In all of the years that I have been a widow, this year has been the toughest. You would think it would have been that 1st year when I was grieving the loss of my husband and the loss of a father for my children. But it was not.
No, this year has been the toughest.
Back then, I had laser focus and parental instincts of protection that guided me through. I was intent on loving and raising my children, helping them to heal, to remain a close family in the midst of loss and trying to live a life that demonstrated to my children that life and God were still good, praying that the loss of their father would not destroy them, or make them bitter or resentful people.
It was all that mattered in my world, them, along with my new business, which now, more than ever, had to become a success. Simple, unwavering, laser focus, it is what I have had for 10 years.
Then in August of this year, my purpose and mission had been complete, to a certain degree. My children are now gone from my home, pursuing careers, education, relationships and their futures. That is as it should be…and I am so very grateful.
I still speak into their lives a great deal, but they are now making their own decisions. Again, it is as it should be. But as a result, well, my laser focus for the past 10 years has now become blurry. I found myself not only dealing with becoming an empty nester, alone, but it came at the 10 year anniversary of both the loss of Peter and the age of my photography business which I must admit, came with some pretty serious burnout.
These are huge milestones that for some reason felt like millstones. I had also hit a wall of exhaustion that caught me completely off guard.
The best description I can find to explain where I was at is, imagine you are running a marathon, and all of a sudden, you burst through the yellow tape, and then you collapse from exhaustion. That is what it felt like. Then, after you take a moment, stand to your feet and catch your breath, you find yourself asking yourself this question…
That has been the question in my heart, the prayer on my lips and the mystery behind the corner that I have thought about and wrestled with for the past 6 months.
Now what LORD?
The laser focus purpose in my life for the past 10 years, to raise my children well, has now shifted and has blurred. And now, 10 years later, kids are raised, empty nester, on my own, here I am asking,
NOW WHAT LORD?
2020 is a year of unknowns….
It is a year where I need to find some laser focus again. I am driven that way. I can’t just exist in cruise control, I’m not made for that.
So as I sit here and reflect on what the year has been and what the future might be, I have no answers. Only a small amount of FAITH.
Faith that tells me that God has led me this far, HE will continue to show me what is next at the right time. I must open my heart to some big changes. Selling my home, downsizing, evaluate my business, and opening my heart to possibilities are all out on the table.
SO….as I’ve sat and reflected on this past year, I close it out with one thing, gratitude. God has been FAITHFUL to me and my children for the past 10 years. He has been my STRENGTH, my PROVIDER and my ROCK.
I have healthy, whole children who are doing well, I have an amazing business, close friends and I just finished being a part of a beautiful Christmas service where I was able and continue to do the one thing that has been a strength to me for decades, worshiping God in song.
I am deeply grateful.
But even after 10 years of walking in faith and seeing God do amazing things, I have to remind myself that God is the same God who took my hand 10 years ago and said, “You have a job to do, so trust Me.”
He is the SAME GOD who has guided my path in the midst of loss, pain and heartache.
HE knows WHAT’S NEXT, even though I feel completely clueless.
HE knows where I will land.
HE knows what laser focus purpose is next on my agenda.
HE knows if true love will ever knock on my door again or if I’m to go it alone.
HE knows it all…
So… Dear Lord,
let the adventure begin!