Blog by Allison Grob
One Saturday 4.5 years ago my life changed dramatically overnight. I discovered my husband had passed away in his sleep after not feeling well the night before, he was 35 years old.
I had no idea how to explain what had happened to our 6 year old daughter. I simply told her that Daddy had become very ill and was now with Jesus in Heaven. She accepted it without question, but I knew we still had a journey in front of us.
The next hours, days and weeks were like a whirlwind. How would I survive this? How could this happen? How would I raise our daughter alone? How would I afford the mortgage? So many questions and confusion surrounded me. I couldn’t comprehend the loss or wrap my head around this new life. I literally remember asking Jesus one day to help me to have peace that passes understanding.
Philippians 4:7 ” And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” and
Proverbs 3:5 “Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.” I couldn’t rely on my own understanding. God helped us one day at a time, sometimes 5 minutes at a time. Even in the midst of the pain I could see God’s mercy.
There were several different factors that could have made a terrible situation even worse, but God was already covering us and I could see His hand at work in our lives guarding and protecting our hearts.
I knew I had choices to make. I could completely fall apart, get angry, slip into depression OR I could throw myself on God’s mercy and let Him carry me when I felt weak. And that’s exactly what I did.
2nd Corinthians 12:9 speaks so much truth: “Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.”
It was crucial that we did not isolate ourselves. The hardest moments were when I found myself alone. God already knew that and therefore surrounded us constantly with friends and family. I had joined a Community Group (Bible Study Group) at our church just 3 months prior to his death. They came running to help. They were there the day it happened, they embraced me and my daughter and they have never let us go. The women at Wave Church showed up for at least a month with meals – I was overwhelmed with their love and generosity. I saw God’s hands in motion. When I was overcome with crippling fear for our future, my Connect Group made sure I didn’t face things alone and would also pray for me. That’s how I learned one of my favorite verses. 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and sound mind.” I had to repeat this to myself daily for a while. I still often say it out loud to remind myself that irrational fear is from the enemy – not my Maker, my Defender, and my Healer.
I have heard God speaking so clearly to me through the Bible – He truly has taken the sting from death. I’ve never had such a close relationship with Christ before and I am loving it. I know now that I am living with purpose and on purpose. He loves me and my daughter – He formed us in the womb. He knows every hair on our heads. Of course I would change what happened if given the choice, but I have learned to accept this as my new normal and to embrace the present. The song “it is well with my soul” now has a whole new meaning to me.
When you find yourself in one of life’s storms, it’s important that you surround yourself with light – with encouraging people that will speak life and hope into you. The best way I found to do this was to be involved with church…and to say “yes” when we were invited somewhere. I also resolved that I didn’t want this to define my life. I didn’t want us to be pitied…to be victims…to be “stuck” in this moment and not move forward. So I decided to stop living in fear. To grab life by the reigns and get the most out of this short life God blesses us with. Now we try to live life to the fullest every day. We go on vacations, explore new places, take classes, play sports – this was especially good for my daughter because of the positive male role models now in her life, as well as the camaraderie from the team that boosted her enormously. We make as many memories as possible. I want to live in a way that makes not only my husband proud, but in a way that pleases our Father in Heaven…the maker of this beautiful life.