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…and on we go

When your greatest fear becomes reality, what do you do?

I think, you have two choices. Allow this reality to define or refine you.

...and on we go

...and on we go
It's been a tough few weeks with a lot of life transitions on the horizon. I knew this spring would be a time of great change. I've been armoring up for it for months, and there's something really prophetic to me about change springing forth this time of year. But as the first of the changes starts to happen my heart is clenched and I'm overcome with emotion.
In any one season - a upcoming wedding, kids moving out, kids graduating high school or college (of which I have three this year, plus my bonus future son-in-love), child going on a year mission, dealing with insurance over a new roof, a developing relationship, selling a house, purchasing a new one, a move ... all while running a business and starting a new one - it would be enough, but stacking all of that in a short time frame of a handful of months is honestly a lot. It feels like I need to rip one bandaid off at a time, but God is saying, no, let's get it all done at once.
When we lost Joe, the first thing I wanted to do was sell the house. Being in this house, in our bedroom, where he died has been a challenge every single day.
While God has healed my heart and my mind from those awful memories, there's still a lingering energy of the ever present reminder that he died here.
This is where I found him.
He died in that spot.
This is where I performed CPR.
This is where I was standing when the paramedics told me he was gone.
This is where I told my kids.
This is where, this is where, this is where...all of it happened, in our home.
Over an abundance of reflection, I believe the enemy was at work that day. I believe he was trying to crumble our family in one event. I believe he knew just how much home meant to us and he wanted to pull that out from underneath us.
But in prayer even as I was wrestling with selling the house then, God told me that he needed me to be here for two years. Reluctant to stay, I have, (and we've) made this home happy again.
We pray.
We worship in the kitchen while cooking meals.
We laugh.
We enjoy time around the table.
We have hosted friends over and brought joy back into the home.
...and now, it's time for another family to enjoy it.
We are closing in on the two year mark, and our hearts are ready for all the new that God has prepared for us.
In this preparation, he's reset that two year mark with some new things and given me great hope and vision for what's to come.
It's strange to me how you can be walking through all of this great change with a duality of emotions. I'm so excited to see what's next, but also, filled with emotion that bubbles over my eyes often these days.
I find myself longing for someone to swoop in and tell me that I’m okay, and that I'm making the right decisions.
For someone to acknowledge that this is a lot, and ...
That I’ve done enough.
That I have done a great job raising these kids through the unthinkable.
That I didn’t come on too strong, or too soft in my abundance of emotions.
That I'm making the right decisions.
I just want someone to hold me and say “you’re okay.” That it's ok to be emotional. This is a lot.
I believe God has sent people all along the way to tell me these things. I believe that when a contractor is in my home and sharing how resilient they see me, or when my girlfriends tell me I'm strong, or when a random person sends me a sweet note about one of my kids - all of these things are God's way of reminding me that I'm enough, and I've done exactly what he wanted me to.
...and on we go.
Those are the words another widow friend said just this past fall. All the decisions we have to make can cause us to pause and question, but knowing that as life keeps moving forward we have the decision to move with it, or get stuck.
Daily I look at something in my life and think, is this really my life?
Am I really a widow?
Did he really die?
Has it really been almost two years?
How have I done all of this on my own?
What's next God?
In all these questions, I no longer ask why. I don't need to know. I just need to know that I am in alignment with what God wants next for my life, and every time I ask, I see great dreams and visions of his nexts, but I'll never get there if I stay stuck in the now.
...and on we go.
We keep walking forward. I find a strange peace in knowing that change is inevitable. These nexts won't have space to happen without walking forward, but also that change is excruciatingly hard - and in that realization, God gives me grace. He knows I didn't choose this life event and yet He reminds me that I'm insulated, protected and covered. He's done that for me with so many things, including community and finances. Even down to the roof replacement, this reminder that my roof had holes in it, and now that covering is being restored. (perspective)
Am I ok? Yes.
Will it all be ok? Yes.
How do I know? Because God will be with me.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. - Joshua 1:9
This scripture has been all over my social media lately, and I'd ask why, but I think it's another subtle reminder from God that I am on the right path. That He is agreeing with the steps I'm taking and He is giving me assurance through others.
This scripture, has applied a peace upon my mind and heart like a warm medicinal balm. Even in the chaos of all this change, I have peace. Even in the uncertainty of all this next, I know I'm making the right steps.
And that friend, is the relentless love of God. His love is abundant and overflowing without measure. As the song Reckless Love says - 'You have been so, so kind to me. ... The overwhelming, never-ending love of God. It chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine. I couldn't earn it, I don't deserve it, still You give Yourself away.'
It's taken what seems my whole lifetime, but I feel like I'm finally in my own lane. Learning who Laura is, who God is, and who I am with Him. This has been the most beautiful gift He has given me during this time. Did I have to lose Joe to find this? Perhaps. But I choose not to dwell on that thought, rather to step back and marvel just how far God has brought me in this time and watch in awe knowing that there is so much more coming.
I can just be.
I can rest in His embrace.
It will all be ok.
...and on we go.