When we are young and in love, like I was once, we think we have our whole lives ahead of us. We make plans. We say things like, “I’m so happy I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend.”
That world shattered for me way too soon. Two years into our marriage we got a shock of a lifetime and a diagnosis I didn’t expect I would ever hear until we were old and gray: Stage 4 colon cancer. Ben and I were one of the few couples of our college friends to get married so early on and there was almost no one who knew what it was like to be married or have a kid or what it was like to deal with terminal cancer. My life already felt chaotic in trying to adjust to having a young child in our lives but hearing that my husband had very aggressive cancer and that it was terminal and not curable was so devastating. My mind and my heart couldn’t even wrap around what everything meant.
And 14 months later I was faced with an even bigger shock of a lifetime, raising a 2-year-old son all on my own at the age of 29 years old without the love of my life and best friend I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with.
I never felt so alone in my entire life.
My world got even lonelier after his death. There was not a single person or category I fit into. I didn’t fully relate with single people, single mom’s, divorced people. There were a few people who I knew that lost a spouse at a young age but no one close by or within my current community or social circles. And when I tried out two different GriefShare groups I was almost always the youngest person with mostly widows and widowers 60-years-old or older.
I even went to the online world of Widow/Widower FB groups. I was able to connect with other FB widow and widower groups with kids and even people my own age but the way they processed and dealt with their grief was often toxic, unhealthy, or lacked full healing of the body, mind and heart. I began to see that my choice to not only face the pain and lean into it with the Lord and combine counseling and spiritual direction and deep healing put me into an even smaller and more rarer category.
This summer I had a breakthrough of finding someone who does get EVERYTHING. Someone who I could fully relate with. Someone who understands me. Someone who sees the beauty of my story and all of who I am and what I’ve processed. Someone who fully loves every single part of my heart. Someone who has walked me all through Ben’s cancer and death. Someone who has always been my perfect match a million times more than Ben was. That someone is the Lord. I fit in with the Lord. He is my new category.
That is something that I am going to strive to hold onto on those days where I feel like no one gets it. Or when I go to events or birthday parties with couples and single people but no widows my age. I can remember that the Lord is with me. He is holding me in His arms. He is what makes myself and my family beautiful the way it is. He is proud of me and the woman/mom I am and what I am becoming.
I’ve realized that although I feel alone and in a category that no one my age gets, there are other places and other people who may feel alone and not fully known or seen too. People have experienced loss in a spouse leaving a marriage, abandonment in people or groups not being there when they needed it, emotional abandonment or loss in relationships, and so on. The beautiful thing about the Lord is that the Lord can heal and fill EVERY single kind of loss and abandonment that exists. He is the one thing that is unchangeable. Who gets it when no one else does. Who gets you. Who gets me. Who NEVER leaves. He is ALWAYS patient. Gentle. Kind. He is everyone’s most complete feeling of being known, seen and loved.
And when I asked the Lord what the name of the new category we are in together is called He told me, ” You are My Beloved.” He is the category that fits me the best.
And I hope other people understand that if there are places they are feeling alone in or not seen or fully understood that the Lord gets it. He is the only one who understands all those thoughts and feelings we can never put to words or describe because He feels them right alongside of us. He has walked every single part of our lives with every single one of us. He sees all of us as His beloved. He is everyone’s best fit. He is everyone’s most complete category to fit into. He is everyone’s complete and perfect match.