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From the Heart

Sitting in the hospital with my husband hooked up to a breathing tube, heart monitor, and in the process of receiving a blood transfusion, I knew I couldn’t handle this in and of myself. Random thoughts raced through my mind.

Have you ever wondered what goes through someone’s mind when they’re told their husband has two months to a year to live? There are suddenly fears that can’t be brushed aside as irrational or unrealistic. The fear that the doctors might actually know what they are talking about. The fear of watching your husband face the same slow and painful death that his father faced. The fear of continuing through life without your soul mate, the man who makes you laugh, who keeps you grounded, who knows all your strange idiosyncrasies and faults, but loves and accepts you anyway. Fear of what’s next, of what happens to a pastor’s wife at the death of her husband: the displacement of purpose, of losing your home church, of losing your home, of where you will go and how you will support your family.

You can’t just brush the fears aside—they represent, apart from a divine miracle, a probable reality—but you can’t let them control you either. You need strength in the midst of the fears, the unknowns, and uncertainties. You need a strength that will overcome the fears. You have to be strong and you know you can’t do it on your own.

Some question God in anger at times like this, and I can understand it in some ways. I refuse to say that I will never become angry, never having faced this before, never having felt the precursors to such a deep mourning.

I have never traveled this road. I don’t know what to expect. Still, my mind and heart cannot wrap themselves around becoming angry and questioning God in the moment of my greatest need for His strength, for His peace, for His comfort. My question for God is how to not only survive this trial, but to not let it be wasted, to allow Him to be glorified through it. How do you do that? How to you stay focused on Him when realistic fears creep in and threaten to overwhelm you?

For myself, survival means letting go and letting God. It means taking every thought captive to God, to be compared to truth, and dealt with accordingly. It means to follow truth—or fall apart. Literally. Talk about a balancing act of not denying my emotions, the emotional being that God has made me to be, and yet at the same time not allowing Satan or my flesh to go into hyper-drive and turning something good into something detrimental to my health and life.

Facing the possibility of losing your spouse is a heart wrenching pain that squeezes your insides until you wonder if you can keep breathing. Thoughts of “I can’t do this!” can be overwhelming—but truth says, “You’re right. YOU can’t do this, but MY grace is sufficient. You can do ALL things through CHRIST who strengthened you.”

You claim it by faith, not by strength, but by faith. You claim it one day at a time. You claim it one hour at a time. You claim it one moment at a time—even through the tears. And then you try not to look heavenward in surprise when you recognize that unexplainable peace filling your heart, your soul, and your mind, a peace that makes no sense at all, a peace that can only come from Him.

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  1. Linda Rosengren
    May 24, 2011 at 7:08 am

    My heart aches for you guys, Rosie, and I’m praying that our loving Heavenly Father will continue to minister peace to you as He wraps you in His everlasting arms to carry you over this rocky road. He is being glorified by your trust in His sovereignty, and I know that He is proud of his “little girl”. With prayers and hugs. ❤

  2. Lisa
    May 24, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Thank you for helping me refocus my priorities! You are such an amazing testimony; I am truly blessed to know you and your family.

  3. Andrea Stagnari
    May 24, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Thinking of you and Matt, praying that peace fills your heart today!

  4. Paul and Pat Dye
    May 24, 2011 at 10:17 am

    My daughter LIsa and I are sitting here reading your blog together….realizing you ARE a woman of words…and now, a woman of faith…seeking God to meet your needs at such a time as this…All we can do on this end is pray for you all there.

    Our grandaughter is making a quick trip to N.Y. to visit your daughter in love in these days…I trust that she can meet up with you both there and give hugs from us…

    Please know….you are in our prayers and thoughts and tears…Pat and Lisa Dye (Lewis)

  5. May 24, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Thank you for sharing Rosie. I will pray that you and your family will be comforted by the friend who never leaves us. God Bless!

  6. Colleen Lennon
    May 24, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Rosie you are such a gifted writer and help us envision how you are feeling. That “peace” that you speak of is the peace that surpasses all understanding and only comes from GOD.
    I thank God that you are experiencing this peace in your heart.
    We continue to pray each day for Matt, the boys, and you.
    Keep looking unto Jesus as He continues to bathe you in His LOVE! He knows our sufferings and sorrows because He has experienced it. He is our true friend!

  7. Karen Moore
    May 24, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Every passing day will be a challenge to keep the fears at bay; I pray God’s continued presence in your journey. Much love to you and your family at this very trying time.

  8. Karyn Kurz
    May 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Rosie,
    Thank you for sharing your heart with us so that we can pray for you. I pray so often for you and check your blog regularly to see how you guys are doing. My heart aches for you, but I am so thankful that God is your comfort and He can help you each step of the way thru this journey.
    Praying for you all!
    Karyn

  9. Stephanie Humphreys
    May 24, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Rosie,
    Thank you for sharing so intimately. I have no words because I can’t imagine (until this article) the feelings and emotions you’re experiencing. The testimony of you and Matt during this time has turned our hearts and minds Godward and we see HIS strength, grace and peace carrying you both. While we continue to pray for you we also thank God for meeting your needs moment by moment. God’s peace truly does pass all human understanding.

    Uplifting and entrusting you to HIS care,
    Steph

  10. Wanda Nazworth
    May 25, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    I’m praying for you, Rosie!

  11. May 26, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Rosie – please know that we are praying with you for God’s ultimate plan to be revealed through this frightening time. I can relate to so many of the questions you are asking – not in the exact same terribly hard circumstance, but in difficult circumstances of other natures that have taken place over the years in our own lives. I’ve learned through those times, that yes, God does have a way of bringing that peace that passes all understanding…the peace that He promised…when we trust Him to be our strength, the One that carries us through. Sending you love and hugs (((Rosie)))

    Your new found friend,
    Janet

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