As I continue to process my life and navigate through waters that are becoming a bit more familiar. I am getting more used to caring for my kids alone, going to dinner alone, watching movies alone and even attending church alone. I recently began a new year of Bible Study Fellowship. It is hard to believe but this will be my 14th year studying Gods word this way. I realized before the study began that this would be the third time I will studying the Book of Genesis. The first year that I studied Genesis with BSF was 1998 and Todd and I had been married 5 years and we were living in Denton each of us working secular jobs along with doing volunteer student ministry at Denton Bible Church. We were enjoying life and really had not a care in the world. Fast forward to 2005 and we were living in Sherman and had been in full-time ministry for 5 years, had a precious 2-year-old, Jackson and I was beginning Genesis with my adorable red-head in tow. Life again seemed to be plugging along nicely! Sure there had been several really hard things happen between 1998-2005 like the death of my sister, failed IVF treatments, we entered into full-time ministry but at this point LIFE WAS GOOD, I had my man (we were a united team), I had my long-awaited child and we were living a life of dependence on our BIG GOD! So then fast forward 7 years to 2012. I am living in Austin, a widow, single Mom and as a woman who has walked through the most difficult year of her life! As I think about the start of this new year studying Genesis for the third time in over a decade. I realize I am about to study the Book of Beginnings... WOW! Oh how I am in need of a new beginning!! I recently took Jackson to his first college football game. We watched the University of Texas play New Mexico. The Longhorns slaughtered them 45 to 0. We were blessed with great seats and Jackson beamed from ear to ear as he soaked in the team spirit and atmosphere of his first college game! I so enjoyed this first with my little buddy but I have to admit I did have several moments of wishing my football loving husband was with us taking in this magical night. I even had a flash back to 20 years ago when Todd and I along with many of our friends from UNT came to UT to watch The Mean Green Eagles play the Longhorns, what a memorable night that was to say the least!
Then fast forward a few weeks, I decided to take my kids to the State Fair in Dallas with my in-laws. This was an annual event that we did every year with Todd. I think we had only missed two years of the fair in the past 25. He LOVED everything about the fair. My kids and the family along with a sea of humanity walked and ate our way through the fair. We definitely created some great new memories, my kids had the best time! I did however have moments of flash back memories and wished he was with us. The hardest part of the whole experience was coming back home that night and crawling into a very cold empty bed. I of course am getting used to sleeping alone but it was the first cold night so the reminder of my loss hit me anew. I prayed to God to help me be content with my life and fall asleep quickly. He answered the sleep request and I know He is still working with my heart on the contentment prayer =) I miss Todd like crazy that is no doubt but I am choosing to move on. I am focusing on what I have and what is still to come...
As I enter my second October without Todd and as I plan for my second holiday season without him I feel as though my heart is better. Still not whole and completely healed but better. Todd is not coming back that is for sure but it is okay to smile, laugh and celebrate while also cherishing the memories of the life we had. I will continue to create new beginnings and new memories as my Eternal Love guides me.
A song that is new to me and one that I have fallen in love with as I have sung it at church the past several Sundays is King of Love. I have shared the first verse and chorus which are the parts that I cling to and resonate with most:
The King of love my shepherd is
Whose goodness never faileth
I nothing lack if I am His
And He is mine forever
Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul He leadeth
From heights above to cavern low
With constant love He feedeth
My lips will praise Oh King of Love
Who sealed my heart for realms above
In sin and shame came mercy’s flood
I run to you Oh King of Love
Thank you Jesus for showing me a very real and tangible LOVE, for being my Shepherd, my constant companion and for continuing to direct my path! It is because of your unfailing love and goodness I can Live For More my King of LOVE! You are worthy of all my heart, my love and praise! May I always run to YOU and may your love always be enough!
PS "Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us" (Ephesians 3:20) I am reading an incredible book on prayer called, A Praying Life" by Paul E. Miller. In it he says, "We can dream, big because God is big. If you wait, your heavenly Father will pick you up, carry you out into the night, and make your life sparkle. He wants to dazzle you with the wonder of his love." I LOVE that!!!