If you indeed were stuck in a “Groundhog Day” situation, what day you would want to repeat? What incredible memory would be worth recapturing over and over. In the comedic movie of the same name, “Phil” relives a workday that he wouldn’t have picked.
This year’s February 2 is interesting in two ways. One, it is 2-2-22. And two, it marks the 20-year anniversary of my late husband asking me to marry him (2-2-02) - which was indeed a memorable day.
I still remember how I felt 20 years ago. I had a feeling something was up and after seven years of dating, chats about marriage and a special date night planned, my curiosity radar was pinging. The day turned long with anticipation. We met up in the afternoon, watched the extended The Lord of the Rings at the theater, had dinner, then had to “stop by the church” for something that turned out to be a creative movie Josh made to propose on the big screen. We followed up my “yes” by meeting up with friends at a restaurant to celebrate the good news, I think around 10pm that night. I remember so much about this day and night - even the perfect purple sweater I wore.
Today, 20 years later I think, “Now that’s a day I could relive.” Even with all that I (and we) experienced, even through the heartache of losing a great love from this world, I would choose to say, “Yes” all over again. Looking at our story, there are many days and adventures worth repeating but there was something beautiful, fun and hopeful about that particular day.
A little over two years into my widowhood journey, I find that it is still hard to trust and hope in what’s to come next. To truly believe that there will be days worth repeating, days that will have the same emotional and life-changing impact - memorable days filled with hope where my mind doesn’t wonder what might ruin this good thing.
Grieving on means continuing to acknowledge and celebrate the past while not getting stuck there.
It means trusting in the good. Especially as a younger widow, this means continuing to trust in the hope God offers. A hope that is bigger than me and longer lasting than my timetable. One of the biggest lies we (and I) can start to believe is that “the best is behind.” Grief especially that relates to losing someone so closely wrapped into our heart and everyday life, magnifies this feeling and lie. Grief often tries to swallow up our hope.
Yet, as I continuing to look at God’s Word, I find truth and encouragement that says - more than once - that there is a hope and future in my story . . . still. God has designed our lives with a hope and future. This declaration needs repeating - this is a truth I must repeat over and over. God’s story of hope was relevant in 1977 (and before), in 2002 and here today in 2022.
Wherever you are today and whatever day you wish to relive, I hope you will be encouraged in the truth that God is with you and is still writing a hopeful story - a story that may very well include memorable days that you'd love to repeat.
I did celebrate 2-22-22 by eating ice cream at 2:22 alongside someone who encourages me to enjoy each day and keep making memories. Thanks Brad.
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.