Change of Plans!

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.

change of plans

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)

6 replies
  1. Carol Peterson
    Carol Peterson says:

    Dear Karen, Thank you for your honest feelings of change of plans. My dear Lowell passed away a year ago on the 11th without any previous warning. He had been retired about a year and half….Now I too am trying to find my direction without him. We played piano and organ together for many weddings and funerals and just enjoyed each other in so many ways. I do know the Lord’s plan and timing are perfect and that day was established long before Lowell was born….as it is for each of us. God is good and walks this journey every step of the way with us.
    May you feel God’s hand in yours as you walk along.

    • Karen Emberlin
      Karen Emberlin says:

      Thanks to all of you who have commented. Each of our stories are different, yet we share a common bond! This morning as I continue to think of the “change” that is happening in my life and going through the next step, the theme of “wait upon the Lord”, “be patient”, “trust in the Lord” seem to keep coming to me. Isaiah 40:31 (Living Bible) says, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

      My prayer for each of us who are facing “change” is that we will direct our attention to Him for answers and strength.

      Lord, I pray that you will be with me and all of my dear sisters who are facing unwanted change in our lives. Help us to trust you instead of trying to figure things out ourselves and to wait with hopeful anticipation of what you are going to do for us. Thank you for all the promises you give us in your Word to help us walk this journey. Amen

  2. FlowerLady Lorraine
    FlowerLady Lorraine says:

    Dear Karen ~ Thank you for sharing your story. I lost my dear husband and best friend 4 months ago on the 9th. We were married 43 years.

    I am glad to hear God has worked out things in your life, that is encouraging.


  3. Doris
    Doris says:

    Your story sounds so much like mine. I was married to my husband for 43 years had two daughters and four grandchildren. We also worked together and were with other everyday. Ten months ago he went home to be with the lord. I then moved to another city with my daughter and two grandkids. I still don’t know where God wants me, but I still await his plans. Thank you for sharing. It helps so much to know that on this journey I am not alone. Thank you again.

  4. Linda Rich
    Linda Rich says:

    Karen, thanks for sharing, I love your attitude, it will be what gets you through with flying colors. I lost my husband of 37 years one year ago. I have continued in an attitude of thankfulness of the time I was able to have with John. I have kept an eternal perspective throughout, knowing I am one stopped breath away from seeing my Saviour and my dear John. Jesus is taking good care of me and I anticipate each day how I can be a blessing to others. In the time we have left here we can enjoy our new journey, of course it will be different, but that is where our faith comes in. Sharing with folks about my loss and hope and comfort I have in Jesus is a powerful testimony. I believe our enemy, Satan enjoys seeing widows feeling powerless and hopeless over our loss. We are held hostage by our emotions. But the Lord wants us set free. Love and strength to all…

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