And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
I didn’t go to my junior prom!
I was dumped just a few days before it. Yep. Dumped.
Fast forward six years…
There I stood saying “I do” to the man who had dumped me.
You see, Scott wasn’t perfect. We met very young. We sowed wild oats. He had a few more than me to sow though, and he did!
We were high school sweethearts. On again off again, tumultuous impulsive teenagers. Imperfect.
It wasn’t until college, where we were captured by our love for one another; and pursued by a relentless God, that we surrendered.
God didn’t want either of us to be perfect. He wanted us in our imperfection. Once He captured our hearts we were all His, and one another’s too.
We got married just two months after our college graduations. I’d love to tell you we were perfectly happy. We weren’t. Life was messy and hard from the word go. We struggled to manage two very strong personalities and to find our groove. Then we had infertility issues that almost broke our passion for one another.
Yet, our love and commitment for each other and God ran deep. It saved and guided us many days.
We blended two very different extended families. Eventually, we were extremely blessed to have three kids.
Then life took a sharp turn, and I went from being a wife to a widow. It’s an unwelcomed journey I have been on for almost six years now.
Earlier in my journey, a valuable piece of advice I received was not to put my husband on a pedestal, by remembering our life in its entirety. You see, in the pain, I wanted to just remember the good. I wanted to glamorize our life together. I even wanted to make my husband an idol. Setting standards that he didn’t actually achieve.
The “pedestal” advice came from a widower friend who had made that mistake. Once God healed him, and opened his heart and mind to the future it was a very tough road for him to remove the “god” his late wife had become. He struggled to step forward and embrace life because he had clung so tightly for so long to the past, he created idols in his heart and mind that were hard to relinquish.
So, my internal motto became: Once God opens my heart to anything new it would be extremely hard to lug that pedestal along too!
My husband was imperfectly amazing. Our love was deep and our commitment firm. I wish he were here with us now, but he’s not. He’s not here on a pedestal either. He’s a part of who we are. He is loved and missed. He goes along with us, still, but in his proper place. Second to our great God and our “new” life!
Sisters, be careful. Your marriage might’ve been amazing. Your love deep. Memories vast. But, don’t idolize it. Don’t get stuck thinking you can’t step forward or heal, that you can’t live again, because you might dishonor something that no longer exists. Turn to God and put Him alone on the pedestal. Embrace the new and walk this journey well, by loving God the most.
Father God, thank You for sending me someone who spoke such important truth to me early on. Thank You for balancing my grief and love for my husband with how much more You love me. I lift up any sister to You now that might be struggling with this right now. Help her to see You, and know and love You deeper than she ever did anyone else. In Your Matchless Name, Amen.
Erika Graham is Director of Operations, and an author and speaker for aNew Season/A Widow’s Might Ministries. She resides in New Jersey with her daughter, twin boys, and her little fluffy puppy. She loves summers at the beach and all things chocolate. She lost her husband to suicide in June 2010. Erika has been called to share the victory she’s experiencing through Christ Jesus over the life God has ordained for her.
If you are interested in having Erika or any of our writing team speak, please contact us via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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