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Friday, December 17, 2010

Three Years

Dec 17th Marks the third anniversary of Andrea's passing.  This blog is from an email I sent yesterday.

Today I'm Remembering the amazing woman that Andrea was; so thankful to have known and loved her.  I carry her strength and faith with me everyday.

When I first saw Andrea I saw in her eyes all I wanted and needed in life in her eyes .  I saw something I had never seen before.  She was different.  I saw her spirit, her unwavering faith. In my soul I knew I needed what she had.

Over the 27 yrs 7 months and 28 days that followed I saw her live out a faith I have yet to witness in another person. It was so simple for Andrea, she just believed. She hoped with all hope, prayed with fervor, but above all she trusted God.  It was what I saw in her eyes on April 19 1980.

Last month Ginger and I were asked to share our story at a local church.  As I was telling Andrea's story I told of the moment she passed.  I prayed over her and I sang to her a song we used to sing together in our church.

"Here's my life I lay it down, I lay it down I surrender it all to you I surrender it all to you. I let go and give it to you."

Only as I sang in her ear I changed the word "life" with "wife" and "it" with "her"  When I finished that song and stood up the doctor walked in and told me Andrea had passed it was 1:07.

As I shared that story it hit me, I had what I saw in Andrea's eyes on Apr 19.

She had taught me to trust God with my most prized possession, her. I could not have ever sung those words without a faith in my sovereign God. A God Andrea showed me everyday.  I remembered her last words to me as I took her into the ER. "Jim you have to be strong now." Words for the moment but also words I would need for the rest of my life.  I think she knew she was leaving me and she knew how I relied on her and her faith. But I think she saw in me the growth as we battled cancer.  She knew I had to believe and trust on my own.  I think her words were more for today then for that night. She asked me one day, "Jim what are you going to do when this is all over?  You can't believe just because I'm sick because one day this will end and you still have to trust." From the day I first saw her she was preparing me for Dec 17 2007. She summed it up in her last words. "You have to be strong now". Time to face life without her to believe without her, to trust without her because she knew I would not enter heaven because I knew her but because I know Christ.  She introduced me to Him and she left me with him. She poured out her life in sacrifice to introduce us all to a God worthy of our trust. Even when it does not make sense she trusted.  We should do no less.

I know God loves me and you and whatever love we have for Andrea pales in comparison to God's love for her. He never left her, I know He was in the ICU room with us comforting His daughter.

So as I face this day and stop to remember her at 1:07 I will remember her unwavering faith and pray God grants me a drop of the faith Andrea lived everyday. And I will remember she wears a crown today.  I see her happy. I see her beautiful smile and her eyes light up as she received her reward for a faithful life.  A life that changed so many.

I know one day I will see her again because she led me to a personal relationship with Christ. For that I am truly eternally grateful to her. I will never forget her because she changed my life for eternity.

She truly was "A woman of faith"

Blessings to each of you as we celebrate Christ's birth. The greatest gift when God' son took on flesh only to lay it down for us. The gift that Andrea's rejoices in today as she knows, not by faith but by sight, the gift that will one day reunite all of us again. It is not if we will see her again but when we see her, and that more then all my pain and my sadness and beyond my tears is what I remember today. Because that is what I saw I her beautiful blues eyes on April 19th.

In memory of my wife Andrea,