When Your Family's Lost a Loved One
- Thursday, May 08, 2008
I realized I depended on Wes so much for every part of my life and for so much of my identity. I remember bringing that up to my counselor, asking, “When am I going to be just Angela Robbins?” My counselor told me it would take my brain at least three years to change over into thinking of myself as just one person and not as half of a couple and it was absolutely true. I wore my wedding ring for almost three years. I wasn’t ready to take it off. It made me feel like I was still married, and that felt good. It felt safe.
When did things begin to get better?
The turnaround for me began when I finally decided I would meet with another widow. I thought nobody could be in a worse situation than me. But once I sat down with another widow and she told me what she and her kids were going through, I realized I wasn’t the only one with a difficult life. That brought me comfort. I introduced my kids to this family because I wanted them to see that they were not the only ones experiencing what it is like to lose a dad.
I thought I was dependent on the Lord before I lost Wes, but I didn’t have a clue. Once I was stripped of the security blanket of my husband, I realized that I had never really learned what it means to depend on the Lord.
For a while I couldn’t read my Bible, but then the Lord opened up the Scripture to me, and it came alive to me like never before. I began to seek an intimate relationship with the Lord like never before. I got to a place where I felt really clean before Him and was able to share things with Him that I never had before, like, “I’m lonely. I’m weary. There are times when I can’t see the horizon and I need You to help me.”
In what way did the Scripture come alive to you?
Honestly, at first I hated that verse, “He will be a father to the fatherless and a husband to the husbandless.” I told Him I didn’t like it: “I don’t want that verse to apply to me.” I didn’t want Him to be my husband or a father to my children. I wanted Wes to be my husband and a father to my children. But that really was the answer.
So I began to pray, “Okay, Lord, You said You’d be the husband to the husbandless. I’m asking You to be that to me tonight. I’m asking You to fill every empty place in me. You know what that is. In Your own supernatural way would You minister to me tonight and equip me with the strength to get up in the morning and be what I need to be?”
There were scriptures I took as This is what I’m going to live on. Like, “You are my rock and shield. I trust in You.” I would walk up and down the hallway in my house and say those psalms out loud, saying to God, “You are everything we need.”
My kids began to pick up on it, and the tone around my home began to change. My kids began to see and celebrate how God was taking care of us. We’d be driving around trying to find a parking place and one would open up, and we’d say, “Jesus must have done that for us!”
One time in Target I needed something on the top shelf that I couldn’t reach, and I thought, This is so my life, here we go again. If I had a husband he could get that. Just then another customer asked if he could help me. I realized immediately that God had filled the gap.
When you have so many gaps, they’re real noticeable when He fills them. Even the tiniest detail means so much. He has done that so many times. It became so evident to us. We’d say, “That is so cool what God did!” It was someone being kind to us, but we saw it as God filling in the gaps.
In what ways would you say God has used the loss of Wes for good in your life?
So many ways. I remember one Sunday morning about two years into our journey, we were standing in church singing an old, great hymn. Worship songs have such a new meaning when you lose someone who is dear to you.
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