As our world seems to become an increasingly broken place, with the terrorist attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, Planned Parenthood clinics, the list goes on, I find myself thinking, hoping, this is it.
Never one to subscribe to end of days rhetoric, I would now welcome it. My outlook has always been one of positivity and hope, always looking for the silver lining, but my light has gone out.
Now I look at the world around me and I see brokenness. I see disrespect for human life, greed, hate. The only thing in which I still see beauty is nature, but everything else has lost its luster.
My relationship with God has never been so complicated. In one breath, I’m asking Him to take Eleanor and me home, end this earthly existence that’s engulfing us with sorrow, despair, uncertainty, and a promise of a future that – no matter what – will be less than what we would have had. In another breath, I’m asking Him to protect our home when it’s 4 a.m. and I hear a noise outside.
I try to start and end my days thanking God for the many blessings He’s given us through the love shown by our wonderful community of family and friends. But it’s the hours in between that I ask Him, “where were you (and where are you now as my life has continued to get more hopeless since the moment I lost my husband)?”
When I learned that Ted’s life had been taken away, I was sitting in a hospital chapel, holding my 1-year-old in my lap. With curious eyes, she was looking at the ER surgeon as he told us with tears in his own that her father died on impact.
For the weeks that followed, I grasped onto the fact that Ted didn’t suffer. I told myself that he wasn’t gasping for breath, fighting to survive through the agony so he didn’t abandon the ones who were relying on him. Because that’s who Ted was, he had such an innate drive to protect his loved ones. It was more than I could bear to imagine him pleading with God to keep him alive so he wouldn’t leave me as a young widow to raise his baby alone. So I let myself believe the surgeon that Ted went quickly and peacefully.
As time passed and bills from the hospital, ambulance, and surgeon began rolling in, I saw all sorts of procedures that were administered. They gave him a tracheotomy to help him breathe, epinephrine to jump start his heart, CPR, and the list goes on. It was such a sterile, itemized way to be shown the attempts that were made to save Ted’s life, save our family’s future, and save the love of a lifetime. But no matter how skilled these men were, they were merely men. This was the moment that required a miracle from God.
One of my prayers through this entire tragedy is that many more people will be led to Christ. Through this horrifying illustration of the fragility of life, through the beautiful outreach that our church organized in honoring my beloved Ted, and through the testimony of our family and how we’ve banded together during this time – I’ve prayed that more people than I’d ever know would turn their lives over to God.
But what better way to witness to others than for Ted’s life to have been spared by divine intervention? And who better to give this witness than Ted? He was loved and respected by so many and he captured the attention of those around him. But most importantly, Ted was never afraid to demonstrate his faith to unbelievers. He was confident in his faith and wanted to lead others to God as well. Ted would have lived the rest of his life giving all the glory to God. His story would have turned so many hearts to our Father, and what better purpose in life is there?
But that didn’t happen. There was no divine intervention. Instead, Ted’s life was taken, and the man who killed him walked away with very little consequence.
In the dark hours of the night, I picture God looking down at my precious husband lying on a gurney on the side of the road while the EMTs work feverishly to save his life, and He just watches. He watches as my child’s father slowly slips away from this realm and into his Heavenly home.
And He’s okay with that.
These are the moments when I ask him to just take us too. Let us be a family again. Let us come home.