Ben’s First Birthday In Heaven

This is from my journal entry I posted on Facebook from awhile ago. I thought I would share it here as well:

I have loved reading Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and have started journaling and writing like that in my Grief Journal. This is my Grief Journal at 2am on March 14, 2015. I learned that sometimes my best ideas or thoughts come after 2am (Nicole Sanchez, Shannon Hardy, Miki Gao). This is what God spoke to me:

Today just be still and rest in the fact that I am with you as you continue to grieve. My arms are wrapped tightly around you. When you are sad, angry, confused, or upset, let me be with you in that moment. Of course my ultimate goal is to bring you out of it but most importantly, I want to help you through and be right in the middle of all that you feel so that we can share the load together. Many people have this picture of when trouble hits that is when they call on me to “rescue them out” or to come and get them. What they don’t usually see is that I am always right there in the sticky mire or deep pit with them. So, let that sink into your whole being and into your spirit. When trouble hits instead ask where I am and how I am already working on your behalf. This journey you and I are on is a partnership. When you fall I am there, when you tired I want to give you rest, when you feel lonely I am right there, ect. Just because I am right there every step of the way does not shield you from all the pain, hurt, sadness you will feel. In fact, you need to feel those things in order to truly find healing. But remember that we can do it together if you let me.

Verses that God gave me:
Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God..”
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Reflections On What Would Have Been Our 4th Anniversary

The night before what would have been our 4th anniversary, May 12, 2015, I couldn’t sleep very well. I feel like I was a little anxious with how I would handle what would have been our 4th anniversary the next day. My late husbands birthday, March 13, I felt fine the day before but cried almost the whole morning. But that is a different blog entry altogether.

This was such a happy moment at our wedding: May 13, 2011
This was such a happy moment at our wedding: May 13, 2011
I woke up May 13, to my surprise, actually at peace. Not that I wasn’t sad, because I was, but I think I was actually relieved. It is hard to explain. When my late husband was alive with cancer he was in so much pain. He put on a good face when we were out in public, or at church, or with his family. At home I saw the true Ben. I saw him toss and turn and not sleep a wink at night and then leave by 6:30am to go to work. I cleaned up his throw up when chemo made him sick. I saw the the pain in his eyes when he would pry himself out of bed. He would tell me he felt like a useless husband because he couldn’t hold or pick up our son out of his crib in the middle of the night. My whole life revolved around keeping him alive. He would try to to juice every other day with the Green Star elite but the last leg of his cancer he couldn’t do it because he didn’t have the strength. I did it. I also made smoothies and had to start grinding up his pills into the smoothies when he kept forgetting to to take his pills from the alternative medicine doctor. That is just a nutshell of all the stress and all the work it took to keep him alive.

What many people do not realize is that yes his death was too soon and was heart wrenching but the whole entire cancer journey I was preparing for the worst and processing it with a counselor/ mentor. She helped me process all the unfairness I felt, all the anger, all the “why am I going through this at such a young age?” questions I had. We even discussed what would happen if Ben did die. We had to discuss that because the doctors didn’t think he would live long.

The morning of what would have been our 4th anniversary, like I said before, I felt relieved for so many reasons. I felt relieved I didn’t have to see him in so much pain. I felt relieved I didn’t have so much stress and so much work on my shoulders. I felt relieved he is in heaven cancer free. I felt relieved I could start anew and decide what would be life giving to me this year with my son.

Isaiah 61:3 “To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.”

The ashes of my life I had with my late husband are a painful thing to grieve and lament. I do not like the saying that “everything happens for a reason” because I don’t think things always have to have a reason. God never said that, people say that, people made that saying up. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” God is working to make things “work together for the good.” It doesn’t say “God makes things happen for a reason and works it out for the good.” We don’t understand everything and somehow it can be redeemed and worked out for good. We may never understand why things happen but we can be sure God can give us beauty for our ashes and that he is in the business of working things out for the good in our lives.

Hello world!

I recently lost my husband to stage 4 colon cancer on August 13, 2014 at 29 years old. I wanted to start this blog to encourage and to share with others a little bit of our story and what I have learned and continue to learn. Being a widow and caring for my almost 3 year old son is quite a challenge at times. I am blessed to have a great community, church, counselor/mentor,  and freedom to be brutally honest with all my ups and downs with all that I feel with Jesus. Walking this with Jesus has become less of a chore or duty but more of a relationship and walking this together.

This picture was taken a few weeks before my husband died: August 2014
This picture was taken a few weeks before my husband died: August 2014