26 So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.
27 And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will.
28 We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.
Romans 8:26-28 (AMP)
To 99.9 percent of the world, yesterday was “just another day.”
For the Howell party of three, it signified the 4th year we’ve walked this earth without Mark.
I keep thinking and hoping July 30 will not hurt as much as the years pass. So far, that’s been the farthest thing from the truth. And for those of you who have never suffered a loss of a great husband or daddy, you most likely won’t get “it.” If you’re in that category, you might want to save yourself some time and stop reading now 🙂
Time stopped July 30, 2011, a little before midnight. A great guy died. At least time stopped for those who knew and loved him. And for those of us closest to him? Life as we knew it stopped with his last breath.
As the intensive care nurses coded him (protocol followed, short of a miracle, there was no hope), I felt part of me washing away with the bitter tears I cried. His spirit, so tangible in the room, had bigger fish to fry, so to speak, and I felt him leave.
And as difficult as July 30 was and is for me, today, July 31, is worse. For today is the date I had to drive over to a friend’s home and tell Mark’s sons that their dad was gone.
It’s been four years.
By the grace of God, we’re healing.
By the grace of God, we’re moving forward.
By the grace of God, I’ve found purpose and meaning in a single life unimagined before his death.
By the grace of God, our sons are emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy, despite the gaping hole left in both their hearts.
As I watched the clock yesterday, trying to make the hours go by faster, I heard from a few friends and family. They remembered. They know what July 30 means to us.
The words spoken, the texts and messages written? Touched us deeply.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for remembering. It might not be a big deal to you, but it certainly was to us.
Life goes on. It was “just another day” to everyone else.
For everyone who has a day on their calendar like July 30 is on ours, know that we get it. We understand your hurt.
We acknowledge that while the world says to “move on and heal already” (infamous words from someone so clueless it’s laughable), it is perfectly fine to just move forward.
Moving forward is healthy.
Moving on? For this household, at least, it’s not an option.
I trust God to continue to make beauty out of our ashes. He’s in full control.
Someday, we may understand why life as we knew it stopped 4 years ago.
Until then, we’ll keep moving forward, in this, our next chapter. We’re depending on God to pen beautiful stories for all three of us.