June 3rd is two years since Karen died, I could in no way have been prepared for what losing her would be like. As I sit here today and look back on these two years, it seems a lifetime has passed.
My life was forever changed that day, a part of my heart died, and it will be so for the rest of my life. In the 24 months since that day I have been so many places- sad, yet hopeful, depressed, and also encouraged, not wanting to live, while at the same time looking forward to the future.
I have also been many places with Jesus, holding onto Him as my only hope, yet resenting Him for taking my bride, crying out to Him to meet me where I was, while looking to people, and things to be my sufficiency (which is Idolatry) asking Him to fill me with Himself so that I could point others to Him, while at the very same time not trusting Him to be enough for me.
I prayed for people, taught the bible, counseled others, all while in my heart I wrestled with what Jesus had allowed to happen in my life. I didn’t reach out, or seek professional help (a bad decision indeed)
I tried to put my head down, to suffer and yet continue, which outwardly seems admirable. However the problem is that although I firmly believe Jesus was understanding, and extremely compassionate towards me, the longer I continued in the Idolatry of looking to people and things for what only Jesus can provide (love, true intimacy, comfort for my soul) the more I allowed sin to creep into my life.
I can not believe as I look back, the decisions I made, the things I allowed myself to justify, and eventually the sinful actions of my life. Proverbs 18:1 says “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgement” and I am sad to say that I lived that verse.
The devastation that I have caused others with my sin, and idolatry, the shame that I brought to the name of Jesus are things that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. There are people who’s lives have been forever altered because of my sin, and there are no words to express the pain and sorrow of that, “I am sorry” just seems so inadequate for such a deep wrong inflicted upon others.
As I ready myself for tomorrows “anniversary” I do so with the knowledge that Karen would be so ashamed of, and disappointed in me. I know that probably isn’t the healthiest mindset, but its true nonetheless.
Karen Michelle Stewart was an incredible woman, she was so beautiful with outward, as well as inward beauty. She loved me with a deep and amazing love, she gave me a sweet friendship for over 20 years, and to her i would like to say…. “Babe I am so sorry for not trusting Jesus to be enough for me, thank you for loving me, and I love and miss you”
To anyone who might read this I would like to say a few things in closing.
1) “I am so, so sorry for my sin, and for failing you…. as a Pastor, as a friend, and as a man”
2) “I do know that Jesus loves me with an unfailing, and unsurpassable love, that His mercies are new every morning, that His forgiveness is deep and far reaching, and that His grace is sufficient for me….I do know that Jesus wins the day even in situations like this, and that He, and His love are greater than my sin, and failure”
3) “I also want you to know that I am repentant, and have submitted myself to a group of pastors/elders who are walking with me, and helping me to be restored to Jesus”
4) ” my greatest desire is to have and to give away the unsurpassable love of Jesus”
Meekness is knowing that Jesus has given you power, but also knowing why He has given it to you……the benefit of others
what a great love song!
Happy Valentines Day