I began pondering this desire all humans have after the Boston Marathon bombing and the controversial, even outrageous comments that followed it. Whether people are physically murderous or verbally venomous, their words and actions say, "Notice me! I have the power to make you notice me!" They get their wish--plenty of press and lots of debate and investigations swirl about them.
Most of us want to be significant in more normal, God-honoring, even benevolent ways. Unusual talent, charisma and drive can cause a person to step into the public eye locally, as I experienced in elected office, or even go further to state-or-nationwide recognition and service. One may never have planned from childhood to become a celebrity, but one's passion for a cause or to develop a talent drives them forward.However, that's a pretty small segment of the world's population. The rest of us just want to be noticed, needed and loved by those we live with or see regularly--the ones we "do life with."
I believe that our need for significance to others was designed by God, who created the smallest unit of community--a marriage between a man and a woman, and, springing forth from their union, the family. Extension of the family goes out from there, in a ripple effect, creating communities and nations. God said, and acted upon, His Word in Genesis 2:18,
"It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him."
And now that person is me!
Don't pity me, by any means, because I don't pity myself. God delivered Steve out of the most wretched end of life imaginable--helpless, speechless, unable to walk, swallow or ultimately to breathe. I was well prepared for his passing from quick-moving dementia, because I was prayed for, surrounded by family, friends, church,and the Riverside County community who loved Steve (and me to this day). My dad is still with us, and two of my five children and their families live here in our house. Two others are in nearby towns, and the youngest is within 6 hours' driving distance. My women's Bible studies and ministries, and Mary Kay business keep me happily and gainfully occupied. Now that life after Steve is settling into place, I've returned to working out at the gym and caring for my own health once again.
But the most important Person in my life without question, though He is in heaven, not an earthly physical companion, is Jesus. He has been, for 33 years, truly my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night. I ask for His guidance and help before getting out of bed, and He gives me a praise song in my mind to start my morning. He shows me what to do throughout the day, and keeps me safe on my many journeys and activities. Jesus gives me lots of funny things to laugh at and people to laugh with, whether in person, phone, online, or by text. He provides people who need my help or counsel, or just enjoy my company. I have plenty of invitations to social gatherings with people of all ages. He comforts me with biblical devotionals before bedtime, and enjoyable reading by Christian authors before I turn my light out for the night. Jesus Christ truly is "my Maker, my Husband" now (Isaiah 54:5).
Now that almost 4 months have passed, The Lord has given me my bearings in this new lifestyle, and it's a busy, family-filled one. I have lots of help around the house, and many friends to pray for, study the Word with, and who love me enough to include me in their fun. With the Lord in my life and opportunities to teach Bible studies, I am living out what Jesus said in John 10:10: