Be Still And Wait On The Lord (From Angie)

Posted by on Aug 5, 2013 in Updates | 30 Comments

So many thoughts and emotions run through my mind simultaneously… and constantly.

The thoughts that give me hope and some sort of peace I quickly remove from my mind because of the hurt and anger and sorrow I feel. I know I’m not the only one who feels a great loss — who feels that the life they hoped for, the future they were looking forward to, was cut short. Conversations that will no longer happen; ideas, work, life that will no longer be shared; experiences that will no longer take place. To say it is a great loss feels so inadequate to describe what this really feels like.

What is life supposed to look like now? I have lost loved ones in the past. It’s hard. It’s really sad, but life continues, it goes on. This is not that, for many of us.

Honestly, I don’t know how life continues on without Will. We have been together in everything for my entire adult life. Each morning I wake up thinking, “What the hell just happened?” And I wake up hoping and praying that it didn’t. I feel like Will and I just went through a brutal, gruesome war and I came out on the other side alone, left with memories and images I don’t know what to do with and that will probably torment me for the rest of my life.

I have brief moments during the day (and hope they become more often) of being thankful for experiencing in sufferings with Christ… for sharing in the love Will and I had for the last 12 years of knowing each other and 8 years of marriage and getting to so actively serve and love him these past 10 months… for whatever this is that the Lord is doing that seems bigger than all of us.

But, the questions of why it had to be this way will never be settled in my mind. And I don’t really want them to be.

As one friend said, our community has experienced an amputation. That amputation will never be okay… not on this side of heaven. This world is messed up. It’s messed up from the greed for money, and the decisions made to that end are stealing people’s lives. It’s messed up from the food we eat and the drugs we take. It’s messed up from the lack of care for our environment and the “out for ourselves” mentality. Will was different. He sacrificed himself for the betterment of others and the world. He would literally do anything for anyone. It didn’t matter if he lost sleep or missed meals or still had 20 hours of work for the day… if you needed him he was there.

Why would God take someone like that?

So my anger stirs. Is my anger at all that is messed up in this world…? Yes. Is my anger at God… maybe. I believe He’s God and can do whatever He wants. I believe He could have kept Will from getting cancer, or made it less severe, and He could have cured him of it. I know that’s not what Will or I deserved. I don’t necessarily deserve to have my husband. He didn’t deserve to live. We never have believed we deserve anything, but that every gift is just that… a gift. But, Will wanted to live and to live to the glory of God. He didn’t feel done here. He had a lifetime worth of ideas, work, and love to give. He felt like many Christians gave up on him here and tried to rush him off to heaven. He was “ready” in a sense… in that he knew Jesus secured his eternal life. But, he also believed in living. Living until the end — until God says it’s the end, not a doctor.

So my anger, if I let it, turns to action. What would Will want me to do now, want us to do…? Because he would definitely want us to do something, to live our lives well.

I was talking with a friend after the Nashville memorial service. He told me that he had been healed — really healed — from participating in this journey. We started talking about how maybe it was all of us, Will’s community, that needed the healing we were all praying for, not him. Will was full of patience and love and trust in our Lord until his final breath.

I have a hard time thinking that healing came to me or anyone else because it feels like it was at the expense of Will’s life. But, it might be true, and I think it probably is. Even as broken as I feel, I can see healing that came to me and in the deep parts of my heart. If others have been healed, then that is encouraging and also what Will and I hoped and prayed for in all of this. That’s what he wanted with his life… to bring some sort of healing, togetherness, a light-in-the-dark-places to others.

Maybe I’m just not ready for it yet. Maybe my frustration and anger keeps me from vomiting.

Will was really good about not over-spiritualizing everything, which is a rare trait in a Christian… he just was who he was. He was a man who loved people, creating, watching movies, reading, listening to every kind of music and Jesus. He felt every emotion, he struggled with depression, and he enjoyed life. He would panic about paying rent and he would constantly plan ways to bring people together. He had fears, he had patience, he felt paralyzed by life and he persevered through it anyway. Will taught me how to just be me with all the negative and positive that comes with it. As he said many times: “I’m trusting that Jesus is going to hold on to me and you just like He said he would.”

I need God to stay close to me, but I also can’t really talk to Him right now. And, I’m okay with that. Jesus got angry and cursed a tree when he was hungry. Can I / we not be angry that a best friend has been lost? We’ve lost a mentor, a partner in creating, a son, a brother. I am now a widow at 32 years old, and not only that, but I also lost my best friend, my life partner, my other half… my love.

In a moment of panic that I was having, one of the last things Will ever said to me was, “Be still and wait on the Lord.” There’s not much you can say in response to that. I’m glad that was one of the last things he said because I’m sure I will need to hear that for the rest of my life.

25 Comments

  1. christopher brown
    August 9, 2013

    “I need God to stay close to me, but I also can’t really talk to Him right now.”

    Amen. Well said. This captures the profound realism that we often read in the Psalms. I weep with you. But even more importantly, Jesus weeps with you. May the Lord be with your spirit.

    Reply
  2. Danielle Farley
    August 8, 2013

    Dear Angie,

    Your comments is part of feeling raw and grief! In 2005, God took me on a journey where I had to learn my identity was not in the past but in Christ. It was a gruesome three year journey, but in the end, I grew closer to God for I had to completely rely on Him and Christ alone. While going through this journey, I had a lot of questions such as the “Why me?” or “Why did you (God) allow this to happen?” When those questions arose then and occassionally now, I remind myself of who God says He is: our Creator, Author and Perfecter of our faith, and “compassionate, slow to anger, lovingkindness, etc.” If I do not remind myself of those things, it is easy to get caught up in the world and what the world says is appropriate to respond in circumstances. Continue clinging onto the promises of God…and those last words Will said to you!

    As many others have stated, it is perfectly fine you have all these emotions, thoughts. If you did not, I would think you were not human. I know in time God will mend the hole in your heart and take the pain away. God did not save you or Will not put you all through this experience to abandon you…I think of how blessed you are to have been able to spend all this time with Will. I see how God is using you and Will (still) to be a light of Jesus to many.

    Jeremiah 17:7-8 states,
    “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

    These verses are my prayer for you and Will’s family!

    In Christ,
    Danielle

    Reply
  3. valerie vidmar
    August 8, 2013

    I’m not religious. I’ve written here before…and I just got done reading this post. Your pain is understood and especially your anger. I don’t think my words will help you…whose really would?? You are hurting, angry and want Will back. Simple. The questions you ask and the pain/anger you vent are so real. You write them well. I have no answers. I don’t understand why all of this happened. It’s bullshit, it is. I don’t understand why God would take him either…in the way He did. Or why you have to sit with all of these emotions and memories. I’m angry for you. I know you won’t feel like you’re drowning forever…but for now, it is what it is. Seek those who comfort you. You don’t owe anyone anything. Do what you need to do to get through. Be selfish. Be angry. Be sad. Let time move on. Any God would be right with you.

    Reply
  4. Steve
    August 8, 2013

    I only met Will and you once or twice, but remember how patiently you two listened to me go on in my excitement about becoming a Christian and how the Lord scooped me up in my time of need. I remember that patience…

    Be angry, love God; it’s a hard pill to swallow Angie and yet it seems right too, just like in the Psalms. (((Angie)))

    Reply
  5. Becky Canny
    August 8, 2013

    I lost my mom to cancer back in November. I don’t know you personally Angie, I found your page through a friend. But your words today were exactly what I needed. I went though anger and hurt toward God, toward cancer, to the messed up world we live in. I screamed, I cried, I punched pillows, and I hurt. I felt anger and bitterness. And I wept. But to think that somehow, through my moms death, God gave me a healing that I desperately needed? It’s an incredible thought! Humbling, hard to grasp that she had to give her life for my healing, but it holds truth! I’m a different person than I was 8 months ago because if her death. I’ve been healed and I didn’t even know I needed it!! Thank You for vulnerably sharing your story. We’re all the body of Christ, here for one another. I don’t know you, but I’m praying for you. I’m standing with you!

    Reply
  6. Laurie Dhonau
    August 7, 2013

    Angie,
    My heart aches for you, but I know there is absolutely nothing I can say that will ease your pain. I believe you’re right; each of us who was privileged to share even a small part of your journey with Will during the past year has been touched by God. I don’t think any of us will ever be the same. As you struggle to understand what’s next, know that you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
  7. Lynn Beck
    August 7, 2013

    Oh Angie – I don’t know you personally, but I feel like I do. I was widowed at age 26 after 4 years of marriage. There is nothing easy about this, but, if your experience is like mine, and I believe that it will be, the beautiful and thankful moments will become more frequent and that the pain will shift to a sweet ache.

    Nothing will replace Will – ever – this side of heaven, but God will send things that really will fill the hole in your heart. As he does this, be gentle with yourself. This will take time.

    Reply
  8. Matt Inman
    August 7, 2013

    thanks for your words. thoughtful, honest and faithful. our community has suffered an injury, an amputation.

    we are forever changed by it. not just the outcome of it but also the intense journey it all.

    You continue to be thoughtful and genuine in this process. You are an amazing woman.

    Reply
  9. Cheryl
    August 6, 2013

    My heart is breaking for u Angie. I think of u all the time. Know u r loved and thought of.

    Reply
  10. Harrison Cowan
    August 6, 2013

    Continuing to pray for your healing

    Reply
  11. Donna Duss
    August 6, 2013

    Angie. though we have not met in person (I am Kelli’s friend), I have held you and Will and the amazing concentric circles of family and friends in my heart and in my prayers through this long, yet too short, journey. I have no words of wisdom of my own, but am holding onto the God of all wisdom and all comfort on your behalf. Will was right – Be still and know. . .

    Reply
  12. christy long
    August 6, 2013

    Praying for u!!

    Reply
  13. Tate
    August 6, 2013

    Angie,

    I watched a video that talked about how the fact that we’re even born is a miracle. I believe the speaker was referencing something the Dalai Lama said. But its not just that, its also the Lord’s providence. When we trace the great, great grandparents who got together then our parents to have us, its a miracle but the same seems true when two people meet and get married…it seems like a miracle in the same fashion. There must have been a reason the Lord brought you and Will together and in Will’s semi-conscious state at the hospital yelled for you…not anyone else. For everything you’ve gone through, you must have a quiet, strength and resilience that God sees and I’ve seen and read about.

    Your and Will’s story has touched and impacted many lives, including mine.

    God bless.

    Reply
  14. Gerry Neese
    August 6, 2013

    Debbie Hillhouse Simpson So powerful.
    3 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1

    Jerry D. Woods Jesus cried out in anger from the cross, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Know this! Before the pain Christ felt on the cross, God felt it first in His own heart. Before you felt your pain in your heart of your loss, God the Father exper…See More
    3 hours ago · Like · 2

    Terry Hawks Gerry, somewhere down the road, I hope Angie can see the healing that is manifesting. Her words in this journey have the power that will help others This would make a powerful book.
    2 hours ago via mobile · Like

    Donna Carter Hill Gerry, my heart breaks for her, because I have experienced every emotion. Right now she is somewhere floating in and out of the disbelief mode and the anger mode. Wish she could get in a good Grief Recovery program. I was lucky, because I was certified to teach the Grief Recovery program from Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church. It didn’t lessen the pain, but it sure helped me understand it, and propelled me through the stages.
    about an hour ago · Like

    Reply
  15. slc
    August 6, 2013

    thank you so much for sharing and being a light even in the midst of a great loss and pain…and so much more. praying for you! continue to walk in his presence and being a great/real light! so humbled…

    Reply
  16. Julie
    August 6, 2013

    Thank you for writing, Angie and giving words to your grief and anger. It takes courage and strength. I, too, believe God invites this most real and honest truthfulness of how you feel. I think it is what He most desires from His children– honesty. I miss you. Thinking of you all the time!

    Reply
  17. sue
    August 6, 2013

    Angie, I agree, it sucks that you, and all those who knew and loved Will had to lose him so soon. I feel angry for you, and with you. Really we are all just crawling towards the Light, each with our own brokenness and untidy feelings. thanks for sharing from your heart, and not defaulting to being a smarmy, cliched Christian. We mourn with you, and will rejoice with you when that time comes. Hugs from Lawrence, KS

    Reply
  18. Sandra Hayden
    August 6, 2013

    Simply beautiful! I am sharing this with a friend who just lost her 20 yr old son. I am not sure if she has a committed relationship with Jesus and I believe this will be an awesome witness to her!
    May God draw so very close to you at this painful and difficult journey in your life!
    In Christ
    Sandra

    Reply
  19. Angie
    August 6, 2013

    Thank you Angie for sharing your heart. Not that you need my permission, but it’s okay to feel the way you feel. The questions you have are questions we all have all had at one time or another especially when facing terminal sickness. My heart aches for you and at the same time I know that you will never be closer to the Lord than you are at this moment. Whether you feel it or not, whether angry or sad he is holding you close to his heart. He too cries and his heart is broken for what you are feeling. I don’t believe we will ever find the answers to what doesn’t make sense to us until we are on the other side.. then it won’t matter anyway. I keep thinking of Job and what God told him when he questioned him… not really the answers we are looking for as they are not answers at all… just as Will said… be still and know he is God.
    For now, for today let your friends embrace you… they are God’s arms wrapping around you, allow them to grieve with you… they are his tears, when you crying out for answers, be still and know he is God. When that day comes and it will, joy and laughter, hope and healing will once again fill your day… when it does come embrace it, rejoice in it.. for he is there with you then too! As you continue on through this journey and living a life that you didn’t plan or envision know that we, all of those you know and those you never met are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers… when you feel alone know that you are not, we are here holding you up when you cannot do it alone :-)

    Reply
  20. Emily H.
    August 6, 2013

    Angie,
    I’ve followed your story since January (friend of several of your friends from the Vineyard experience) and your story has touched my life greatly…but nothing quite like this post.

    I very suddenly lost someone in March who I considered a best friend. After 8 years fighting epilepsy, she took a fall in the shower, hit her head and drowned. she was 27. Her husband (my husband’s best friend) is now a widow at 30 and all of us, I think, are still very stunned and trying to pick up pieces.

    I don’t say this so that you feel like you have to comfort me–I say this to let you know that you’re not alone. She was also a woman of great faith (serving as the youth minister in our church), and sometimes the silence of God following this and that big amputation feeling seems so big even now, 4 almost 5 months later. Will will never be forgotten–and neither will you. Virtual hugs and very real prayers surround you right now.

    Reply
  21. Mae
    August 6, 2013

    Thank you for sharing from your heart. God is not afraid of your grief or the anger or your questions. He is closer to you than you can possibly imagine. Rest and He is faithful to carry and love you, Angie. Much love to you.

    Reply
  22. The Nolen & Byars
    August 6, 2013

    I truly understand. For you are broken ..we all are …I believe your anger will soon turn to you love…for we lost our son valentine day of this year and the hurt of watching him take his last breath was ny far the worst pain to feel ..but God his my rock..

    Reply
  23. Reagan Carfield Berry
    August 6, 2013

    Praying for you Angie and everyone who met Will even once. All of our lives are changed by his.

    Reply
  24. Kathy
    August 6, 2013

    Thank you for sharing this, Angie. So true, so raw, so real and expresses thoughts and emotions shared by so many of us. The “now and not yet” is so hard; we are so frail in our hearts. But, we cling to the Father and one another. How good it was to be together in Indiana, remembering. I am holding you tightly in my heart and mind. May the God of all comfort, comfort you with the same comfort and power that raised Jesus from the dead. ..Love you.

    Reply
  25. John
    August 5, 2013

    I can’t describe to you how blessed I am by your words. They make me fall to my knees. I love you so much Angie. I am amazed at your strength and being. I am so mad that God took Will as well. I still don’t think it makes sense. But like you said, I believe God is God – and eventually, I assume we will know. I will continue to live this life better from knowing Will… and you. And you two together. As Kelli said, “not perfect, but perfect together.” How true.

    Thank you for continuing to write. This story is just beginning in a way none of us would have wished but will be fruitful to the Father nonetheless. I love you.

    Reply

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