The Wrong Miracle
#100WidowStrong, Entry #2
Join me for a raw look at part of my journey from the months immediately following the loss of my precious husband, Ben, last September. One of our three missions with NaSHEville is awareness and advocacy for women of all ages that have lost their spouses. Take a look inside my story, and please consider supporting our partner, Modern Widows Club, and the incredible work they do to promote education, empowerment, and healing for widows in Nashville and all across the country.
I would have given anything to be in his place. To take the ventilator out of his throat and the EEG wires off of his stapled scalp. To make all the monitors and I.V.’s go away. To make the machines stop beeping. To squeeze his hand and feel him squeeze it back, just one more time.
But the Lord didn’t put me in a hospital bed. He put me beside one. Hour after hour, day after day, He led me to that room of harrowing fear and met me there with unrelenting refuge. He put me on the battlefield with no weapon but His promise. And by promise, I don’t mean a quiver of miracle arrows to save me from a fiery furnace or blindness or leprosy. I mean the promise that He wouldn’t leave me. He wouldn’t forsake me. The pleading, knees-on-the-cold-hospital-floor prayers I prayed for twelve days beside my unconscious husband – God heard them. He honored them. He just didn’t make Ben the miracle story; He started writing a different story for me.
The Lord never left me those weeks. He never left the ICU. He never left Ben as he closed his eyes for the last time. He never left me or my broken heart as it shattered and dissipated into a suffocating cloud of grief, a cloud that you never expect at 28. He didn’t make me process alone, like a wounded soldier, in and out of the funeral service or to the graveside or back to our newlywed home. He certainly didn’t let me cry and drink whiskey alone when they seemed my body’s only viable functions. Like a true Father, He simply held me. He still is holding me, twenty-four hours at a time.
Sometimes through clips of angelically arched rainbows or unexpected breezes. Sometimes through friends or poems or old songs Ben and I used to sing. But most of the time, He held me through His Word. His all-knowing, all-true, all-gracious Word.
For weeks my words seemed dormant, chained to some empty paperweight in a void part of my chest I didn’t previously know existed. And yet His Words always showed up. On the best days, they showed up as bright as a brand new engagement ring perched on the left hand of its radiating new owner. They were powerful, illuminating, navigating me through a place, that for a few moments, I wasn’t terrified I couldn’t see. Other days, they teased like a dark menu in an old restaurant. The ones you strain to read, realize you don’t have the strength, then just point to something to order. He always sent me out something delicious.
One of the tough dishes He served me was what it truly means to walk through a storm. Though I fought and rerouted and denied it at first, the hard truth is, there are times when we pray that Jesus calm the waters beating around us as He did for Peter, only to watch in defeat as what He actually calms is our fear in the midst of the beating that He lets continue. The waves stay. The wind stays. Your husband goes. And God reassures you, He’s not leaving you and just to keep on fishing.