Friday, August 9, 2013


I have not written in this blog in a LONG time. I have had many "that would be good for the blog" moments but for one reason or another I didn't write. In a nutshell though, we are doing really well. Girls are growing up too fast, so I am not missing a moment of it!  We are so blessed!  I need to be better at updating not so people know about me, but because Judy and I made a pact that we would carry this blog on to help other young women in similar situations. 
The other night I was emailing a close friend that is helping me with some projects around the house and planning a girls trip.  As I was about to close the email, I started unexpectedly journal the feelings I have felt for the past weeks, but could not quite put them into words. This is what I wrote...with the help of The Holy Spirit.  
"On another note, but kind of on the same, I think I am going through a new phase of all this "grieving" process. They say it is different for everyone and it is so true. In the past 3.5 years I have lived life and carried on my role of whom I became [9 years ago] - wife and mother. It has not been easy to let go of the wife identity. I think it was easier for me to carry on like that (or at times thought I would meet someone and instantly be "wife"again). It has taken me these past 3.5 years for me to be able to let go of that role [and identity].  It recently came to mind that part of the reason it has been so hard is that Mark and I had made 1 and 3 year goals (the January before). [We actually sat down, discussed, dreamt and wrote them down]. 
I have accomplished most of the goals, at least the ones achievable without him. Things I never in my dreams thought I would do without him. Things that hurt so much to not  have him physically next to me and our girls - [yes that "unfathomable" pain.  The amazing part to all this is that not once did I sit down and tell myself I had to achieve these goals... All have been presented to me - almost on a golden platter - all I have asked for is for God's will to be done.  It has been so amazing to see how loving, gentle and generous God has been with me.  And amazing to share all of this with my daughters. 
 What got me through each of those things was my faith of him [Mark] being right next to us. ..allowing us to never feel alone. The girls and I have spoken about him so much and being such an amazing father and man, I am happy that we have had this time together, the 3 of us, so the girls could get to know - through me- who Mark was as a father and husband and how our marriage worked.  It has helped me validate my married years.[ The short almost 6 years I was married were truly wonderful and full of love. His love for our family has given me incredible strength.]
As I plan for this next year, I am realizing we can do new things, visit new places, make new choices and make decisions with confidence because we are ok.  
..... I am feeling somewhat released yet so loved. It is so hard to describe what I have felt. I have realized that my mom had been so right...she would say that I was completely in love with Mark still. [She would tell me that I still had that glow when I talked about him and that I was not ready.]. I told her "of course I was in love, he was my husband and we loved each other very much!" (and in my head I would tell myself "he is"). I have had to let go gradually... Very slowly. It all happened so quickly.  I know now what emotions to let go and what to keep holding on to. I am ok with being a wife in the past and not being one now, because I am doing the best job I can being a mom and I have honored Mark everyday in that way. 

It is time for newness. I am released. I am confident. I am happy. A facelift to the house (keeping it humble though), venturing out, and living my life the way it is now and liking it even more. Thank you God that I have this in my heart. Please preserve it. 


I became a widow on the third day of my thirty-first year.  Widowed at thirty-one and now a single mom to a son who was one year, three months and three days old.  The single mom thing wasn’t new as I had been without a spouse for sixteen months.  Sixteen months he unconsciously fought for his life in a hospital bed before finally being called Home. 

The months after Keith died are a blur, but one day I was finally ready to start thinking about the future.  I whole-heartedly believed that there was a future for me as well as for my son, Brooks, but I didn’t know what that future looked like.  In my mind I knew what I wanted, but I didn’t know if what I wanted existed. 

I remember finally deciding that I needed to move on.  I didn’t know if the Lord had someone else out there for me, but I knew I needed to allow myself to be open to the idea.  I began to think about this possibility and I came up with two options:  I hold out for the perfect man – someone who meets my criteria for husband material as well as father material – or I find someone that I am compatible with to be an excellent father to Brooks. 

The perfect man would be nearly impossible to find.  I wanted someone that had never married before and didn’t have any children.  I was hoping there was someone out there that fit that criteria because he was too busy focusing on his career and never met the right woman rather than having some giant character flaw that kept him single.  I wanted someone who was sharp and funny and kind and generous.  I wanted someone who loved the Lord and loved children.  And since I was making this list of the man who probably didn’t exist, I added one final desire that would knock out 99.9% of the male population – I wanted someone who knew Keith.  I wanted someone who knew the man that I loved with all of my being because then he would truly understand the heartache that I endured for so long and be able to be patient with me as I lived this thing called life. 

The good father would be easier to find.  I knew he was out there.  I was certain I could find someone that I cared for and who would be a good father to Brooks.  I remember wondering if I should just take one for the team.  Should I find someone that I could potentially love, not be in love with, so that Brooks can have a father?  Should I settle for less than what my heart wanted and marry someone so that Brooks can have that male influence from someone other than his grandfathers and uncles?  Or do I hold out for the perfect man who would meet the needs of both husband AND father?

This was a tough decision and I finally realized that I had to let it go.  I released the burden of my future and decided to live in the present, knowing and being satisfied that I might possibly live out my days as a widowed, single mom. 

There was such freedom in releasing this choice; it was no longer my decision to make because I gave it to God.  That’s when I realized that this uncertainty, the uncertainty of my future, wasn’t my burden to bear.  I was trying to get through the day with this stress strapped to my back when Jesus was at my side asking to carry it for me. 

When I finally gave it to Him, when I surrendered my future to the plans He had for me, there was freedom.  There was so much joy and freedom I decided that I needed a vacation.  I had quite a lot of airline miles accumulated from paying hospital bills that I could literally go anywhere in the world.  Around this time I saw something posted on Facebook from an acquaintance, Patrick, who had recently moved to Australia.  Australia.  I could visit Australia.  I talked to a couple of my girlfriends and asked if they wanted to take a trip over there and they said yes.  I reached out to Patrick, who used to live in the same building as I did when I was married to Keith, to see if he could help us plan an itinerary and maybe let us crash at his place for a couple of nights. 

As Patrick and I corresponded about my trip across the world, we fell in love.  We fell hard and we fell fast.  He not only hit all of my criteria, but he surpassed it and I hit all of his.  I knew he was the one for me and I knew the Lord was just waiting for me to put the ball in His court rather than keeping it in my own.  Without Him and His guidance I would have just been spinning my wheels not going anywhere.  I had to release my plans and be satisfied in the present to gain the freedom and blessings that He had planned for me in the future.

And that’s what He wants.  I think it grieves Him to see the chains we place on ourselves.  Why are we limiting and restraining ourselves when we were made to be free?  The sooner we can release things to God the sooner He can put us on the path to His perfect plan for our lives.