Featured Post

Perfect Imperfection

Tonight we put up our Christmas tree, the first Ravella/Gilbert tree. Actually we have two trees. One is artificial. It is perfect. It has p...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Letter to a Friend

I was writing a good friend today and I was telling her the man she sees in this blog is not the man I was four years ago. For that matter I hope to look back four years from now and be able to say the same thing about my faith. It is of course an never ending struggle to grow in our faith while we live on this earth having to walk by faith and not by sight.

I was trying to encourage my friend to continue the fight even when we grow weary of the battle. That I hope she nor any of you reading this blog think I am a rock of faith. I'm just learning and unfortunately I had to learn the hard way. As I wrote her I thought of a note Andrea had given me sometime while we lived in North Carolina, probably around spring 2007. When I wrote the letter I thought it would be nice to post on the blog. I love sharing Andrea with you all. She really was this amazing. Here is a portion of my letter to my friend.

If she (my friend) only knew of my failures she would know God will always love her. Please tell her the words on that blog are from a man who struggled many years with his faith. I wish I could say I served the Lord with this passion all my life but that would be a lie. I'm sorry to say my wife had to suffer and die for me to learn what it meant to be a Christian. But Andrea was willing to do just that if it meant I would be a stronger believer. Here are the words of the only note I kept from her. I found it in my wallet while she was in the ICU:

"I am so proud of you. Especially of how you are letting the Lord use you. It's so exciting! I can't wait to see how it all turns out. I'm ready to run this race with you. You are my beloved." JB

Those are the words of a faithful wife who waited for me. Behind those words are the reality that I was not allowing the Lord to use me before. I'm thankful before she died I reached a point in my faith that she could see the results of her prayers. I'm not done, I never will be but I glad she was proud of me. Those words mean so much to me.

As I typed Andrea’s words to me I was again struck at her unselfish love for me. She was so faithful to God and to me it was humbling. I hope you begin to understand me when I say how proud I was to be chosen to be her husband. That the man I am today who writes these words is the result of her faith and love for me. God used her in my life. She was a Godly woman, a woman of great faith yet she waited for me to become the man I am. She really did not need me to help her spiritually other then she loved me so much she wanted me to have what she had. She wanted to be the wife of a Godly man because she saw that has God's plan for a marriage. Equally yoked together facing life's trials and enjoying life’s successes. I think many of you felt the same love and desire in your life from Andrea. She loved seeing those around her grow in faith. She did this because she fed off of our faith. It was a circle that kept going. God used her faith to help us grow and that in turn helped Andrea grow who in turn continued to challenge us to grow. She did not have many peers in the area of faith, but she never separated herself from those of us who were struggling to comprehend a God who could love us and somehow use us. This is how she poured herself out for others. She never rested on her faith and kept it under a bushel. She let her light shine, just has several people told her during her illness, "You will be a light in a dark world."

And that is exactly what she was and still is as we carry a part of her light in us.

A light in a dark world. I think that best describes Andrea.

She certainly was to me.

1 comment:

  1. Andrea truly was light in a dark world. I couldn't agree more. The day she passed away this world looked different to me. But Jim, I have to tell you that YOU are a light in this dark world too. You have been since I met you and your light continues even brighter now as you shine the light for both of you. Thank you for sharing your peronal processes of spiritual growth. I have learned so much from you and Andrea and will always be thankful for your friendship and example. You and your family are lifted up in prayer daily.
    Much Love, Gina