Thursday, January 26, 2017

Sometimes, I find myself in this strange limbo.
My last post reflects this state of uncertainty. I received a startling text on New Year's Day, my financial advisor was moving on and I had a hard decision to make: move with him or chart a new course. That would mean uncomfortable interviews with people much smarter than me and getting a handle on my portfolio so I could determine the best strategy. I hate numbers, I hate anything business-related, and sometimes I plain hate change! But as my good friend, Alice, says: Sometimes we need to be the only adult in the room.
Let's face it; it's less scary looking back and camping in the past, but it's not very healthy when one is flying solo.
I received this encouragement this morning from I hope it's helpful for anyone facing an about-face change.

Erica Kosal, PhD is an author, biology professor and mom to two young children. Erica lost her husband in June of 2014 after six years of fighting neurological chronic Lyme disease with overlapping ALS symptoms.  Erica has written two books that highlight her relationship with Christ and the power of the inner human spirit.  By writing, Erica has found comfort.  By spending time in nature, Erica has found strength.  And by spending time with her children, Erica has found love.  

But Lot’s wife looked back
as she was following behind him,
and she turned into a pillar of salt.  
Genesis 19:26 NLT

I’m living, but my past is dead.  My spouse Jim died two and a half years ago and, of course, nothing is the same.  I look back and remember him, aching for his presence, but at the same time, I know I need to look forward and to the future, moving in the right direction for my children.  
This is a tricky combination.  I know I cannot sit in the past and become stuck in the sadness of Jim’s no longer being here, but I also want to honor him, keep him in our conversations, and include Jim in our lives as much as possible.  
As I reflect on this dichotomy my mind returns over and over to Lot’s wife.  Living in Sodom, Lot and his family lived among some very bad people and finally God had enough.  Angels warned Lot to take his wife and two daughters and flee the land without looking back as Sodom and Gomorrah were to be destroyed.  As the family ran, only Lot’s wife looked back, and she turned into a pillar of salt.  
Obeying God is important as the story told in Genesis reminds us, but I also think that this is an illustration of what can happen if we concentrate too much on the past.  What consequences might come our way if we do not trust God to take us out of harm’s way and give us a future.  If we try to return to our past, when we know we cannot, we can destroy ourselves.  Longing for the past, looking behind, rather than trusting to move forward, can cause us to become frozen and paralyzed.  Sometimes when I feel like I cannot move forward because it is too overwhelming, I draw to this story.  I have to move forward and obey God who is telling me to raise my kids to know Him, to trust Him that my future will be safe, and that a home will be present.  God placed me and my two children in this position, and I have to trust that someday it will be clear why the events of my life unfolded as they did.  In the meantime, I run to the hills with my family in tow and know that if I look back without trust of moving forward, I too can be consumed with grief without finding value in my current life.  I do need to remember Jim and honor him, but I cannot stay stuck in my old life.  My new life calls.
God, I pray that all women who are feeling stuck and find themselves returning to memories of their old life without being able to move forward can be shown Your love in a way around them that reminds them to trust You and to move forward in faith.  I pray that we can honor our late husbands and always cherish the memories we have without becoming consumed by wanting our old lives too much.  Help us move forward and see our futures as ones with meaning and hope.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.  
 So there you have it. I'm still trying to figure out how to honor and remember Rob and the beautiful life we shared, but move through my new life with bold trust.  With the help of my great God, I've hired a new advisor, gained a new understanding of my portfolio and climbed another emotional mountain, all in a matter of days. Just as the market resets, so will I. I'll glance back, realize I can't stay there, and march forward. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

I need my kids' help. 
I need my husband's wisdom. 
I need increased faith. 
I need Jesus more.