The Kind of Lady that God Gave to Me
Karen’s life can be summarized by what I found written in her Bible.
There are hundreds of reasons why I miss my Karen. I won’t compile a list detailing the many reasons for you, but there is one that I must share with you. I discovered it in her Bible one of the nights I sat by her bedside. She was unable to say very much to me, but she knew that I was there. I quietly spoke close to her ear and assured her of my love and that I was right beside her. She squeezed me hand.
I reached for her Bible and decided to read a few verses to help me in the deepest moments of my life. The inside cover of her Bible opened, and in that heartbreaking moment in the middle of the night, I discovered something Karen had written over two years earlier. I didn’t know it was there. In classic Karen, using the fewest words possible, it simply read,
Feb. 24, 2015- Stage IV lung cancer. Not “Why Lord?” rather- “What do you want me to do?” May Christ be glorified in my life!
Karen possessed a powerful trust in her awesome, sovereign Lord. That is one of the greatest things that I miss about not having my Karen at my side. Whatever we faced together, my precious wife, my life partner, fully trusted God and encouraged me to do so as well. How did she possess such confidence?
Be assured that it was not accidental. It was intentional. She intentionally was in the Word of God every day. She intentionally talked often with her Savior. She intentionally grew in her Christian life. She intentionally served the Lord with gladness. She intentionally was in fellowship with the Lord and other Christians at her church and in her ministry. She intentionally trusted in the hard times and still praised Him. She didn’t wait until February 24th, 2015, to figure out who would be in charge of her life.
I was with her when the attending emergency room physician told us there was a mass in right lung. I was with her when the pulmonologist told us that it was malignant. I was with her when the oncologist told us that the therapies were no longer working and that her days would be measured in weeks not months. I watched in those three situations and dozens just like them when she ministered to the physicians. Karen shared with them the reason for the confidence she possessed (1Peter 3:15b). How could she do this? It was because she had set the Lord apart in her heart first (1 Peter 3:15a) and never asked, “WHY?”
Did she enjoy the cancer? Of course not! Did she understand what God’s purpose was at times? Certainly not! Neither did I. But she didn’t question Him. In quiet confidence she often would hold me in her arms, hug me tightly and whisper to me, “When we can’t see what His hand is doing, we can always trust His heart.”
I miss her far more than I could ever have imagined I would, even though I had twenty-five months to prepare for it. There are times that her physical absence in my life is so completely overwhelming that it nearly chokes me with grief. But this is one of the main reasons why I miss my Karen. She possessed an unstoppable, on-going, and growing trust in the Lord, and I was impacted by her example. Oh how I love her and thank the Lord for bringing her into my life.
Which prompts me to ask, “Who is in charge of your life?” Are you sinking by asking lots of “WHY” questions of the Lord? Is your fist clenched and are your words hot with resentment as you ask Him WHY? I strongly recommend that you do not wait until you are on the way to the nearest emergency room to figure out who is going to be in charge of your life. I truly hope that you have bowed your knees to the Lord Jesus Christ Who most certainly can be trusted for salvation as well as direction in living. I heartily recommend that you ask Him, “What do you want me to do?” You will be amazed at what He shows you.
You can see the kind of lady that God gave me! Her wonderful perspective on life and on trials inspired many, including me, to live with the knee bowed in submission to His perfect will.