by Karen Emberlin
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)
Just fourteen months ago the hopes, dreams, and plans that my husband and I had were suddenly snatched away from me. I woke one morning to discover my husband, lover, and best friend had “gone home to be with Jesus”.
What a shock!!
We had just spent Christmas, our forty-eighth anniversary, and New Years together! I had no idea that anything was wrong
In the minutes, hours, days, weeks, and even months that passed, I couldn’t begin to understand how I could manage without him, much less making “plans” for the future. I depended on him for everything from driving me to helping me daily monitor my “brittle” diabetes. He never complained and was always there for me! We had the joy of raising a daughter and a son, were blessed with four grandchildren, and experienced the adventures of “working for ourselves” for over thirty years, spending everyday together. I felt as though part of me was taken away!
I had to “change plans”! And more drastically than most new widows. With my diabetes, I did not want to stay alone. My family is spread over four states, neither in which I lived.
So two weeks after losing my husband, I sorted our “stuff” and moved several hundred miles away with only a fraction of my belongings.
It was a comfort to be with grandchildren in my daughter’s home, but not really the life I wanted. I missed getting out each day, the business contacts we had, and our church friends and activities. I had this “tug” in my heart to find some of these things again but did not know how and still did not know what “plans” God would have for me.
So, “change of plans” again!
Someone suggested a “retirement” center. I cringed. Then the Lord began to “flip” that idea around and helped me understand how this “Village” offers me “people, support, relief, hope, and opportunities to serve Him”. He again blessed me by working out many details that looked impossible. I move into my new home in just a couple of weeks.
God’s plans for my husband were to take him “home” – even though I still don’t know exactly what all His plans for me hold, I know I’m seeking the Lord in a deeper way than ever before and am looking forward not only to my new home at the retirement village, but to my heavenly home.
A previous Pastor wrote to me, “the Bible assures us that if the Lord created the heavens and earth in a matter of days, His preparation for us in heaven over the past 2,000 years will be beyond what we could ever imagine. This is our glorious hope! The prospect of seeing a dearly loved one in the future keeps this hope alive in the present.”
The days are lonely on this “journey” and I miss my husband very much. I don’t think the “hole in my heart” will ever go away. I am thankful that my husband’s home-going was peaceful and am very thankful for the forty-eight years of love we shared. God is faithful and I am ready to focus on the next step of His “plan” for me.
“Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him to act.” Psalm 37:7 (Living Bible)