I asked each of the presenters if they wanted to share something on this website before the conference to write up a little bit about their story. So for the next few weeks we can get to know them a little bit better.
At age 39 I became a widow when my husband’s plane unexpectedly crashed. With my support and best friend gone, the temptation was very real to sink into utter despair. Fortunately, the pull of light and hope was stronger. A tender mercy occurred less than an hour before the accident that set the stage for that decision. I was walking with my children on our favorite trail, watching them interact with each other. A feeling of love, peace, and profound gratitude came over me. Then the thought entered my mind, “If something happens to Scott, you will be okay. You could still be happy. This would be enough.” The feeling of peace was so profound that no worry accompanied that thought, and I simply dismissed it.
The next morning when my mother-in-law called to tell me that the plane had not landed the night before, my mind was taken back to words from the previous night. I knew that God had prepared me for this moment. Once again that feeling of peace overwhelmed me, and I heard new words in my mind, “This was supposed to happen. We chose this. You have to be strong. This will heal many hearts. Now go and figure out how you are going to tell the kids.”
The way that these words impressed upon my soul was so complete that it left no room for doubt. They have become core guiding principles in my life as I have turned to God to discover His plan for me and the deeper meaning behind that message.
Over the past three years I have learned to trust the voice in my head that tells me to do good, reveals truth, and fills me with peace. I have learned that that voice is from God, and it is given to comfort, guide, and teach us what He would have us know. Learning to hear that voice has not always been as easy as it was that tragic day. For the first ten months I struggled daily with my emotions. I didn’t understand how the death of my husband could become something good, how it could be part of God’s plan, let alone something I might have chosen prior to birth.
I fought to try to recreate my life. I watched additional legal, financial and other temporal concerns pile on my already over burdened load. It was crushing and, I crumbled under the weight of each new problem. In those moments of exhaustion a refining thing happened. I began to let go of my plan, and I began to ask God for help. My broken and humble soul pleaded and reached out to Him for guidance and direction. I began to study His word more, to pray, and to record the thoughts that came into my mind. Little by little, I was able to set aside my desires and plans in favor of the ones He wanted me to have. Still, it was a struggle for me to completely submit and trust Him.
About ten months out, after struggling with plans to move that just would not come to fruition, I threw my hands up into the air and said, “I give up. I am done fighting this fight. I promise that will do whatever you want me to do, I will follow any good thought, if you will just take care of me and my children.”
I started really heeding that voice to do good. I battled to overcome the intense emotions and personal desires that blocked the still small voice. I began to pray to know how to better use my time. I learned to set non-critical tasks aside in favor of a thought to help someone in need. I began to reach out to other widows and to blog.
That covenant to consecrate my life marked the beginning of a new path. Everyday as I trust God and listen for His guiding voice, I come to better understand His plan. In the beginning, I never could have comprehended the ‘hearts’ that would be “healed,’ yet as I trust in God, I continue to watch miraculously as His’s plan unfolds.