Her memorial service is this Friday at 4pm at our church. I've been working hard to make the service something that really represents Linda and especially the woman she was this past 7 months. I wish she could be at the service, if only to see how loved and special she was.
Things have been weird since she passed. Some days are really hard, others are ok. The permanence of death is a hard concept for a human brain. When I think of her I see her sitting in the room we last visited her in and her smiling and watching Eliana loudly sing I'm a Little Teapot. It's hard to reconcile that with the ashes we now have. We know without a doubt that Linda gave her heart to Jesus, her letters and journal made that abundantly clear and for that I am more grateful that I can ever put into words. That God took compassion on her and gave her grace and hope when she needed it the most is incredible. I miss her and I miss the letters I received every few days. We became friends the last 7 months and I miss that friendship. She could've died alone and miserable in an apartment, but God allowed things to happen in such a way that she spent her last 7 months with a clear mind and the wits to write her family and spend time with us. That is a gracious gift.
My heart is broken for my husband who finally, after decades, was getting the chance to know his mom sober and have a relationship with her. It's hard for him to understand why that was taken away so soon, yet we deeply believe that things happened the way that was best and her life and death are a testimony to others.
God is good. I believe that. He doesn't know how to be anything other than good. He loves us and takes us exactly as we are. All our faults and flaws pale in comparison to His greatness and mercy. The fact that someone can live a life filled with regret and poor choices and at any point come to Jesus and ask for His help is amazing. We serve a God who is personal and real and who longs to know us and have relationship with us. It's not The Big Guy Upstairs or the Magical Universe. He is real and personal like a close friend. Linda found that out in her final months and I could see her bitterness, anger, and negativity melt away as she learned to love herself and accept her life and move forward.
Linda and Craig on our wedding day nearly 7 years ago.
We have had an incredibly challenging year. I feel like I've aged a decade. But through it all God has held our family together. I love my husband more than ever and that's saying a lot consider the many dark days we've walked through together. God is our sustainer and redeemer and He will make all things good in His time.
Want to know more about a relationship with God? Go HERE.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--" Ephesians 2:8