In March of 2013, I laid my father to rest. There were tubes in his throat, blood in his lungs, and panic in my eyes. I may as well have been lying in there in that bed instead of him. Every other time I asked God if he was going to be okay, a calmness would wash over me like a warm wave. This time was different. A voice whispered, “Will you give him to me?” I drove to the hospital and laid beside him. “Will you give him to me?” That kind of obedience requires courage. I’m not courageous. "Will you give him to me?" That kind of sacrifice requires Love. I’m not Loving. "Will you give him to me?" That kind of heart would require God’s heart, and I didn’t have that either. I’m a good daughter, a rule follower, and a promise keeper. I did what needed to be done for those reasons. I signed the papers. I watched him die. I left the room. I planned the funeral. I did what needed to be done. Why wasn’t that enough?
I moved on. I built a life. I made a home. I loved a man. I wanted to marry that man, and when the hand of God whipped through that house on a Tuesday evening, it felt like a tornado ripped through my heart and my Jacob moments began. “I built a life. Why won’t you let me have my life? It’s a good life.”
More...more He requested and more He required. What more? “I’ve done my best. I’ve got the degrees. I’ve got the job. I love my life.” More...more He requested and more He required. What more? What else? I have nothing else. “Now, we can begin”
Never His, imagine that. A wife comes home to find she has no husband. Better yet, a wife comes home to find she was never a wife. Again, and again, I did what needed to be done to get what I needed to have; a house, a car, a man, a job. I’m crafty like that. Lie long enough, and deceit becomes a home, and the truth becomes a foreign country. And so, it was when the three women laid it out bare: my life, one simple timeline, one simple request, and I lost it. A life lived with pieces of God. Pieces? How did I only have pieces? I’m a good daughter. I’m a rule follower. I do what needs to be done! I’d built her. I’d nourished her. I’d loved her. I’d been rooting for her. She was the heroine in my story. She takes a licking and keeps on ticking. Yet on the edge of that decision she lay in a bed, tubes in her throat and blood in her lungs. A voice whispers, “Will you give her to me?” She’s a good girl, look at her. She’s smart, and kind, and sometimes funny. A voice whispers “Will you give her to me?” Wait a minute, this is a perfectly good woman! Better than most women! “Shawnie, will you give her to me?” I fell inside myself. I’m not courageous. “I AM.” I’m not Loving. “I AM.” I don’t have your heart. “I’m offering it.”
On December 1, 2019, a whole community held all of the pieces of her for me. Helped me carry her to her grave. Prayed for me. Washed me. Helped Him make me new and I am just done for. I am just head over heels, heels over head singing songs in the morning free! I glow different. I flow different. I move different. All of this and none of me. She's no longer the heroine in my story. He's the hero of my heart. Prince charming, my angel, my King and my friend. HE IS.