August 21, 2013 Today marks what would have been my 20th wedding anniversary. I remember my wedding day like it was yesterday, I was so excited but very nervous as I was finally marrying the man I had dated and dreamed of marrying for 6 and half years!!! We began dating the end of my junior year of high school and the end of his senior year. We were a match made in Heaven and even though we were complete opposites we had grown into a couple who complemented one another very well. Even though our dating relationship had been less that perfect with our fair share of ups and downs we had committed our hearts and lives to the Lord, we had completed a quite extensive premarital counseling and felt ready to embark on the rest of our life committment as we entered into the covenant of marriage. We got married in front of God and 350 of our family and friends on what was the hottest day of that summer! Todd's uncle officiated the wedding as he is a Methodist Minister which made it extra special! We had an appetizer reception in the Fellowship Hall of the First United Methodist Church in Carrollton, Texas. We even had an Elvis impersonator perform at the reception as Todd was a HUGE Elvis fan!! Oh boy do I have stories to tell of our Elvis adventures, more on that later. =) As we left the church Todd was dressed in an Elvis jumpsuit he had been given by his groomsmen and I was wearing a 60's style dress with my hair in an up do so everyone commented that we looked like Elvis and Priscilla. We headed to Maui for our honey moon and thus began what I though would be our Happily Ever After...
August 13, 2011
I remember that day as if it happened yesterday as well. This day was a day full of excitement as we had driven 9 hours the days before with a team of about 15 from our newly planted church in Austin to Joplin, MO to be the hands and feet of Jesus as we were there to help in the relief effort as they had experienced one of the worst and most devastating tornadoes in US history just 3 months earlier. We had two teams working and the team Todd and I were one had the job of clearing the rubble and remaining debris from a house so that the foundation was clean and ready to begin the rebuilding process. All seem good until Todd began feeling bad. To the point he stopped working several times, sweating profusely and then in an instant was on his knees to weak to stand. When I asked him if I should call 911 he said, "yes" and it was then I knew something was terribly wrong. The next minutes and hours became a complete blur as Todd was taken to the hospital where Dave one of the men on our team and I followed behind and within minutes was told Todd's heart had stopped and they were not having any success getting it started. How could this be happening I remember thinking?? He was fine just a minute ago??
It was at that point I think I was going into shock but everything in me said, I need to see him. I said to the doctor, "I am not sure if you are a man a faith but I am a women of faith and I want to pray over my husband." He said, "okay and we haven't given up but I just wanted to let you know it's not looking good."
So as we walked into the room and I saw Todd laying on the table with tubes coming out of everywhere. There were about 8 or more people in the room, one person after another doing chest compressions on him and my once, strong and very larger than life husband was laying there pale and lifeless. I threw myself over his body and began to pray and cry out to God to start his heart again! "Oh God your created his heart and I believe you can start it back again. I NEED him, his kids NEED him, his church NEEDS him!! Oh GOD PLEASE I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT HIM!!!! In that moment I had GREAT FAITH that God could heal Todd and make his heart start BUT God said no. God chose to take Todd home to Heaven that day leaving me and so many of his family, friends, church family and thousand of others wondering what God was up to. He passed away just 8 days before our 18 year wedding anniversary.
August 13, 2013
As much as my heart wanted life to stop on August 13, 2011 my mind, trust and faith in Gods plan for my life and all those whose knew Todd did not let me throw in the towel. My kids are one of the biggest reasons I have kept going and the countless prayers, texts, messages and love from so many friends and family are a HUGE reason I keep going as well! Life has moved on as much as I really, really did not want it to many days. Oh how I LOVED my old life BUT now I am adjusting more to my new life. It is good and full of new JOY, PEACE, LOVE and HOPE for the future!
Psalm 91:1&2, "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust."
Proverbs 3:5&6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight!"
So instead of having a day of sadness on August 13th we chose to celebrate a life well lived!! I learned so many things from my amazing husband and one of those things was his love for life and family! He always made sure we celebrated all the good things in our lives and if he could make a reason to celebrate we would! So I decided to take my family to one of Todd's favorite places... S. Padre Island! We headed out with our camper , this was only our second trip since purchasing the camper one month ago =) We spent Todd's homecoming at the BEACH!! The ocean, sand and sun have always made me and my kids happy, and my mother in love joined us as well! Her birthday was August 14th and I wanted her to have a special day and she also loves the beach!! When we arrived my mind was flooded by so many sweet memories of this place with Todd. The last trip we had taken was 3 years earlier where we had actually borrowed my Dad's pop up camper and stayed in the same park that we did this time. My kids had a blast, we enjoyed every bit of our time in SPI. We remembered many old memories and created many new ones! I praise God for allowing us to have such a special and sweet time on a week that could have been much different!
So we have now officially made it two years without my husband, soul mate, spiritual leader and my kids have adjusted well to life without their Daddy. We are making it by Gods grace and with His strength, love and support and with the prayers and love of so many of you! For which I am eternally grateful!
I realize on this day, what would have been our 20th anniversary. That this life no matter how hard I try to plan and create a fairly tale world. God is ultimately in control. Psalm 139:16b, all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Proverbs 19:21, "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevail."
I learned a long time ago that my best laid plans pale in comparison to the incredible things God has in store for me. I do believe I will see the goodness in the Lord in the land of the living. My life today is not as good as it gets! I am choosing today to trust in Gods ultimate best purpose for me and know that my Happily Ever After is coming, just not in this life!
Happy anniversary Babe, I will love you always!!
Because of Gods GREAT LOVE and Purpose, I can still Live For More,