During this time of year, I can’t help but think of my past couple holidays. The Christmases that have come and gone, and how so much has changed in my life over the last couple of years.

I often think of “my plans” and how I had planned for my future to go. I had big plans! Married, new baby, job I loved, great husband… overall, I was really happy. Duane, my husband, and I had all of “our plans” for our future laid out. As I think most young married couples do.

Things change. Things… often do not go according to our plans. As soon as I figured out that “my plans” my not be the best plans and that GOD’s plan just might be the better one- it was freeing. I don’t need to control everything. I don’t need to have everything laid out and planned how things will go in my life. I will do my best and try my best in all I do. But, at the end of the day, Our Lord is in charge and his plan is the best for me.

I believe our Lord was working on this process with me during the Christmas of 2009. Duane had been sick for some time with an inoperable, malignant brain tumor. Since June of that year, he was slowly slipping away. The tumor was taking away My Husband little by little. Since we had just had our daughter, Hope, in 2008, it was challenging time. During that Christmas I can clearly remember watching Duane and wondering to myself if this was it. Was this going to be our last Christmas as a family? A little panic set in with that thought. It was from then on that I often felt Our Lord say, “I’ve got this.” The uncertainty of the future wasn’t that scary anymore. God has “great plans” for me and I am not alone in that.

Soon after that Christmas I started to accept that Duane probably wasn’t going to be with me for too much longer. Instead of being mad that my plans were changing, I thought of how incredibly blessed I was to have had 8 years with such a wonderful, strong man. Look at all I was given! So many memories, my beautiful daughter Hope, Duane’s family and all that he shared with me- his life, relationship with God, that wacky sense of humor and his strength and love.

I don’t know why Duane didn’t beat cancer. And I don’t believe I will understand even if I am told why. So asking that question isn’t for me to do. But, what brings me joy is knowing where he is now. A place so wonderful that my mind can’t even begin to grasp it! AND the promise from Our Lord for a great Reunion. This life is a blink of an eye. Now that is a plan for my future that I will hold onto!