Putting the Pieces Together and Learning How to Fly Solo
This journey is about so much more than grief. After I got through the deep heart wrenching pain, and came to terms with the death of my husband, I had to figure out the next step for my life.
What does it look like from here on out?
Well, I can tell you this for sure. It doesn't look anything like it used to!
At first that seemed really bad. I spent some time grieving for the life I should of had. Then it was kind of scary because I was just not sure which way to go by myself.
That's when I turned to God for direction.
In all reality, I would REALLY like Him to this show me the whole path that my life is going to take, but faith doesn't work that way. I've learned that He wants me to trust Him and look to Him each day for direction. He wants me to turn my will over to Him...to say
"Whatever you have in store for me I will do it,
because I know that's the best way for me to grow."
You see, I've come to the realization that this experience happened to me so that I could BECOME someone BETTER than I was. It happens to me so I could DO more than I was DOING.
I was reading a previous post, CHANGING DRIVERS, where I said,
I have been trying to find joy in the journey by serving and helping other people, but in all honesty I have been anxiously awaiting the time when I can get remarried and 'scoot over to the passenger seat' again while my new husband 'relieves me.' I have been looking at my new position as driver as a temporary one, something to occupy my time until I am a wife again. I just figured I would go back to doing the same old things I did before my husband died. I would go back to just being pit crew and supporting my racecar driver.
"It's scary and at times I still cry out that I'm done driving and wish he could come back and take the wheel. I would happily scoot over to the passenger seat if that were possible, but the car needs a driver and I am getting better at that role...Miss you honey, can't wait for you to relieve me."
I am realizing I can't re-create the past, and that God doesn't want me to.
He has a different plan for me. One that will stretch me.
Stretching is so uncomfortable...
I just got back from a young Widows/Widower conference in Utah and several widows who later remarried spoke to us. As they shared their stories, I realized that they learned to be their own person and to make a difference with what they were learning when they were single. When they remarried they continued that mission of making a difference. They were better wives to their husbands, but that did not require them to take the backseat. They had been empowered, and God had a use for them beyond playing a support role.
One of the reasons that I have felt that Scott needed to die, was because we could do more good apart from each other than we did together. That may be confusing for some people to understand so let me explain some of my beliefs. I believe that angels on the other side do a lot to help their families. I believe that they help us to choose the right and to fight away temptation. I know my children have felt the influence of their dad. As my children are leaving home and traveling across the world, their dad can be with them. He can help and protect them. He can influence them far greater from where he is now, than he could have if he was still here.
Now what about me? Why did he need to be away from me?
I spent so much time supporting my husband and helping him to fulfill his goals. Long ago in medical school I set many of my dreams and aspirations aside so that our family could make it through that difficult process. When we finished, I was so used to supporting him that I never really took the opportunity to pick them up again. I was afraid to reach out of my comfort zone. I was not developing myself enough.
I got married when I was 18. I left my father's house to be a wife. I never had time alone in college to be single and to discover who I was by myself. Sometimes I resented that. I used to complain to Scott that I never got the chance to be the driver.
The truth was, I was afraid to be the driver.
It was more comfortable for me to just be pit crew.
The summer before he died I found myself very unsettled. I was starting to realize that by playing pit crew all the time, I was losing my identity. I looked at the goals and dreams we had mapped out for the rest of our lives and I realized that they were my husband's goals. I had stopped setting my own goals in favor of supporting his.
Scott had a really strong personality. He could get anyone to do what he wanted them to do. It's a great trait when you're trying to get the phone company to come out and repair the line, but I think sometimes his personality inadvertently squashed mine. I trusted his opinion more than I did my own. I don't think either one of us recognized this at the time. We had a great marriage and my husband was my best friend, but with him I wasn't flying.
I need to learn to fly.
Now, I am learning to fly.
As I listen to the little directions that God gives me, and I'm beginning to find my way. He doesn't tell me the whole picture like I would like, but He gives me just enough to get me through. Sometimes I feel it's like I'm working in the fog. It parts just enough that I can catch the outline of the next tree along the path. I cannot see the final destination, but I have faith that it is there. As I take a step forward, another step comes into view. This is how God guides us in our lives. If we look closely, He gives us just enough clarity that we can make our way each day. In the end He will put the pieces together and give me the specifics when I need them and as I move forward.
As that path is becoming clear to me, I'm seeing that God does not want me to go back to my previous role when the time comes for me to remarry.
He wants me to go forward.
He wants me to BE more.
He wants me to DO more.
So I don't get to leave being the driver....Yikes! Another scary thought.
More stretching, not going back to something comfortable.
When my husband died, at first, a part of me wanted to re-create what I had, even though I knew that was not possible.
If I need to be a driver, my next marriage needs to be different. It can not be a recreation. One of the widower couples at the conference said that they took the best from 40 years of both marriages and built on that. They said their new marriage was even stronger. Maybe now I need a marriage where we take turns driving.
I am different than I was 16 months ago, but I need to work on being more independent and confident so that I can stand COMFORTABLY on my own... I'm still feeling a little UNCOMFORTABLE in this role. That gives me something to work on now.
I love this blog that I read today. It said very much the same things that two of my friends have been telling me...
I'm seeing that it's okay to be in a marriage and to spend some time flying on your own. That you can do that and still love each other and come back together. That by flying solo for a while, you can sometimes do twice the good.
I'm learning that God needs me to fly on my own.
For the first time in my life I don't have a father to report to or a husband. I just have God. If I trust Him and do what He wants me to do, I know that He will lead me down the best path for me...
A path that will help me BECOME the BEST person I can be.
A path that will let me be an instrument in His hand.
A path that will heal hearts and help others.
I have to learn to find joy in that path, even if I'm on my own. When I can do that, I will be a better wife and a better companion.
If a husband and a wife put the Lord first, then their relationship will be stronger. Sometime putting the Lord first requires us to fly solo for a while.
I feel Scott telling me this...that he knew I needed more growing room and he is so enjoying watching me grow and become the woman I was supposed to become. He knows that I will ultimately be happier and more fulfilled through this refining process.
More than anything, he's excited to see me fly.