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Friday, May 30, 2008

To My Love

My past two or three blogs have been about my love for Andrea. Mainly as she was on my mind as our anniversary approached. My life today is not how I thought it would be on April 30th 1983 when Andrea and I were married. But that is okay for I doubt any of our lives are what we thought they would be when we were young. And to tell you the truth I would not change a thing about my life. When I express my feelings in this blog I usually do so unfiltered. Many of you who know me realized that about me. But I guess there are people who read this blog now that may not know me at all or know me well enough to understand me. When I say I would not change anything about my life I do so because I believe fully that where I am is where God wants me and there really nowhere else I want to be. Does that mean I got here without pain? No. Does that mean I got here with a smile on my face thanking God for every difficulty in my life? No. What it means is that I would rather be the man I am today; having gone through the pain of losing my wife then to have remained unchanged and have Andrea with me. That may sound harsh to some of you but if my purpose is to be conformed to the likeness of Christ and that was furthered in my pain then as the song by Mercy Me says, "Bring the rain." And I will tell you Andrea wanted it this way as well. That is what she told me and that is what she wrote and most importantly that is how she lived and died.

Do I jump for joy in her death? Certainly not which is obvious in my past writings. But in my pain I see the faithfulness of my God and as the scripture says, and my good friend Al reminded me, I needed to "Be thankful IN all things." Not be thankful FOR all things. For difficulties if faced with the right perspective can make us better, more mature in our faith and I believe ready to be used by God in the future. Because I believe all I have gone through as a purpose and reason. So let me tell you why I'm thankful and what I see has part of the purpose of "why" this all happened.

As I wrote in a recent entry, the man I am is due to my experience with living, loving and losing Andrea, and the person I am is a perfect fit with the person Ginger needs. Just as she is to me for having gone through her loss of Troy. That is a very difficult thing to say, and I do not say it lightly for I know the price that was paid by all of us.

As I begin my life with Ginger I do so with amazing joy, and thankfulness for the blessings God has given me. I trust God as He leads me into this phase of my life, and I believe Ginger and I meeting was part of God's plan for our lives. I believe this is a continuation of the thread of my growth and maturity if my faith. It is an amazing gift to be loved the way I am twice in a life time. And I as go through the grief of losing Andrea I do so as I said with a eternal view and I see Ginger as a gift from God and a clear answer to part of the question why this happen. If I could describe how I feel to be with Ginger I would. But her love is amazing, and her words speak right to my soul. They comfort me in ways only she could and they tell me I am where God wants me to be.

All this includes our seven children all who have endured pain and learned the harshness of life at far to young an age. Boston, Greyson, Bella, Aspen and Annalise need a dad, and Nic and Anthony need a mom. We all need to be a family and God has given us that gift again. It is a home forged in the pain of loss, but it only makes each of us realize how special the gift we have been given. We have all felt a deep loss but we also have the ability to love that much deeper.

What I'm trying to say is I know where I have been has prepared me to be where I am today. And the same God who led me to Andrea on April 19th 1980 is the same God who led me to Ginger in Jan 07 when she received one of my monthly email updates on how Andrea was doing. I love that God allowed the two women I love to be connected in my life. I do not see my life as two separate lives but the continuation of one blessed life, orchestrated by God, the events interwoven into a beautiful tapestry.

I have said I do not have the words to describe the pain of losing Andrea, and maybe at times I have written my blogs when my feelings were still very raw. But I do that because I see the blog as my journal of my experiences, a place I can go back to later in life and remember. Maybe posting these thoughts in a "public" forum is not the best way to go. I know the reader does not know the thoughts behind my words or the events that triggered my thought to write the blog.

But I also cannot find the right words to describe the joy and the gift that Ginger and the kids are in my life. I feel a depth of love in Ginger's words to me. It is just another reminder of God's love for me. Because of the depth of our pain is equaled by the height of our joy it only heightens the realization of the depth of God's love for us and the assurance that He has a plan for our life. As I wrote in my last blog, I knew God was with me the day I heard the song, "All I have sown" and that was the same day Andrea had her "meeting" with the Lord,. Just as I know He is with us as I look at the amazingly beautiful story of Ginger and my life. Our children only heighten that awareness. When I hold the girls or put my arm around Greyson or Boston I feel such a sense of peace. When I hear Ginger talk to Nic or Anthony and her desire to be what they need in there life I know we are exactly where God placed us. I am in His will and I await the revelation of the rest of His magnificent plan. I know what we all went through was not just for us to have this joy but to be used by Him for His glory.

But I will be honest it has been hard at times to understand my love for Ginger. It was not unexpected because Andrea was my first love, initially it was hard for me to reconcile my feelings for Ginger and not feel I was somehow betraying my love for Andrea or her memory. But with the same eternal perspective that I look at my loss. I also use to look at the blessing of Ginger in my life. It is all God's plan. And I am ready to live the life God is leading me, I pray I never forget the lessons I learned up to this point and that I will be the husband Ginger needs and the father our kids deserve.

So it is with a humble joy that I begin my life with Ginger. I am as happy as I have ever been in my life. I love Ginger with all that I am. Her presence in my life calms my fears. Her tenderness and compassion as I have dealt with my grief are a blessing as I know her words come from one who totally understands me. Her touch soothes me. I thought I would never experience unconditional love in my life again, yet I am. I look with excitement and anticipation of our life beginning. I know that none of this slights my love for Andrea or her memory. Andrea's departure from my life and Troy's departure from Ginger's life were not of our choosing. And as sad as that can be it also brings a certain comfort when viewed with an eternal perspective, through the eyes of faith and trust in God.

And is not that how Troy and Andrea lived? I think nothing honors their memory more than Ginger and I coming together in faith that God is leading us.

Well I will call it a night. Ginger is away for the night shooting a commercial for a foundation that raises money for kids who lost a parent in the war. I think it is supposed to run this summer during PGA events, so keep your eye out for it. I made it through my first night as Mr. Mom, Praise God!

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