God will repay the years

First of all, let me say it has been a very long time since I wrote. That is not because the grieving has stopped but life has just gotten busier and busier even through COVID. I had COVID and survived with only a mild case.

My book is now with a publisher. In that process, it has been edited twice more causing me to continually read it. Each time is filled with tears and memories. December 30 will mark 3 years since my sweet guy went to be with the Lord. Every day there are a few tears shed as I remember his life, our life together for 50 plus years.

One of the scriptures I reread in proofing the book again was Joel 2:25:

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
    the great locust and the young locust,
    the other locusts and the locust swarm—
my great army that I sent among you.”

That verse was in the introduction of the book. My thought in reading the scripture was God promised to repay me for the years of caregiving for Jerry. Please understand I am not saying those years were wasted–absolutely not. I continually thank God for the time I had with my sweet guy at the end of his life and all the lessons I learned. However, my life was put on hold and God promised to repay that part.

In my Christmas newsletter which you can access here, I explain the new life God is giving me. I am richly blessed to be starting a new job in January–the one I hoped to get when I moved back to Oklahoma 6 years ago. There was just a 6 year detour. I also have now dated Henry for 2 years as of yesterday. We have a blessed life together serving God especially through our ministry to international students at Oklahoma University. God has definitely given me back those years and then some.

“The stockings were hung by the chimney with Care, in hopes that St. Nicholas would soon be there!”

The stockings hung in the picture show my ability to decorate for Christmas a little without being reminded that Jerry’s stocking is no longer there.

Today I am thankful for:

  1. The Christmas season celebrating the birth of our savior.
  2. The reminder of Jerry all month and remembering our precious 50-year marriage.
  3. The new job waiting for me in January.
  4. Dating such a great Christian widower, Henry.
  5. The ministry we have together serving the internationals–3 have been baptized into Christ.
  6. The family I have here close to spend time with almost daily.
  7. The recovery from COVID my daughters, one grandson, and I have had.
  8. The arrival of the vaccine promising relief from the pandemic.
  9. The blessing of technology to allow churches to keep worshipping together during this time.
  10. My Zoom life group Christmas party coming up this Sunday.
  11. The years of caregiving being given back to me by God.

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loisacox

Lois Cox, Ph.D., has roots in Dallas, Texas, but met her husband, Jerry, at Oklahoma Christian College, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1966. They married in 1967 and started a life together of serving God in several locations. Seven of their years were in full-time ministry in churches in Midwest City, Oklahoma, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Ft. Collins, Colorado. Most of Lois’s career has been spent in education at the high school, technical college, and university levels. Lois holds four degrees in education including a Ph.D. completed in her late sixties in instructional technology and online learning. On February 24, 2016, Lois was plummeted into the role of caregiver for her husband who suffered a rare and serious bilateral thalamic stroke. The next 22 months were spent in full-time care of Jerry in skilled nursing, hospitals, and at home. Jerry passed away December 30, 2017. Since that time Lois has been focusing on sharing her experiences with others to encourage and teach them to depend on the Lord during similar stressful times. Her book, 22 Months with Jerry, will be available soon.

2 thoughts on “God will repay the years”

  1. Good to hear from you again Lois. My husband passed away in August after a 2 week battle with Leukemia. He was never in any pain, only sleepy. I’ve thought of you and Jerry and your journey often. I can’t believe it’s been 3 years.

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    1. I am so sorry to hear of your loss but thankful he did not suffer very long at all. Now you are a member of the sisterhood of widows–not a group I wanted to be a member of but we often find ourselves in places we did not choose. Perhaps your work as a social worker helped you prepare for your grief although I am assuming it is different when it is you. The journey through grief has many ups and downs. This year for some reason has been a super hard December for me. I seem to cry some every morning throughout the year. But as I learned in GriefShare, grief is the price of love. I try to focus on that knowing we had a 50-year marriage and so many never enjoy that. If I can help at all, please let me know.

      My book is being self-published through Westbow–quite an education for me to go through. Of course, speaking engagements stopped with the pandemic. However, I am speaking at the Ladies Christian Women’s Luncheon January 20. They are very careful how they space out people at the tables. Hopefully, 2021 will be a better year for being able to tell people about God’s amazing care of us through our journey.

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