Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 18,1990

On May 18, 1990, I gave my heart to my dear husband Curtis James Forbes in holy matrimony.  We were young and so in love. The world was ours to grab hold of and the moon was within reaching distance we thought.  We declared to the world that we would be faithful and that we would stand by each other's side for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.   

When I think of those words now, I can truly say that we stood by each other through some very hard times in our lives. Through financial difficulties, through the miscarriage of a child, through addictions and mental anguishes.  We encountered God in ways that we would have never imagined. So many times God came through for us and carried us through the storms of life. Early in our marriage, we found right away that being married was not always a walk in the park. We argued and fussed, kissed and made up.  We had extremely fun times and extremely horrible times.  Such makes a good marriage, for if it had all been extremes on the good side, we would have never known how to handle conflict and how to move forward. Even if it did take us 18 years into our marriage, we finally came to the point in the past two years where we could talk things out and where we could express our feelings without me retreating and without him being angry. 

The highs and lows truly do make a marriage stronger, if your hope and trust is in the Father. So many times during our marriage we thought about giving up, but thank God that we never did. God blessed us with 4 wonderful children and blessed us with different miracles and testimonies throughout the almost 21 years that we had together.  

In sickness and in health, to death do us part.... you don't really think about those words when you are saying them, you think that you are going to live to be old together, you think about grandkids and retirement.  When you are repeating these words after the minister, you want to think about the positive of each statement. But like it or not, we are all faced with the negative side of these vows as well.  I would have never dreamed that after 20 years of marriage, that I would see my husband's life be taken by the horrible "C" word. I never dreamed that we would not celebrate our 21st anniversary.  Did we take each other for granted? Yes, I know we did at times. We thought we would be together forever and there were plenty of things we could have done different. But I can't live my life now without him, thinking of all the would haves and could haves.  I am thankful for the 20 years, 8 months, and 11 days that we were married. Thankful that through the trials and the troubles that we faced, that we found peace at last. I am so thankful for the man that Curt had become. For the father that he became, for the friend that he became. I am a blessed woman because I loved Curtis unconditionally and experienced his love for me.  I experienced a love that at times seemed confusing but was always a true love coming from Curtis's heart.  I know that he loved me and for that I am grateful. To be loved is every person's dream. So yes, in sickness and till death did us part, we loved. 

The emotional side of this is well, very emotional. For almost a week now, I have experienced a plethora of emotions, from numbness to anger. From grief to joy.  I have cried, I have laughed.  Tonight as I write this, it is hard to explain how I feel. I feel irritated, I feel as though I could cry at any second, and all that is ok. I have found it is ok for me to feel this wide range of emotions, even daily at times.  I still stand firm though that I will not become a slave to grief, and I continue to seek the Father's heart in all these things.  So I will grieve on my anniversary day, for the day that we should have been celebrating, going out to eat dinner and buying each other gifts.  But I will rejoice in knowing that one day I will see Curtis again in heaven and I will be comforted to know that he is healed and whole and will never ever again be plagued by sickness and disease, nor will he ever again deal with anger and a wounded, scarred heart.  I will look to Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith, and know that He will carry me through this day and that I will continue to run after my Abba God's heart. 

Happy anniversary my dear husband. Celebrate our love with the Father who first loved us and who decided to place us together 21 years ago and who has blessed us with 4 beautiful children. I love you my dear husband. Forever


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Practicing Peace...

Practicing Peace

Writing really hasn’t been easy lately, seems like the words have just been jumbled up in my brain and I feel like I am repeating myself.  If my life was busy before Curtis passed away, then now I feel like I in overdrive. How did I do it before? Balancing doctor appointments and treatment schedules, as well as the kids’ schedules? How did I manage?  I know it was by God’s grace for sure.

Right now, I am busy trying to get things done in my house, I get so distracted when I am organizing and cleaning.  I have been told this is normal during grief. I am bothered by the clutter and trying to cut myself some slack.  I have not yet even started on going through Curt’s things and sort or throw away. I kinda get this sick feeling in my stomach sometimes when I think about doing that.  Of course, I have the kids to think about as well, I don’t want to do anything before they are ready too. I have allowed them to be involved with all the decisions concerning their dad’s passing.

It almost feels like I am numb again, the pain is subsiding to a dull throb in my heart and the overwhelming, almost panic mode, is becoming less frequent.  Sometimes I think it is harder to deal with the dull throb because it can be pushed back down easier than the in-your-face pain, and the more you push it back down in your heart the more you have to deal with later. This past week when I was going through one of my drawers, I found some love letters from Curtis, all the way back from 1992. Faith was just a baby and it was so bittersweet to read my husband’s words of love and hope for us as a family. I didn’t allow myself to dwell too long on reading them, just scanned through them. I will put them up for a while, and bring them out when I can savor the words, and recapture the moment when the letters were given to me, but finding the letters brought a sharp pain to my heart.  

With all the hustle and bustle of my life and all the opportunities that I am presented with to walk in turmoil and frustrations, I have to keep reminding myself that I must walk in peace.  When I don’t walk in peace, the turmoil and the stress increases. Little things like putting together a bed become a humongous task. When peace is not prevalent, the stresses of everyday life become a trigger that can send me a tailspin. I have to make the decision every day that I will walk in peace. No matter how large the grief is for that day, no matter what I am faced with. Do I walk in peace every day?  No, but the more I practice walking in peace, the more I walk in peace.

If you are struggling today with emotional pain or just plain old day to day living, I want to encourage you to seek peace. Peace is not a dream; peace can be lived in and walked out on a daily basis if your heart and mind is set on the Father.   I love the scripture- Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee.”

Keeping my mind (my soul- which is my mind, my will and my emotions) fixed on Christ will cause me to walk in peace.  Blessings, Renae

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

words of wisdom...

Tonight I am sitting at Curt's desk, finally able to get to it again after recently moving things into the office while we were putting in carpet.  I am looking at all the little quotes and things that Curtis had written and had put them in such neat order on the backboard under his shelf.  I see appointment cards for doctor visits past and future, I see Curt's organization on how he placed the quotes on his board (lined up and the thumb tacks in perfect order)  As I begin reading over some of the things he wrote, again I am amazed at the wisdom that God poured through Curtis.  Yes, he had lots of issues in the past and he struggled with many things, but the wisdom that God would pour through him during his studies is astounding. 

Even in the midst of Curt's struggles with anger, rejection, bitterness and low self image, he still sought after God's heart for his life.  When he experienced a new understanding of God's word, he would write an article.  He worked diligently at applying the Word of God to his life.  Even though it took him quite some time to see deep changes, he never gave up on seeking God. 

There is a song that we played at his funeral, and it is called "the more I see Him" by Kari Jobe.  I chose this song because it so fit Curtis.   He often said, "You are only as close to God as you want to be."  And it is so true.  The amount of time that you seek the Father's will for your life is directly correlated with the amount of victory that you experience.   Sometimes the process is long and arduous, because the inner pain and turmoil is so deeply buried.  But if you will keep seeking the Father's will for your life, the more you will find His will.  I was so often encouraged when even with the addictions and the pain that Curtis experienced, he still sought God and refused to give up and go back on the Lord.  He refused to deny Christ and the power of God that works within.  I have to say this and it is the truth.  I have never met a man in my entire life that wanted God as much as Curtis did.  

You may ask how, then, if he wanted God so badly did he still struggle with the things that he fought.  And on the surface, it looks like maybe he didn't seek hard enough, but let me tell you my friends,  had Curtis not been seeking after the heart of the Father, so many things would be different for the worse in my family.  Had he not run to the Father when he would be tormented by lust and bitterness, he would have been a cheater and even more violent than he ever was.  Had he not chosen to fall with utter submission on his knees and cry out for God's mercy, he could have been a psychopathic maniac.  He told me so many times "had it not been for God's grace" and I truly believe that.  

I am sharing these things with you because in the midst of the mental torment, in the midst of the struggles that Curtis encountered, it was still possible for him to seek God and  to receive healing.  I know you have read about what I have described as the change in the past two years. I truly believe that all of his heart cries to the Father were not ignored and that the miracle of God's power changing a scarred wounded heart were a result of the seeking and searching.  The bible says to seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you.  This is a continual seeking, a continual knocking.  Not a one time thing.  Had Curtis not kept seeking, kept knocking, he would have never experienced the true healing that took place in his life.  My life and the lives of my children would have been drastically altered for the bad.  

So if you are being tormented inside your mind, if you cannot seem to break free of the chains that are so tightly wrapped around your heart, let me remind you my friend. Freedom is available.  It is not an easy process. It doesn't take place overnight, but if you will keep seeking the Father's heart, you will find the Father's heart.   Take the words of wisdom that Curtis has spoken that I share with you and experience a new freedom that your heart longs for.  

Blessings and peace