I married Steve on December 10th, 2005.Today, we would have celebrated 12 years of marriage and over 14 years of being together.
We got married at church, and had a potluck reception at the home that he was living in, and I was moving into. Moving into an already established family (three of his five kids were still living at home) was not easy on me. But I loved him and gave it everything that I had.
It has only been just over 7 months since he went to Heaven. Originally, I dreaded the coming of this date. But now that it is here, I realize the amount of comfort that God has given me.
I remember how hard it was to just be still on the outside, while inside; I was so scared. I wanted to do something. I wanted to run, screaming; due to the panic that I felt that I was unable to help the man that I loved.
People who looked on, still tell me that they were amazed at how I walked through it as it unfolded. There are those who even suggested that I was on tranquilizers. I was not, I knew that I needed to be still, and hang on to Jesus in a way that I never had before.
During that time, God told me that He would walk me through it, and that He was going to do a new thing in me; and He has. In ways that I would have never imagined.
He has opened my eyes to others who need more help than I do, and I have used my pain as a catalyst to help others.
Some have suggested that I am not grieving properly. That is not so. They have not seen me in the long hours of the night as I learn to sleep alone. They are not there when I have waken myself up crying from a bad dream with no one to comfort me.
But I know that I have made a choice; a choice to continue to hold on to-no- to cling to my Lord. He knew what I would go through before it happened, and He knows what I feel even better than I know now.
I choose to look around me, and see those who need my encouragement rather than to look at my own problems. Here is what I have found. When I say or do something that encourages others; there is a peace and joy that fills my heart. Happiness floods my brain, and the love and appreciation that comes back to me is indescribable.
But there is something else that is happening for the first time in my life. There are others in my life now who are making it a point to love on me, and encourage me. I am accepting this new love that is rushing towards me. Then in turn I show these new people love and appreciation.
My eyes are open to-and I am seeing for the first time in my life what it is to be a part of a big circle of encouragement, love and appreciation that is flowing through me. It flows into me, strengthens me and flows out of me; onto others.
God is indeed doing what He told me that He would do. He is doing a new thing in me. Look up Numbers 23:19 and see the promise there.
After saying all this; there are some who would read and say “Donna, you must not have truly loved Steve to be able to recover so quickly”
My answer to them especially his family who are still in different stages of grief than I…
Please read very carefully. I loved Steve like I have never loved. He told me that he never loved anyone the way that he loved me. I miss him very much. What he and I went through together during his final days still haunts my dreams, and causes me to wake up crying.
But, Steve is in Heaven. He is watching ballgames, going to yard sales, and planting roses. He is doing all the things that brought him joy. He is with Jesus, he is feeling joy like he has never known.
I am here and I have a choice to make. I can be angry, and find someone to blame for my pain. I can wear sack cloth and ashes, crying to anyone who will listen-or I can connect with others. I can lean on Jesus, and listen for the sound of His voice in my life. I can allow those who will encourage me to do so.
Steve is so happy where he is, that he would not come back given the chance, and I would not be selfish enough to ask. But–Steve I love you. Happy Anniversary.