Sometimes we know when we’ve lived through a life changing moment. A wedding, a birth, a graduation. You know things will never be the same again.
Few things change a life more than the death of a person you love. I have a friend whose husband left her with four small children. She was devastated and broke. He was mean. An awful man who she had to sue to get child support. And then she re-met someone from high school at a reunion she herself organized. Nine years ago they began a courtship that culminated in him becoming a believer in Jesus and a fantasy wedding last year. He was her prince charming. A computer engineer, who loved her kids just as much as he loved her. When they got home from their honeymoon he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer that had metastasized. He was given months to live. This morning he passed away. My friend’s life will never be the same again. He was 48 years old.
In the last few years when I’ve experienced tragedy, It has always motivated me to fix something that was wrong in my life. Tragedy allows us to almost instantaneously strip away all the bull crap and see what’s missing in our lives with clarity. We suddenly realize what we have to do to make our lives better. Change jobs, get married, get divorced sometimes, move, find better, more fulfilling past times. Whatever it may be tragedy is very motivating.
Harry stepped out of his home office for a break to throw a ball to our dog Lucy out in the backyard. He saw that I was crying as he walked by me. “Come outside.” He said. As I followed him out I realized that this time tragedy is telling me something different. Instead of telling me what I don’t have in life it’s telling me what I do. I held onto Harry with a big teary hug and told him, “I know there will be goals and projects in life that we’ll have, but I’m never gonna care about any of them more than making sure we are ok. For the first time in my life, I don’t want anything more, I don’t need to fix anything wrong. I’m content. And I’ve never experienced knowing that more clearly than I do right now.”
I don’t need anything more. What a revelation. I’m actually happy. That is new for me. Something has always been missing and now it’s found.
Maybe such a thing as soulmate really does exist. Because other than knowing the Lord, nothing has brought this much peace into my life. I’ve never ever felt this way before. Just simply content and at peace. I’ve always strived in my soul not knowing what I was doing wrong, or why things weren’t working out. I always wanted them to but no matter what I did, things just felt wrong. And now they don’t.
I’d find times of happiness in my life before but now times of happiness are just icing on the cake.
From the first time I kissed Harry the hold any man had on my heart completely disappeared and I knew I’d found the person I had been looking for my entire life. I know it sounds cheesy and fanciful, and even naive, but it’s true. I didn’t know it was going to work out, it wasn’t love at first sight because we’d been friends for months before that kiss. It doesn’t mean he’s perfect either. But I’ve never known someone whose thought processes and feelings were as similar to mine. We aren’t identical people. In fact people we know would say we are an unlikely couple because of how different we are. But we process things very similarly and I don’t know maybe that is the key. Whatever it is…it’s too big for me to describe. I just know what I know and that is for the first time in my life, I don’t have a void to fill. He meets my needs without even trying and I meet his. There is no striving with us.
Some people don’t need love like I do. For some people that void would be filled with something else. But my hope for you all is that whatever voids you have in your life…don’t wait for a tragedy to bring you the clarity and motivation to fill it. Start today. Life is short.