A lot can happen in 168 hours.
This time last week, I sat in shock as I heard words I had expected for months.
My mind comprehended exactly what the sweet, broken voice on the other end of the phone meant. Matthew had left his body. He was in heaven. No more pain, no more anxiety, no more breathing episodes, no more fear. I was relieved—but shocked.
I hadn't expected the shock. My body began shaking uncontrollably, so much so I hid in the closet for fear our sleeping children would wake up early from their teenage comas and see me. The phone shook as I made my part of the necessary phone calls, texts, and social media posts, all the while I prayed for my hands to still. Eventually, they did. Then, the tears fell on my closet floor and I rocked back and forth as I stared at the white board with prayer requests and verses scribbled across it.
I talked to God and I wept.
God, you've been preparing me for this. I've asked for time to say good-bye, asked for so many specific things and You have answered. Give me strength, Lord. To mourn him without fear. To walk this journey out. To love in the wake of loss. I'm going to miss him. This hurts, Lord.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:18)
The hours of Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday ticked by in a haze. 406 miles driving up and down I-75 to consult with friends and family and make the final arrangements. 406 miles up and back to hug, kiss, laugh, and cry our way through the visitation, the service, the burial.
And then, the gut-wrenching process of comprehension. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and now Monday. One week to the hour.
For those he loved, which encompasses too many to count, each day without him is painful. I yearn to see his name on my phone or his post on social media. I want to hear him laugh.
Lord, give me a window. Just a glimpse.
Trust. Even when nothing else makes sense, know I am here.
So for today—I will live, laugh, and love. Because there will be many more sets of seven days. Many more missed milestones and anniversaries that are too hard to imagine in this cycle of 24 hours. So, I won't attempt it. I will remember him and value the seconds that make up the minutes, that tick to the hour, that fill the calendar day. And I will rejoice in the gift of Matthew.
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.