Last memorial weekend I was three months into life without my husband, working tirelessly to process the trauma of Taylor’s passing. A year later, I still feel like grief is a full time job, but now I have the advantage of a longer road to look back on. I can see how far I’ve already made it. Even though the road from memorial weekend 2020 to memorial weekend 2021 had a lot of potholes, choosing to walk that road with God enabled me to cover those miles on cruise control. There is no need to follow a road map when you are following the Lord because we can be assured that His word will always point us in the right direction.
Not knowing how to manage the shock of my loss, I began furiously journaling the day after Taylor died and never really stopped writing since. At first, it was the only way to channel my energy while I simply managed to exist from one day to the next. As I began to pour myself into bible study and faith-based reading, I saw the scriptures coming alive before me, seamlessly guiding me to my next move. I wrote a letter that was read at Taylor’s funeral service declaring our faith before everyone present. I was encouraged when I got a lot of feedback from people who were there on how it helped to strengthen their own faith. I knew that God was calling me to keep sharing. I’ve never been one to relish in attention and am extremely uncomfortable speaking in public, but Taylor’s death had given me the ears of those who knew the two of us and I could feel God nudging me up to the podium to be a witness to His Kingdom.
As a Christian walking through a valley, I have learned first hand that God always provides. Once I recognized the call to minister in the way the Lord equipped me to, everything I needed to share the gospel just fell into place. I had connected in an online support group with a widow further along in her grief journey who shared about a writers group she was a part of that was having member openings. I joined Hope*Writers and began to make my own website. I should mention that I am not gifted in approaching technology and I built mollymarley.com entirely by myself, often spending an entire evening after my kids were in bed to troubleshoot a problem or add a feature that would have taken your average teenager ten minutes. The challenge of navigating the platform for my ministry has been a wonderful gift to fill my time with a purpose and keep my foggy brain functioning.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”Romans 8:28
As I was putting together my first post, I was listening to a podcast that mentioned Romans 8:28. When I looked it up, I knew I was meant to take that scripture to heart in my season of raw grief and I don’t think it is a coincidence that Taylor’s birthday was 8/28. I have known from the moment I met Taylor, opposite as we were, that God had planned for us to be together. We may have had different interests and personalities, but we shared our core values and, most importantly, our faith in salvation through Jesus Christ. I will never know why God allowed my husband to leave this world so young, but I do know the Lord will use Taylor’s life and death for good. We had a purpose in being together as husband and wife and now I have a purpose in testifying to others so that they can experience God’s glory.
I wrote a couple weeks ago about how we will be branded by Christ in heaven. Being married to a rancher, you learn a lot about branding over the years. On a working ranch, the most coveted brands are the simplest ones. These brands are hard to come by for a new operation and their registration often gets passed down through family members, staying with the family herd. As a 6th generation rancher, Taylor was proud to have a two symbol brand that now belongs to our girls. I am proud to share his “/X” with everyone who follows God-Given Gumption™ because every time I look at those two symbols I see Taylor’s faith, strength, and drive, and I am reminded that in all things, even death, “God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
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