Wednesday, April 11, 2018
I look at life as chapters that we move through.....our youth.....the high school years.....going away to college, and venturing out on our own. Then there are chapters that define our career, a time when we find our spouse and get married, and a time when we start our families by having kids. These periods in our life encompass our twenties, our thirties and our forties.
In my case I focused on my career and pushed out getting married until I was in my late 30's. I married later than most of my friends and cousins, and then had my son when I was forty.
By the middle of my forties I was ready to move on to another chapter in my life. Zack went off to school full time and I was ready to refocus on my career.
Instead, God had a different plan.....to spend the next 15 months managing my husband's illness.
Many times in life we get thrown into a role that we never thought we would have to play........and suddenly our life is totally out of our control..........if it ever was in our control at all?
That 15 months was a chapter in itself and will always define my life as "before Jeff got sick" and "after he passed away."
And then, the next 4 years are what I consider 'living in the gap.'
It is a period of time filled with grief, transition and rebuilding.
It has me reflecting on how NFL teams have lost great players or their plans don't work any longer and they are in a rebuilding phase. There is a sense of operating in the unknown. They hope they are building a great team and a winning season will emerge, but there is that huge unknown if it will all come together.
I followed my instincts, while operating in the dark, and slowly working my way out of a heavy blanket of grief, while guiding Zack to a better place emotionally and mentally.
I tried focusing on getting us to the other side of this chapter, praying that I would find happiness, that Zack would be whole, and the vehicle I built to secure our future would take off.
Along the way, God had so many spiritual lessons to teach me, as if I hadn't experienced enough!
But what I realized is that this period was when he threw me onto the potter's wheel as a lump of clay and began shaping and molding me for his greater purpose............and then he threw me into the fire for the last several months to make me into the vessel he desires.
Living in the Gap is a chapter of its own.