Monday, January 17, 2011

Contentment and Endurance in Widowhood.

Not entirely sure where to start, or where this entry will lead, but I felt I needed to at least write something of my journey these days. This past month was full of big events: my birthday, Christmas, and New Years. Big days tend to make my reality a little more real. I know Troy is gone every day... trust me I know, but those days are supposed to be celebrating days. Its hard to celebrate without tears now. On those days, I wonder if there will ever be celebrating again with out tears. On my birthday, I heard a wonderful message about joy and sorrow. The pastor said, "You can have joy and be sad, but you can't be happy and sad." I very much relate to this fact. I know joy and happiness are two very different things. Happiness is a bit harder to come by these days. The honest truth is I would pick joy over happiness. The joy I have in my relationship with Christ is worth the cost of losing Troy.

I've been learning a lot about contentment. For a while after the accident, I kept thinking "maybe if this happened or if this occurred, then I could be happy." As the one year of loss passed, I somehow thought that a change of circumstance would bring  happiness. Definitely not the right thinking! Learning to be content in the here and now is where I am supposed to be. This is by no means an easy lesson for me. Nor have I successfully arrived. ;)

When you get married, you have your future planned out to some extent. In just one day, all of my plans were taken away. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for the changes. I'm thankful that the Lord has allowed me to have a second chance to live in light of eternity. However; I struggle with the unknown of the future. Where will I be in three years? Will I ever have children? Will I still be working as an RN on L&D? A little over a year ago, I could have given an answer. It might not have been the right one, but I would have at least had an answer to these questions. Today... nope got nothing. I do, however, have an amazing Savior who gives me promises that I can cling to in these days of uncertainty. I read this the night of my birthday. Ps. 138 "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life...The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of Your hands." WOW! I love this verse and love the timing of it. It is truly amazing that on a day when I face yet another year of growing older with out Troy, another year of uncertainty about the future, my God gives me a jewel like this. He knows the plan and it is perfect. I just need to stop worrying and trust in His loving plan for me. I can do this when my thoughts stay focused on truth. Constant battle of the mind!

Also learning about this thing called perseverance. I love the verses from Romans 3 "We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that our suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope." That last word "hope" is such a promise in light of the beginning of the verse. I want this word to be true in my life. I thought for a long time "Okay I'm rejoicing. Check. So when does this endurance thing kick in so I can have hope?" Had a nice discussion with one of my couch buddies about this verse recently when I was feeling a bit discouraged about life. She so kindly told me the endurance thing is not an "Ah-ha" moment of "Yes! I now have endurance." No, it is a daily battle of doing right. Oh, well not exactly what I was looking for, since I assumed once endurance was attained I would have hope, and life would be grand ;) Jokes on me ;) However; since learning this fact I'm encouraged knowing that because I chose to rejoice in this trial, I'm learning endurance thus changing my character and giving me that hope I so desperately need. The hope that He is making me more like His Son. The hope that He will fulfill His promises in my life. The hope that someday I will see Troy again. Most importantly the hope that one day all tears will be wiped away and there will be no more death or sorrow! Praise the Lord! :)

So basically a little after a year; sorrow still here, but learning contentment daily is still required. I must choose to keep thinking and doing right even when I don't want or feel like it!  The Christian life is not an easy one. We are promised trials.  The rewards for being faithful though are far better than any temporary happiness of this day and age.  Learning to see widowhood as a gift from God that will bring Him glory!