The screech of car wheels, crunching metal and shattering glass jarred me awake. I sat straight up in bed, momentarily disoriented. I had been dreaming of the fireflies dancing in the warm summer air. I looked at the clock. Two A.M. My husband’s side of the bed was still empty. Wide awake now, I rushed to look out the kitchen window. His car wasn’t in its usual spot. Fumbling with the lock, I finally got it turned and dashed outside to see if I could discern where the noises had come from. Nothing.
My nerves were as shattered as the glass I had heard tinkling to the ground.
There was no mistaking the voice of my Lord. Back in the house, I knelt by a kitchen chair, lifting supplications to God.
My husband and I were excited as the days of summer stretched out before us. He’s a schoolteacher and I’m a homemaker/writer. I had finally come to grips with our empty nest after a year of struggling and knew this summer was going to be a delight for both of us. We had plans to go on several day trips and a two-week trip was planned for the Oregon coast.
Dylan had been gone all day visiting his parents. I didn’t expect him until late, so when I was prompted to pray I knew something was terribly wrong. I cried out to God for comfort and peace, and for my husband’s protection.
When a knock sounded at the kitchen door, I looked outside and was surprised to see it was already daylight. Rising stiffly from the floor, I hobbled to the door. A police officer stood there, his face grim. “Mrs. Kingsley?” His voice was too gentle.
“Nooooo!” I fell to my knees, my body shaking with sobs.
The next thing I knew, I was on the couch, two officers standing over me.
“Mrs. Kingsley, you fainted. We regret to inform you that your husband was killed in a head on collision last night. Apparently he lost control of his car, careening into oncoming traffic…”
“Nooooo, oh God, please, no!”
“Mrs. Kingsley. Is there anyone we can call?”
“What?” Fog surrounded my heart.
“Can we call someone?”
“Uh… My daughter…”
“Where can we find her number ma’am?”
“Uh, my cell phone. In my purse. In the hall closet. Her name is Lynne.”
The next several days were a blur. Instead of getting ready for our trip to Oregon, I was planning my husband’s funeral. This summer was supposed to be glorious, but here I was in a state of misery I had never known before. It had a grip on me like the heat of summer.
After the funeral I stumbled around the house in a state of abysmal sadness and confusion. Weeks passed in this manner.
One day as I walked around in a daze, I stopped to look at a cross-stitch I had stitched one year. I had designed it to fit a summer theme – an Adirondack chair sat under a weeping willow tree, with a wooden side table next to it, on which sat a glass of lemonade and an open Bible. To the right of the scene I had stitched: …through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand…
As I stood there on that cool summer evening, the truth of this passage gripped me. I fell to my face on the floor and cried out to the Lord for mercy. I poured out the anguish of my soul and felt His soothing peace wash over me in a wave as cool as a summer breeze. I asked God why I had been lead to pray that night, if my husband had to die. His answer was swift and sure.
My daughter, you were praying in preparation for what was to come.
My heart flooded with joy and peace, knowing my Savior was there. The summer may not have turned out as I planned, but I knew without a doubt that God was there and it had turned out as He had planned. Do I understand why He chose to take my husband home to heaven with him that summer night the fireflies were out in droves? No. I do know that in His grace I stand and have access to that grace because of Jesus Christ. That is enough for me, especially on the days when the ache of missing Dylan is unbearable…
Scripture reference: Romans 5:2a
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