Eight years ago today I became a single mother. My best friend, husband and the father of my children passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack at the age of 48. My children were two and five. The amount of questions overwhelmed me. How were we going to survive? What do I do with the house? How do I tell my children? How will this impact the children? Are we going to have to move? Should I move away? Where would I go? Who is going to teach my boys how to ride a bike?
The uncertainty of my future caused me to go into a state of mental shock. I began to gasp for air just to speak. For an entire week, I stuttered and wheezed when I talked, which is a form of post-traumatic stress syndrome. I was worried about the church and non-profit that we started. Who is going to pastor the church?
When I look back to the day that my husband passed, I am reminded not just of the grief and sadness of loosing him, but the insurmountable questions that loomed in my brain. Yet, at each turn, I kept hearing a still small voice telling me that everything was going to be okay. I felt like God granted me peace in the midst of the storm by just saying it is okay.
Often when a woman is pregnant, the mother and father work tirelessly to prepare for the baby. They work to prepare the room, the crib, the car seat and the clothes. They make sure that they have diapers, wipes and bottles. All of this work is done ahead of time so that when the baby comes the baby will not be in need in any way. Can you imagine a new born baby in the arms of their father saying, “Dad, I don’t have any clothes? What am I going to do?” or “Dad, where am I going to sleep? What am I going to eat?” That child has no idea that everything was done for them before they even entered the world.
Hebrews 4:3 says, “For we who have believed do enter that rest…although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” We can rest because Father God has prepared everything for us from before the foundation of the world. He has already taken care of all of our needs, problems and challenges. Therefore, we should enter into a rest knowing that it’s already taken care of and everything will be okay.
So, now I look back eight years later and every one of these questions God answered. He called me to become the pastor of the church that my husband started. Today, that church is still thriving and growing. My children are both amazing young men who are brilliant and well-adjusted, despite spending the last eight years of their life without their father. God even dealt with who was going to teach the boys to ride a bike. One day my oldest child was around 7 and he took the training wheels off and taught himself how to ride a bike. By the grace of God, he also taught his younger brother to ride a bike.
Every question, every worry, every concern, God took care of before the foundation of the world. I didn’t know it in the middle of the storm. I couldn’t see it when grief and stress were overwhelming me. But God took care of every issue and detail.
Each year, I get a little sad that my husband is no longer with us because we miss him. But, I am more overjoyed and thankful that Father God has blessed us to make it through another year. I enter into a time of great praise for the goodness of God that I have seen in my life. I release a shout of praise that we are alive and healthy. I give God glory for our church that is continuing to touch people with the gospel of Jesus in spite of the loss of our founder.
No matter how difficult the storm you may face today, or how overwhelming the questions may seem, know that God has already taken care of the solution before the foundation of the world. Relax, take a deep breath and begin to praise God that everything is going to be okay.
This anniversary of my husband’s death, I will do what I’ve been doing for eight years now. I will praise the Lord. I will bless the Lord. I will worship the Lord. I will declare the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Why? Because, even before I became a widow, but especially since the day I became a widow, God has been faithful to me.