That Voice Inside the Mirror

Have you ever walked in front of the mirror and caught a glimpse of yourself, and asked, “Who am I?”  It happens to me many times, but last night, I heard, “You know the answer.”  Sometimes, I am not so sure of that voice inside the mirror.

When my husband passed away last year, two months before his 50th birthday, I promised him and myself that I would not go back to a life of craziness. But, here I am sitting right in the middle of it–3 kids, one dog, sporting events, band practice, church meetings, school meetings, work,  volunteering , taking classes and maybe dinner and some sleep.  Two days ago, I celebrated my 49th birthday (the age of my husband at his death), but it really was not a BIRTH day.  There was no new life in me.  My home is in chaos as I watch my son eat french fries and cereal for dinner because I am writing a paper.  I crawl into bed, finally, with laundry and books sharing the other half of my bed.

I wake up in the middle of the night to write this blog because my head is spinning, and I am pleading with God to make it stop. I thought I knew who I was.  I was the daughter of the King, the wife, the mother, supported by the hands of God even in the midst of my struggles. And, now, I fight this new part of my identity, this widowhood that plagues me like a disease. There is a new branch in my tree of life that is trying to grow, but my broken branch of no longer being a wife is weighing me down.  When my husband was still here and we went through  hard times, I often wondered if marriage was my true vocation or had I possibly missed a call from God to religious life?  God has shown me, over and over again, that marriage was my vocation and  right now, this new emptiness can only be filled by His Son.  I think they call this an identity crisis.  I will struggle in Jesus’s name, until I find my place again as a child of God, as the daughter of the King.  No man, no degree, no house, no job, can fill this void.  When you get right down to it, I have 3 things that I call my “Jesus Struggles,” with “struggles” being a noun, not a verb. How do I  continue to seek God in my new state of life?  Who am I to God (and who is He to me)?  And, What does God wants me to do now? These are my struggles as a widow, but they could be anyone’s struggles.   Let’s pray for each other as we let God redefine our lives to be the person He called us to be.

“When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”-Mother Teresa, now  St. Teresa of Calcutta


Hello world!

Hello world!  Is anybody out there?  Starting this blog is something like trying to search for answers to life’s toughest questions.   Who  am I?  I thought I knew who I was–a wife, a mother, a friend, a child of God.  So, now that I have been stripped of my title as “wife” I feel like I no longer exist.  How can this be when clearly I do exist? How can this be  when I am still the same person–or am I?  I can’t make sense of it.  In February of 2015, I was a wife, and poof, in May of 2015, I became a widow –just like that!  I wasn’t prepared for this.  My husband, Brian, died of cancer, on May 14, 2015.  The cancer was everywhere.  I was prepared to battle the ups and downs of marriage for the rest of my life as his wife.  I was prepared to wrestle with Jesus over everything that came our way, including for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.  I could deal with heart transplants and muscle disorders and pushing people around in wheelchairs into my retirement.  I planned on it.  I was armed and ready for muscle disorders, not cancer.

Sooner or later, cancer touches all of our lives.  When you hear someone has cancer, we all think, “oh, how sad.”  When I would hear someone had cancer, I would say, “oh, how sad.”  I had no idea what I was saying.  It’s not sad–it’s devastating!  It’s nasty!  It’s relentless and unforgiving! Cancer knows no limits–it affects infants, and grandma’s, spouses and siblings, it takes them all and breaks hearts and homes. Cancer changes everything.

I didn’t plan for widowhood–not at age 48.  My plan’s were not God’s plans. How could He do this to me?  How could Brian do this to me?  My selfishness creeps in. I don’t do well alone. I need my counter- balance.  I need someone to challenge me, to pull me down, when my stress level is high.  Someone to make me laugh, when I want to cry. Someone to make me mad, and then make up with me.  Someone as imperfect as me who loves me for who I am. I have forgotten that I was and am a child of God long before I was a wife and mother.

This is my blog. These are my “Jesus Struggles”–the things I struggle with Jesus over.  Be gentle with me, Jesus.  My days of wrestling with you are just beginning.