November 13, 2016

don't miss the gift

This day greeted me with peace and hope.

Today, I choose to trust in God and His timing. Today, I choose to not say the unkind thoughts rolling around in my mind. Today, I choose to live in this moment, and even though my life isn’t what I had planned on, or hoped for, or dreamed of, this is what’s before me and I don’t want to miss the gift.

I’m in several widow groups online. I read the stories of pain and brokenness and shattered lives. I can relate to so much of it. But then again, I think I’m different. I don’t want to be defined by my pain for the rest of my life. I had an amazing marriage and I was loved more than any one person deserves. But oddly, that doesn’t make me want to wallow… it makes me just want to love all the more. Love is the best decision I ever made.

I recently met someone who made me realize that, contrary to what I thought after Todd died, I can love again. It’s exciting! Things didn’t work out with this person, but my heart isn’t wholly dead, as I used to think, so I’m grateful for the lesson.

I was - and am - well loved. I’m not sure anyone will ever love me the same as Todd did, and I don’t think I’d want anyone to. What we had was so special and I can’t even find the words to tell you how so worth the past 15 years have been. I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. I will never regret saying, “yes.”

But I have another gift still unwrapped.

I have the potential to have another 15 years - or 5 or 50 - of love all over again. If God brings love to me again, I will be the most blessed woman ever. To love and be loved all over again - I’ll say, “yes.” Every time. I will never regret love.

My girlfriends and I have been having some hilarious, some serious, and some painful conversations on the topic of finding love again. I don’t even know where to meet guys my own age that aren’t already husbands. I’m pretty sure that I can add socially out of practice and awkward to my list of fine qualities I have to offer. LOL.

Yes, I’m still grieving the loss of my husband. I think I always will. A love like that isn’t something I even want to forget or get over. I want his love to stay in my heart forever. Yes, I still cry a lot and have lots of fresh pain and memories. I hope I never forget the painful parts right along with the happy parts. Yes, I have a lot of feeling and emotions and I don’t expect that to ever change. LOL.

I am a widow. I’m not bitter or angry from my marriage. I come with a set of baggage that is unique and not what most people are used to. I won’t stop loving my husband, or talking about him or missing him. I come with two kids who long for a daddy here on earth. We’re a package deal. I feel broken and I feel like I don’t have much to offer anyone, but someday, someone will help my heart to heal and remind me what I can give. Someday.

And, I have really high expectations. My husband set the bar really high. I’m not going to settle for less.

So while I wait for God’s timing, and learn how to open my heart up again, I want to tell you to be brave. Say, “yes” to love. Don’t miss the gift.
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November 4, 2016

the blessings to come

In the dark moments of life it seems that there’s always a light waiting to shine though, if only we look for it.

For me, this light has come in many forms. Sweet cards and letters. Family who is there for me. Friends with open shoulders to cry on. Smiles from strangers who know our story. Hugs from church members.

So much love. So much light.

In Tennessee, it is still 85ยบ and sunny. We’re at the park. My mother-in-law is here visiting us for Todd’s birthday which was last week. Hard day. The kids are playing in the sand with friends and the MIL is watching the pup. So I’m sitting in the shade of a tree and trying to sort some things out.

I know when I have too many feelings that I need to write to sort them out. The hard ones, the happy ones, the yucky ones.

As we enter November and the leaves change colors and drift to the ground, I think about the changes in my own life. There have been so many this year. But those aren’t the ones I’m thinking about.

I’ve decided to be intentional about living in each day. I can’t dwell on the hurt and pain of my past, I need to focus on the blessings that are to come. Each day as I remember to breathe, try to eat, and watch my kids grow I look for the beauty and the blessings in the moments we have together.

I find myself wondering about to blessings to come.

Will anyone ever love me again the way Todd loved me?

Will I ever be able to open my heart again?

Am I too broken to have hope in love again?

I’m inpatient not knowing the future. Life takes time and love takes time. My brain knows these truths, but my heart looks to fill the holes torn through it.

The warm fall breeze reminds me that life is ever-changing. What I once was secure in was ripped out under my feet. I’m no longer naive enough to believe that it can’t happen again. Dare I risk it?

The fear of losing part of my heart again is real and raw.

Yet knowing how much his love was so very worth all I’ve endured, I feel that maybe I can risk it again. Maybe my heart will beat fast and my tummy will flutter again. Maybe someday.

As for today, I’ll face the sun and let the breeze warm my soul. This is the moment I’m living. Someday will come, and patience or not, I can’t rush it. But I can prepare for it. And pray for it. And enjoy the journey to it.
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