Marking Four Years

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“This earthly life is only a small part of my life, I choose to live this life in anticipation of the life I will live eternally with Jesus my savior.”  Pam Butler 2013

Those were a few of the last words Pam wrote.  For those of us who know her well, we realize that those were much more than just words, it was truth.  It was her deep and unflinching faith that anchored her solidly and that security provided her the freedom to be the larger than life personality that drew us all in.  Pam’s joy, not just her personality, filled every room she entered.  You really had to experience Pam to even come close to understanding these descriptors as I do.  Pam was a gift to all who knew her.  Whenever her name comes up in conversation, it evokes an immediate smile and often tears from the heart.  The deep, soulish appreciation her friends carry for her can be seen and felt.  I can’t tell you how encouraged I am to know that I am not the only one.

Pam was such a bright light in our lives that, as a consequence of her passing, our days are a little darker.  Whether I’m at my nephew’s volleyball game, at a nephew’s wrestling meet, a wedding, you name the event, I know in my heart that it is not all it could be.  Pam celebrated and participated with all of her heart, she wanted to leave no doubt that she was there, she supported them and she loved them genuinely.  I think of the kids in my family that have been born since she has been gone.  They don’t know what they are missing, but I do.  She made an impact, she made a difference, usually on the floor playing with and talking to them.

Yesterday marked four years since Pam passed; the darkness of her absence has not diminished.  The reality of the permanence of life without her now fully realized.  The shock is passed; what remains is beautiful.  Not the adjective you were expecting?

Let me tell you, the four years since Pam left have been nothing short of miraculous.  Instead of marking the amount of time Pam has been gone, I am now marking the amount of time that God has proven Himself faithful.  I never wanted to live one minute on this earth without her.  I was weak, self-focused, in short, devastated.  I was without ability to create a meaningful life without Pam in it.  But God is faithful.  Sounds like a canned churchy cliché doesn’t it?  This is what I mean.

The disciples were afraid and confused when Jesus told them he had to leave.  This is what He told them in John 14 – 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper,[f] to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be[g] in you…25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Fear wasn’t my problem when Pam passed, it was immeasurable sadness and complete disappointment.  I had everything in this life that I wanted but without Pam, the catalyst, very little mattered anymore.  I didn’t see a way out. 

But God is faithful.  When I lost my best friend, He reminded me that he was a friend that sticks closer than a brother.  This is where the good part begins.  One of the ministries of the Holy Spirit as expressed in John 14 is to teach us all things and to bring to our remembrance the teachings of Jesus.  Last Sunday afternoon I was holding an open house, I’m a Realtor, and it was busier than normal.  There were some past clients that had come by to say hi and some potential new clients.  As I was standing in the kitchen the Spirit of God brought to my mind that today is the Sunday between Pam’s birthday, February 21st and her passing, March 3rd. and as if audibly spoke to me, “I know how hard this season is and I have filled your house today with friends because I know how important relationships are to you and that this would encourage you, never forget that I am with you every step of this journey, I know what you are experiencing, I feel what you are feeling, you can trust me.”  That day God made known the reality of His presence in the person of the Holy Spirit within me.

I share the difficulty and struggle, the hardship and pain through this blog not so you can feel sorry for me but, quite the opposite, so that you can more fully appreciate God’s love and kindness being poured out on me through the comforting and sustaining work of the Holy Spirit.  It has been four years, I didn’t see how I could make it four minutes without Pam.  God has saved the day and proved His Word to be true.  Our faith is not just the hope for future salvation, though that is our exciting destiny, for me it is seen in Psalm 46 – 1God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear…                    

God is with His children every minute of every day.  I don’t know what challenge you are facing but I can tell you the truth, the power of God is sufficient to meet your need through faith in Jesus Christ.  Quite honestly, without the power of God in my life through my faith in Jesus, my life would either have ended or it would be in shambles.  There is NOTHING special about me, I am not an unusually strong person, it is not me.  God has been faithful for these four years.  It is Him.

A Life of Significance

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Pam and I have never been given to much sentimentality.  We didn’t make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day or even our anniversary.  Not that we didn’t value our marriage, just the opposite.  Artificial days set aside to focus on the blessing of our relationship were unnecessary.  We celebrated our friendship every day.  There was never a doubt of our devotion to each other, we never even joked about divorce.  The blessing of the security each of us enjoyed through our commitment to each other and God made special days seem shallow and contrived.

That being said, today would have been our 28th anniversary.  As it turns out, today was the 4th time I marked this day without her.  Most people consider these special days as extra hard.  To be completely honest, the grieving process is different for everyone.  For me, random days are excruciatingly painful, seemingly for no particular reason.  Today was a day that I celebrated in my heart for her and what she was experiencing today.  I also celebrated her as I spent the day at the Iowa State Fair with my daughters, enjoying the amazing women Pam raised them to be.  It was a good day.

Now I don’t want you to think I have moved on, Pam is in the rearview mirror and the grieving is over.  Oh no, not at all.  The struggle isn’t only in missing her being here, it is missing what she contributed.  Pam led a life of incredible significance for so many.  There is scarcely a week that goes by that I don’t have a tearful conversation with someone that misses Pam because they loved her and need her help.  People grew to rely on Pam’s wisdom and Godly advice.  There were two events just this week that Pam would have been able to uniquely address.  There is nobody available to speak into these two situations like Pam could.  We feel the weight of her absence in our family too.  She was such a strong, wise, godly woman.  She was so good and confident at so many aspects of our home that we didn’t even think about them.  Now we are constantly faced with challenges that she handled with ease.  She was also a rock of godly counsel.  She would bring biblical truth to the issues of life.  There is some encouragement though, that is that her advice continues to echo in my mind clearly even to this day.  I’m sure many of you feel her absence as well both in her loving friendship and her wise counsel.  She was truly a special lady.

Today I thank God for the blessing of Pam Butler, for all that she meant to so many, especially her family, children and me.  I love Pam more than words will ever communicate.  My heart still skips when I see her picture or hear her voice in a video.  What a privilege to be her husband for almost 25 years.  We were so close, we knew each other so well that most of the time words weren’t necessary.  As Pam said, we were peanut butter and jelly.  While I desperately miss her, I also enjoy the benefits of her life well lived.  Pam lived a life of great significance in the lives of so many for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.  Her example is a constant reminder and challenge to me to make the most of the days I have because our time here is so short.

An Amazing Mom

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There are a lot of sentimental posts today thanking moms for being the best!  While it is not a competition, I would like to share why Pam was, and in many ways, continues to be the most amazing mom I have ever seen.  The question of what kind of mother would Pam be for my kids was the farthest thing from my mind when I first met here.  It shouldn’t have been.  We decided to wait 5 years to start having kids so that we could get to know each other better and build a foundation.  Then one day the test came back positive, we were parents.

Molli was the first one to come along.  With all of the excitement of the first child coupled with Molli being an easy baby, everything seemed pretty normal.  But I took for granted what was happening even in those first hours.  Molli had jaundice and couldn’t come home from the hospital.  I will never forget the arguments Pam had with the nursing staff.  Eventually they made an accommodation for Pam to stay in the nursing station area and sleep in a chair.  Pam was NOT leaving the hospital without her baby.  Pam had a mothering instinct that was powerfully strong.

Before Pam was ever pregnant we decided that we would live a life style that could be supported on my income alone even though she earned more in carpet sales than I was making at the time.  We wanted her to be home with the kids.

From the first days at home, Pam would play with Molli, talk to her, rock her to sleep, let her cry herself to sleep when that’s what was best for Molli.  Pam would read the Bible to her and sing her songs.  There was never a doubt how much mommy loved Molli.  Mothering seemed to come naturally for Pam.

Fast forward, two more kids, Houston and Aimee.  Crazy life, chaos, struggles & change, and yet through it all was this amazing mom.  As the kids grew, they knew they couldn’t get away with anything, she asked the most direct and uncomfortable questions you can think of, and don’t think about trying to lie.  She was always talking about the Bible and God.  Pam would lay in bed with them at night and talk to them about their lives and laugh and cry and sing.  She entered into their world in a very special way.  When she threw a birthday party, it was planned from a kid’s point of view.  She always sought to understand what the kids were thinking and feeling so she could approach them from where they were.  Our home was filled with Christian music and Veggie Tales.  She taught them truth and lived Jesus in front of them.

Pam was the most joyful person, genuinely joyful person most of us have ever encountered.  Her joy flowed out of a heart of gratefulness to God for her salvation and childlike faith in God’s sovereignty.  Because of the genuineness and strength of her faith she was happy and joyful even when life wasn’t.  That was the world our kids grew up in.  It seemed normal to have a fun, happy, joyful, silly mom.  It seemed normal to have gratefulness deep in your soul.  It seemed normal to accept both the good and the bad and turn and praise Jesus.

Pam left her babies a little over three years ago, but she will never really leave her babies.  Most of us worry about the bad traits in our parents coming out in us.  I get to see Pam coming out in my kids every day, it might be a look or a mannerism or a laugh.  I love it when that happens.  What a tremendous example of a Godly mother and woman Pam was.  Even in the end she was mothering her kids through the most unthinkable hardship, saying goodbye.  Because of her childlike faith and unshakeable trust, she led them through those months and laughed and joked to the end.  She made sure that they knew Jesus and they would be together again.  Pam’s kids are happy, joyful, they love Jesus and they put up with me.  That is why I can say with confidence that Pam was and is the most amazing example of a Godly mother I have ever seen.  I miss her terribly everyday but am unfathomably grateful to God for the gift of Pam and for her legacy, Molli, Houston and Aimee.

Where The Rubber Meets The Road

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March 3, 2013 – March 3, 2016.  Three very long years that have flown by at unbelievable speed.  Even after all this time there are still times that it doesn’t seem possible that she is really gone.  Pam was so much more than my wife and my best friend, she was an integral part of who I was/am.  She continues to be.  Every day, as I process the events of life, both positive and negative, her influence is ever-present.  Her perspective was so different from mine.  Pam operated more from an emotional base as I live primarily in the logical world.  She helped me understand people with a depth and sensitivity that continues to benefit me even today as I interact with people.  This is just one example of how I relied on her daily.  That is one of the practical struggles of her absence, I so respected her and her opinions.  Pam never went to college but had more intuition and clarity of the human condition than anyone I know.  I depended on her, and in most cases, deferred to her assessments and that served us well.  That level of discernment continues to resonate in my mind as I work with people today.  I miss her so.

Pam made me laugh, sometimes to tears.  She taught me how to laugh at myself which came to life this week.  I was in deep thought about what was going on that day as I was driving to the Post Office.  Without paying attention I drove… to the bank drive-thru.  The girl at the bank greeted me, “Hi, Tom”, at which point I realized I wasn’t at the post office.  I confessed to the teller that I meant to go to the Post Office and she smiled as I drove off.  Immediately upon realizing what I had just done, Pam’s voice was in my head saying, “Really????” and then as if audibly I heard her laugh the way she had laughed at herself so many times.  And I laughed with a lump in my throat.

Most importantly Pam challenged me spiritually.  Her faith was unshakeable with the absolute trust of child’s dependence on a parent.  She never doubted, never, not once in the over 25 years I was with her.  She relied on me for biblical interpretation and she showed me what it looked like to live it out fearlessly.  She was fearless.  She loved the book of Joshua and quoted Joshua 1:9 often.

Joshua 1:9  “Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

This is where the rubber meets the road isn’t it.  I was so completely in love with Pam, as human relationships go, she was everything to me.  I loved her, laughed with her, trusted and needed her.  We encouraged and challenged each other.  Together we grew up into adulthood molding every aspect of who we were along the way.  There were so many private, intimate moments, inside jokes… so fun.  We had become one flesh in the way God intended.  In Pam’s words, “It was sweet.”

Three years ago this morning, she left this world and theology was faced with devastation.  That is where the rubber meets the road.  Would my faith just be rhetoric or would it prove to be real.  There were two main questions.  First, did I really believe in the core of my soul that Pam was in the presence of The Almighty God of the universe through the righteousness of Christ and secondly, did I believe that God’s grace, mercy and peace were available and sufficient for me.  I am happy to say that the answer to the first question was unequivocally yes.  There was not a doubt for even a second.  My faith was bolstered by Pam’s faith as she approached the end.  She completely accepted this as from God and was ready to go.  She knew we would see each other again soon.  The answer to the second question is a little more complicated.  It is not that I ever doubted, I just had no idea what to expect.  This was uncharted ground for me.  How do you have peace when you can hardly breathe from the sorrow?  Is it a contradiction to hurt and grieve and long for my sweetheart and be at peace at the same time.  Is it possible?  What do I do, how do I think, most importantly, how do I honor God?  I had no answers for this.  The good news is that God did not expect for me to have any answers.  God let me know through His word and through the Holy Spirit that He loved me more than I can understand and He knew everything I was experiencing.  He also promised never to leave me and He delivered.

You see, the loss of my beautiful, awesome, funny, loving, sweet wife is not about her or about me.  It is all about God.  He is good, He is great and we through Jesus Christ get to spend eternity with Him.  Pam just beat us there.  We do not grieve as those with no hope.  God is faithful and true.  Even if I should receive nothing but evil for the rest of my days I will praise the wonderful name of God.  The blessing of living for and serving God are far superior to anything this life has to offer, including an awesome marriage to a smoking hot wife.  Pam would 100% agree with that (especially the smoking hot wife part)! 

Pam loved to sing worship songs and we would laugh and laugh as she would often sing the wrong words but always with love in her heart.  I have burned in my memory one of the last Sundays she was able to go to church, we were singing “10,000 Reasons”.  I looked over at her and her eyes were closed, her face tilted toward heaven and her hands were in the air.  She was singing with all the passion her cancer racked 90 pound body could muster.  The tear running down her cheek said it all, she loves Jesus.  We have been singing a song in church recently that I know she would like.  It is by Hillsong called “O Praise The Name Of The Lord Our God”.   Take a listen, there’s a little surprise toward the end.

You can tell by the passion in Pam’s voice how much she loves Jesus.  More than anything she wants all of her friends to know the hope, joy and peace that is only found in Jesus.  Without Jesus there is no hope.

As I listen to this song I can’t help but think about the verse that says,

And I will rise among the saints,
My gaze transfixed on Jesus’ face

On this morning 3 years ago, I saw Pam’s shoulders go up and then down for the last time.  I sat there on the edge of the bed gazing at her beautiful face while at the same moment her gaze was transfixed on Jesus face.

I celebrate the gift that Pam was to all of us and I celebrate her life now.  I miss her terribly but God’s hope and peace are more than sufficient for me.

 

 

 

A Truly Good Wife

img20150813_19113542Proverbs 31:10-12 says, “A truly good wife is the most precious treasure a man can find!  Her husband depends on her, and she never lets him down.  She is good to him every day of her life.”  27 years ago today Pam became my wife.  She was in every respect the most precious treasure I will ever have.  I depended on her and she never let me down.  She was more than good to me everyday day she was my wife.  The last words to cross her lips were, “I love you, Honey”.  I loved Pam more and more each day.  Not only did I love her with every fiber of my being, I respected her more than anyone I know and I trusted her completely.  Exodus 20 instructs men not to covet your neighbor’s wife, I can honestly say I never have, not once.  I was always so happy and proud to be Pam’s husband.  I wanted everyone to know she was my wife.  I miss her every minute of every day while at the same time, I’m thankful to God that she is experiencing pure joy.  As hard as it is, today I celebrate the years we had together and I wanted to share a few pictures with you.  This was the happiest day of my life and yet I had no idea of the enormity of the blessing God gave to me that day.  I hope these pictures bring a smile to your face and happy memories of Pam to your mind. 

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Mother’s Day: A Daughter’s Perspective

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Mother’s Day. There are so many things that come to mind when I think of Mother’s Day. I remember waking up early to help dad make bacon and eggs to bring to mom in bed. I remember making homemade cards and how my mom’s request every year was that she could lay out in the sun while we cleaned the house. I think about her laugh, her smile, and how I would find her reading her bible in the morning when I would come down the stairs for breakfast. I think about her wacky dance moves, her strength and work ethic, her golf skills, and her fashion sense. I hear her singing you are my sunshine as she would rock me to sleep in that ugly mauve rocking chair. I hear her praising Jesus in the car with the music up and the windows down. I think of all the precious memories she has left me with. All the memories that have made me who I am today, and I think about how different these last two years have been without her. I think about the struggles I have faced and the blessings that I have received in God’s faithfulness.

A little while back, I was trying on clothes in the dressing room of some store at the mall, and I overheard some young girls (maybe 14-15 years old) in the dressing room next to me trying on dresses for an upcoming dance. They made all the typical dressing room comments like, “Ooh, that’s cute!” and “I just look terrible in yellow”, but then their conversation changed, “Oh my mom would never let me wear that! She’s so strict, I hate it… etc.” My heart sank. If only those girls knew what they had. If only they knew what a blessing it was to have a mom who cared that they dressed modestly. If only they considered that one day she wouldn’t be here to give them that advice.

It shouldn’t have caught me off guard. Young girls often complain about their annoying, embarrassing, overbearing mothers. I know I was that way 10 years ago. I was always embarrassed by how my mom would tease me. I didn’t like when she would always ask me about my feelings, and ask me ten thousand questions about my typical school day. She was too nosy. She just didn’t understand that I was introverted and didn’t like to talk about my feelings like she did. I was especially annoyed by her selflessness. Whenever we would go to a get together at someone’s house, she would labor to make just the perfect thing to take because we could never show up empty handed, and we were always the last ones to leave because she had to help with every ounce of clean up! I am pretty positive that she left every house that she entered cleaner than it was when she arrived. I would sulk and nag, “doesn’t she know I want to go home?” I didn’t want to be like my mom at all. But, there comes a time in almost every girls’ life when she realizes how much of a blessing a good mom is, and there also comes a time in life when you lose her. For me, I never imagined that those two events would happen almost simultaneously.

Now, it breaks my heart that I didn’t see it sooner. That I couldn’t see how everything she did, she did because she loved me. When she teased me, she was teaching me to have a little fun and not sweat the little things in life. She asked about my day and my feelings because she genuinely cared about me. She wanted to know me and know everything about my life. She wanted to be involved.  And her selfless, servant-hearted spirit was an incredible example of what it means to be a Godly woman.

It was her last year on earth when all of this started to become very apparent to me. I started to understand her and why she did everything she did. When she got sick and I moved home from school, we grew even closer. We spent a lot of time together and got to the point where we could finish each other’s sentences and communicate with little to no words at all. As it became clear that God would soon be calling her home, I had to ask God, “Why? Why now? Why when my relationship with my mom is just blossoming do you have to take her away?” I always knew the answer to that question. God’s timing is perfect, and the gospel has reached so many in a very real way because of my mom’s journey. It wasn’t until recently, though, that I was able to see how her passing was actually be good for me personally and not only a trial that I am enduring so that others can experience Jesus.

I used to worry about meeting new people after my mom died. Now that I recognized the blessing that my mom was, I really wanted to be just like her in everything that I did. Because of that and the fact that so much of who I am is naturally rooted in who my mom was (my mannerisms, my values etc.), I feared that if people were never able to meet her, that they would never really know or understand me. I worried about my future husband, and how he would fully understand me without knowing my mom. It’s like when you meet someone new and you ask them where they are from. If they say they are from a town that you have been to, you immediately understand so much more about them because you know their town, you know their home, you know where they come from. When my mom died, I felt like all of a sudden, no one was going to be able to know where I came from and no one that I met in the future would ever be able to know me on the level that those who knew my mom know me.

But the truth is that I am fully known by God. He knit me together in my mother’s womb, and I shouldn’t be striving to be like my mom. I should be striving to be like Jesus. Everything good in my mom was simply a reflection of Jesus. She was caring, genuine and real because He is caring, genuine and real. She was selfless and servant-hearted because He is selfless and servant-hearted. She loved because he first loved us. God is love. It’s all about the love. It’s all about God. Nothing in life is worth our passionate pursuit except Him. My mom knew Jesus and was known by Jesus. And when I strive to be a reflection of Him, I will be fully known and understood by all who know Him. When I rest in this truth, my focus shifts from worrying about how people are going to know me to trying to be the best example of Christ’s love that I can so that all those I love will see Him in me and want to know Him as well.

This is just one example of how God has been more than faithful to me over the last 2 years. He is always teaching me something new. I know that many people have already learned this truth in their own life, but I am not writing this post to teach a lesson. I writing this post to demonstrate God’s love and faithfulness to me. God is faithful to meet each and every one of us in our own unique life situations. I am so thankful and blessed to have had a wonderful role model in my mother for 20 years, but I even more blessed to have a savior that gives me life and joy and freedom every day. So if you have a wonderful mother today, be a blessing to her and let her know what she means to you. And if you don’t have a wonderful Godly mother, or if you lost your mother, or if you never knew her, find comfort in the fact you have nothing less in Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:1-2 – Be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Philippians 4:19 – And this same God who takes care of me, will supply all you needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

Romans 5:3-5 – Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts though the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Dichotomous Thomas

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Dichotomous = exhibiting or characterized by dichotomy.

Dichotomy = a division into two especially mutually exclusive or contradictory groups or entities or ideas.

 

Yes, I am aware that it rhymes with hippopotamus. It was just the word that best describes my life over the last month. As I have said before, the reason for writing this blog is to chronicle this new experience called grief that I am living. Up to the day that Pam died, I had never known what grief was. For sure there had been hurt, pain, sadness and disappointment…but not grief. This is totally uncharted territory for me. That is why I am continually caught off guard by each twist and turn of this journey. This past month has been particularly eventful, filled with true happiness that produced crushing sorrow, hence the dichotomy.  I will highlight two events that stand out as stark examples of this contradiction.

 

   The Butlers  Fall 2012 (79 of 114)AIT Grad

First was Houston’s graduation from AIT (Advanced Individual Training). Houston entered the Army National Guard last summer, graduated from Basic Training in October and went straight to AIT. Words can’t express how proud I am of all that Houston has accomplished including earning the second highest GPA in his class. Houston is developing into the man Pam and I hoped that he would. The graduation ceremony was the point at which the dichotomy appeared. I was so happy to celebrate Houston. Real happiness. As happy as I was, there was a nagging sense that Houston is only getting a small shadow of the party he would have received had his mom been there. She had a special way to encourage, challenge and affirm her son in a way nobody else could. She would have brought a level of enthusiasm to his graduation that wasn’t there. She would have hugged him around the neck until he begged her to stop. She would not have been able to prevent the tears of joy from running down her face and communicating to Houston her heart of love for him. The reality of her absence was crushing.

Proud happy papa – crushing sadness, same event = the dichotomy.

 

 

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The second event was a round of golf. Pam was my favorite golf partner and honestly better than me. She had a sweet, fluid swing and loved the game. Truth be told, she was even known to do cartwheels on greens after a made putt. This month I had the opportunity to play the Naples National course with a group of guys that Pam and I were in connection group with 15 years ago. On top of that, I had a caddy. I’ve never had a caddy before and Paul, my caddy was amazing. He gave strategic advice, perfectly read every green and gave me helpful hints that actually helped. Most importantly, we laughed. I mean to tell you I can’t remember that last time I had as much fun as I did that afternoon with Paul. The round took FOREVER to play and ended too soon. It was an incredible day, beautiful weather, great friends, world class course and laughs all day. What a treat. So where is the dichotomy here? Well…I could barely speak a good portion of the afternoon. My heart was in my throat and tears in my eyes. It seemed the more fun I was having, the more laughs, the more unexplained great shots…the higher the high produced an equal and opposite emotion. I was not sitting around thinking about Pam, it was an involuntary emotional reaction almost as if to say, “It would be more fun with Pam”. The truth is that the most fun experiences of my life were fun because I shared them with Pam.

Great fun with close friends – palpable loneliness, same event = the dichotomy.

 

So what’s the point? The point is that even after 2 years, it’s really hard. Yet God is faithful. Most people who love me want this struggle to pass from me because they hate to see me hurting. I get that. The truth is that God is teaching me more about Himself now than at any point in my life. The pain is crushing but I will not be crushed. Not because of my strength but because of God’s faithfulness. He promised in I Corinthians 10 that “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.”

 

The struggle with grief is so hard because the gift of my relationship with Pam was so huge. God blessed me in an incredible way with Pam and is blessing me today in countless ways. When I think about how hard my grief is, I am reminded that His grief was so much harder. Jesus was betrayed by his own, falsely accused and separated from God the Father as He took on the sins of the world. Jesus completely understands what I’m going through and He cares. Please don’t feel sorry for me. God is really doing a work in my life and He can be trusted.

I remember like it was yesterday Pam and I pleading with God the same prayer that Jesus prayed in the garden, “If it be possible allow this cup to pass from Me, Yet not as I will, but as You will.”  The reason for this blog is to get the word out that God is good and He is bigger than anything you are facing!