TITLE: The Inheritance - January 22, 2019
By Linda Lawrence
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“What do you miss now that your husband is gone,” I'm asked. I've come to realize that is not the right question for me because of my gratitude for what he left me. I've always craved solitude so I've taken to living alone like a cat takes to a sunny spot by the window. I'm basking in solitude. It is when alone that I am most conscious of the Lord's presence.
I had been Carl’s caregiver for years, so his passing did not leave me with any new responsibilities and chores. Being able to freely talk about and plan for his death ahead of time was a great blessing to me. I’m sure the separation would have been much harder if I had been as dependent on him as he had to be on me.
I've been embarrassed about not crying – about my not missing Carl as much as I've been thankful for the ease of transition from wife to widow. Carl wanted to protect and care for me. Whether or not he consciously did this, he handed me to the Lord as he left.
He left me with a home and financial stability but the best part of the inheritance is what I've discovered apart from his will. I'm living with intangible gifts that cause me to love him even more. I'm seeing how Christlike his love for me had become through the years. One of the best things we ever did for our marriage was to renew our vows on our twentieth anniversary, when we knew more about what we were actually vowing. And we added a vow — to always forgive each other, and to forgive ourselves.
I wondered what Carl's perspective had been of our marriage in the eternal scheme of things? One morning not long after spelling out this question in my journal, I awoke with a start, conscious of being given a nudge. I sensed I was being told that I could know his perspective by looking in the novels he wrote. Being led to see Carl's tender thoughts about marriage in his novels is a great gift and deep comfort to me, evidence of his forgiveness of my failings. He left me with his desire for me to have a guilt-free future. He left me with his gratitude for the home I prepared for him, that he loved here on earth. He left me and his children and grandchildren with his blessings.
Best of all, He left his example of feeding on God's Word and devoting himself to praying for us. Those prayers are still being answered. He left me knowing he trusted me. He left me with his confidence that I will be alright without him because I have the Lord caring for me.
I find myself thinking about how Jesus left a very similar inheritance that became ours when He died. He left me with His forgiveness and a desire for me to live guilt-free — with no condemnation. He left me with the promise and hope of a place prepared for me, a secured home. He left me with a family of believers, living under His blessing. He left a Book, a testament, a will, full of evidences and assurance of His love and care for me as part of His Bride. He left me with the promise to never leave me and assurance that He is ever praying for me.
As for Carl, he is enjoying the rest of his “inheritance, which is imperishable . . . reserved in heaven” for him, held in trust until he died. All that I am missing is seeing Carl's joy at “receiving the kingdom prepared for him from the foundation of the world.” But my turn will come and in the meantime I, a joint heir, am enjoying, with a grateful heart, the solitude that makes me keenly aware of the presence of the Lord.
Memoir - Part 2 of Marriage Mystery submitted as Writing Challenge
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