Editor’s Note: While we normally include blogs written directly to the reader, this personal testimony was so encouraging, faith-building, and equipping, we wanted to share it in its original form.
No wife is ever prepared to hear the words,“Your husband is dead,” but these were the words I heard on Wednesday morning, February 27. “How can this be?” I thought. We’d just enjoyed a normal morning: breakfast, fun with our granddaughter, and getting ready for the day. He can’t be gone. But he is.
How could I ever have been prepared to find him at his desk, ready for lunch with his buddies, but gone? I must accept that it is true, that he is the lucky one who woke up to a normal day on earth but was happily surprised to be face to face with His dear Savior by day’s end. A while back, having read “You have not because you ask not” (James 4:2), we’d prayed for a quick end when his time came, which was unlikely with his family history of strokes. Oh, the kindness of God to grant His child’s request!
As I reflect on the days, weeks, and even years before his passing, I can’t help but see evidence of the promises of Isaiah 52, that God comforts His people and goes before us. He was moving in and through Norm to pave the way. Years back, Norm noticed my anxiety–perhaps panic would be a better word–when he said he didn’t want to leave our home until he was carried out in a box. He’d realized how overwhelming that eventuality would be for me as it’s a lot of house and yard for one person to care for alone. He then began conversations with our daughter and son-in-law which resulted in their moving into the lower level of our home to care for us “in our dotage.”
I can’t count the number of times he’d said to me since then that he could now go in peace knowing I wouldn’t be alone. He began coaching me about the business side of running our household: introducing me to his contacts, taking me to meetings, making sure they knew what my needs would be if he were gone. He tasked me with paying the bills, ever patient no matter how many times I fouled up the checkbook to a fare-thee-well. Always the realist, he’d even prepared his now famous “brown book”, a three-ring tabbed binder telling me step-by-step what to do if something happened to him. He’d updated and reviewed it with me annually. My friend dubbed it “the best love letter a husband could leave his wife.” He’d casually made a comment 24 hours before he died that “If I kick tomorrow, you’ll know what to do.” Behind all of Norm’s thoughtfulness were the whispers of our Father, preparing the way.
Since his homegoing, I see more evidence of my Father’s presence and guidance: the perfect timing that put my daughter and son-in-law home with me during the week, the absence of grandchildren; and the quick arrival of pastor Marty. Even in the midst of this shocking and heart-wrenching loss, we had the sure knowledge of God’s care and presence. As my daughter, Lauren, agreed with me days later, we felt sheltered under the feathers of His wings. He went before us, carried us through, and has given us confidence in His future care as well.
I pray the Spirit will sear this truth to my heart that is so prone to forget. He is good. He cannot lie. His promises can be trusted. He is faithful to the end. And He will always be there to swoop in and carry me in my weakness. Hasn’t He been so good to me?! All glory to Him.