It’s been four years since my husband’s last day here on earth.  I have lots of thoughts to share that don’t seem to be coming together very well, but I’d like to share anyway and try to honor his life.

Mark Keller, husband, father, farmer & follower of Jesus

My heart still hurts for the loss, as I know many other hearts do too.  Yet I do feel true joy for the honor to have known and been married to such a good man.

As I look back at Mark’s life I see how he lived, loved and served with such a pure heart and pure motives.  He had relationship, living with Jesus as a friend, not religion which turns so many people off from wanting to know who Jesus really IS.  Was he an imperfect human, absolutely.  But he did the right things for the right reasons and I believe he was prepared to answer any question that he was asked at the pearly gates.  Looking back, my motivation was too often selfish and wrong.  I’m grateful to have learned from that, and hopefully to have changed.  Don’t worry, I’m not done changing, I know there’s still a long ways to go!

For those of you who don’t think I can cry, I can.  Eating more than the average per capita pounds of pork doesn’t really plug your tear ducts.  If you want to see, ask me how God has pulled me through four challenging years as a single parent.

1-      He sent {and still sends} people {LOTS of people} to be His hands and feet to help use, love us, encourage us, do for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves and help us heal.

2-      He sent true friends that were there in the hard times {I’m sure my grieving self has said a lot of crazy stuff} have stuck it out four years, and I’m confident will put up with me a while longer.

3-      He has answered prayers.  I know many of you have and may continue to pray for us, thank you.

4-      He has provided for us everything that we need and He has blessed us with much more.

5-      He has given me true hope for our futures here on earth and in eternity

I’ve learned God works in an open and willing heart.  A heart that is vulnerable enough to get hurt on occasion.  Doesn’t risk come with most change?  Here’s some of the changes I’ve made to change and heal:

1-      Joining small group women’s Bible studies and growing tremendously through the time and homework.  {Hearing how God loves me}  It’s been a safe environment to open up and heal.

2-      Making an effort to read the Bible daily.  {Reading what God has done for us over time to love us}

3-      Praying throughout the day.  {Counting blessings, recognizing the good and seeing results of answered prayers, even if they’re not the answers we want}

4-      Learning that being a single-parent, widow, whatever temporary title you use is only a CIRCUMSTANCE.  When we open our self up to God, He can give us strength to get through any short-term circumstance.

5 –    Believing that life on earth is short-term.  Whether we live to be 27, 72 or 102, it’s all short term in the big picture of eternity.

What I hope you’ll do as a result of reading this post:

1 – Compliment, encourage and thank those you love. Don’t wait, do it now and keep practicing for a long while {until it becomes habit}

2 – Try reading the Bible and praying if you haven’t done so for a while.  It’s life changing in the best of ways!

3 – Listen to this song.  It really speaks to my heart lately.

6 thoughts on “Four Years Later”

  1. Jennifer,
    I have enjoyed reading your posts for the last 6-8 months. I’m a 52 year old father of 5, husband of 28 years and you are an encouragement to me and my family. You remind me so much of my middle daughter, Amanda. Hang in there and keep up the good attitude. And another great song is by Jason Grey-Remind me who I am.

  2. Jen, I know what a gift your strenght is and always has been. You are amazing, and giving all glory to God makes you even stronger. I admire you and pray for you often. This was a great post, and so encouraging!! Keep up the good work!

  3. He was a great man, and you were and still are his chosen one! I see so much of him in Henry, but a lot of you too. You are doing a wonderful job with him, and Mark would be proud.

  4. The glory of God, remembrance of a cherished loved one, and an open and willing heart shown all on one page! I think you have this whole blogging-thing down. 🙂

    I know your heart still holds pain from Mark leaving this world, but I’ve seen the beautiful works God has done through this loss. He not only works in your heart and life, but in others you have witnessed to (including myself). Most importantly, I know you have hope and share that hope, which reminds me of Romans 5:1-5 and James 1:2-4.

    I grieve for the ones who have suffered in this life but don’t turn to the one true Healer. As you have said, “Time doesn’t heal, God does”. Through God’s strength, may we be the hands and feet that carry the joy, peace, and comfort of Christ to others.

  5. I believe your post came together so nicely. You are an inspiration. You have come through on God’s wings and I am looking forward to seeing a book one day about how God can take a young widow on the ride of her life!

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