Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like surprises. I like to plan and be prepared. I am one of those people who likes to look for spoilers on TV shows and watches the last episode of a Netflix series before I watch the middle ones.
When my husband died unexpectedly at the age of 31, my whole world turned upside down, and the fear of the unknown seemed overwhelming, to say the least. Once I survived the year of all of the “firsts”, at the beginning of the second year I remember thinking, “Now what? Lord, I have survived a year, but my situation hasn’t changed. My heart still hurts, and I still have so many unknowns in my life. When am I going to be able to go from surviving to living again?”
I felt alone and distant from God and everyone else, for that matter. I just wanted to know what the middle of this story would actually look like. I was frustrated I wasn’t getting relief and couldn’t see my way through the fog. However, just as the Lord has done so many times, He reminds me gently of His promises.
The truth is, I already know the ending of my story. Jesus provided me with what I am always grasping for- the ending. While the death of my precious husband may have felt like the end of my story, it is not my ending nor was it Brandon’s. My ending and his is eternity with my Savior in Heaven where there is no more death, tears, heartache, anxiety, stress, cancer, pain, worry, depression, unknowns, dark nights, conflict, and my list could just keep going. In Revelation 21: 4-5 it says:
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5: And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
I had read those verses several times before, but I was reminded those aren’t just words people say to others when they are hurting. Those words are TRUTH for every single Christian. We can look forward to a “New” we have never experienced or even fully grasp mentally. It reminded me while none of us know our “middles”, we can look up from our lives to see the end. We can all find rest and peace in the fact we know our ending, and it doesn’t change based on the events that take place in our “middle story”. We all go through things in our lives that are hard, some are public, some private. However, the reality is we all have to go through different trials, have different experiences, different heartaches, losses, and also experience triumphs and blessings along the way.
So today, how are we going to let God use our “middle” for His glory, having the hope of the true ending- which in reality, isn’t an end at all?
Ella Peterson married her high school sweetheart, Brandon, graduated from Appalachian State with a teaching degree, and welcomed their sweet daughter LeeAnna Hope in 2013. In April 2017, Brandon, the picture of health, went to be with Jesus at the age of 31. In a single heartbeat, her world as she knew it, changed forever. Jesus Christ has remained steadfast and reminds her daily of the Hope she has throughher relationship with Him. Her story is not at all what she thought it would be, however she continues living with a heart of hope.
This is the last post in Shoulder to Shoulder's INSPIRE series on Fear, Anxiety, and Worry.