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Rena Lovell

My dear husband, Garry, went home to be with the Lord on April 27, 2018. We had been together more than 50 years. It was a brutal experience for me to watch him have an unexpected heart attack on a rainy, chilly and dark night as we traveled home on I-94 after visiting friends in Milwaukee. I was stunned.

For some time before this happened, I had been praying for a closer walk with Jesus, that my life would reflect his presence in it. It never occurred to me that widowhood would happen to me and that God would use it to answer my prayer. I knew that Romans 8:28 told me that “all things work together for good to...them that are the called according to his purpose.” Surely, that couldn’t apply to this overwhelming situation.

I wish I could say that I accepted my husband’s death easily, as part of God’s plan for him and for me. But I struggled mightily with my pain, loneliness and fear of the future. I even found myself questioning my creator and sustainer. Why did this have to happen to me? Why did this have to happen to me now? Why not in 15 years? 10? 5? Why was I the only widow among my friends? My audacity in questioning my Heavenly Father seems incredible to me now.

I am thrilled to report that over the past two years, my relationship with Jesus Christ has become much closer and more precious to me. He will never leave nor forsake me. He is easing my loneliness. He is using many in the body of Christ to uphold me in prayer and to love me through Himself. I have received many phone calls wondering how I was doing or if I needed snow shoveling or groceries or prayer. Many of these calls have been from pastors and dear friends in church. The kindness has been amazing which makes me feel our church is in very good hands for the future. Truly, I have been blessed. He’s given me a greater hunger for His Word and desire to spend more time communicating through prayer. I am more secure about the unknown. He is working all things together for good for me.