I find that after almost three years the healing is substantial.  We have now been through two of every anniversary, holiday, birthday.  After a little more than a year I really did feel that I could move forward with hope, again.  God has given me a new husband who loves, and is committed to, Jesus and adores me.  He came into my life unexpectedly and he has knowingly embraced this journey with me.  He says that he didn’t want a steamer trunk load of baggage in a wife but knew I came with some “carry on luggage”.  I love that!  He helps to carry my burden when it is still heavy to bear and allows me the freedom to cry on his shoulder on those odd days when I am missing Cliff and need to grieve.  He is a blessing to my life.

I have dealt with leaving the church Cliff and I planted (started) together.  It was definitely time.  I needed to begin anew with my new life.  I recognize that most in my position would have probably looked for another church alot sooner than I did but I struggled with leaving that place where I was known and had incredible support – that place, and those people, were my a huge part of my life – a huge investment of my life.  I loved this church and my “family” there. I also deeply mourned that additional loss.

My wonderful kiddos are moving forward with their lives. My daughter, who was with us most of the journey with ALS, is a stylist and, now, an esthitician and expecting her first baby in June, right around Cliff’s birthday. One son and his wife and three of my grandchildren have moved a full days drive away.  Another son and his wife are pastoring, now, a church a couple hours away. My middle son and his wife still live locally and are expecting a second baby but attend a church in another town. I’ve been spoiled having all my family so close when we needed to be together and I haven’t taken it for granted.  Lots of new changes…this is where faith must take a strong lead.  This future is not one I had anticipated for myself but I am learning to embrace it with hope and expectation.  I have had resurgences of sorrow as I think of, and deal with, these ongoing changes and “losses” but I am committed to growth and learning what it is God has for me this day.

I do not suppress my emotions and feelings of sadness because I know it will take longer to continue to heal if I do that.  But, I do look forward with hope for what I can’t yet see.  I know that God is there.

(updated January 23, 2013)

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My husband, Will, and I.

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