He’s not coming back……
he’s really not.
This is a common refrain in my head. You would think after almost 14 months of being a widow my brain would know this. It doesn’t. I still find myself doing things and wondering what Chris will think when he gets home from work. I still find myself wanting to call him during the day to chat. I still think I see him sometimes in crowds or at church.
I think part of being a widow in the second year and going forward is learning to live in my own identity. I still feel married. The journey back to being single is a strange one. The burden of being a single parent is a heavy one. I don’t know when I will stop wondering “what would Chris think?” “what would Chris do?” “how would Chris handle this?” More than a year of my life has passed..I’ve been experiencing things that he never had to experience as a parent, friend, church member, neighbor, etc. He never had to plan a funeral. He didn’t have to support 5 children through grief while experiencing it himself. He never knew what it was like to be a single parent. He never had to deal with the stress of making sure someone is convicted of a crime. I actually get mad at him for this. Seems so unfair. These are things I want to talk to him about. I have no doubt it would be much easier figuring them out together. Banking on the resources of the past is becoming harder and harder to do.
Inevitably this brings on the ever looming loneliness. But you know what else it does? It draws me to prayer, which draws me to Christ. I really am not alone. I’ve always “known” this. But to feel it is an added bonus. When you become a widow, your sense of confidence, your support, is gone. When you live with someone for 20 years you can become quite dependent on this, and rightly so. Gone is the person who thanks you for doing things, who understands your weird, quirky moods, who tells you you look nice when you are having a “fat” day, who is your support in parenting, who shores you up at the end of a bad day, who rejoices with you on big milestones..like a child graduating.
The only “past” I can rely on now is the cross. The good thing about this “past” is that it points to the future. It gives Hope. It gives an identity of who I am in Christ, and while I am without my earthly encourager I am never without Christ.
In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.
In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied –
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
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