I’ve loved Jesus for as long as I can remember. I committed my life to Christ at a young age and always enjoyed a close relationship with Him. I felt like He and I communicated pretty well. In typical girl fashion I would talk and talk and He would listen. I would sense promptings from Him and always felt that He guided me in very gentle but clear ways.
I got married when I was 26. Married a guy who loved God and we found ourselves doing ministry together. Both of us enjoyed the world of pen and ink so we collaborated on several writing projects. We got to travel the world together doing missions work. God blessed us with two really great boys (one of them looks like me and has a lot of personality traits of his father, the other looks like his father and has a similar personality to mine).
Early in our marriage my husband was diagnosed with a liver disease that would eventually require a transplant. It reared its head from time to time but stayed pretty much at bay until 2010 when he returned from an international trip with severe bloating. His doctors delivered the words we had hoped to never hear: he had gone into full liver failure.
Things happened pretty fast and we got word that it was time for a transplant. His health declined rapidly as we waited for the gift of a cadaver liver. It’s hard to even think of wishing for this kind of gift because it requires the sacrifice of someone else’s life. We never got the call and it came to a point where the transplant could no longer wait.
That’s when his brother stepped in.
His brother was always one of my favorites…personable, attentive, lots of fun, very funny, and strong in faith and character. He loved his wife and kids dearly and I really respected him a lot. It was a tough decision for him and his wife but ultimately, they decided he would step forward as a live donor. He was tested and deemed a perfect match.
The surgery took place two weeks later. While recovering in the hospital, one night my sister-in-law discovered her husband unresponsive in the middle of the night. They tried to resuscitate but he was eventually declared brain dead and removed from life support. We all said goodbye to this amazing husband, father and friend who had stepped forward to ultimately sacrifice his life for his brother.
My husband and I had struggled throughout our marriage. The first year was tough and we never really got over that hump. We tried counseling when our youngest was born but the counselor wasn’t a good fit. Issues were discussed and dissected but not dealt with on a level that would cause change and growth. We found moments of reprieve in our mission to minister as a couple and in raising our two boys but things never fully clicked for us.
Take all of that, add in a health crisis with the loss of life (and everything that entails) and well, we didn’t make it as a couple.
It’s been several years since a decision was made that we would no longer be together. And the story gets even more complicated (more on that later). I have literally had to allow God to pick me up, dust me off and slowly and gently tend to my wounds. Because I’ll tell you right now, I was a mess. I couldn’t function or think straight. And I remember telling my mom that I was afraid that this “dummied down version of myself” was permanent and I feared I would never function properly again.
But guess what? God is faithful. He was good to me. I remember Him whispering to my heart that He was giving me the gift of time…time to hurt, time to process, time to heal. And now it’s time to share. Because what God did in my life is just too good to keep to myself.
Did you like this post? Please follow my blog and share on social media and with friends who could use some encouragement. God carved out a path of intense healing for me and I would like to share it with as many people who need to hear. It’s my way of paying it forward.