Last week I posted my first guest blog. The very first since I launched the blog in 2012. I invited my sister Julia to write regarding the sudden passing of her 60 year old husband, Loren, a bit over a year ago. There were so many powerful responses and shares on social media. My stat page showed it to be one of the highest reader count in months. So, I know a good thing when I see it. I asked her to write another blog post. Eventually, I’ll get her set up to have her own blog, I hope! And now, in her words…
When my husband lay deceased on our bedroom floor that Tuesday morning in March 2015, I lay beside him… stretched up against him, caressing his face and rubbing his chest while looking intently at him. Studying every detail of the face I loved. I ran my hands through his mustache, beard and hair. I massaged his hand and studied both beautiful hands I’d loved for 37 years. The hands that represented determination, hard work and sacrifice. And LOVE.
I loved my husband in life. And I chose to love him in death. While laying beside him on that hard wood floor, the hymn “MY JESUS I LOVE THEE”, ran through my mind and breath. The 2nd verse says, “I’ll love thee in life, I will love thee in death. I’ll love thee as long as thou lendest me breathe…” I knew the lyrics were written to express a person’s love for their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But somehow at that moment, my reverence and devotion was towards my husband, the man whom I grew to love as much as I loved my Lord and Savior. And having learned to love my husband that deeply, while honoring him, was pleasing to the Lord.
I had considered myself to be a woman of faith. I had considered myself to be a God-fearing woman. And most people would’ve considered me to be a strong woman. But my faith was shaken. As if an earthquake had occurred from the bowels of the earth, my core was disenegrated. The very God that I worshipped had allowed my husband to die far too early. How could I possibly exist without his companionship, his physical presence, the multiple texts, phone calls, funny pictures we’d send each other….you know, ALL of those things couples share? What was his passing going to do to our children? What was his passing going to do to our young grandchildren? These were mere firsts of the many “WHY’s?”
At week 20 after his passing, while driving to church one Sunday morning I had an “ah-ah” moment. I felt I actually heard Loren telling me that our goals and dreams for our 4 children were not over, that though he was in heaven with the Lord and I was still here on earth, I would be praying for them on earth while he was praying for them in heaven. Death could not separate us from the Love of Christ. Nor could death stop the love our family shared.
Since that Sunday morning, the scripture “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8 and also check out 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14) has fresher significance to me. I’m here. He’s there.
So my prayer today is, “God, I’m here with our children and grandchildren. All of our days are numbered and You have purpose for us, whether we are with You in heaven or down here on earth. Give me wisdom to live responsibly and honorably, because no matter what circumstance we are living in…You still reign.” — Julia Gingerich Wasson
COMMENTS: I would love to hear your comments and any words you for how Julia’s writing has touched you. She would welcome your feedback. Thanks!