Indulge me for a moment, for I must give a short preface. Throughout the journey, I’ve endeavored to write honestly, letting you in to the deep places. I’ve been compelled to let you in, for my hope is that you’d say, “How great is our God! He does beautiful things!” And as I penned a letter to Jon, still my prayer was “Lord, let them see you.”
Now, let me clarify, I am not praying to Jon, nor do I believe he is watching over me. I don’t know that God lets him see. He may have much better things to do, like worshiping the Creator, for example! A letter just seemed like the best way to get thoughts on paper. These are the things I would tell him. A letter seemed like the best way begin chapter two.
How do I begin? You told me once, (totally out of the blue) that if anything ever happened to you I needed to marry again. And flippantly I replied, “We’re not talking about that.”
I remember you took my arm, turned me to face you, and earnestly said, “No, listen to me. I would want to you remarry. I would want you to be loved and cherished.”
I don’t know what prompted you to say it, for it was long before God took you home—long before it was ever reality that we would not have a lifetime.
I’ve thought about those words many times.
Well Lovee, today another man has asked me to marry him. Perhaps God let you see it all unfold. He has given a kinsman redeemer!
And I’m so excited! So much has brought me to this place. So much has been processed. The valley was long and deep. But now there is ridiculous joy.
I’m so thankful that David and I get to reflect a facet of the gospel that most never experience. Kinsman Redeemer. How sweet it is! As Boaz redeemed Ruth, so is David redeeming me. How beautiful to point to Jesus in this way; His people were as the barren widow. But He calls her married, bought back, loved, and beautiful.
It’s still a little surreal that I will no longer be a widow, but I have long since realized that “widow” does not define my identity. I’m so thankful that broken things heal, and that burnt trees grow again.
I want you to know some things.
You’d love him. On more than one occasion, I’ve thought, “Jon and David would be such close friends.” He is all that you would want for me in a second husband.
He loves Jesus more than he loves me. He points me back to Christ, and speaks gospel to me when I am struggling. He loves the church, and he’s passionate about ministry. God has some big plans for David.
He is gentle, thoughtful, hard working, and uniquely equipped to walk this journey with me. He possesses immense quiet strength.
He has embraced all that I am and also the path God has taken me through, never making me feel ashamed to be a widow. Rather David has called my story beautiful.
I can’t wait for life with him! I adore this man so much. I can’t wait to spend our lives for the glory of Christ and for the Kingdom. You and I always prayed. “God do with us what you want.” And He has done good things.
He makes me laugh with his goofy silliness. He holds me close when I cry. And he even relishes our good friend Chuck Bartowski.— What more could I ask for?
Also, in much the same way that you lavished me with love, so David makes me feel cherished and treasured. One day David and I watched our wedding video together. It takes a strong man to not be intimidated by that. And I still don’t have adequate words to describe it—watching you, while being held by him. A deep-seated, strong realization washed over me. I love both of you with equal intensity.
Other widows have said, “It’s like God just makes your heart explode. He makes room for two.” It is so true. I’m like The Grinch whose heart grew two sizes too big. It is multiplied love.
Some don’t understand how “room for two” works. In light of the gospel, it makes perfect sense, however. Jesus’ love for the church is deeper than we can ever fathom. And as we know Him more, our love grows deeper and bigger too.
Of course the heart expands. God has made me to love again, and to love just as deeply.
You also need to know that I will never stop loving you. I’ll cherish my memories with you. I hold you close in my heart. But there are some parts of you I have to let go if I am to give myself fully to him
I think you would want me to let them go.
I took your rings off babe. Of course, I had to take a few minutes to grieve them. They’ll be kept safe. He didn’t ask me to take them off. But the time was right.
Jon, you were my first kiss, the first man to take my breath away. Your life is such a big part of the woman God has made me to be. You loved me well. So well.
And now there’s a second man who loves me well and takes my breath away. He’s captured my heart.
David and I will have much to learn as we start life together. I know we’ll fail each other and sin against each other just as you and I did. But we will also grow in holiness and love for Jesus together.
I belonged to you, and you to me. Now I’ll belong to another, and him to me. And if God has let you see, I know you are so happy. And of course, ultimately we all belong to Jesus.
Lovee, I miss you. But I am marvelously well.
I am ready for chapter two.
Still my heart sings our favorite song, “Oh Father use my ransomed life in any way you choose. And let my song forever be my only boast is you! Hallelujah! All I have is Christ! Hallelujah! Jesus is my life!” He is the Best Redeemer.
I love you a thousand red m&ms,
“You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight is in Her, and your land Married for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be Married. For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62: 4-5
“So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife….Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may His name be renowned in Israel.” Ruth 4:13-15
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