Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In the eye of the storm

It has been 9 years.

9 years ago my life was torn apart by a spiritual tornado.  My first husband was diagnosed with cancer 3 years prior & lost his battle.  And, the walls that were built around my very secure life were broken down in an instant. 

There was every warning sign.  Thunder & rain were present.  I saw it coming.  I felt it’s fury.  I knew the outcome.  But what I didn’t foresee is that it would tear my heart out of my chest at the same time.  Leaving me unable to breathe.  Incapable of moving.  Silenced by pain.  I couldn’t change it.  No physical shelter was going to protect me from it.  The damage would be done.

Excrutiatingly painful.

And there I stood.  I was surrounded by a mound of rubble & ruin that appeared insurmountable at the time.  All I saw were branches & boards where walls used to be. 

Wondering how to rebuild.  But my foundation was strong.  I stood on God’s promise of love & grace. 

But where did I go from there?

So, slowly I began.  Sometimes minute by minute.   Hour by hour.  To rebuild.   My own deadline for restoration wasn’t met.  But I set that in my own time.   Not God’s.  And He had His own plan.  My structural issues were more damaging then what I thought.

He needed me to reach out in so many ways.  I had to rise up & stand where I once fell on my knees. 
In tears. 
In prayer. 
In complete reliance. 

I was scarred.   Torn.  Pulled apart.  In ruins. 
Tears didn’t even come anymore.  But light soon did. 
Sadness turned into singing.  And courage that I didn’t even know I had showed up at the front door of my heart.

The past needed to be cleared away to make room for future blessings.  And there WOULD be blessings! 

 Mercy & grace sewed themselves together with possibility & produced something brand new. 

My hands were lifted high….to Him.  Because that’s all I had. 

I had to rest in His hands.  To allow for THE Carpenter to do His work.  To let the rhythm of the hammer that was building a new life for me settle in like a beautiful song instead of a rattling noise in my head.

I had to trust… the Mighty God that is so much more powerful than any little tornado could EVER be.

 My house was not rebuilt overnight.  Or even in a year.  The transformation is actually still taking place.  Most is complete.  But there is always more to do.  More to learn.  More that I let settle into my heart.   More that I need to trust God with.  More that I need to lay at His feet.  Ways that I am still, even after all this time, leaning on Him for strength. 

My house is not perfect.  It still has cracks.  But the main renovation is done. 

Now my house stands more beautiful then what I could have imagined.  The tornado stripped away those things I didn’t need.  A new door to my heart was installed to let in love, patience, tolerance & mercy.  I stopped using shutters of anxiety, judgment, fear & unhappiness & put in new windows that help me see a different world.  Have a new perspective.  And most importantly, to trust in Him for ALL things.
We are all building a new house in some way.  We all will have storms that tear us down.  It’s up to us to decide how we will rebuild.  Let it be with the help of our forever God!  He is a carpenter after all!

Have you ever had to rebuild?  How did you do it?


  1. OH WOW! Tracy, I had no idea you had been through so much. I am sorry to hear about your late husband. You never know one's story until you take the time to get to know them. Their character is usually built on those times of surviving hardship and pain in what life brings to them. Your testimony of how the Lord has brought you through and helped you to "rebuild" is amazing. Thanks for sharing!
    My husband and I are in the process of "rebuilding" our commitment to each other. This summer the devil was able to get a foothold on us and through wise, Godly counsel as well as His grace, we are rebuilding that foundation for our family.

  2. Tracy,
    Thanks for sharing your story. I found your blog through Heart to Heart with Holley. I lost my husband 7 months ago, and I too am trying to rebuild my life and my home without him. I had been with my husband for 22 year (over half my life) and I don't know how to be me without him. I have three kids that still need a mom and every day seems such a challenge. I need to allow Jesus to rebuild my heart, my life and my home. Thank you for sharing your hope and encouragement.
    God bless you!

  3. I found your through Heart to Heart.
    I appreciated your sharing and honesty.
    We have just found out that my huysband's PSA numbers are climbing. Prostate removal and one little lymph node that was removed hasn't stopped the cancer. I feel numb. I am trying so hard to remain positive for my husband. He is a pastor and has ministered to many in crisis situations and now we have to learn to apply all of God's promises to ourselves.

  4. Tracy,

    Thank you very much for directing me to your blog today from "Heart to Heart with Holley" after finding out that my husband passed away about 15 months ago. We had been married 21 years. My husband's cancer was in remission for 3 years before it came back with a vengeance.

    You've definitely been an encouragement and help to me. I plan to re-read what you've written over and over because I know I definitely needed to hear it. Your comment, "The past needed to be cleared away to make room for future blessings" made me pause. It sounded like advice someone else has recently given me and that I'm just not sure I know how to do -- yet want to. If God is doing new things in my life (as my friend had claimed), I definitely don't want to hinder His plans and His re-building. I definitely trust Him -- more than I ever have before. He's been so faithful and good. And, like you, I'm finding courage I never knew I had.

    But, again, THANK YOU, for the added push and encouragement that your words have given me today. It's my husband's birthday but I think I received the gift today. :)

    God bless you!