In the days that followed my husband’s suicide I had a million decisions to make some small but most were hard and even life-changing. The decision to move immediately was one of the easier decisions to make but it required some maneuvering. My husband and I had been 4 days away from closing on a new house just half a mile down the road.
I was so blessed to have a good friend who also happened to be my realtor, step in and arrange everything with the home builder. They graciously allowed me to back out of our agreement and even refunded me the money we had already paid. I also discovered very soon after my husband died that he had not filed our personal taxes nor our business taxes with the IRS for the last 3 years. I was terrified. I had no experience in business, investments, or managing an estate but, I pulled myself together and contacted friends and family that did know the answers to the mountain of questions I had whirling around in my head. I soon learned that while my husband had not been filing, he had been sending money to the IRS that exceeded the amount we owed. What a blessing this was! Despite my husband’s debilitating anxiety and depression he had left my daughter and I well provided for. With every hurdle that lay before me, God supplied a blessing just on the other side. I remember my sister-in-law- telling me at one point that we should be writing all these things down because of how visibly you could see God at work. God was so gracious to me during this time.
I spent the next two years trying to grieve openly and honestly. I was faced with loneliness, depression, anxiety, guilt, anger, resentment, and fear. Some days I was so angry at Scott that I wanted to scream and others I ached to feel his hand wrapped around mine. The thing that kept me going, the thing that motivated me to move forward, was eternal perspective. You see, not only does God give unequivocal assurance of salvation from hell to those that believe in Jesus as the giver of eternal life, but He gave us something to strive for; a greater experience in His eternal kingdom.
“If we endure, we shall also reign with him.”2 Timothy 2:12 NKJV
And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations.”Revelation 2:26 NKJV
Endure. Overcome. These words require hard work, a lot of effort, but man, the payout is so worth it! We will be rewarded by positions of leadership with Christ in the kingdom. If I strengthen my relationship with Christ here on earth by enduring and overcoming, then not only will I grow my relationship with Him now but, I will be rewarded with a position of trust in the future. I don’t know about you but this is an incredible motivator for me. Sign me up!
In his book, Eternal Rewards Lucas Kitchen writes, “Spiritual rewards are all about your relationship with God...Eternal crowns, treasure in heaven, honor from God and a closer relationship with Christ are eternal rewards. They are earned by obedience to Christ during this life (1 Corinthians 3:8).” I could not agree more. What a motivator to stay faithful, to get up each morning, get dressed and face the day, whatever it may bring. This has been my goal, to keep my mind fixed on eternity knowing that I will be rewarded with a more intimate relationship with God not only now but exponentially more so in the kingdom.
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