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In December, I chose my word for 2023 to be confidence. As I don't know when anything happened anymore, I don't know the timing of that word being my choice and our last stint in the hospital. I also don't know if it was before or after we started Pete on hospice.

What I do know is that I am choosing to be confident:

That I will make it without my whole world, my husband

That my family will be taken care of and we will all find our way

That God is not going to forsake me and our family

That I will carry on Pete's legacy of showing love and God's worth and value to others

"How in the world is this possible?" you ask.

Elevation's song, Here Again, says:

As I walk now through the valley Let Your love rise above every fear Like the sun shaping the shadow In my weakness Your glory appears

Not for a minute Was I forsaken

If you get me talking, I will tell you of so many times when God took care of me, Pete, and our family.

Pete losing his eyesight at 7

Pete's family's hardships

My family's struggles

Both of our relationships with God and church

Our raising kids together

Our family's struggles

Our moving around a lot

In the middle of my family's struggles when I was in high school, a friend told me that he thought that James 1:2-4 would be of encouragement to me. I literally laughed in his face as 1) did not want any part of the life I was living and 2) I could not find any joy. I have heard several sermons on a different definition of joy, the difference between testing and trials, but what I have seen in my life and in the current state that I'm in, probably days away from my husband dying, is that I am confident that I will not be overcome. I am not left alone, He will not forsake me, and His character has not changed, despite my circumstance. God has taken care of us through so many trials, tests, and temptations, and He will carry me through this too. Of that, I am confident.

As part of my plan to take care of myself spiritually in this difficult time, I have added attending a Friday night service in our town to my schedule. After the service, my friends encouraged me to go up for prayer and I literally walked up to a widow. She said that she never thought she was going to make it but showed me her daughter who was Sebra's age when they lost her husband. She literally spoke the words I am feeling now, that she experienced years ago, but told me of the many ways she's seen God work since then. After so many of these precious moments, over the years and recently, where things seem like coincidence but they are actually from the hand of God, "there has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in [me] will keep at it and bring to to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears." (Phil. 1:6 MSG)

Just like that earlier time in my life, when I had James 1 spoken over me, I want to have no part of my husband dying and life without him, but I also know that He will take care of, provide for, and love me through my darkest days to come. Because He's done it time and time again.





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