He watches over each of His sparrows. And He watches over me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Now What

     When I awoke this morning the sun was shining, birds were singing in the tree outside my window, there was a gentle breeze from the west moving the curtains ever so slightly and I had been a widow officially for one year. 365 days; 8,760 hours; 525,948 minutes; 31,556,926 seconds. It only took two of those seconds for the nurse to say the words "he's passed" - two words, two seconds and the landscape of my life was instantly and forever changed.  The man whose life had been intricately and lovingly intertwined with mine for the past 25 years had moved on to heaven and I was left alone. I lost half of myself in those two seconds - not really lost - more like torn away. Finding words to explain the experience to those who have not lost a spouse is difficult to understand.  I offer this example in the hope that you will come to an understanding of what it is like. Picture if you will a container holding two bonsai trees growing as one. Initially you think this is one tree but on careful examination you can see that there are separate root systems and separate trunks yet the trees have grown together so completely that each branch is intertwined upon another one and each supports the other completely. It's a beautiful picture isn't it? Now can you picture what would happen if one of those trees were simply removed? The tree left behind no longer has it's support system - it is left alone in that container to figure out how to manage on it's own, and left saying Now What?- crying in pain, suffering long days and nights of loneliness and isolation and no idea of how to be a single tree. I have heard some bonsai growers say that they are reluctant to grow two trees together like this for fear that if one dies the other will perish as well because of the dependency on each other.
     After that phone call at 3:36 am on Sunday, May 22, 2011 and that two second pronouncement I found myself like that bonsai tree - left alone to figure out Now What? I had had some months to prepare for his passing - it did not some suddenly, however, there was no way to prepare for the life alone that was facing me. I simply did what I had to do, one day at a time for an approximate total of 31,556,926 seconds - and some days all I could do was live one second at a time. I have heard many terms this last year such as "new normal", "grief journey", "new reality", "grief process" and I have experienced "the fog", "the disbelief", "the betrayal", "the anger", "the frustration", "the lethargy", "the loneliness" and so many, many more.
     Now, one year later I am beginning to have a bit of a new experience "hope". For you see on this day as I have remembered the past year I have seen that I have survived the worst year of my life. God came alongside and nursed me and held me and is beginning to revive me. He has shown me love through a special neighbor family up the street, through the kindness of strangers and through the love and support of some very special widows on Facebook. Yes Facebook - God is there too!
     I know that it will get better and I also know that I will still have times of mourning and tears - but I also know from looking back at what God has done for me this past year that He will continue on to complete what He started. He will heal me and revive me and bring me into the plan and purpose He has for my life.
     So, in answer to the question Now What? I say this: I will continue to choose life, the life God has planned for me. I will set my face like flint and I will turn into the storm and move through it not trying to avoid it or bypass it and God Himself will get me through it because He has done so for the last year and will continue to do so.
     And so I ask you "Now What?" Will you choose life, will you determine to press in and trust Him. Please do. The road is a long one when we do it alone but He is there collecting our tears, holding us close and loving us all the while.  Dear ones be at peace and know He loves you so.


  1. You have come a long way in the past 12 months Linda, and like us all, God has been right beside us every step of the way. There is hope after our loved ones have passed on, as hard as it is. God has a plan for our lives. He is healing our broken hearts and reviving us, all for His glory. May the Lord continue to pick up the broken pieces of your life and make something amazing out of the new you that He's restoring.

  2. You have come a long way in the last year, and the Lord has been gracious and loving to you in your toughest year you'll probably have to go through. He is in the process of healing and restoring you, and putting the broken pieces of your life back together to make the 'new you'. He has a plan for your life and it will be better than you can ever imagine. Nothing happens by chance or without Gods permission in our lives. There is hope after the loss of our loved ones, and Im beginning to see that God has plans for my life and is using my situation to bless and help others, even though its hard at times. God bless

  3. Linda, this was BEAUTIFUL and I like your illustration of the bonsai tree . . . it is such a HARD concept to try to explain to others. My kids lost their Daddy, BUT they still have their friends, their "support system", mine is GONE. Mine and his parents lost a son/son-in-law they loved dearly, but they still have each other, their other children, their "network", mine is GONE. Just today, I was talking with another widow and saying, "I just miss being his PRIORITY - being someone's priority" ! BUT, you are right, we do have HOPE, we can continue to choose LIFE, and I too, am SO GLAD that God is there - even on Facebook and that He led us all to each other! :) ♥

  4. Wonderful words from your heart. Only a widow can truly understand. Blessings to you, Linda.

  5. What a precious and priceless HOPE we find in God! This is a tough journey but one we do not travel alone!

  6. Love you <3 xxx If I could check how much a phone call would cost I will ring you from UK xx

  7. Dear Linda, I praise the Lord that we have "met" and that we can share this tremendously difficult and yet, tremendously precious experience. God will faithfully complete His good work in you. Continue to choose life, and press on, it will be worth it all . . . I picked up a drive thru supper and went to a metro park that I've grown fond of and will miss when I move. As I sat at a picnic table there a little sparrow hopped right up to me, tilted her head and looked me straight in the eye. Made me think of you. ((hugs))