In the nineties we attended a conference where Dr Miles Munroe was the guest speaker. He left an indelible imprint on my life with a story he shared. He said that the richest places on earth were graveyards. Buried there are all the unfulfilled potential: books never written, ideas never patented or brought to fruition, paintings unpainted, songs unsung. Then he said: “I want to die empty, fully used up.” That has become my intention too. My heart is so sad that this was not true of you, my Beloved. You had so many courses that you wanted to write. You found a new niche this year – specialised training of counsellors. You loved your supervision sessions with pastoral counsellors. To take them to a next level in their skills, away from giving advice to active listening and being present for their counselee. You did not die empty. You still had so much use. Use for us as a family. For us as a couple. Not just use for working.
In the beginning of the year I had this image of a big life-threatening wave approaching. I talked to God about it and wondered what it was. The impression that formed in my spirit was that there is a big tsunami of destruction coming. I needed to get my surfboard ready and be willing to ride the wave as God is promising me that He will turn it into a wave of opportunity. When Covid-19 arrived, I thought this was clearly what the image was about. My opportunity was to assist the nursing staff and social workers I counsel, to deal with their paralysing fear and find new ways to bounce back. Now I know that it was about a personal tsunami with your death. It was meant to bring destruction to me and our family.
I do not just want to cope with or bounce back from the devastation of your death. I want to accelerate my options to come away from this stronger by making choices to grow. I want to become more because I allow the pain of your self-death to mould me and shape me into all that God intended me to be. It want to bounce forward and more than ever become a vessel of hope for others. There is no way that I can dress up your death to avoid the unpleasant emotions of anger and sorrow. I cannot change your choice to make your exit. Will I give it the power to destroy me or will I use the momentum to gain new inner strength and come through stronger?
Psalm 16:7-8: “I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.” Lord, I pray that You will give me the energy to embrace all the changes that await me as a widow. Position my surfboard to use the momentum of the tsunami of Andre’s death and turn this crisis into an opportunity to glorify Your Name. The HospiVision motto that You birthed through me is: “Touching lives, giving hope.” Papa God, empower me to live that statement.
Annette de la Porte