“I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me.” ~Galatians 2:20 ESV
It was what he said.
Time and time again.
When the diagnosis first came, “Lori, it is what it is.”
When the treatments failed, “It is what it is, Babe.”
When death approached, “It is what it is.”
It was never about giving up. It was always about our inability to change the circumstances.
It was never about a lack of faith. Quite the opposite, it was always about knowing that whatever lied ahead, God was already there.
The words have rattled around in this widow’s brain since he first uttered them to me– such wisdom in the middle of tremendous pain. So much confusion for us both, and yet he possessed a complete dependence on the One who was in control, surrendering.
to the Lord who knows our difficulties and leads the way.
to the One who is trustworthy and faithful.
to the God who never asked us to understand, but did call us to believe.
I watched it play out right before my eyes. “It is what it is.”
This husband of mine and his clinging to God, regardless of what was thrown at him; it left me speechless.
His searching for and finding God’s perfect peace in the midst of chaotic suffering was a humbling and gorgeous process to witness.
The example of full surrender to God’s plan, even when it meant acknowledging the loss of every single shattered dream, every selfish desire, and every personal plan is something of which I still stand in awe.
“It Is What It Is” was moment-by-moment surrender in the heat of the battle.
When Tim’s final cancer war began, we were desperately crying out to God, pleading for earthly healing. Somewhere along the way, our prayers changed to reflect more surrender in our hearts. We found a new level of acceptance that this life ultimately is not in our control. It simply is what it is.
Now I stand on the other side of the trauma of his death. Facing new challenges, different pain, and unique depths of frustration, I have a choice. Thankfully, that choice comes on the heels of God’s proven faithfulness.
And so, this life as a widowed woman raising children through adolescence and into adulthood is mine to view as a blessing.
I cannot change the events that took my husband from this earth and left me as the sole earthly parent to our children.
I cannot change our loss, but I can choose my response to it.
I can remember the Lord who knows our difficulties and leads the way.
I can lean into the One who is trustworthy and faithful.
I can fully rely on the God who never asks me to understand, but does call me to believe.
My faith tells me that no matter what lies ahead of me, God is already there. He is preparing the way.
It is what it is
He is who He is.
Lord, I surrender to Your will. Use all of this for Your glory. This loss and my finding how to survive the other side of it isn’t the path I would have chosen, but I trust You to be working in it for my good. Amen.
Lori Reynolds Streller is a mother of two who finds herself smack dab in the middle of widowhood. She is choosing a life of gratitude by intentionally living this new life well. She answers to Mom, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. Her sanity is fueled by daily time with Jesus and a lot of coffee. Boot camp workouts and running are her stress relievers. As a writer/speaker for aNew Season/A Widow’s Might Ministries, Lori uses her sense of humor and her reliance on God’s faithfulness to minister to others. She boldly claims the goodness of her Lord in the midst of chaotic suffering.
If you are interested in having Lori speak at your church or function, email her at email@example.com
Other articles written by this author: Lori Reynolds Streller
For more on the topic of surrender: The Safest Place for Your Soul is in Surrender (by Katie) or One (by Sherry)