Several years ago, my husband, David, died after a valiant fight with lung cancer. Our forty-two years of marriage were happy ones but after his death, loneliness and sadness were my companions. Instead of gratitude for the many blessed years together, self-pity over-powered me to the point where I would often pray, “God please take me home.”
When I fell and fractured my hip, I entered a rehabilitation facility for therapy. Although I resided in a community of kind and helpful people, my solitude increased. I felt closer to David in our home where we had lived for forty years and raised our family.
My next-door neighbor, Beth, stopped by to visit one Sunday morning. Before she left, I asked her to bring me David’s Bible, which she delivered after lunch. I needed something of his to touch and remind me of him.
I moved my wheelchair next to the large window in my room for more light and held the large, black Bible next to my bosom. Tears flowed.
“Dear God,” I prayed. “I feel so alone and sad. Please help me.”
Search inside the book, a voice inside me whispered.
“Lord, I have read through your Word hundreds of times.”
Again, I heard a voice inside my head say, Search inside the book.
My close relationship with the Lord taught me not to ignore these little voices. I dabbed my eyes with a tissue, donned my reading glasses, and thumbed through the pages—a couple of bookmarks, nothing else.
I removed the Bible cover. More bookmarks, several tracts, and a small envelope fell from the leather slip pocket onto my lap.
Since his death, I had used David’s Bible for my daily devotions. I read his numerous notations made beside Scriptures and used the two bookmarks, but I neglected to check inside the calfskin flaps.
I turned the envelope and saw my name in David’s handwriting, Mrs. David Turner. My fingers trembled as I tore open the sealed envelope, carefully unfolded the letter, and read its contents.
July 29, 2005, 10 P.M.
My Sweet Amelia,
As I lie here in my hospital bed, thoughts of you and the implications my demise will have upon your life consume me. I have faith in God to carry me through this trial, but I know my time on earth is short. If I should not survive surgery, you will know I am with our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
If it is God’s will for me to die first, so be it. Call me selfish but I do not want to suffer through the agony of losing you. Whatever the outcome I am appreciative to God for our time together.
Pleasant memories flood my mind as I pen this letter to express how you have enriched my life.
I realize God gave me a love to be treasured--and I have treasured you, Amelia. Your beautiful face with its warm smile and sparkling green eyes have enchanted me through the years. Your voice remains as music in my ears and my heart leaps when you enter a room. You have haunted me, my love, since the first day we met.
I regret my foolish and thoughtless behavior and the many pains I have caused you. Please forgive me, dearest.
Amelia, do not mourn me long. Life is to be lived and God’s purposes to be accomplished. Comfort our children and preserve my memory for our young grandsons. Keep our Lord’s name alive and guide them to the knowledge of Christ. We shall be apart for a short time until in heaven we are reunited.
When you feel alone and blue, remember my words, I love you. Thank you for a lifetime of unforgettable bliss.
Years I have spent with you my love
Are treasures beyond compare.
When in heaven we meet once again
Eternal life we will share.
Amelia, you are my beloved forever,
I re-read the letter, my cheeks wet with tears. The date indicated David wrote the billet doux the night before his cancer surgery five years ago. He was afraid he would not survive the operation. Afterwards, he forgot the letter.
God did not forget. He knew the exact location of David’s words of love and the ideal time I would need to read them. The loneliness and unhappiness left as I thanked God and sang Love Lifted Me with other worshippers a few hours later in the facility’s tiny chapel.
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