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And Then One More

“If I’m going to tell this story, I’m going to tell the truth.” This has been my promise from day one.

I write this with permission and knowledge of my family, close friends, therapist, and psychiatrist – all those who keep closest eye on me, check in with me every day, and would take extreme action if necessary.

Sometimes I have not wanted to live anymore.

Were it not for my two children, who deserve to have one living parent to love them, watch them soar on the swings, kiss them good night, pack their school lunches, and belong to them every single day of forever, I may have been on the next train out.

This path threatens hopelessness.

Thank you for your thoughts about heaven.  Thank you for reminding me of what you know, of the promise we have, of the truth I can rest in.

I just really don’t want to hear it.

Frankly, I’m insanely jealous.  To read a book about heaven is to look at a travel brochure of a place Robb gets to be, where he is without me, where I cannot go anytime soon.

The promise is complete and waiting, but I really don’t see much point on meditating on it, thinking and imagining.  It only makes this whole business of the every day seem harder, longer.

This season of ‘the already’ and ‘the not yet’ is not easy to hold in my hands.

Very recently, I heard someone say, “Not one of us is going to meet Jesus and say, ‘Is this all you’ve got?'” It’s going to be worth it, I am promised.  And when I’m there, I will know its indescribable beauty and the reason for this unspeakable hurt.

A dear friend whispered into my darkness.

“I know you feel hopeless.  I know you do.  And I think that’s because you can’t have a glimpse of what is waiting for you – still, here, now – in this life.  If you give up before you get to see how it ends, you’ll miss out.  I think one day you’ll say, ‘Oh, I could have missed this, these young men of mine, the beauty of their lives, these decades of new love with this man who became my husband, my life’s partner.’  Don’t give up yet.  That’s would be like walking away on Christmas Eve, never knowing what Christmas morning holds for you.”

So I will live this day.
And then one more.
And then one more.

Until one day I can stop counting them.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. Read this then heard Mercy Me sing “the Hurt and the Healer” and knew I had to tell you. He says “sometimes it hurts just to breathe” but that’s all ya gotta do.

  2. Oooh. I’m jealous, too.

    I’m so proud of you for sharing the hard things. You truly are so honest about this journey. You tell the truth about the dark (and the light). You’re a pretty amazing woman.

  3. Thank you for telling us, Tricia. You are brave and strong with God on your side.
    One day at a time, sweet Jesus.
    I prayed for you (and other single parents I know) this morning (BEFORE I read this post)….one of our healthy church family members met Jesus in her sleep on Saturday. 31 years old. Undetected heart condition. Leaving a loving husband and 3 sweet children (5, 3 and 10 months). Someday soon, I will direct her husband to your website. You continue to help many.
    Kim A.

  4. Honesty is underated! I find it to be good therapy. Thank you for your honesty and your model!

  5. Tricia, your honesty is refreshing. We spend too much time in this life not being honest. To live an authentic life we have to be honest about the good, the bad, and the ugly. You don’t pretend. That is refreshing! Although, I know a lot of people don’t welcome such honesty. It’s really how we should all live.

  6. Dear Tricia, I found your blog by way of my friend Bria, who is spending a year in Germany, Thank you for your raw realness, I don’t know you, but keep reminding yourself to breath everyday and know that I am praying for you, Holding you so dearly before our
    Father who has a plan for you. I’m glad you have those boys!

  7. The circumstances and timing of when women become widows varies widely, but one thing is for sure – it really stinks, to use a more polite word than I was going to. Another thing I know for sure is that your story, and your journey, is touching my own and many others’ lives in countless ways. This could not and would not happen if you were not so deeply honest with your readers as to how your own personal story is affecting your life. Thank you for being so vulnerable as to share this with us. So yes, please, live this day, and then one more, and then one more, and so on, and keep writing it all out for us. Beyond the obvious reason of your being here for your wonderful sons and the family and friends who adore you, I pray that God will be showing you why it’s worth it for you to still be here, and that He will gradually unveil the beautiful things He still has in store for you, HERE.

  8. Tricia, thank you for your beautiful honesty.
    Thank you for speaking what so many people are feeling.
    You have shared hope and life here.
    One day, one moment, one breath at a time. God is walking with you through each one, whether you see Him or not.

  9. I’ve been there, Tricia. I understand the suffocating darkness. And I know that sometimes one day at a time is still too overwhelming. Just do one hour. One minute. That’s all. You can do it. And I am thankful you have people to walk with you, care for you, and just sit beside you in the darkness.

  10. Dear Tricia,

    What you share here helps solidify my faith. Your pain seems significantly different than “normal” despair over loss. I’m not sure how to capture what I see as the difference but it moves me greatly. There have been times of excruciating pain in my life when I, too, used to want to “take the next train out.” Some of those times had to do with grief. But I think they were more a curling inward because of wanting to escape feelings about this life.

    Yours seems to be less about this life than the next. Not a curling inward but a desperately reaching out- or upward–toward something you have never had but know you will one day, the presently out-of-reach and unattainable. It doesn’t seem to be about having lost interest in living here, pining away, wanting to escape pain–not a focus on this life. Your belief in the reality of heaven and your longing for it are so intense it seems to drive you crazy that you can’t be there yet.

    It is the same distress and longing people we have read about and one man we know personally experienced when they have died, found themselves in heaven, and been sent back for a time. The contrast between here and There is so extreme, they just want to go Home for good. You haven’t even been Home but it is real to you and you know how indescribably satisfying it is and who (and Who) awaits you there. That faith is marvelous. I am so strengthened in my own confidence in heaven by the very conviction of that reality which causes your tension between the already and the not yet.

    Can you imagine how Homesick the Lord Jesus must have been, putting up with all of us, the “contradiction of sinners,” when He knew firsthand what heaven was like and couldn’t WAIT, yearned desperately, to have this all be over and be back Home with His Father?

  11. Thank you for this honesty. I understand it. Jealousy consumed me when a widowed friend joined her husband just seven months after he went to Heaven.

  12. Tricia: We all need you. Your a soul that this world desperately needs. I love you

  13. Tricia, I admire you for your honesty. I lost my husband a little over two years ago after nearly 42 years of marriage and I understand your thoughts. No amount of encouraging words cnan change the cirumstances. I’m sure your not alone if others were really honest. I’m not going to offer any “happy words”. There are days I am right there with you. It stinks. I think God understands that. You are in my prayers. Mary Elaine Lange (a member of The Chapel who heard you speak)

  14. I’m so sorry. Some days the pull to be with my son feels so much stronger than the pull to be here.

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