I’ve been striving to listen for God to speak to me for the year ahead…for my life in general. It’s amazing how, when we’re attentive, he uses different avenues to reach us with his message. I’m thankful for what he’s spoken through his Word, through emails from friends, and through a recent visit.
How do I know it’s God speaking? The messages align, not only with what my first prick from the Spirit said, but with each other and especially with his Word.
Of course, just because the message has become clearer doesn’t mean it’s easy to accept or follow.
In speaking of marriage, many ceremonies include this verse:
So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.*
It was like that with me and my husband of twenty-five years — we had become one. By the end of our years together, we could look at each other and know what the other was thinking. We were united physically, mentally and spiritually.
But then he was gone. God had chosen his time on this earth to end.
I had not thought of this verse until this weekend, during a visit with some dear friends. We were discussing my life since his passing and how I was seeking direction for the next chapter. My dear sister shared:
Carol, you and Raouf served together, you built the church together, and you stayed faithfully to see it through a difficult time. Now it is time for you to be one, to be Carol, and to fulfill the plan God has for your life.
Tears came to my eyes as I listened to these words. As much as they hurt, I knew she was right. It was time for others to continue building on the foundation we laid. I needed to move on to do the things God was calling me to do.
We were no longer two as one. I am now just one, and that means God has something different for me to do for his Kingdom. I can’t keep trying to carry the load that it took two of us to carry. I needed to lay my burden down that others could pick it up and carry it further on to His glory.
For the first time in months, I felt I had my answer and also saw that someone understood the depth of what I was feeling but could not put into words. Sometimes it takes the Lord bringing people halfway around the world to speak into your life. I’m not only grateful that he did, but that they were obedient to his voice to come, to listen, and to share what the Holy Spirit was saying to them.
Being one again is not easy, but then I know that I’m not really one — I’m always bound to The One who came to save my soul and call me his own.
Any time we experience loss, not just that of a spouse, but of anyone dear, we feel as if we’ve lost a part of ourselves. Our center becomes off-balance, because we’re no longer working in harmony with the other.
Whatever your state of being this day, may you find your re-centering in Christ for the year ahead. Seek his voice for direction and even for the courage to set something aside in order to move out into new avenues of service to his glory.
If you’re reading this and have a friend who is going through grief, I encourage you to be that listening ear my friends have been. Let the Spirit use you to pour into their lives for his purposes.
Grace and Peace
*Matthew 19:6 (NIV)