Your husband is gone from this earth, but sister, he is far from forgotten. In fact, God’s not finished with him yet. He won’t be working in this world anymore, but his legacy will live on in the lives of those he touched. He lives on in your life and the lives of the precious children he gave you. Your husband also lives on in ways you may never know, in the hearts and minds of all those he touched in this world.
At my husband’s visitation and funeral, many people came that I didn’t know, but their lives had been touched by Trevor. Many came that hadn’t seen him in years, but they wanted to express their sympathy to us because they respected my husband. In the days following Trevor’s death, I got dozens of photos and messages and heard stories about how my husband had touched people during his short time in this world.
Our good friend who preached at my husband’s celebration of life service said, “A life well-lived speaks from beyond the grave.” That’s so true. When we invest in people’s lives, our legacy lives on long after we are gone. I came across the following verse just a week or so after I lost Trevor. It was such a good reminder to me that my husband will never be forgotten; there are many who love and miss him. When we love people, we have an impact on them for the sake of the gospel and the kingdom of God.
For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:6-7
Even in the midst of our sorrow, we can remain firm. It may not feel like we’re firm; but as someone who’s made it more than a year, I can tell you that God will not fail you. This storm will tear your heart in two, but God will not take your husband and then abandon you. Don’t ever believe the devil’s lies; God is still with you, and he will not forsake you.
I planned to grow old and gray with my husband. I still don’t have a single gray hair. (I feel like that may come sooner rather than later though if stress contributes to grays!) I had plans and dreams for our future together, but the simple fact is that God had other plans. I do not agree with them, but each time I look into the faces of my children, I am reminded that my husband’s legacy lives on in this world. They may not have had long with their dad, but he invested in them more than some dads invest in twice as many years. I pray that they remember that when they are parents someday. I think they will. I also know that despite the pain and loneliness I still feel, my life is infinitely better because I knew my husband for 16 years. He made me a better person because he challenged me to be more like Christ. His faith still strengthens and convicts me when I read his words both in text messages and in the sermon notes I have. (He was a pastor.)
I don’t know where you’re at in your journey right now. You may have lost your husband years ago, or the wounds may still be fresh for you. Whatever the situation, know that your husband is no longer in this world, but he won’t be forgotten. His name and legacy live on in you. If you have children, his legacy lives on in them as well. You will start noticing personality traits or facial expressions in your children that remind you of your husband. Sometimes, the similarities will make you laugh. Sometimes, they will make you cry, but they will always make you proud – proud to have been his wife, proud to have known him, proud to have loved him. They say it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. While that may not feel true sometimes, I can tell you that it is. I’ve asked myself if I would’ve still chosen him if I’d known how much it would hurt to lose him early. The answer is yes – a thousand times yes. My world was better because he was in it, and my future is brighter because he was in my past. I will carry his memory and legacy in my heart for the rest of my days here on this earth, and they will inspire me to live more fully for our Lord and Savior.
Sweet friend, in the midst of your weeping and lonely nights, remember that the love of your life is not with you any longer, but because of our love for Jesus, you will be reunited one day. When that day comes, there will be no more loss and no more goodbyes. We will hold the hand of the one we love and worship the God we serve face to face, forevermore. Amen