He's Creating Something New In Me
He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds (Psalm147:3 (NLT)). This was the verse that I recited over and over when my husband of almost 28 years passed away suddenly last August. I was in shock and completely dumbfounded. As my daughter, mother-in-law, uncle, and myself stood along the side of the road watching the EMTs do everything they could to revive him, we were in a daze. Nothing they did or could do would bring him back to life. As people gathered, many of them began to pray. I prayed. My mother-in-law prayed. The EMTs were able to get him on the stretcher and into the ambulance. They gave me directions to the hospital because they did not want me to try to keep up with them. I got his mother and our daughter in the car and tried my best to remember where they said to go. As I was driving I had no words of assurance for either of them. I had no words at all. However, I could feel the Holy Spirit speak strength to my heart and mind to accept the will of God at this appointed time. When we arrived at the hospital, we began to collect ourselves and wait for any answers. Not more than five minutes passed, when they came to escort us to the ‘Family Room’. I thought maybe it was because it was so crowded in the ER and there was really no room for us. I knew the truth when a doctor came in, followed by the Chaplain. How could this day have turned so quickly? What was going on? “I don’t understand, God!” “What are you doing?!” “I’m not ready!” “I didn’t even get to say good-bye.”
In the months following, I dealt with many, many challenges that I had never imagined that I would have to face. I was sad. I was lonely. I was hurt. I was angry. I was a lot of things that I did not expect to ever be. In the midst of my struggle, I found that I could only find peace in the Word of God. When I couldn’t sleep at night, I would read the Bible and wait for Him to hear me. David said that he had waited patiently for the Lord, so I figured I should, too(Psalm 40:1). Eventually, when I was ready and had realized that He had not done this to hurt me, I heard Him. He reminded me of His love for me even in my stubbornness, anger, and bitterness. His plan was to help me and to give me an expected end (Jeremiah 29:11). Unfortunately, our conversation did not start with the good stuff. It had to begin with the examination of what, where, and how He was really trying to help me. To my surprise, His evaluation was rather painful and difficult to digest. Even so, it was true. He revealed many things to me in that moment and has continued to do so in my new journey to reconnect more intimately with Him and to realize just who He intends for me to become.
First, He revealed to me that while my husband was the head of our household and the priest of our home, I had entrusted him to be the moral and righteous guide of our family just because he had been our pastor for many years. While I did my best to live Christ-like, I had placed the responsibility of knowing what that actually meant on my husband. He was one of the smartest people I knew. If I could be truthful, I didn’t think it was my responsibility to correct the man of God. I was just supposed to follow his lead as God led him. I remember saying to my husband just before he died that I did not want all the material things that he could offer me. I told him, “I just want you”. In the middle of a quiet moment, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that my one desire should be to want God. Brian was temporary, but God is eternal. It was not Brian that provided for me and my family, protected me and my family, or covered me and my family. It was GOD. He should be my real focus and pursuit. We should love the ones that He has given us, but we should never love them more than our Creator.
We each have our own responsibility to follow the Spirit of God who isthe Holy and Righteous one. He and Healone knows how to truly teach us and guide us in the way we should go.
Second, He helped me to see that I had spent so much time taking care of everyone else. I made sacrifices to help them reach their goals and dreams. I had left multiple jobs to allow Brian to pursue his career. I had been countless nights at ballgames, school events, band camps, church meetings, ministry rehearsals, and so much more. I did it willingly to help them because I loved them and I love ministry. My spiritual gifts survey even said that I have the gift of Giving. Unfortunately, I did not consider what I was giving and how much I was giving up to show my family how much I loved them. I had given so much to them that I had nothing left for myself and that also meant I had nothing left for God. I had faith and I prayed, but I did not have the power that I once had. I had poured so much out that I had nothing left to pour, yet I had not sacrificed my personal relationships in order to refill by communing with God. Because God is so gracious, He sustained me.He missed me. And, yes, I missed Him, too.
Ultimately, I have come to realize in this season of my life that God is wanting me to create space for Him in my life and my heart. He wants to fill the void that has come with the absence of my husband. God has never left me. He has been by my side all the days of my life, but I have become keenly aware of His presence during these recent months following Brian’s death. Brian was God’s gift to me to share life and create memories. He was not mine. God is saying to me that I am His as well and that He desires to create an even more intimate relationship with me while I have no other distractions. In this season, He wants to create something new in my life. I like how Isaiah 43:19 says it. “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” As much as I miss my husband, his laughter and his smile, I am so excited to see what God is going to do in and through my life. I must admit…I have great expectations for what He is about to create in me.