This will probably be my most vulnerable post yet. My hope is that those of you who can relate to my story will not feel that you are alone, because I sure hope I am not the only one. Along with the loneliness and sadness, I have felt recently some unexpected feelings of envy. It doesn’t stay because I talk about it with God, laying it bare before Him. Looking back I can picture my confusion as a child confessing that he has no idea how to get all the vasoline off his hands. I am assuming that this is normal, but its weird to me and I didn’t like it, so I asked God to get rid of it. In my weakness I have learned that its important to bring everything before God who already knows, but also trusted friends or family who don’t already know. I cannot be open and honest with God if I am not willing to be open and honest with others. So, I have already shared with a close friend my struggle and now I am sharing it with you.
A few days ago I listened and laughed and cried (later that night) to a life story from a couple of friends of mine. Married now with 4 beautiful kids, a heart to serve others and a deep love for each other, I allowed the thoughts of, “thats not me any more” to settle in deep. So many stories they shared I could relate to the same feelings, the same struggles, the same joys Chris and I had together. The same hardships in their marriage were very similar to ours, and we also experienced a deeper love and understanding of each other as we came out of those hardships. Their heart for God and desire to serve was one both Chris and I possessed as well. Hearing their adventures of faith, laughing together and choosing joy rather then focusing on the struggles took me right back to my life as a wife and even back to my life as a mother of 5.
On my drive home I battled with envious thoughts. “More than anything, I wish I could have that life back.” “I wish I had my husband back.” “I wish I had a house full of five kids running all around, laughing.” “I wish I had a life that was chaotic, full of life but dependent on God for what we need.” I knew I was wanting something else that wasn’t mine, I knew I was wanting it because it use to be mine but was taken away. I surrendered this to God but its still hard to be joyful, content and satisfied with what God has given me and what God as taken away.
Today I struggled with envy again, only in a little different way. One great thing I have realized that has come out of all of this is time for things I would have never had time for before. Tonight I saw a movie with one of my 13 year old friends 🙂 I don’t feel so old when I hang out with middle and high school students. Being a widow kinda makes you feel old. So, we went to go see “Heaven is for Real”. The movie was good, the book is way better, like most of the time. Afterwards, I am at home and Gabby is fast asleep. I think about Heaven. I think about Jesus and His love for me and wanting to be with Him. I think about Chris in Heaven and wanting to be with him. Then, I think about how Chris is there . . . with Jesus, but not me. My want and longing is so strong. I feel anger and I feel envy. My anger is stemmed at Jesus and I ask Him, “What on earth could be so important for having me stay here when all I want is to be with you?” And my envy is at Chris. He’s there and I am here.
And then I ask God to help me with my discontented heart. “Father, help me to not be jealous of what my friends have here on earth in their relationships and love for each other. Help me to say yes to your will with joy and peace and patient endurance. I look forward to being with you one day, but I know you want me here right now so I will be patient.