Thursday, August 19, 2010

In Closing

It has been three years since Chuck died. THREE YEARS. I can scarcely believe it. I remember praying, “How long, Lord? How long til I can breathe again? How long til each moment of each day is not absolute agony? How long til I want to live again? How long til I laugh? How long?” God has graciously and miraculously healed my heart and breathed new life into my once weary spirit. Praise Jesus!

This blog has been such a gift to me. Thank you for encouraging me through “the hospital days” and through my grief. God used you to ease my burden, and for that I will be eternally grateful. This precious season of my life has come to an end – as has this blog. I look back at it in wonder – so many miracles, so much pain, so much joy, so much…life.

I want to part with the truth about what happened to Chuck Though it broke our hearts to say goodbye to him, he is home. Though it seemed cruel to take him after such a courageous battle, God showed mercy to Chuck. He loves Chuck so much, that He put Chuck’s needs above our wants. God whispered, “Well done, Chuck,” and He relieved all of his struggles, all of his pain, all of his limitations. He gave Chuck LIFE.

May God bless you richly! All my love - Jan

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

It is Well

For a few weeks now I've been harboring ill will toward God. It all stemmed from a simple question at Bible study…do you expect God to respond to your prayers? Innocent enough question. It unearthed a world of hurt I had inadvertently buried. NO, I do NOT expect Him to respond to me…not anymore. Ouch. How did that happen? When did that happen?

Sometimes I am still shocked that God's answer to my daily begging was, "No." I did NOT see that one coming. I fully believed, fully expected healing…and not that lame, "he'll be healed in heaven" kind of healing. I expected Chuck to come home with me…for us to grow old together…or at the very least…to grow older together.

So, I've been harboring. "HOW, HOW, HOW can I trust You with my heart, LORD? You took my greatest joy. You took my delight…my greatest source of comfort and laughter. You took my hopes and my dreams. If You can't do that one thing for me…game over…because no other request could ever mean as much to me as the one for Chuck's very life."

In this discovery, I've turned back to God…angrily…poutily, but back nonetheless. And God has responded in gentleness. He's revealing His truth to my very heart. He is showing me my limited vision. He is showing me my prideful demand to understand His mind. He is showing me there is more than I can see and understand…there is more. There is something beautiful and complete in His, "No, Jan. It's time. I love you, and I'm taking Chuck home. I'm not asking you to understand. I'm asking you to trust me."

So, while I don't expect a "YES" to each request, I am coming to understand that each and every request is treated gingerly with ultimate love and good…that each "NO" is an opportunity for something precious and mysterious to soften within my spirit. While I'm still hesitant, I can hold my trembling heart out to God and know that it is ultimately safe.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Tender Reminder

I'm beginning my morning with thoughts of Chuck. Sometimes I try to downplay what I (we) lost. This is one of my feeble attempts at self-preservation...he was just a man, right? Yet there are times I simply cannot deny it. Chuck was amazing...bold...audacious...witty...charming...challening...and oh so much more. Once again I am humbled and awed that HE CHOSE ME.

I recently received a letter from a nurse who took care of Chuck during one of his stints in the I.C.U. at Big Baylor. Cassie, as God would have it, is a former camper!

Hi Jan,

First and foremost, I just want to say how very sorry I am to hear about Chuck. While I didn't know him in the capacity that most people who visit the site did, I was touched by his presence, even if for a little while. It was always an honor for me to get to take care of Chuck, and talk to the two of you, even about basketball (I am still grateful for the day you guys put the TV on the Mavs-Spurs game so I could watch!). It always warmed my heart to see how many people loved the two of you, and how much the two of you loved each other.

I'm so glad to see that you guys are doing a memorial at TLC. I know how much the camp meant/means to you guys, and there are many others--including myself who will always be grateful that there was a place you could go and be "normal", even if for a little while.

Take care,

Cassie Moffitt

Saturday, February 21, 2009

One Year, Six Months, and One Day...

not that I'm counting. It's true. My love has been gone from me for one year, six months, and one day. (I mark time in years and half years.) Amazingly, I did not even realize on February 20 that it had been exactly a year and a half since Chuck's departure.

I was crashing my niece's slumber party, when my sister leaned over and whispered, "A year ago today, we were in paradise." Ahhhh yes, the Hawaii trip. Stunned, I clamored, "Is today the 20th? Chuck died EXACTLY a year and a half ago." I was shocked that the anniversary almost escaped my notice. It would have had Shea not brought it up.

For just this very reason, I am in awe of God's work in my heart. Truly...He has brought so much healing. I had prepared myself for a life of simply existing...awaiting my time to join Chuck. I knew I'd have moments of happiness in my journey...but I did not expect THIS. I did not expect a full life...a life filled with joy. I did not expect God to take my heart and expand it around the hole that Chuck left. God gave me a brand new heart...a heart that functions at a greater capacity to experience JOY. Who knew? It takes a hole in ones heart to help it beat more joyfully.

So I am celebrating. I am celebrating God's miracle in my life. I'm celebrating that I get to keep the hole that only Chuck could that memories of him can live there, speak to me, and make me laugh. I'm celebrating that the areas around that hole have expanded to take in greater joy and peace. I celebrate God's redemptive power to restore me to a FULL LIFE. THANK YOU LORD JESUS.

Friday, February 06, 2009

A Week in God's Country

I spent this entire week working from Spearman...God's country. I could not get enough of the sky...the flat fields...the windmills. Spearman just happens to be home to THE J. B. Buchanan Vintage Windmill Collection.

Every time I was out on errands, I would drive to the edge of town just to get a glimpse...of OPENNESS. Everything is so picturesque with the stark contrast between earth and sky.

Alas, I miss home and am looking forward to getting back to my neck of the woods.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Is It REALLY this Hard?

This question has been plaguing it really this hard to live? And not just to live, but to live meaningfully? I mean come hard can it be? Yet, everywhere I many issues to many habits to many relationships to many obstacles to overcome. These thoughts chase me throughout the day: must increase exercise; must decrease caffeine intake; must feed into relationships; must keep an eye on my budget; must plan for my future; must serve a hurting world; must find my place in ministry; must find my place in this world. REALLY?

Then God reminded is that easy. After crying out to him, "Where are you, God? Why am I so empty? Aren't you supposed to fill me? If you are supposed to be my husband now, what kind of husband are you? The kind who neglects his wife??? I am empty, empty, empty, empty!!!!" He answered. But not right away. He let me stew a while...journal a while...cry a while. He has answered with..."BREATHE woman. You are in process. If you do NOTHING, I will work in you. I will work in you. Me, Jan, I will do the work. You cannot change your own heart. You cannot motivate an unwilling spirit...I will do the work. You stay connected to me. You look to me. You cry to me. Don't go out there and try to fix yourself, woman. You cannot do it."

Whew...I think He's gonna do the work. I'm gonna rest in Him (you know...for as long as my spirit is'll come.)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Confound It!

Yes, I've taken a break from the blog. I feel ready and inspired to put "pen to paper" to tell the story of how God carried me and Chuck through the last year and a half of our marriage.

Because I get very short glimmers of "brilliance," I want to use them for writing...yes...a book. The glimmers are SO short, that if I use them in the blog...ain't nothin' left.

While THE PLAN was to use my glimmers for writing the book, I've simply stifled the glimmers and watched movies. instead.

Confound it.