It’s ironic, in my previous blog I was heralded by many people who followed my ramblings as a woman with unwavering strength and faith in the midst of a very trying situation.  My strength and determination were viewed as something almost heroic. Now to be honest, I wasn’t writing about the complete breakdowns on the shower floor, sobbing uncontrollably while my husband lay dying in the room below, nor was I writing about my nights of literally sweating and trembling through the midnight hours as I begged God for a miracle, but I did write as honestly as I could about my fears and my faith.  After Jason was called home I wanted to be married again, pretty much as soon as possible, and I made that clear on the blog as well.  I had grieved deeply through the three years of his cancer journey and toward the end I was begging for God’s mercy to take him home so that I could pick up the pieces of my life, be a present mom again, and try to find love again. I loved being married, and I had a good marriage. We had our stuff as any marriage does but we worked well together.  I loved the security and the trust that a marriage gave, I loved having a best friend to hang out with every day, I loved it all, and I was ready to head out to wherever widows with four kids go when they are 33 years old and find myself a husband. Lest it sound like I was in denial or not grieving the death of my husband properly, until you walk in the shoes of someone caring for a terminally ill loved one for a long period of time you can’t understand the distance that starts to take place, especially in a spousal relationship.  There is this slow death that occurs with the relationship as cancer takes over and as his wife I began slowly backing away from the emotional attachment of a husband/wife team as I became his caretaker.  Intimacy, fun, flirting, dates, all of those things take a back seat as you become solely fixated on life and saving this person’s life becoming the ultimate goal with the hope that someday the relationship will rebound through the love that binds the two of you.  As I prayed about wanting to be married again and even really contemplated some of the online dating sites out there, God spoke clearly to me about waiting until the New Year.  Part of this, as I look back, was good.  I was trying to avoid the pain of Jason’s death by staying busy and optimistic.  By waiting I had to deal with those emotions but again, most of the stages of grief had been thoroughly dealt with prior to his actual death.   I felt strongly that I wasn’t supposed to push anything until January and if I wanted to pursue all my options then, I could.  Ironically, I met Ryan November 2nd and about a week later we knew that we would probably get married.
 I’ve discovered that strength and faith are viewed very differently in these two situations.  While I was always praised for my unyielding faith as my husband was dying, it wasn’t quite the cheer I heard when that same faith and strength enabled me to move forward so quickly and determined in a new life of blessing that God had for me.  People viewed it almost as a betrayal to Jason that I was able to “replace” him so quickly.  The thing is, God replaced him.  Jason and I lived out our till death do us part vows.  When he died, I felt that release, my husband was gone.  My faith knew it, and I was free to walk with determination into a new life if God saw fit to send it my way.  I mourned his loss for the three years he struggled with brain cancer, I mourned his loss during my dating months with Ryan, and unfortunately I mourned his loss for about the first 6 months of our marriage, but that’s how it happened.  I will never be over the pain surrounding his death but I have certainly risen above it.  I don’t dwell on it at all, and I am not going to let it cloud my happiness in this life.  His death brought about this life I love now.  Without him dying, I wouldn’t have this: Ryan, Tate, Mya, Jada, all of it, is gone without his death.  So sacrificially his death brought about this life for me, for all of us.  Yes, I’ll always cherish what we had together, but I also cherish too much what I have now to wallow in the past, and so my strength and my faith will continue to propel me forward into all that God has to offer for me and for my family.  Just Keep Livin!!

5 thoughts on “Faith and Strength

  1. Jessica I will be honest I was complete shocked that you were getting married so quickly. I only started reading your Carepage when my sister was diagnosed with a GBM Sept 14, 2007. So she only lived 1 year to the date Sept 14, 2008 with hers and I thank GOD Jason lived 3 years with his brain cancer and was able to talk to the children and you and share things. My sister had a stroke during her 1 and only brain surgery and she couldnt communicate at all. My BNL started dating the month after she died his ex-wife which he swore to my sister he never would. and did. That lasted 2months he remembered why he divorsed her. then another and that lady said he was interviewing her for a wife & she wasnt interested it that. the 3rd was 6 months after my sister passed… that was 3 years ago now. they have broken up and gotten back to gether and broken up. And most issues was his children which are good kids. She is a good person but she is not interested in being a mother to his children. well they got married last weekend. I understand the loneliness and I THANK GOD Ryan came into your life when he did. And I prayed for GOD to bring my BNL someone that would love my sisters children as their own. But it didnt happen for us. SO from someone on the other side. Know it wasnt that people didnt want you to be happy and move on it is that WE are still grieving and not ready to move on. Ryan can’t replace Jason. but he can love those children as his own. And your former MNL sounds like she has taken to Ryan we well and that is great. Had my BNL found someone that loved his children as their own I would have welcomed them with open arms just as my sister would have wanted.

  2. It really is about Gods will and his timing…and being certain and secure in your faith….Jason is in a glorious place we can only imagine…being the warrior in the best way possible…..being ready and open to Gods plan for our lives no matter what others think, also means being open to the gifts and blessings that only God can do……God is Glorious! We mess it up when we think and plan too much……Faith can move mountains…..Fmil. Holly

  3. My W has told me over the last year that even though we started dating me 5 months after his LW passed, his attachment to her left years before. He said that he said goodbye to her several times over the last 3 trying years. Although we have had some tough times over the last year, he said he wants to live his life and be happy. She would want him too at age 35. He has always told me from day one that she was his love of his life for the first half of his life and I’ll be his love of his life for the rest of his. He feels he loved her with everything he had until the moment she died and now that she is not here, he has to find happiness and move on. His former in-law’s feel that moving on is a complete lack of respect to their daughter. I didn’t come into his life until after she was gone. He made the choice to date and he pursued me. I pray every day that the FIL’s will eventually except me as part of his and their granddaughters life. Until then, I try not to worry about their disrespect towards me. Grieving is handled different by everyone!Kelly

  4. I am so thankful for you and Ryan that God led you to each other so quickly. I went to church with Ryan and watched as he came faithfully to church, even the week after Kaci’s death. I am so glad that God gave you that man of God, and that He gave Ryan a woman who would understand what he was going through. You weren’t out to replace Jason, but to fill the void left by your husband. When I lost my child, I wanted to get pregnant again right away…not to replace my little Hope, but to fill the void and love a child. I still miss Hope and wish she was here, but my son Noah has been a balm to my hurting soul. He doesn’t replace Hope at all…but has helped heal from her loss. God understands and He sent you two to each other because He saw your need, heard your prayers, and bestowed His grace to you. Becky Saunders

  5. Thank you for sharing this. I am dating a man who lost his wife two years ago. Together they had five children and a wonderful, loving, Godly marriage. Reading the way that you felt about grieving Jason’s death and then moving forward to new love really helps me see things through my W’s eyes. I wish you the best and I love reading your blog! Lorena

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