I have been making plans on remodeling my master bedroom and ensuite bathroom. The shower had been leaking which caused the bathroom flooring to be disgusting. I was going to do it a year sooner, but it would have caused a great inconvenience for Terrie. So now there is no excuse and no need to wait.
As I was reviewing the carpet in the bedroom, I decided to replace it with the same material I was going to use in the bathroom, porcelain tile that looks like wood flooring. I talked with the tile guy and scheduled the work to begin this week. To make this work, all the furniture would have to be taken out of the room.
Now, the way my mind works is that I take a thought or action and take it to the next progression of logic, by steps. In that process, I decided I would like to buy new bedroom furniture and sell or give away my old furniture. I began to look online for new bedroom furniture. That is when I discovered something else about me. I wasn’t sure want I wanted to buy! I didn’t know what my taste was!
One of the big furniture stores in Oklahoma City has 1735 bedroom sets online. I went through about 327 of them before I quit. I didn’t know what I liked and I didn’t have
Terrie to bounce ideas off of her. For forty plus years, my buying of furniture or cars or houses, or food, whatever… always had Terrie’s interest as part of my decision process. Without Terrie, had I lost my identity?
Spiritually, the answer is “No”. I’m still in Christ and part of the family of God. Socially, the answer is “I don’t know” or “Maybe”. I’m Steve, but socially, does that mean the same as before her death? Steve is still a “round peg” but must he be put in a “square hole”?
The answer is ‘No, I haven’t lost my identity’, but perhaps it is that I have a new “role” to play and I don’t know my lines or even what the play is about. My previous role was that of husband, caregiver, etc., but that role was written out of the script. I have been cast in a new “role” of widower, of a “table for one, right this way, Sir.” It may seem like ‘improv’ to me, but in God’s master plan, we are on the same scripted page.
5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Matthew 19 NASB
In Matthew 19, Jesus is answering the Pharisee’s question about divorcing one’s wife. Notice what He said in verse 6 about the husband and wife after they had married, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” I would like to use this verse to explore my thought about my identity.
The time that Terrie and I had together was used to mold us into one. I affected her life, just as much as she did mine. Two individuals with independent thoughts, interest, desires who gradually died to themselves for the sake and betterment of the other. As Christians, our primary concern was to live for and please our Lord. In doing that, we had a proper, biblical approach to how we were to treat one another. Do you remember a teaching that is not spoken of much anymore? Its bases is found in the New Testament (Matthew7:12), it is called the Golden Rule. People have strayed from its meaning when they interrupt it “He who has the gold, makes the rules.” “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you…”NASB It seems simple and logical, but you have to die to your natural evil ways for a better way to make it work.
On the inside, I am still the product called “Steve and Terrie”. She still influences me. I don’t believe in speaking to the dead (it’s not scriptural) but I think about what she would like or do in a situation and draw from my experience with her for helping me think something through.
She will always be part of my life; she was a major ingredient in my life, just like flour and eggs are part of a cake. Once they are mixed together, you can’t separate them. Didn’t the verse say that, “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
Can one adapt and thrive in a new role? Can you have joy and victory in your life again? Can you rise above your temporary grief and broken heart? I can’t say I’m there yet, but based upon what I know about the Lord and His Word, the answer has to be “Yes”.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be [what did the verse say, ah yes] COMFORTED. For they shall be… it will happen. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but in God’s perfect timing, we shall be comforted. We have to hang on and trust in His goodness.
The new product called “Steve” still has the primary concern to live for the Lord; to seek Him for all of my needs. I have found myself praying for my needs to be met for the day, especially my emotional needs. I have to surrender and yield my emotions to the Lord throughout the day. I want to be attentive to His leadership in my life. What I am learning now, will stay with me for the rest of my life. I don’t think it’s His intent for me to learn something for now and abandon it later.
I decided not to get different bedroom furniture. I got rid of one piece that I didn’t like, but the rest of it was something I liked at one time and still like. A little freshening up and I think I have found my taste.
Oh, and “for the table for one?” The next line is, “Yes, thank you very much.”