Over 30 years ago my husband and I exchanged wedding vows to honor and to care of each other in sickness and health, for richer or poorer till death do us part. Through the illness and death of my mother, during my pregnancies and the birth of our two children, through my own illness, during deployments; his own and our son’s, and most recently his own death, Tom, my DH (Dear Husband) has kept his promise to care for me. With each passing day I find more and more ways he is taking care of us while we are apart. And while the vows go on to say “till death do us part”, I know death will never part us. Both of us believe the promise from Jesus that we will reside with Him in our heavenly home. So while Tom is absent from us here, he is with us in our hearts ~ still taking care of us and still a huge part of our lives by the promise we made to each other on our wedding day.
Through the years we took care of each other. He would bring home the “bacon” and I would strive to be the Proverbs 31 woman only to fail short many times. And when I would fail my DH would pick me up and reassure me I made our home what it was. I wanted to please him and build a good life for him and my children ~ in short I took care of him the way I knew how by cooking and cleaning and creating a comfortable home. I supported him when his military career would take us state to state and at times keep us separated for months while he served his country. In return I was blessed with a caring and compassionate husband and father who supported my work in many ministries and in my writing.
God has also kept His promise to me to never leave me, by sending His Son Jesus Christ to carry me through life’s storms. When the grief was too much to endure and I was unable to pray, Jesus was with me; sending His servants to pray for me when I could not. Jesus was with me holding me up when I was unable to hold myself up. When my world came crashing down and the grief unbearable, Jesus was grieving alongside me, silent but comforting ~ quiet yet making His presence known. As I cried, I did not cry alone, Jesus wept alongside me.
My teaching leader from BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) spoke of death at the end of the year after we studied the book of Genesis. I can’t remember word for word but one thing remained with me. She stated, “We each handle grief in our own way and one way we can begin our healing is by honoring those we love by continuing on doing what God has called us to do… Death is not an ending but a beginning of change – a hope” Death may have temporarily separated us and my grief will always remain with me, but the work we started together will go on. As Tom had always kept his promise to take care of me, I will keep my promise to him to honor his life and how much he meant to me by moving forward ~ never giving up as I continue on with what God has called us to do.
There will be many dark days ahead as I continue to struggle to rebuild my life but God has lit the way for me by sending His Son Jesus Christ as the light of the world. I will keep my promise that I made to God when I gave up my life to serve Him and I will keep my promise to Tom, made over 30 years ago when we recited our marriage vows.
1 Corinthians 13:4–8a
Love is patient, love is kind…. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails … (NIV)