A Widow’s Thank You to God

There are parts of this journey that will live in my heart, alone, forever.  I long to share as much as I can – without overwhelming you.   Today begins my journal.  I wrote God a letter of thanks early in the morning of October 8th, before we told my children that their daddy was dead.  This was the heart of a woman, a wife, a mama . . . to God. 

Much of the next week will be us filling in the blanks of a very intense and amazing week that still haunts me as being far beyond what I ever imagined this experience could be.  Each step of it was marked by the power of Who God is.  


Over the next year you will experience the raw pain of a woman lost, yet trying desperately to hold on to a God she knows she can trust but whom she questions SO deeply.  You will journey with me through shock, into reality.  My friends, reality didn’t begin to set in until around Christmas.  With it came great anger toward God.  Through my journey into reality you will see where, after standing and shaking my fists at God and screaming at Him, He rescued me in a way only He and the power if His sweet Holy Spirit can.  Through that experience came surrender – the moment when I realized that I could question God forever, or, I could choose to trust Him.  I chose to trust.  Will you do the same in your life?  It truly IS the only option for living.


As I surrendered to reality I began to straddle a fence.  I still longed for the old life . . . I didn’t want to let it go, but I could see that I had no option.  I longed to find happiness and a renewed life, but it felt like I was letting go of what I loved in order to find that.  You will watch a young woman who wrestles toward new . . . while longing so badly for the old.  


Of course, I eventually found new.  Today the children and I are thriving.  I DON’T WANT ANY OF YOU TO MISS THIS . . . . IT IS OK TO WRESTLE WITH GOD . . . BUT AT THE END OF EVERYDAY I ENCOURAGE YOU TO PUT DOWN YOUR WRESTLING ARMS AND SURRENDER THEM TO CHRIST.


The reason the kids and are where we are today is because AT THE END OF EVERY STRUGGLE (and throughout them, as well) I continually went BACK TO JESUS!  My friends – HE is the only answer for your life.  


If you are struggling today, PLEASE turn to Jesus.  PLEASE choose to trust Him even if you don’t understand your life and even if you question Him.  Jesus IS trustworthy.  Surrender to Him.  


Psalm 37:23&24, “The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord.  He delights in every detail of their lives.  Though they stumble, the will not fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.”  (emphasis mine)


I believe we often miss the mark because we think that if we serve God we will somehow be exempt from the struggles of this world.  Jesus suffered greatly, my friends.  If the son of God suffered, who in the world am I to think that I deserve any better?  And yet, IS that better?  Would a life without suffering really be better?  


Throughout the Word of God we are told that suffering makes us who we are . . . that it produces things in us – in our character – that could not come about any other way (James 1.)  It makes us more like Him and I firmly believe it makes us LONG for Him far more than if our lives were peachy-keen!


Oh friends!  Please!  Maybe today the waters of your life are very high.  Maybe you, like I was many times throughout this journey, are mad at God.  Choose today to trust.  Anything else will just leave you bitter and cynical.  Trust produces wonderful fruit like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  THAT is a promise – Galatians 5:22&23.  That is truly the only way to live!  


So, again I say – follow me on this journey.  But along the painful way, please never forget that though I questioned I never stopped running into Jesus’ arms.  I have been to the valley of the shadow of death and the ONLY way back is led by Jesus precious hands and wrapped tightly in His arms.  Please try that in your life today and every day!


Chad’s journal was a simple brown, canvass, 6×8, hard cover notebook.  There were several sections broken up by cardboard dividers.  As I opened it in the wee hours of the morning of October 8th, I found only two pages left in the section he was writing in . . .
Well, I guess it’s only fitting that this chapter of Chad’s journal is almost done . . .
Today, You took him home.  I am still very much in a state of shock, but I do know the ever-surpassing peace of God right now.  I must say, on the brink of such wonderful opportunity in ministry – I must ask why . . . but even in the asking I know I must trust you . . . and so I do.


God, I just want to thank you for the greatest gift you ever could have given me.  Thank You for 12 wonderful years as Mrs. Chad Schieber.  I was so broken and hurting when You sent me Chad, and while those dating years were tough, he devoted his all to loving You and to loving me.  He poured himself into all of the deep, hurting places of my heart . . . he put skin on the name ‘Jesus’ and little by little loved all that hurt right out of me.  He loved and served me, just like You love the church.  Thank You for giving me the very best.  He was truly, truly all my dreams and prayers come true!


I have never known anyone with such a heart after God . . . Chad was always so honest with You . . . brutally honest . . . but that is what opened him up for You to do such a wonderful work in his life.


I really don’t know how we will ever make it without him.  Father, protect the spirits and hearts of our children.  Chad was SUCH a great daddy!  Please don’t let the enemy rob their souls because of this.  You promise to work ALL things for our good and I claim that promise for Abbi, Noah, Micah . . . and myself.  Guard us, protect us, watch over us . . . and please give us little glimpses of Chad’s spirit.  I know he’s watching us.  Please, please give him my love . . . and tell him I miss him!

 

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