Still in the Valley: Musings of a Recent Widow


Editor’s note: This article is taken from Joel’s sister Rebecca Thomas’s September 19, 2022 update posted on her husband Joshua’s Caring Bridge webpage. Joshua passed away on September 1 after a brief, but painfully intense, battle with colon cancer. I was much blessed by her transparent sharing for it enables me to more genuinely enter into my Scriptural duty to “weep with those who weep” (Rom 12:15). Joel’s letter gives a few of his own reflections about this difficult family loss. Scripture warns that, “The heart of the wise [is] in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools [is] in the house of joy and gladness. …for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.” (Ecc 7:4, 2) We trust that these raw reflections will stir up in you a more focused vision for treasuring God’s design for your family – which requires us to reflect on the ultimate purpose in life – which lies fully in our going home to heaven to be with God forever! The poem at the end of the Developer is my first reflection enabled by Rebecca’s sharing. May God bless us all to live in light of eternity! Incidentally, today, September 22, is Joshua and Rebecca’s 21st Anniversary. “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised." Song of Solomon 8:6-7 Twenty-one years ago, this coming Thursday, these words were sung at our wedding. Although we thought we understood them, (being so mature and experienced), I see now that we did not.

To live within this depth of love is knowledge; to be separated from this depth of love is genuine understanding. Honestly, I could do without this level of under