to find him that way.  Plus, the extent of his injuries could not have been self inflicted and was not a gun shot wound as I perceived. But you see my brain could not fathom that someone did this to my husband.  That this was intentional on someone else's part.  My husband was one of the most loving and forgiving people I knew.  He did not have enemies.  He found good in everyone.  Who would have so much evil in them to take the life of anyone, especially someone like my husband?  I still do not have the answer to this question, WHY?  I feel I will never know the answer except to know we live in a fallen, wicked world full of sin.  It is moments like this that we must recognize Satan does seek to kill and destroy God's creation.  He hates us and will stop at nothing to destroy us.  However, regardless of the evil infllicted on my husband and our family, Satan is not victorious.  He may have meant to destroy my husband but as Paul said in the Bible "Having a desire to depart and be with Christ is far better."  I know my husband is far better than any of us still living in this evil, sinful world.  Although, my spiritual being knows this my carnal being aches for my husband's presence.  I want to look into his blue green eyes and hear that infectious laugh.  I want to listen to him strum his guitar and write another song.  I want to be blessed to see him minister to others that suffer from addictions.  I want to hear him give his testimony once again.  I want to feel his warm hands again so I will not recall the day his hands were cold, gray, and lifeless.  I want to know he will see my youngest daughter accept Christ and be baptized like he did our 10 year old daughter weeks before he died.  I want to attend my stepson's graduation with him.  I want to see him hold his new grandbaby in his arms.  I want him to escort our girls down the aisle on their wedding day.  I want to look at him across the room with our gray hair, glasses, and stooped over bodies and know a long life with him was good.  If  he had to leave this world before me I wanted to have time to tell him goodbye, be by his side when he took his last breath, not wonder how scared he was when he had to look evil in the eye and face his death alone.  My hope and peace is that he experienced what Stephen did in the bible when he was being stoned.  That the heavens opened up and he did not see a room full of violence and bloodshed but the glorious light of our Savior.  I trust in knowing regardless of what those last minutes of his life were like he now has no memory of that pain because he is in the presence of Christ.  He is living the lyrics of a song he often sang to others "It will be worth it after all."  I want all these things but for some reason some just where not God's plan.   Do I think God wants us to experience this kind of magnitude of evil, of course not.  But he is sovereign, has the final authority, over life and death.  Even if this is hard to accept it is the truth and what the word of God plainly says.  My life verse was Romans 8:28 which I will paraphrase "all things work to the good to those who love the Lord according to his purpose."  This scripture was easy to live by until I had to face my two young daugters and tell them their daddy was gone.  When they asked how, why, who and eventually through a police investigation would find out it was man that claimed to be a friend and a Christian.  A man that had been in our home with them and their daddy the past few days "hanging out with them" while mommy was out of town.  Litttle did any of us know evil literally lurked among us.  Although, this is true I also see where the Lord had his hand of protection on my daughters and me  before my husband's death, but it was my husband's time to leave this world.  It seems too early to me and all of us that loved him so much.  But just as God gives us life he also allows death.  I wait for the scripture of John 16:22 to be evident "Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you."   I take each day as a gift from God even among the pain and heartache.  I ask him to  draw me closer to him and further from the sin that caused the evil act that day in my home.  I plea for him to take this terrible tragedy and minister to someone, reveal himself through this tragedy, through me, through Scott's life and death, and know my husband's death would not be in van.  I ask YOU  reading this blog now  to sincerly ask the Lord to reveal himself to you whether it be the first time or in a new way.  Because when he does it is more evident who he is; the Author and Finisher of Life.  I just shared with you the darkess day of my life.  However, if you take the time to follow my blogs, I will also share with you God's golden nuggets.  The pieces of his devine plan that gets me through each day.  His mysterious but amazing ways he has other's paths to cross mine so we can share our life stories and pray for each other.  I can share with you that I do not know why my family had to experience this loss but I know God is with me and will never leave us or forsake us for he is our Shephard and we his sheep he will protect.  If you are not his sheep, I pray today he will ask you to join his flock and you will come.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Blogging God's Golden Nuggets

I was inspired by reading another woman's blog that lost her husband in December to begin my own blog. We both share a similar life, being a young widow, with two children, living this life of grief, challenges, fears, uncertainties, but still LIVING through the Grace and Power of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I have titled my Blog Site "God's Golden Nuggets" because I have found through all my pain and grief of losing my husband of 14 years years, experiencing a range of emotions, helping my children deal with their emotions, that no matter how gray the day would be....the grief so heavy I struggled to breathe, being so weary my feet felt heavy.....somewhere, somehow, I traveled through this dry desert of grief....there would come my oasis that would glisten with a precious golden gem.  Whether it came in a nugget of God's truth, his love, or his was my Golden Nugget from God.  It was the "piece" of his amazing grace that gave me "peace" to be steadfast another minute, another hour, another day.  As I travel this uncertain path that lies before me but the certainty God walks with me.......I invite YOU to walk with me and see what golden nuggets we can find together that our Father left for us.