Last night we were all told by his hospice nurse that if there was anything we wanted to say to Chris, now was the time. In the moment it seems so unreal. Can this really be happening? We’ve been through tough, seemingly impossible times before, can this be any different? We all spent individual time with Chris, giving family members the space and time to be alone. In my times alone with Chris they are often in silence. I have always known that this day would eventually come, and in the past recent weeks Chris and I had a mutual understanding that it was coming soon. We were unfiltered, open and honest. I didn’t hold back in telling him how thankful I was for loving me so well and for giving us a beautiful daughter. I told him how he has taught me how to take the risk and trust God and also to work hard in selflessness in order to be a Christ-like example to others. I told him that I was going to be ok, because he has shown me that my first love is God and that our love for each other is a reflection of God’s love for us. There is very little to say at this point that we both do not already know. So we hold hands and I pray. Sometimes I pray out loud and other times to myself but I know that God is there with us in that quietness. (Isaiah 30:15 . . . In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength . . .”)
Standing right here in the midst of everything and recalling all of our past memories, it doesn’t seem real, but in the times of silence and prayer it’s very real. I am reminded in those times that this life is not our home and leaving our physical bodies is far from the end. I glimpse for a short time all of this through the eyes of God and there is peace. God knows and loves my husband far greater then I ever could and His plan and purpose is good. And as much as I wish that Chris could live and stay here with me, he will soon be with God in a perfect place that we all long for.
I am happy . . . I am happy for him and more than ever before I feel the longing to just be done with this world and go with him too. Perhaps this is why the Lord gave us our little girl. She gives me purpose. I know that each of us have a place and purpose and for a short while we will have to be apart. It’s hard to think of much purpose being here besides taking care of Gabriella. I’ve always known that she needs me, and I know that she will help to keep me going, but my heart and my longing right now is to just be with Chris.
Then a couple days ago here at Chris’s parents house I heard from God that someone else will need me as well – his family. It would be so easy to move away and start over, leaving behind everything that makes me think of my life with Chris. It’s very tempting even now as I am writing this, but I know that God wants me here. Chris’s family is amazing and his Mom and Dad are my Mom and Dad, his brother, Matt, is my brother and his sister, Nikki, is my sister. Being here at their house and taking care of Chris has only brought us closer together. Even in the last few days, my heart is drawn more and more to each of them in a strong and undeniable way. Through the eyes of God I am able to catch a glimpse of his perfect plan.
There are still so many fears and unknowns. I try not to think about going home to our house in Grand Rapids, cooking now for only myself and waking up without a husband beside me. I know it will be hard, but I’m ok with hard as long as there is hope. And there is hope. There is everlasting hope and beautiful hope. An unseen hope but a hope that I can feel with my entire being. Hope with promises given by an all powerful, all knowing and all loving God. Promises of hope like Romans 8:38-39, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”