It has been a big weekend for me. Not in the sense that I had heaps on or did anything major – like feeding crocodiles or constructing the world’s largest rope swing – but in a more emotional and spiritual sense.
I went away with a few good friends to Erowal Bay and spent the weekend relaxing at the beach and in the house. The thing that made it challenging for me was Matt’s absence. Last time I went to that place with those amazing people (you know who you are!) was for our wedding gift. We had an awesome weekend together celebrating our new marriage, each other’s company, and God’s marvellous creation. Every time I revisit a place or experience Matthew and I enjoyed together, the woulds are ripped open again, the hurt comes flooding in.
Here are some thoughts I journalled while I was there:
I feel his absence more than ever today. I am surrounded by people but I feel so alone. My husband is gone and there is nothing I (or anyone else) can do to change that horrible fact. How do I go on? How do I move forward in life? Sometimes I worry that I don’t care enough; that I obviously didn’t love him enough…and then there are times like today where I think of nothing else but him. I miss him so much. Today more than ever, I feel like half of me is missing. I don’t know what to say, but I have so much to say. Matthew has gone, and so has a big part of me.
Each day brings new emotions, new feelings. So much of my time and energy is put into processing and dealing with these. It’s quite draining. I am thankful though. I am thankful that God has allowed the shock to wear off slowly so that I can take each wave of emotion as it comes, as opposed to dealing with a flood or tsunami of hurt and pain all in one go. It is a small thing; but every little thing helps in a time like this.
Last night I was reflecting on these verses from Philippians;
‘For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith.’ (Phil 1:21-25 NLT)
One of the biggest and most important decisions I have had to make since Matt’s death is that I will continue to live. It is full on – but it is reality. I would much rather be with Christ in heaven right now than being here suffering without my husband. To be honest, in my eyes the future looks quite bleak. I know that God is good and has a plan for me but right now all I see is a life without Matthew. This being said, I have made the conscience decision stay here on earth until God calls me home.
Believe me when I say that this was not an easy decision to make. And even though it has been made and I will stick to it, I still have to fight everyday to not go back on my word. I have chosen life, even though some days death seems so much more appealing.
Jesus chose death for the people he loved.
I am choosing life for the people I love.
And as a sister pointed out to me last night;
‘You’re living for God and leaving your life in His hands, and seeing your life play out according to His plan, which is also what Jesus did – dying for God according to His will. We can see that on this side of the cross; that Jesus died for a greater purpose. And He called out for any other way but there wasn’t – and He achieved the greatest thing because it was according to God’s plan. I guess it is a small reminder that God’s plans are good even when they involve suffering or making hard decisions and doing things you don’t want to do.’
It’s true – God’s plans are higher and greater than ours. We need to actively choose to walk (or stumble) along His path, always remembering that we never walk alone.