Tag Archives: husband

No truer love

Do you ever feel like you aren’t who you are supposed to be? Who you have been told you should be?

As a Christian widow I felt I was supposed to be emulating the bible character of Ruth: loving, faithful, loyal and courageous. But I was more like Gomer, do you even remember her? She was unfaithful, no self worth, couldn’t see beautiful, or the unconditional love offered her. Hosea, a prophet obedient to God, chose Gomer to be his wife. She was from the wrong side of the tracks and turned her back on his love over and over again.

I felt similar in the early days of my grief.  I didn’t care if God loved me. I couldn’t see it, and I couldn’t believe it. I was lost in grief and my world was pain and sorrow. Abandoned by my husband, where was this Good God? Frankly I didn’t care. He had killed my husband.

Over the years I had heard all kinds of conflicting messages from the pulpit. Like if you don’t pray hard enough God won’t look after you. Or if you don’t have enough faith you won’t be healed. That God helps those who help themselves and cleanliness is next to Godliness. What a load of hogwash!

Yes hogwash … I had broken all those rules, yet after a good while, I began to see it differently.

His promise was true even when I was not. His provision was full when I was empty. Unyielding, unfeeling, unworthy… yet taken care of. A Husband doting on his wife that cared not. No matter how sad or mad I was at Him, the greater the care and provision I felt. He was Hosea, I was Gomer.

I discovered an incredible truth…God’s unconditional love had absolutely nothing to do with my actions. It was and is ever present and true regardless of my actions. I have the choice to see it or not see it. He does not. He just does. My faith has become that simple, that uncomplicated.

I might not be a giant in faith or have an uncomplicated track record, but I know what I know. I know Who I belong too, I know Truth that untangles my mess and I know Love that just doesn’t let go.

No matter what Gomer did to Hosea he kept loving her and bringing her home. Nothing she did was too bad as to sever his commitment to her. I might be Gomer, but my love story of many chapters also tends upward. No doubt I have many lessons yet to learn, trials to face. But I have a deep assurance that in every season I am not alone. My rearguard is sure and solid.

He is Hosea, I am Gomer.


You Loved Me Well

383384_10200668001495730_496952534_nWhat was it that felt so much like love? What was that thing that sent my heart racing, and had it keep up pace over 20 years? You loved me so well, I will always be thankful for that.

It wasn’t an action, an event or words. It was who you were, who you still are in my heart. I am forever changed; forever will I know what true love is. Whether I have that again or not. I knew a love with you that stirred me to grow. Stirred me to look beyond myself and try to offer that love in return. Now, with you gone, I can still do that, still offer what I have. That’s an amazing gift.

We were certainly not a perfect couple, and trouble found us like it does everyone. There are things I would rather forget, I would be happy if they fell out of my circuit of memories and just left me with warm thoughts. But, those times were part of us, part of fighting it out, working it out and loving still. They showed me that hard times do not equal rejection, hate or punishment. But that loves uneasy times can serve to strengthen us as much as the good ones.

I need that now my Honey, to know that the hard times serve a purpose and that I can still draw on the love you invested in my heart. There is a deep well that will benefit me for a long, long time.

I still miss your touch, your warmth beside me, racing home to tell you something before anyone else in the world, the way you loved to kiss way longer than I did, your unabashed checking me out and goofy love stares that I couldn’t match. I miss all of you.

You’re nearly a year gone from me. It’s ridiculous how time and life can go on and by without you. But I have found it does. So I have a choice.  I can stay locked in my memories of you or I can choose to move on and keep making memories that you aren’t in. The former is tempting, it’s quite a safe place, but it’s a very lonely place. Of course you are forever in my heart, part of my heart and soul. Part of who I have become. I cannot and will not deny that. But I must move forward or the absence of life that casts unrelenting shadows will strangle me. I must choose to live, you know that right? I think you do, I think that’s what you’d prefer, because love prefers the other, you taught me that.

You loved me well.


Lonely

Loneliness rounds me up in circles and then jumps up and bites me on the bum! So unexpected and more brutal than I had ever imagined possible.

I spent 21.5 years with Paul, dreaming the same dreams, planning things, facing disasters – you know life!

Then he was gone.

Just gone.

My mind couldn’t comprehend what was happening. I remember a swirl of emotions, knowing I didn’t want him to suffer, but wanting him to live,I  felt sucked down by the reality of what was happening in front of me. A horror movie …and I couldn’t find the off switch.

It took me 6 months to realize that horror movie was in fact my life. No more reliance on numbness or simple denial, realities wanted me to face them. I hate you realities. You are very very cruel. Reality doesn’t allow you the luxury of believing the mind tricks that it is just all a cruel joke. So I woke up and Paul wasn’t here.

Just gone.

He lives vividly in my mind, in my heart and every deep place within me, but it’s not the same. I want to get mad at someone, but it’s no ones fault. I don’t like the medical process that he went through, but I believe they were trying to help Paul live, I can’t hate them for that.  Guilt swallows any chance of getting mad at Paul, he did leave me, but not by choice.

So I’m only left with being mad at myself. Weird? Maybe. But I get mad at being lonely, mad for not doing more, mad for not understanding our finances more, mad at everything I have to do that demands I say out loud Paul died. A woman asked me about my husband today, she didn’t know, it was like a punch in the stomach…I get mad at that.

I don’t want to be lonely, I want to be enough. To never want anyone else’s affection or love. To be alone, but happy to be alone. Big problem there, I am not happy to be alone. I don’t believe we are designed for loneliness, but for togetherness, for families. So no, I haven’t figured it all out yet. And friends in faith, relax, I have not turned my back on God. Instead I look at Him straight up and plead “How?” Say a prayer for me as you turn to snuggle your partner tonight because one day you may feel lonely too and then I will say a prayer for you.

I have a certainty that I will not let go of, that God is for me, not against me. That He loves me first, before I even wake up each day. So I will sort this sucker out beyond platitudes, I just don’t have all the answers today. Today I just felt lonely.


What’s in a Name?

whats in a a name

A name locates me. A name, something I am called, something I answer to and recognize. It’s a familiarity that grabs my attention and asserts my focus. So why change it? (The blogs’ name, not my actual name.) Because I am changing, what locates me is changing.

What’s changing? The 2.6 of you that may actually read this asks! Well…Love letters to Paul is an extreme personal thing that I felt to do in order to kind of leak some of the love for my husband out into the world. To show that true love exists, not perfect, but true. True love changes people, it changed me, and it will continue to do so. Not just romantic love, but including romantic love. As the fog lifts, the shock wears off, and you begin to recover from the horridness of the shock wearing off (never underestimate the benefits of shock!!) new questions spring to mind. Now what? Who am I now? How do I…? So many things. My partner is gone, with me forever, but so not present. I wish he was, I wish it every day, but he’s not and the shock and denial do need to wane. I have to go on. I can love him forever, and ever, and ever, but I need to surface and live the life I’m left with.

Life after Loss is just that. As I try to answer the questions my soul is asking and dare to try to move forward…without Paul. It’s with pure reluctance that I do, yet necessary for me, my kids, my purpose, and my life. I am pretty sure that “Love Letters to Paul” will still be written in my heart, and maybe on this page, so to that end, they will remain here categorized as such.

My bridegroom, my God, waits to care, welcoming and totally able to help me face this life you and I must live. As I find a truth I will share it, and I hope my journey can bless you. Hope shared not pity, life shared not just pain. Pain is a part of life, but not the only part. There are some big things to tackle, loneliness, purpose, career, single parenthood to name a few, but one day at a time and each in its own time.  There will be life after this tremendous loss and I am just about that stubborn as to find it.

“For your Maker is your bridegroom, his name, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
Your Redeemer is The Holy of Israel, known as God of the whole earth.
You were like an abandoned wife, devastated with grief, and God welcomed you back,
Like a woman married young and then left,” says your God.

……It’s with lasting love that I’m tenderly caring for you. “ (Is 54: 5-8 The Message)


Love in my life.

Love in my life.

I am glad to have love in my life. So glad that I had you to love and share with.

Lots of people fall in love and then just kind of coexist. We really shared love. To be fair we didn’t create it; it was created for us and given to us. God did that, He authored love. We knew His love, shared that and it grew to be our love. Our threefold cord.  I am so very very grateful.

So what now that you aren’t beside me anymore? Always a part of me, always in my heart of course, but in so many ways you are gone. For this moment, I lay aside the sadness to glimpse beyond and see, I need to see.  I choose to see.

The love in my life is changing again, shifting out of a physical realm and settling back in the folds of His grace. It’s a sweet place that offers comfort, warmth and protection. I need those things. My threefold cord has had a strand ripped away, not as strong as it once was, but stronger than it was yesterday.

My cup isn’t overflowing yet, but it will again one day. I still have love. Love I can share, love that can grow, love that is capable of more than I could ever hope or imagine.

Love in my life.

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I love you xx

Every time I step outside after dark I look up and see the stars you loved so much. It draws me back to sitting with you around camp fires. Sometimes, at home, I’d wander where you were only to find you standing outside soaking in the vastness, the beauty, the Heavens. I bet you have a great view now. I hope you do. Sometimes I wander, can you see me? See the kids? Do you think of us, we think of you, I think of you all the time. I get a coffee, I think of you. I drive your car, I think of you. I see your dog’s sad eyes, I think of you. Your side of our bed, I long for you.

I know that it’s easy to be romantic or idealistic when I remember you, I get to choose the memories I ponder on. But often, my thoughts about you spring into my head because I see something you made, or fixed, your clothes and after shave where you left them, your tools, your saddle and I remember you, the real you. And I love the real you. Scrunched leather cowboy hat sitting crookedly on your head, horse nibbling at it, trying to get your apple and a smile on your face. I remember how you spoke with passion, your  deep voice, your strong hands that held mine.

Thank you Honey, for loving me, for caring about the world, for being alongside me for 21 years. They weren’t always easy times, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Thank you for the way you loved me, with purity, strength, zeal, and passion. You taught me a lot about love and how to be loved. I wasn’t always good at that, but you never gave up trying to make me feel like the apple of your eye. You changed me in many ways, I am better because you love me.

I miss you my love, my friend. I ache missing you, no words able to express the longing that gapes through me when I when I remember you, the real you. I wish we could marvel at the night sky and I could kiss you goodnight even once more… but I would never let you go.

I love you Paul. I always will.

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