I’m unpacking in my new condo, where every box contains memories of a life that once was. Every. Single. Day, beloved “things” become raw reminders of who I was and who I’ll never be again. A wife, but not just any wife. Jeremy’s wife. No one else in the entire world will experience the love I did, because no one else has ever been loved by Jeremy like I was. A business owner, but not just any business. JMC Transport. Jeremy Jonathan Michelle Caedmon Transport. Our family’s business. Our beloved livelihood. Built on family, seeking God in our service. A mom, but not just any mom. Jonathan and Caedmon’s mom; loving and being loved, adoring and being adored, teaching and being taught. A mom with 2 children. A mom with a dad. A mom with a family.
As I contemplate this Every. Single. Day, today is different. Today I found out that Barb, my revered Uncle Dick’s wife, is suddenly gone. My cousins’ second mother has passed away completely out of the blue. A woman who lost her first husband at 28 and became a single mom at this young, seemingly cruel age. A woman who found and gave love, again, to a young widower who had watched his too-young treasured wife die a long, slow death. A hurting woman who brought her young son into this hurting man’s family of 3 tiny children and claimed them as her own. A woman who gave birth to the 5th child, solidifying this new, broken but strong, family. A woman who loved unconditionally, fiercely and painfully. A woman with 11 beautiful, sweet new babies, shifting her focus from mother to adoring grandma. A woman who yearned daily for her own mother and feared the day she would lose her amazing father as well. A woman who loved deeply, hurt deeply and grieved deeply. A woman whom God valued deeply.
Barb, I pray that your eyes are seeing God’s right now, that your hurt and your pain and your fierce fierce love is nullified and validated in His presence. You are leaving a gaping hole in your families lives’. A hole that you stepped into left by Aunt Tudy, a hole that you partially crawled out of left by Sam, a hole that can only be filled by Christ’s love.
I know well these holes; today’s memorandum that real life, real value, life without holes, without “used to be’s”, “once was’s” and raw reminders is only in the promise and hope of eternity with our God and Savior. Who I was and who I am has nothing to do with the fact that God values me. Deeply. As we go on without Jeremy, as you go on without Barb, GOD VALUES YOU DEEPLY. Our identity is not in who we were or who we will become, but in who Christ is. He never changes. He never fades. His love never loses, and neither do we. In Him, Neither. Do. We.