No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. -1 Corinthians 10:13
Yohannes and I had only been married for a few weeks. We were just getting settled in our new house in Lancaster and I was trying to get caught up on Social Security and County Assistance applications for my clients at work. Then, without any warning at all, my heart was ripped out of my body, shattered into a million pieces and scattered over the ocean. It’s been four years, but there’s still an ugly scar and all those pieces being pounded into sand on the shore of Costa Rica.
I struggled deeply with my faith after Matt died. Each Sunday I would stare out the church windows toward the cemetery and the pain and bitterness would boil up inside me. I couldn’t bring myself to forgive God for what he had taken away from us. The weight of the loss was so heavy; I didn’t feel like I could stand up under it.
The next year, when Natnael Matthew was born, I waited for that deep, overwhelming love to wash over me — the love I had heard about and read about and dreamed about. What overcame me instead was a devastating pain. I knew the instant I saw him that if anything ever happened to him, I could never recover. There is not a more vulnerable feeling in the world.
But in the last four years, I have had the privilege of watching Matt’s mother Deb walk through her loss with the most incredible grace. I selfishly wanted to hoard my grief and bitterness, because I felt like my mourning was the last part of Matt that was uniquely mine. But watching Deb has inspired me to move beyond that. Instead of hanging on to bitterness, she chose treasure his life, and that’s what I want to do too.
After four years, I finally feel like I can stand up under it. Sometimes I still get swept away by the magnitude of what we lost, but now I can find my balance again. I choose to treasure the memories.
I miss you.