"My husband died in a plane crash with his father 16 months ago."
That phrase always enters a conversation within the first few minutes. I watch the shock enter their faces, and they quickly offer an,
"I'm so sorry."
"It's okay," I reply.
Then I begin to explain how our family is getting through this. I tell them about my kids and our faith and about me blogging and trying to help others with their grief. I share stories about Scott and my knowledge that we chose this trial. I share my spiritual experiences and testify of things that I know to be true now.
Why do I do this?
I think at first, I just really wanted to talk about him. My kids hated that I would talk about dad with just about anyone, but I just couldn't help it. I wanted everyone to know what a great guy he was. I found that sharing helped me to feel better. Not only that, but I found that people left me feeling inspired. They wanted to be better husbands and fathers. They wanted to be kinder, and they wanted to know how in the world we were handling all of this.
Is it because I just can't get over my grief?
This is what is healing me.
So in the grocery store, at the gas station, on the airplane, or just about anywhere I can strike up a conversation, these words come out of my mouth.
(My boys can even mockingly do my spiel in a high pitched voice... very funny actually)
Some people think I'm probably totally crazy bearing my soul to complete strangers ( I know my kids sometimes do!) However, I find that
9 times out of 10, the person I'm talking to has either suffered a loss of their own or know someone close to them that has. In the end they end up thanking me for what I have shared, and I reply that I do not think we met by accident.
I find that I am being an instrument in God hands.
As soon as I say those words, "My husband died," I watch the walls go down.
I have a voice now, people listen, and I have something to say.
Before my husband died no one would've listened to a doctor's wife talk about adversity and trials even if I had known what to say. Sorrow and tragedy have taught me universal lessons. Lessons that can make a difference in peoples lives. By sharing I make my tragedy mean something more. Scott death makes a difference if it can help heal other people's hearts.
When my mother-in-law called to tell me that the plane has not landed, I felt a calmness come over me and I heard these five phrases in the back of my head...
"This was supposed to happen,"
"We chose this,"
"You have to be strong,"
"This will heal many hearts," and
"Now you have to figure out how to tell the kids."I never questioned any of those things; the experience was so strong and profound. I had no doubt that my husband was speaking to me and I began to act on them.
At the time, I had no idea how many people would be affected by Scott's death and how many 'hearts' would be 'healed.'
I honestly never intended to do any of this... to open my mouth to complete strangers, to bear my soul on the Internet.
I'm not a writer,
I'm not a speaker, and
I'm really not even that outgoing of a person.
"What do I need to learn from this? What do I need to do as a result of this?"
I began to be led down this path.
Funny and strange it is to me now. I used to avoid conversations with strangers like the plague. I would bury myself in my cooking magazines on airplane flights so I didn't have to talk to the person next to me. I never knew what to say; I was uncomfortable talking with strangers.
16 months has changed all of that.
I'm such a different person than I was back then... and that is good. I needed to change and I needed to grow. It makes me wonder who I will be in another 16 months???
God has a way of molding us if we will let Him. He breaks us down and then rebuilds us better and brighter. I may not be able to do amazing things on my own, but I'm learning that with Him anything and all things are possible.
God has a purpose for each one of us, one that I think most of us cannot conceive of. If we turn to Him and ask Him what we are to do with our lives... If we consecrate our lives to Him, he will take our weaknesses and make them strong. I know this is true with all my heart.
Where is your voice?
What is your purpose?
Ask Him and then let him show you.