So, I’m writing a book.
I’m about half-way finished with it. From time to time, I imagine I will be posting snippets here from that book. Basically, it’s a book about the journey of the past two years, and my hope is to honor my husband and to give glory to God, without being boring.
One of the chapters deals with things my husband ‘taught’ me. Often I hear him as the voice in my head, recounting things he had spoken as words of advice, or caution, or encouragement. Some of these things are very personal, and some, I believe, merit sharing. They were gleaned through the eyes of adversity, sorrow, joy, delight, and a long road of learning and growing in a personal knowledge of God. Most are not profound, or new, but they became the mantras for our family life.
“Choosing one thing, means not choosing something else.”
I’m a big SciFi fan, so I have a grasp of the notion of alternate realities, and parallel universes. I’m not saying those things are real, or that I even understand the physics behind the theories, but it is kind of obvious that if you choose to go one place, or to do one thing, you eliminate the possibility of going somewhere else at that moment or doing something different at that time.
If we choose to marry one person, we don’t marry another; if we choose to go to Idaho for our vacation, we choose not to go to Texas. That’s not to say we cannot do some of those other things later, but it means that the choices of each moment affect what happens next. If we miss our flight to one place, it may mean we miss the connecting flight to somewhere else.
That same idea was made clearer to me as a result of Bruce’s death. I was left behind, shell-shocked, broken-hearted and wondering where God was in all of this. I could think of a lot of other scenarios that, in my mind, would have given God more Glory – witnessing His healing power sure would have been one of them. I told the doctors and hospital staff that I was believing for a miracle. I was faced with two choices, really: to trust in the Sovereignty of God… or not.
Before this accident, I would have staunchly stood upon my ‘soap box’ and told you that I totally trusted God and His will for my life. That trust had already been tested and purified many times in my life. But this test, was almost beyond me. One morning, as I sat and read my Bible, and feebly tried to pray, I realized that I had to actively make that choice once more. I had to consciously and without reservation reaffirm that I do trust God, that I trust His thoughts really are bigger than my thoughts, His ways are always right, and that He is God and I am not.
Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I used to think that meant that in troubling times, God’s peace would be so miraculously great that I wouldn’t understand how I could be at peace . I have come to know that a parallel meaning to that verse is: I will find peace in knowing that God is sovereign, even when I don’t understand what He is doing or why. Because I make the choice to trust God, I am choosing not to trust my emotions or limited understanding.
I am grateful that Bruce chose me for his wife, and that I chose him for my husband. Looking back upon our dating relationship, I realize there were strategic moments in time that scenario could have changed if even one or two variables were put into play.
Likewise, Bruce often told our daughters to choose their friends wisely. He was a friendly, outgoing man, and recommended being friendly and accepting of others. But he also told our girls to choose their inner circle of friends carefully, because those people will be the ones who speak into your life. They will either build you up or drag you down. They will either propel you toward your destiny, or keep you from it. They will bring out the best in you. That advice has served them well.
Bruce had a gift of encouragement. He was a big part of my destiny, and even now, his voice in my head encourages me to go on. And, he always wanted me to write a book.