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“Still Here and Still His, Jeremy”

IMG_7431My late-husband, Jeremy, often used to sign much of his correspondence with these words. They held a lot of meaning for him, for no matter what he had written or to whom he was writing, he was claiming God’s Sovereignty over his days–days he had fought for in more ways than most people may know. And of possible more importance was the fact that he was still His–he was still God’s.

May my life be a testament to this as well.

After several years of ill health, Jeremy passed away in June 2012 from complications of a bone marrow transplant. We had been married for 10 1/2 years. I had borne him three sons. Our marriage, I will say, was a most generous gift for each of us. I don’t understand the brevity. But I do see now that the depth that our marriage had from its beginning was necessary for what the future held. And now my grief, though deep, has carried with it a sweet grace because I know that there is one thing that will never change. I was Jeremy’s, most definitely. But I have always been God’s. And I will never have to bury Him.

And I am still here. If these are the roads I’ve been asked to travel then God’s plans are greater than my own (because this is not what I would have chosen). And if I am His, and He’s with me, then I’m willing to trust His plans are good and that this road, though long, will bear some sort of fruit in me or in others. It won’t be without the pain. And it won’t be without my doubts and fears. Some days, I will walk the path slowly. Some evenings, the horizon will look so far away and I will be discouraged. Some mornings, the mist will create too great a fog for me to claim that I know His ways. But there have been, and will be, other days that I can almost see Him right in front of me. And often when I look back, I can see in even greater detail His intricate work in my life. God is faithful and I care to testify to this. Mostly for the sake of my boys. They need to know how intimate this God is that we love and serve. I need to tell them the stories; they need to know their history. It may be that my writing and sharing is just an effort to preserve for them the history of our faith in a good God who is redeeming what is broken.

I have never been much of a writer. Nor have I ever been quite so transparent. But there is much that has changed in the past several months. I have lived under the shadow of God’s wings, but I have also lived under the shadow of Jeremy’s. He was an artist, a musician, a speaker, a writer, a student and teacher of the Word. He was a good friend to people. I was his wife, and happily so. No other person on earth has done such a great work as he did in his years of loving me and helping me become. But he is now gone, and those qualities of who he was that brought so much life to mine have left a great void. My writing, my sharing, my remembering, my truth-bearing, is quite possibly a taste of the abundance of life that I shared with him and that (I pray) Christ continues to give me now without him. God created mankind to live in this world together, not alone. And since I am no longer sharing myself with him, I will share some of myself with you.

While Jeremy was in transplant, I wrote in an email to some close friends: “…coming into this, I prayed that I would be given a ‘song in the night’. Not necessarily literally, but something to which I could daily meet my Father and be cared for by Him and worship Him with. I pray for the eyes to see and the ears to hear…”. This season of “night” is much longer and darker than I had hoped. But God is the Author of our lives, and if we let Him, He promises to perfect our faith (Hebrews 11) through our experiences.

You will find here history of our life together: our love, joys, hopes, and of our disappointments and suffering.

I will try to unpack the experience of loss and grief as it unfolds for me, the boys, and our family and friends, telling of the laments that we bring to God and the hope that we hold to.

I will share a bit of who I am: who I was with Jeremy, who I am without him, of who I am in Christ and of who I am becoming –even still –under the shadow of His wings.

I will share of this everyday life while resting in Him who holds all things together (Colossians 1:15-17) and is making all things new (Rev 21).

Still Here and Still His, Jen