GLEANINGS from Claudia: Grief – A Return of Joy

Tonight, August 12, 2012, I’m writing a blog that I won’t post for a while because the news in it isn’t yet mine to share, but soon it will be. Earlier this afternoon I texted Jacob to make sure we are on ‘normal’ schedule this week in preparation for me going to be with the girls tomorrow as he heads for work. I didn’t hear back from him for a while, which is unusual, but when I did, his message back caused me to whoop out loud!

‘Yes normal schedule. Also, we took all the kids to dinner so we could let them know we are planning to get married soon.’

This casual approach to announcing epic news is so Jacob and it made me laugh! I knew marriage was a possibility. But the last time we spoke about it, Jacob indicated it was still a future concept as he and Cheryl tried to figure out the complexities of combining two families with a total of 6 kids and two households. But today’s sermon was on faith – on stepping out and following the Lord – on believing Him and walking forward even when you can’t always see where that next step leads. As I left church today I thought to myself, “Someone just needs to tell them to get married already!” And I guess someone did!

At this point little more is known than that it will be soon. But my heart rejoices! I’ve watched a deep friendship develop between Jacob and Cheryl. Cheryl loves the girls and they love her. She has been a shoulder for Jacob to cry on when grief was eating him alive. She has gotten in his face when he needed it and he has gotten in hers a time or two also. They enjoy each other and have fun together. They see much of life similarly and the places where they differ, well that will add spice to life. The biggest blessing for me is that Cheryl knew and loved Becky. Cheryl has been grieving her loss right along with the rest of us and there is no fear in her of Becky’s memory or of the ‘first love’ spot that she will always hold in Jacob’s heart. Cheryl has no need to fill the place that Becky filled, but rather to enter into a new relationship of love that will be a comfort and balm to both of them.

God is good and His gifts are awesome!

I remember so clearly the awareness that Steve and I had shortly after Becky died that in the long run losing Becky could mean letting Jacob and the girls go too. We wanted Jacob to marry again and we’ve been praying into that ever since the first days after her death.  But we knew it would take a strong, mature woman to be able to embrace and welcome his first wife’s parents and family. We were willing to let him go for the sake of his happiness, but in Cheryl we have that strong, mature woman who can love us too.

Neither Jacob nor Cheryl could have foreseen the life paths that brought them to this place. The events that brought them to this day aren’t events that they chose. But as so often happens, out of the ashes of difficult and tragic life events God brings great blessings. For this I am thankful. For this I rejoice!

The mission and heart of Jesus as expressed in Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61:1-3

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About Gleanings from Claudia

I am a wife, mother, grandmother,sister, and friend newly introduced to grief as I lost my 32 year old daughter in an auto accident in December 2010. I am a follower of Jesus and am journeying through grief while abiding in Christ.
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9 Responses to GLEANINGS from Claudia: Grief – A Return of Joy

  1. Linda says:

    Claudia – thanks for sharing the wonderful news. God has blessed & provided for Jacob & the girls. I think of you often. We hope to visit Corvallis some Sunday morning – we’ll let you know ahead of time – probably in September. Hugs & praise for His provision.

  2. Chris Fegles says:

    Claudia, your post has brought tears to my eyes – remembering your loss, now hearing your JOY! Blessing in all things, chris

  3. Carol S says:

    So happy for Jacob, Cheryl and the girls. We will all continue to pray for all of you as you transition into your new roles. It’s been so great to see how Cheryl and the girls have bonded. Truly a blessing.

  4. Jacque says:

    This is a blessing — especially for your grandkids! It was just over 54 years ago that another godly woman married a guy who’d lost his wife. Although she didn’t already have kids, she took on marriage and an “instant” family of three kids. I’ve always been thankful my dad had the wisdom to marry Martha, my mom! She also did not fight the memory of Gail, my birth mom, but encouraged and promoted contact with my grandmother (gftr had already died), Although she lived some distance from us we maintained contact and visits until her death while I was in college.

    • Jacque – I was so blessed by Martha’s post on August 10 about how that was the day that God chose to give her all of her kids! She is clearly your Mom and I always thought that about the relationship you two enjoyed. Recently I had another situation where a friend I know lost his step dad. My friend is in his 50’s now. His stepdad died a couple of weeks ago at 93 years of age and my friend was mourning the loss deeply. He had been loved and mentored and parented by his second Dad from the age of 15 on. He said things were rocky the first year or two, mostly because he was a teenager, but that he loved and respected his ‘Dad’ immensely. I love how God reminded me of the power of love and nurture to develop deep relationships and provide healing. I’m praying into that and believing it for Amity and Dara. My philosophy is there can never be too much love in a person’s life! Thank you for your comment!

  5. Shelley says:

    Oh Claudia, this is such great news, so good to hear!

  6. Jean says:

    Thank you for sharing this answer to our prayers, Claudia. Yes, many prayers have joined yours and Steve’s as God directed in this specific area – and they will continue!

  7. Sue Hendrickson says:

    Thank you for sharing Claudia. This is wonderful news, I’m so happy for you all!

  8. Carol Rice says:

    What a special message. How wonderful that you are welcoming Cheryl just as Becky would want you to do. Now Jacob will have a special companion and the girls will be better for it, especially since they love her, too. It’s bittersweet, but more sweet than bitter. I pray that God’s love will shine upon you and Steve even more than it already has through this transition period for all of you. In His Love, Carol R.

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