There are so many events in each of our lives that can really test our faith; making us ask, “Why God, why are you allowing this to happen.” Over the past twenty-eight days through this writing challenge, I’ve described situations where you might expect me and my family to be screaming these words over and over. We are, most definitely, still very much in shock but our faith is what is keeping us strong. We know that death is inevitable for us all and what follows death is the most wonderful gift of all. Eternal life.
Early on, after our world was changed forever, I made a personal commitment to focus more on how we were blessed rather with than what we had lost. I was so thankful that JB was a smart spender and a very diligent saver. I was blessed with a twenty-year marriage that many struggle to have. I was blessed with babies. My babies were blessed with a father who loved them more than anything and showed them how he adored me too. His huge generosity could be seen through the actions of our village; everyone he worked with or volunteered with jumped in to help my family with whatever we needed. Our neighborhood and work communities were in shock as well but they all jumped in so quickly to keep our family from drowning in deep waters or getting lost in the darkest of valleys. They are still holding on to the life raft pulling us along. We are blessed by them. SO BLESSED!
Because of JB’s death, we have realized that we must wake up each day thankful that we are still alive; still having His amazing promise to look forward to! We see our world with such a different perspective. Life is precious; that is no joke. It can end at any time, whether you are ready or not. Even when you think you are ready to say goodbye to your loved one who might have been fighting for their life for a long time, you probably are not truly ready. “Just one more day, Lord. Just give us one more day.”
I feel so guilty; so disobedient with my faith. Yes, we are holding on to our faith even more than ever now. We see God’s goodness all around us even though we are grieving. We need His strength to keep us strong through this dark time. But, I feel guilty for not always making God, living like Jesus did, our biggest priority every day before JB’s death. Oh, don’t get me wrong, we were faithful and giving and loving, but maybe we were more halfhearted in our actions. Because of this flakiness, we were more vulnerable to letting worldly temptations run our lives.
Even with our faith growing stronger and stronger, my children have asked me this question several times, “Why did God choose to take Daddy away from us? Why?!!” Breaks my heart to hear this every time and I can’t deny having the same question. My response to my children is always, “Sometimes in our lives, we will be tested; our faith will be tested. This is our opportunity to give it all up to God. To tell Him that we may not completely understand but we trust in Him.” It’s a message that I am saying to them while trying to keep this front and center in my own heart!
Here in this mortal world, there will be hunger, pain, grief, unfair treatments, poverty, sickness. There will also be beautiful mountains, gorgeous valleys, forests filled with amazing creatures of all sizes, deep waters that are filled with God's glorious treasures. There will be people who tear you down but then there will be beautiful music that brings you back to who is really in control. If we don't experience pain, we may never see, and appreciate, the beauty in the valleys.
We need to also be blessed by all the tests! "Thank you, Father God, for throwing me tests of this mortal world that will allow me to grow stronger and closer to your love. Amen."