When someone that is very close to you passes away, it leaves a huge gap in your life. After my husband passed away, so many questions flooded my mind.
“Who am I?
Am I still a wife?
Does this mean I have to start over?
Why was I chosen to walk this life as a widow at the age of 26?”
I remember asking God several questions and feeling overwhelmingly unprepared for this moment. The weight of what was ahead of me felt too massive to be reserved for just one person to carry. That was mistake number one. God has not called us to carry the weight of grief and tragedy on our shoulders, but to surrender every ounce for Him to carry. He called me to this very specific assignment. One that I would have never chosen for myself. He knew my heart and its capacity to be able to walk out a tragic loss such as this. The same goes for you. The tragedy and obstacles that you’ve experienced in your life are not to just serve as markers of damage done to your heart, but rather, growing pains that are a part of your story. My perspective wasn’t always this way.
I wrestled (and quite frankly still do at times) with the parts that didn’t make any sense in my human mind. In the midst of the wrestling and the prayer, I saw grace staring me right in the face. I thought death would rob me of my breath. I thought that the long dark nights of weeping would never bring morning to shine my life again. Hours turned into days, days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and months turned into two years. Today marks two years that my husband stepped into eternity. What a divine encounter that must have been.
Curtis was the type of person that lit up the room. There wasn’t a place he’d enter where people didn’t know his name. Such a hilarious persona with a heart of pure gold. I know that all of this is working together to bring forth the very best that God is gifting me. God is a good God and he’d never allow for me to stay stuck in sorrow from grieving the most precious relationship I valued on earth.
And so here we are, two years later. As I type these words, I can feel my eyes fill up with tears just thinking about the strategic attack and pursuit the enemy has had on my life. My refusal to submit to his lies has come from the resilience to hold on to the giver of life. The evidence of His hand on my life is seen in every breath that I take. Never will I question His love for me because I witness it everyday. The reality is, my life will never be the same. Losing Curtis changed me.
This life of being single again continues to come with unforeseen challenges that unfortunately don’t provide specific instructions. I believe that grief doesn’t come with an expiration date. As my life continues to unravel there are going to be many first time experiences without my Curtis. I do believe that God will continue to be the anchor that sustains me and embraces me to confront those heart wrenching moments.
“…till death do us part.”
Our forever was a little different and shorter than expected, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. From meeting him in the cafeteria of our high school, to the very last moments I saw his back turn toward the door to leave our studio apartment, I’d do it again. I know I was called to be his wife, it was one of my greatest rewards. To love a flawed man with the eyes of Jesus, was such a beautiful reflection of God’s love for me.
This year has been a roller coaster. One that was filled with many many lessons, but I am wiser because of them. The joy that I experience from God’s presence in my life continues to give me the strength to abandon my own plans and trust that he’s writing the most beautiful story.
Curtis will always be a part of my life. I often hear him in my outrageous laugh or even in my thoughts when thinking about how he’d love the bomb vegetarian dishes I cook for myself. There’s a special part of my heart that has his name tucked and stored forever. Some memories bring tears to my eyes but most bring smiles and random bursts of laughter. My sweet guy is in eternity and gets to celebrate with his Heavenly Father. God’s timing is so divine, I don’t question it one bit. Imagining Curtis’ face as he entered the open arms of unfailing love and hearing “Well done, my good and faithful servant”, will forever be the impetus that keeps my eyes on eternity.
Take a minute to hug your loved ones a little longer tonight or even take a cute selfie while you’re at it. Enjoy every single moment of their presence that is gifted to you. This life is such a temporary thing. Eternity is what we live for and I cannot wait to see Curtis (and all of my other family members) again! Now that brings such a huge smile to my face.
God continues to give me beauty for the ashes in my life. I am so honored to be called his daughter. There is an inheritance with my name written all over it, and I will live every single day with purpose, even the hard ones. To witness God working all things together for my good takes on a whole new meaning when “all things” involve the pieces of your heart. I continue to witness his love and pursuit of my heart and it is because of this that I know I belong to him.