In many ways, I have come far in recovering from the trauma of losing my husband. I am able to sleep without being terrorized by visions of death. I am not consumed by loneliness anymore. I have resumed the routine of everyday life without constant aching pain in my heart. While there are still many days when I am sad and I miss him, I am starting to move forward with my life. But there is one wound that is still painful to the touch.
Throughout this journey of grief, I have not lost my faith. In fact, in these past months, I have been more aware of God’s presence in my life than ever before. In spite of my circumstances, I know He is good. I still hear His voice, I still love Him, I still wish to serve Him with my life and point others to His love. But there’s a part of my faith that has been crippled.
I don’t trust God.
In the year before Jon was taken from me, I was able to see his dreams coming to life. It was his heart to provide for me and Jocelyn with his music and he was not only succeeding in doing so, but his opportunities were getting bigger. The most exciting of the opportunities happened when he was able to play for a celebrity couple, who came back to hear him sing several times. Jon was able to speak with them and they were very encouraging and even asked for his demo. In one of the conversations, it was mentioned offhand that perhaps they would get Jon into their studio to record. It was so serious that the GM of the hotel Jon sang for pulled him aside and instructed him not to sign any contracts without letting the GM’s friend look over them first.
It was all very exciting and Jon and I were believing God for big things. Our hearts had shifted from believing that Jon would get enough gigs so he didn’t need a second job, to believing that God was going to take Jon’s music as far as it could go. It was our dream that Jon would be elevated, not for the sake of fame, but because we wanted to be a positive light in a negative environment. We wanted to be a positive influence to the people who influenced our culture the most.
I believed wholeheartedly that God was going to do something amazing, that He was going to bring us to a place beyond our most daring dreams. I was so excited that Jon’s dream was going to come true. We were preparing ourselves for it. Praying about it. I had several dreams that I felt were prophetic confirmations.
For months Jon kept saying, “I feel like it’s going to happen in April.” He must have brought April up a dozen times. So in April, when we heard rumors that the celebrity couple might be returning, we thought that it was about to happen. They didn’t show up that weekend. Jon died the Monday after.
I was always more adventurous than Jon was comfortable with. When Jon would ask me if I really had to go on a certain hike or serve in more dangerous parts of the world, my response to him was, “Don’t worry, I can’t die. God still has promises to me that He hasn’t fulfilled yet.” It was mostly a joke, but I actually believed it.
After Jon died so unexpectedly, among my overwhelming feelings of shock and despair was a strong sense of betrayal. I felt like God had lied to me and dangled a carrot in front of Jon. My life was shattered and the point of impact was my trust in God.
This is something I have yet to come to peace with. I’ve tried not to dwell on it too much. When the question of “why?” comes up, I place it on the shelf until I have the fortitude to contend with it. For 9 months I’ve been repeatedly placing it back on the shelf. But now I must face it. Because now God is asking me to trust Him with something big once more.
I mentioned in my last blog that I would answer the question of “Where do I go next” in this blog. I feel like God is asking me to return to Nashville where Jon and I lived for 4 years. I feel like I am supposed to do the second year of the ministry school that I attended several years back.
I credit the time I spent in that ministry school as the primary reason that I haven’t abandoned my faith altogether. Without the tools I received there, I’m certain I would have gone off the deep end and lost myself. I feel like the reason I’m supposed to go back is to deal with the hurts that are too deep for me to heal on my own. I see it as a hospital. I might have done a pretty good job doing first aid on myself but I need some heart surgery and for that, I need to go to an environment that will facilitate it.
I know this is where God is leading me. I am willing to obey. But it’s very hard for me to trust Him to provide the means for me to go through that season. What I fear is that I am going to leave the security and family I have here to go to a place of poverty and struggle.
I have emergency savings that will cover the cost of tuition and childcare. But it will take all that I have. My monthly income covers my bills and expenses, but not rent. So when I first felt God pointing me in this direction I figured I would find someone with a spare room who will let me and my babies stay with them. I know of a couple different families that would likely welcome me in their homes. Space would be tight but I figured I could manage for a couple of months cramped in a room with an infant and toddler.
But lately, God has been telling me He wants me to believe for more. He doesn’t want me to settle for just enough to get by, He wants me to ask Him for a house. I want to believe that He will do it. But it’s so hard. I believed so completely before and was left shattered. I’m so afraid to believe for more than what I can manage myself. God keeps showing me the scene from Aladdin when he holds out his hand and asks, “Do you trust me?” The question is constantly echoing in my mind and I can hear the song that follows. I feel like it’s God speaking promises over me. But does my heart dare to believe them?
If you feel moved to support me in this process I’ve explained how to do so here.
Mark 9:24 “I believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
“I believe, help my unbelief” ❤️😭 What a good daughter you are!! Love you girl.
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Thank you for that
I have struggled in my faith since my husband’s passing. First I was very angry at God. I don’t quite feel angry anymore but you hit the nail on the head. I don’t trust God. I get frustrated when people tell me it’s all part of his plan. I have a hard time trusting him if it’s his plan to make me feel so bad and for my daughter to grow up without her father.
I want my relationship back with God. I guess it will happen in due time.
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“The Plan” is the worst. I hated when people said that. I really wrestled with that concept for a long time. I wrote about it in one of my blogs. It is the one called “I Was Warned” if you’re curious to read my conclusion.
It’s a journey, finding God after what we’ve gone through. But God is so incredibly patient with us and loves and understands us where we are at. He’s strong enough to take the full force of our emotions.
I will be honest, when people who haven’t gone through this kind of grief or trauma bring up “the plan”, it just feels so empty and hollow. And perhaps a little disingenuous. Though I know that most people want to make me feel better and they feel like they have to say something but don’t know what the right thing to say it. And before this happened, I wouldn’t have known what to say either. So even though it bothers me, I do try to remember where they are coming from. They mean well.
I will check out that other post 🙂 I look forward to reading about where your journey goes and if you go to Nashville. I just started writing. If you are inclined, feel free to check it out. (http://kerrymckim.com) Our stories are different though I also lost my husband from the results of a health condition he wasn’t aware he had.
I ended up writing a couple blog posts specifically to help people understand how to better help people going through grief and trauma. In the moment though I would just silently repeat, “they’re just trying to help” over and over.
I’ve followed you and look forward to reading your posts.
This! While my particular trial was not as devastating as the loss of your husband, it was the longest hard thing I have done so far in my life and trusting God has become a tricky thing for me. Yes, God was there with me through it and continues to be here with me now, but I feel a bit skittish sometimes when I bring certain wants and needs to him in prayer. Thanks for expressing these feelings so much more eloquently than I!