My first birthday without my husband was just months following his death. I was surrounded by family that day, and though their presence was a great comfort, oh, how my heart was aching. I remember just sobbing as the pain seemed to engulf me and no relief seemed in sight.
"Oh, Lord, if I didn't love him so much, this wouldn't hurt as much!" I thought.
Very clearly the response was "I love him more than you, and I said this is best."
"But the boys need their father!" I cried.
"And I love them more than you do, and I said this is best."
"But I hurt sooooo much, Lord!!!!"
And He tenderly answered, "And I love you more than you can ever imagine and I said this is best."
Many, many months have past since that day, but the Lord's words have stayed with me, wrapping me in security and love. He said this is best.
I don't have to understand why, or have all the answers. I just know He loves me. It was that great love that held Him to the cross, not the nails. That amazing love that cleanses me and keeps me. And that love is enough.