Farewell

A step to move forward; letting go of the past is required. I am at a crossroad. I look at the options ahead of me, yet I still see what I wish still existed. I am at a standstill. With all my heart I want to let go and start anew, but there is something deep down within that remains afraid of the unknown that lies ahead. I look up to You, no words are said, You know the very look my eyes carry. With my face downcast all I can say is, “I want what You have in store for me.” Help me to let go of what was, for forgetting it will not happen. A day is coming when I will no longer look back on the memories and mourn, but be thankful for the opportunity given. I hear it again and again, “This had to happen,” and immediately I am comforted. You know the plans You have for me. I know they are not to harm me, for through the eyes of hope I see Your prosperity.

Farewell

September 15th of last year, was the day we celebrated the life of my husband. It was the day I thought I would be saying, “see you later,” but it turns out I have been trying to hold on to him for as long as I could. The process to healing has taken a bit longer. I have been fighting my way through, constantly saying, “no.”

I have been wishing things were the same, only to fully ignore what God had been trying to do. It was not to hurt me, but to give me a new future. Just like His promise in Jeremiah 29:11 says. This verse has been my everything during this season of widowhood. I was reminded of a poem that I wrote:

“You Know,” came to me at night while I was in bed. I remember feeling angry and doubting God’s goodness. I doubted that He cared for me because of what He had allowed to happen. I was angry at Him because I believed that He didn’t answer my prayers. At that moment that verse came to my heart and I repeated it out loud:

‘You know the plans You have for me. Plans to prosper me and not to harm me. Plans to give me hope and a future.’ When those words flowed through my mouth a sense of peace came over me. It was a clarity that I needed at that moment to realize that He knew what He was doing. A vail was torn and it was a confirmation that something good was going to be coming out of this. My Father manifested Himself to me at that moment.

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Fighting The Motions

These past few months have been seasons of growth and a lot of healing. They have also been moments where I have been letting go of him, little by little, but fighting God every step. I have been taking baby steps because I have been afraid of “forgetting” him and acting like he never existed. Last night I felt like the time was soon coming when I would start taking down photos of him and I. I immediately shot back, “I am not going to act like he never existed.” This only proves that I am fighting God.

I often ask myself, “why is this so hard?” I have yet to get an answer. I wish I didn’t feel the way I do. I wish it was easy for me. I wish I was able to be fully obedient to let go completely, but I haven’t.

Every step; the good, the bad and especially the ugly have been necessary for growth and healing. There was no way I would have been able to skip over the harder parts just to get to the good.

Fading Away

It’s like a movie that is playing in my head, the memories of what was are slowly fading away until everything is gone. Pictures are being removed, clothes have been taken down… the realization that that part of my life is really over. I am afraid.

I am afraid I will forget him, but I know I have to say, “I’ll see you later.” I know it’s time. For I know that this will make way for the man God has for me. The best is yet to come. God’s best for me, he is yet to come. I am a single woman walking in the ways of God. This gift of a new start, I will not take it for granted.

I want to see the Goodness of God in my life.

 

Letting Go

As I let go, I am not forgetting. What I am doing is letting go of my past. Even now memories are being shot in my mind and they hurt. The very reason I am meant to let them go. Memories of the hospital visits. Memories of what it was like to endure hospital stays and so much more, I am letting them go. I am letting go of the sadness, the lonliness and the pain. I am letting go of the ugly, to fully embrace the good that is soon to come.

It’s what is best for me.

I will always carry the good in my heart and the good examples that were made I will carry into my new relationship. The lessons learned will always be in my heart, for they have made me wiser and have helped me see what kind of woman I want to be.

I will always have that special place in my heart for Freddy. He was my first real love and husband. I could never forget that. I am letting go of my past for myself, in order to move forward and also as respect for the man God is preparing for me.

My sister in law told me something that really made me think. She said, “after this step, there is one more step you will have to take. You will have to let go of all the photos and things of Freddy when God brings that man into your life.”

At that moment, I was thinking of how hard that would be, but now, I know when that time comes God will give me the courage and the ability to do it. It will be that fresh start He has been preparing me for… I will be ready. 

It’s all one step at a time.

 

 

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I Will See You Later

My life is a movie that is playing out and a sweet mystery it’s becoming. One step at a time, things are unraveling. Stepping into this new season and this identity, many doors have been opening. I have stepped through a new door, only to finally understand that the one behind me has already been shut. I take a look back and all I see is a closed door that can no longer be open. I begin forward, ready to embrace the new He has for me.

I now say, “I’ll see you later.” It’s time.

You were my best friend and I loved you. You were the best part of my life for those eight years. You helped me know God’s love for me in the way you loved and cherished me. Your friendship helped me through difficult moments at that time. I will never forget your encouragement and the words of life you spoke over me. You always reminded me of who I was and who you knew I would be. I will always be thankful for having you in my life, Alfredo Hernandez Jr. I believe you would be proud of the woman I am today. I know without any of this, I wouldn’t be where I am. You showed me how to love unconditionally. You showed me how to cherish every moment. These are things I will carry over when God brings the One.  Thank you for being the man of God you truly were. I especially thank you for teaching me what true worship is. You always had a worshippers heart. I will never forget that.

I will see you later. I love you.

With that I say, “goodbye,” to the past.

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2010 – 2018

Dare You To Move…

A song played at his service, as if he was telling me.

Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone’s here
Everyone’s here
Everybody’s watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next?
What happens next?

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

 

The Bad, The Good & The Beauty.

I have seen my life take on a transformation. One I did not expect to happen the way it did. My life, caught under a violent wave; being tossed and pulled under; pulled under by anxiety- coming up, gasping for air the wave of pain, sadness and loneliness only pulled me back down. I began to believe that I would not come out of it. I was in the deep end, with no help in sight. I had to learn to swim. For it was either sink or fight to stay afloat.

My feet, finally on solid ground. Though days are harder than some, I am walking along still waters. The woman I am becoming, who is this? I do not recognize. She is free. She is strong. She is confident. She is brand new. The look in her eyes is like none I have seen before. The radiance in her smile, I can’t remember the last time I saw it.

The bad, the good and the beauty of it all- is the pressure that is forming this diamond of a woman.  

Widowhood

The poem above is a truthful aspect of widowhood. Especially when it happens all of a sudden, without a warning; without having the time to actually say, “goodbye.”

This was/is my journey. I remember feeling as though I was suffocating with panic, anxiety and so much fear.

As of July 21st, I have been reminded of the journey that would change my life forever.

The night my husband entered the hospital and never came home. August is quickly approaching and I feel those waves trying to overtake me again. I am being reminded of every feeling and every detail of those moments; every day up until August 31, when my husband took his final breath and went HOME.

I look back from where I am now, I am not the same woman. I look at myself in the mirror and see a much stronger woman. I see a much more confident woman. I see a woman who was once broken, now being made whole. I can see maturity; for I no longer have that little girl mentality. July 28, 2019

I look at this picure of myself and I see a woman with a strong and powerful story to tell. I see a woman eager to reach so many other women who find themselves on this same journey. A woman who desperately wants to embrace the brokenhearted and tell them that everything is going to be ok; that God truly loves them.

For what God has done for me through this season of widowhood, He can and will do for those who place their hope in Him. 

You’re not alone, love.

What you’re feeling; anxiety, depression, fear, loneliness is temporary. You will get through it. That’s a promise. 

 

Emotional-I

To say that I have it all together and I no longer cry or miss my husband would be a lie. I have cried two days in a row, just missing my husband. I wore his button up shirt last night, I even sprayed some of his cologne. Tears fell from my eyes and I didn’t understand why. I cried out for him…

I sat on my bed and played some of his favorite worship music. In that moment I felt him near me. I felt peace and I felt rest.

I often wonder when this sting, this pain will fade. I have not gotten an answer. There is no such time frame for one’s grief. For me, it comes in waves. I have not had one of these breakdowns in weeks. When it comes it hits me so hard.

Moving On

With this, I still struggle. I take a few steps forward only to look back and realize I am doing it without him. Guilt settles in and I just want to stop and drop to the ground.

“We were supposed to walk this road together!” My emotions continue to cry out. I know that this journey ahead, I was meant to walk alone, with God. For what lies ahead, is far more great that what I had to let go of and what I have lost; the life I once knew.

Honesty

Lately I have felt numb; numb in a sense of not knowing what to feel, what to think or what to say…or write. I remember how I was always inspired to write and share what was on my heart… lately it hasn’t been that way. I can easily make excuses and blame on me not having no time, but that would be a lie.

It’s just a mood I have been in. Like just allowing the motions to play out.

Widowhood changes everything. It changes who you are. It changes your routine. It changes your whole being and ways of doing things. It changes the course of your life.

I am making sure that it leads me to something greater; with purpose.

 

I feel alone a lot, because of not having my husband here with me, but I know I am not literally alone. 

I miss having a companion to do things with and share things with, but I know that I have others to enjoy the company of and talk to. 

I miss the hugs and comfort of my love, but I know I still have that from my family and friends. 

It’s been all about learning how to change my perspective on things like that. It’s the difference between sinking and swimming. What has helped so much, is letting people in and being there for me through it all. Especially during those moments when I felt like I was drowning in anxiety and loneliness.

There are some battles you cannot defeat alone, widowhood is one of them. -Stephanie

Without the struggles, without the pain…I wouldn’t be who I am becoming. It has all been necessary.

 


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While I Wait…

I will continue to seek Him.

I will continue to allow Him to form me and remold me into the companion my future husband is needing, while God is doing the same in them, for me.

I will continue to go were He leads and do what I am meant to do.

For this season of widowhood is a freedom in disguise, to fulfill the purpose still meant for my life. It’s an opportunity to walk closely to Him and intimatley connect with His heart. It’s a beautiful journey. 

 

A Word of Advice

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Your feelings are valid. In no way am I belittling any other kind of loss, but to lose a spouse is different than losing another kind of loved one. (I lost my mom; I have also lost an aunt that same year.) I am no stranger to loss. But losing my husband has been the HARDEST.

Today I found myself thinking of those times when people would belittle my grief, as it wasn’t necessary or that after awhile there was no need to, just because I knew my husband was in a better place.

This came from someone who has not known the loss of a spouse, but only of a child.

A loss of a spouse is like someone tearing a part of you away. It’s a deeper kind of pain that we feel. You’re entitled to your grief and the motions of it. People will not understand what it’s like to walk in your/my shoes as a widow, unless they, themselves have gone through it.

It’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to feel what you need to feel, but all I ask is that you don’t stay there.

You can overcome. You can begin again. 

 


Isaiah 54:4-5

“Fear not; you will no longer live in shame.
    Don’t be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you.
You will no longer remember the shame of your youth
    and the sorrows of widowhood.

For your Creator will be your husband;
    the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is his name!
He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,
    the God of all the earth

 

No Longer Looking Back

“Just go, and no longer look back;” is all I can hear in my soul. There is a feeling within I never had before. A desire to go… where? I do not know. I just want to go, with You. There is a freedom I feel, one I cannot contain. Lead me; I will go. I cannot just stay when there is so much to explore. I have no one holding me back, anymore. I just want to, go.

Time To Move

I have always felt like I was not meant to stay in one single place. I always felt like God would lead me to travel/explore. I feel that desire so much more, now. I am single. I am no longer married. I am no longer tied down. God has allowed it to be this way. I still yet to fully understand why and I still have my moments of doubt.

Last night was one of those moments. I finally started to clear out the closet and remove some of my husband’s things. I feel like it’s time to change things up around here. I need a change. The familiar is only hurting me. It’s time to let go of the past, though it still hurts!

Touching his clothes was the hardest thing. I wasn’t able to get rid of everything. I just can’t yet. I stood at the closet holding his clothes and I let out something that I was holding in for so long. It was this anger, hurt and deep sadness that I had finally let out. I cried and at the same time I asked, “Why aren’t you here with me?! Why?! Why did you have to leave me?!” I was demanding an answer. I needed to know why he was no longer with me anymore.

I stood there for a moment just crying and allowing God to take away what I was feeling at that moment. I opened my heart to Him and allowed Him that part of my heart.

It was the beginning to a new and deep kind of healing for me. 

A post on my facebook blog page:

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“I cried out “why?!” This time I was asking him.
After letting it out, I am feeling better. I feel peace. I know it’s time and I know this is necessary. 🌸
🌸Everyday is getting better and I am getting stronger.”

This journey of widowhood and singleness has been a lonely and painful one, but I am starting to trust that He is always here with me as I begin this journey of healing and restoration.

Today

I left service feeling so unsatisfied, not because the word wasn’t good or anything like that, it was because of my desire. For some reason I cannot see myself, “just there.” Maybe it’s the culture, the atmosphere, but for someone reason I don’t fit in. There is something within me I cannot explain, nor am I going to try to. I just know what I feel and what I am meant to do. 

I continue to ask God what it means and all I can hear is, “just go.” But where?! That is still unknown to me. I know when it’s time He will make all things clear. The last thing I want to do is be rebellious, again. 

On the way home from service I had this conversation with my dad. I told him how I felt and all he said was, “just be led by God and know you do not have to explain anything to anyone.” He is right.

Singleness

      …is a gift.

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It’s a gift that not very many people are able to see it as. I was one of them, but now I am beginning to get to the point where I am wanting to explore so many things, alone with God. My ultimate companion. Especially after what I have gone through recently.  This last relationship I was in and how it ended, only left me not wanting to be in another relationship until the right one comes along; in God’s timing.

This new season I am in, I get excited at the thought of just going without the need to worry about who will agree or not agree or the need to share it all on social media; to be able to disconnect from everything and simply enjoy where I am going and where I end up. 

That is what I need. 

This season of singleness is allowing me to see so many things that I wasn’t able to before. I have the freedom to get up and go whenever God says to. That alone is a blessing. I never saw that before until I went to see my best friend. I felt led to take a road trip to see her and her family. I hadn’t seen them in years. It was a getaway that I needed. 

God used her to show me something. She made me see how much of a blessing it was to be able to take road trips and just get up and go whenever I wanted. She said that she wished she was able to do the same, but can’t because she has a family.

She has what I have always desired; children. Yet, for some reason God has not allowed that in my life at the moment. As much as it hurts and there are times I become bitter at the site of others having what I so desire, I am finally understanding that it’s not His time yet. I am finally accepting it.

I want to fall in love with God on my own. I mean, I want to encounter Him like never before and be able to travel with the utmost assurance that He is there with me and that I am not alone.

I want to truly experience what it’s like to be single. I don’t want to depend on a man to make me feel whole or wait for someone in order to do what I am supposed to do or to get up and go somewhere. I want to experience that kind of freedom. I want that kind of independence, while fully depending on Him. 

It’s my time. 

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The First One

The holidays have arrived, I don’t think I was ready like I assumed I was. The week came and sadness grew. All I wanted was to have my love here again.  With sadness in my heart; depression tried to make it’s way in. The power of God within me, immediately the door shut. I grew strong, I was able to stand. Thankful I became, for God has always been…

The Week of Thanksgiving

Of course, the week didn’t start off well. Monday came and I didn’t want to get out of bed for work. There was something going on inside of me; a battle. I was becoming sad and depression tried to come in. I was becoming very unhappy about the holidays. All I wanted was my husband back.

The thought of my first one without him in seven years, it was hard. Immediately I was thinking of not doing anything. I just wanted to stay home. I wanted to revert and be alone. I wanted to just sulk and be miserable; without anybody seeing me…

On days when I miss my husband so much, I feel him. There are times I feel that he is going to walk through the door or that I am going to hear him tell me something I need to hear. I still feel him so close; and that’s what’s hard… knowing that he isn’t. 

Always Something To Be Thankful For

To be honest, at the beginning of the week it became kind of hard to see the what I was truly thankful for. My emotions were all over the place and the last thing I felt was thankful. I couldn’t see the good because I was starting to focus of the who was missing from my life, now.

God always has a way to open our eyes and cause us to see what we cannot see on our own. When we believe that there is no way, He makes a way; for whatever circumstance it may be. 

After a rough few days during the week; Thursday came… (post from my Instagram.)

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“Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. 

-Psalms 100: 4

In the most difficult seasons there is always something to be thankful for. 

“Today I am thankful. Though there is sadness in my heart; I can smile and say, ‘Thank You, God.’ I say thank you because for the last seven years I was blessed with having my love with me during the holidays. Today marks the first Thanksgiving without him. I am not bitter. I am not angry. I am thankful because though he isn’t here anymore, God and my family/friends are. I honestly wondered how I would feel today and in all honesty, I’m ok. There are certain things that I am going to stay away from because they just remind me so much of babe. Earlier this week I broke down and the thought of everybody else moving on while I’m still here grieving. I told myself that I was going to stay home and do nothing…I didn’t feel like celebrating at the time. I woke up feeling the same way, but I told God how much I needed Him and I asked for His help. He answered. I am thankful for everyone in my life and who has made the effort. Words cannot express the gratitude and how much it’s helped me in this season. There is just so much to be thankful for, especially when you can’t feel or see it. I am thankful that my husband is home and happy! I am thankful to have my dad here another year. I am thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful.”

“There are no words that can express the longing in my heart to have you here with me. I miss you everyday and I often wish I could hold you again. I miss your voice and the soothing words you often spoke. My heart aches, but at the same time, it rejoices. I know you’re happy. Because of that I will be too. Oh, how I love you.-Stephanie

Avoiding The Familiar

Yesterday, it being Thanksgiving I broke away from something that was familiar. I went to my sisters house rather than my mother in-laws house like I had originally planned. Deep down I felt bad for not going over to visit.

Though I felt bad, a part of me honestly felt relief. I didn’t want to be reminded that my husband was no longer here. I didn’t want to talk about him like he isn’t here anymore; though he’s not. I was a coward, honestly. Little by little I have been avoiding familiar things because I don’t want to experience the way it will make me feel. I don’t like crying knowing I cannot bring him back. I don’t like feeling heartbroken and desperate to have him back again… so I’ve tried to avoid it.

It’s so easy to stay away from things that will make us feel uncomfortable, but we can only do that for so long, until God places us in a place where we have no choice but to face those things. I have been there many times. 

 

I Don’t Want To Be The Same

I enjoyed myself with my family. I let loose and had a drink, or two, or… I didn’t care. I was laughing, I was having fun; I was being someone that I no longer am. It felt good to be around my family and cracking jokes and making fun of the things they said and did. I had missed that.

I left feeling relaxed, but at the same time thinking about how I didn’t do that when my husband was around, so why now? I know there’s a void there that I am still trying to fill with things other than God. A void of loneliness; companionship. Lately I have been desiring another man in my life; so much so that I have been looking.  I have been wondering if that man would love me as much as my husband did or would he even accept me how my husband did.

It’s been such torment. 

I don’t want to be that woman who longs for men. I don’t want to be that woman who cannot be single. I don’t want to need relationships to make me feel complete.

I want God to be ENOUGH and all I need. My Confession: I am no longer afraid of being single.

 

For The Woman Who Struggles

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I am not perfect. The mistake I make is continuing to see myself as a widow; through the eyes of paid and loss. The mistakes I make; the sins I commit open doors to lies that get me to doubt. Each day I need more and more of God and less of what my flesh desires. I need to start opening up my life to God so that I can be used.

If all I did was pretend that everything was ok and not share the ugly and the real; it would help no one. I cry. I often doubt that God is all I need; therefore having the desire for a man. I often doubt that I will have another man who loved me and accepted me like my husband did. I am scared that I won’t be able to open up they way I did with my husband… I see it now all this is because I haven’t allowed Him to fill me completely and I have not fully trusted him. 

 

For The Widow

In the midst of what I was feeling and going through, I couldn’t help but feel for other women going through the same thing. Understanding their pain, yet knowing that there is someone who could comfort them…I was led to share this:

46650508_195356981372978_1403143662161887232_n🌸For the woman who grieves; you’re not alone. In these days as sadness comes to you, know that there is hope beyond the pain. There is strength for the weakness and joy for the sadness.-Stephanie 

My prayer: Father, cover every woman who is struggling. Protect them from the lies that try to bring confusion and anger. May You, the God of all comfort, wrap them in Yours arms and fill them with a peace that surpasses all understanding. May their hearts be filled with joy in Your company and the company of loved ones. On days of celebration I pray that they are touched by Your love and reminded that they are valued and cherished by You. I pray that the days become easier and they grow stronger. I pray for blessings over them and that all things fall into place; just as it’s been done for me. I declare courage over every widow. I declare protection for their hearts and minds; that nothing will harm them.

You are protected by God and covered by the blood of Jesus. No weapon formed against you will prevail. I pray that you have the revelation of how special you are and that this is not the end, but only the beginning of something great. You are loved. In Jesus name, Amen. 🌸

”He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭147:3‬ ‭NLT
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