Saturday, February 27, 2010

Questions

One of the greatest advantages of writing for this blog is the online friendships that I have been able to develop over the past couple of years.
There are those that regularly keep up with what is going on with our family. And, then there are those who find out about my blog through a friend who hopes they will find encouragement here. For the latter, it is a common experience that we share; the loss of our husbands.

When Eric died I knew of no one who had experienced this same loss...but that changed quickly as I was introduced to a few women who had been down the same road as I was now embarking. Since then I have met quite a few women who are courageously walking the path of sorrow.
I have nothing to offer except my experience. Thankfully, God has given me this outlet to share my journey with you and with those who mourn.

After Eric died I devoured books written by women who had a personal experience with losing their husband. I found encouragement in their words. But, I found myself looking for hope at the end of the book. I wanted to know that life would go on, could go on after such a horrible event. It is not surprising to me that many widows have emailed me to ask how my life is going. Since I have had a hard time uploading photos this past week I thought I would answer some of the questions that have been asked of me.

Most of my widow friends want to know how can I get married again so soon?
It has been two years since Eric passed away. It was only weeks after Eric died that I started thinking about getting married again....not seriously looking, but just knew that I didn't want to spend the rest of my life alone. This is healthy I have been told. I had a wonderful first marriage and usually those who have this desire to be married again. So, for many months my crying out to the Lord would end with a plea to help me heal quickly.
It is one of the reasons why I pushed myself to continually walk into the pain whenever it was presented to me. I so wanted to heal, to trust in Him, and lean on His strength.

So, the most popular question is... how is married life?
It is wonderful, hard, amazing...
I remember telling Phil that the greatest gift I could give him was respect. I had already learned many lessons while being married for twenty plus years. I was eager to apply those same lessons to this new marriage. How naive of me to think that what worked for Eric would work for Phil. It has been a lesson for me as I learn to use the same principles but in a different way because Phil is different. He is a steady man whereas Eric was a command man.
But, I can see how the Lord has prepared me for this new marriage over the past two years...maybe even my whole adult life.

It is wonderful to have a man around...to be hugged and kissed...to have someone to talk to other than the kids...to share the tough parenting issues and yet also shre the joys of life.

It is hard as well...my relationship with Phil is not hard, by any means. But, molding a new family IS hard. There are all sorts of issues at hand that I will talk about later.

Amazing is this new life that the Lord has given me. I still can't believe that I am married again. My head spins when I think of all I have gone through over the past couple of years.
When I sit and list all of the amazing benefits of having Phil in my life and then list all of his great qualities I stand in awe of God's plan.

That leads right into another question...have you ever worried about being married to someone else when you felt like you were molded for the man you had been married to?
Eric and I were so different. So different. If he liked white, I liked black. This was typical of our relationship. And, through the years we grew to capitalize on these differences. Our love grew because of a commitment to what God had put together. As our love grew I grew as well.
I was no longer the lazy young girl who wanted a free ride...instead, I learned how to take care of a home and live a very full, fast-paced life.
I benefited from my first marriage but I can't say that I felt molded for Eric. Instead, I feel that the marriage molded me...it was a huge part of my sanctification over the past twenty years.

Phil and I are much more alike. We both love to read, learn, work hard/play hard, watch movies, and play games.
I can't say that I feel molded for Phil as well. We are two individual people who, over time, will find our commitment and marriage molding us together.
I sure hope that answers the questions...
I have more that I will reserve for the next post.
~Heather

6 comments:

Kelly said...

Your love for the Lord and your transparency is what keeps me reading and watching your life as you show Christ shining through you.

I don’t know if what I am going to say will make sense to you, but I will try. I am so not a writer, I am a talker.

When I first heard of you when Eric was in the hospital, and as I continued to follow you through your journey, I remember saying oh Lord don’t let me ever have to go through losing my husband or anything similar I do not think I could do it...obviously it was my fear more then my faith speaking at that time. Flash forward a few months, my husbands health began to go downhill – he suffers from serious chronic pain resulting from a motorcycle accident in 2003 and developed something called reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), also called complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), which is a chronic, painful, and progressive neurological condition that affects the skin, muscles, joints, and bones. – his pain got so bad that in April of last year he was prescribed two medications that conflicted with each other, and I thought I was going to lose him as a result. I was so very scared, and I remember that I went back to your blog and the beginning of your journey with losing your husband, and I was able to get refocused on our Lord, because of your faith and transparency as you shared your journey with us all.

I did not lose my husband ... to death anyway, but he suffered a traumatic brain injury from the meds and it changed him so in a way I did lose him. Praise God though he is getting better as time goes on through therapy...and as hard as it was to go through, I now know I can do or go through anything with Christ as my strength, I knew that before, but sometimes head knowledge and heart knowledge can be two different things, and it isn't until you experience hard times that you get to really understand the depth of Gods love for us...and you sharing with us has been a source of strength at least to me. Your life these past two years for sure has been an amazing testimony to many and for sure to me.

You do not need to post this in your comments; I just wanted to share my thoughts, as incoherent as they may be with you.

Because of Christ,
Kelly

Amanda E. in NC said...

I am a longtime reader I so appreciate how you explained your thought process in wanting to be remarried. I know I was one of the ones extremely shocked (and a little sad) when you announced (really soon after Eric died) that you wanted to remarry. It seemed so cold to focus on that so soon after his passing, especially after you had built a beautiful life together and had been blessed with wonderful children. From a selfish point of view, I thank you for writing your perspective more in depth - I can honestly say I did not judge you, but I was a little taken aback. Your point of view is perfectly clear and reasonable and I hope many people who may have reacted like I did will reconsider their reaction.

Thank you, as always, for continuing to be gracious and honest - a true testament to how God is working in and through you. Congratulations on your marriage - the pictures were unbelievably beautiful!! :-)

(I hope I am not speaking hurtfully or offensively...I mean SO far the opposite of those.)

AmyR said...

Heather,
Such a blessing to "know" you through this blog and read about your experiences...I can truly see a God-film over everything that you do...blessings!
Amy

Homeschool Dad said...

Thank you for such a tender, well thought out post. your transparency helps eben encourages your readers in understanding the journey you are on.

One point I'd like to make is that not only widows have been wondering how you could remarry so soon. I am sure some empathetic wives, at least my own, could not fathom your journey when they tried to put your shoes on their feet.

You did an eloquent job of describing that journey for those who wondered outwadly, as your widowed friend and inwardly as some (at least one) of your readers did.

May God continue to blesss your family, life and marriage. I am blessed each time I read your blog.

Becky M. said...

Heather,

I love reading your blog. As a widow with 8 children, it is nice to see that life is not perfect....when people say "How do you do it?" I am not sure I am. Life just keeps happening.
You are a tremendous blessing. I have always understood your desire to remarry. I wanted to remarry right away, but the Lord has other plans. I am in a wonderful church and have learned so much since my husband died, and have grown spiritually. So I must commit my life to the Lord. But I am all with you, Remarriage sounded wonderful to me and I had a wonderful husband. It has been three years, I miss the companionship and miss talking about the Bible to my own husband instead of constantly asking my pastor who is younger than I am. Please continue to pray for those of us who haven't remarried. At first I was a little sad it wasn't me but you were always so kind in your responses and I again have learned so much from you.

May our Lord bless you with many years together with Phil,

Love in Christ,

Becky M.

Katie said...

Hi Heather,

I figured it was about time I came on over to your blog & got caught up on how you all are adjusting to your new life together.

I appreciate your transparency as you share about it.

Wishing you the BEST!! ;)

Hugs, Katie