Jehovah Jireh

Posted: December 26, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Throughout the past two years since Patrick left this earth for his Heavenly home, I have seen God provide in amazing ways. Actually, LOOONNG before Patrick was sick, we lived our lives being aware and thankful for God’s faithfulness. Numerous times and in various ways through the years, God has directed, protected and provided for the McGoldrick family. From the small to the large, God’s people have been graciously giving to us over the years.

Now magnify it times a thousand and that’s how I’ve watched God’s goodness unfold over the past three years.

2012 – The year of ALS. Patrick was diagnosed, declined rapidly and died within a 12-month period. That year is a whirlwind in my mind. It felt like an out-of-body experience. I never had time to recover from the shock of the diagnosis before I was planning his funeral. I kept thinking this isn’t my life. But it was. Through it all, God knew our needs before we did. From getting into the right doctors to installing a chair lift; from the church renovating our bathroom to a van and scooter being delivered without even asking for them; from the friends near helping in tangible ways to friends throughout the world praying; from the hospice care to the funeral service; to the fund for the kids education….God flooded us with His care.

2013 – Grief Year One. After the shock wore off, the depression and despair settled in. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I was ill equipped to handle the onslaught of the emotions that separation by death causes. I naively thought my faith would shield me from the agony and pain. Coming to grips with the fact that grief was going to be a part of my life for a long time actually helped me face it head on. I am forever changed and that is ok. God can handle my tears and questions. Throughout this year, God gave me the precious gift of time. I continued to work part-time; I flew to a few states and shared special times with quality friends and family. I read and studied; I attended classes and went to counseling. And just when I needed it, at the end of the year, God provided a new full-time job for me.

2014 – Grief Year Two. Most people who are close to me and know me well would say I’m in a better place than last year. But they would also tell you I still have deep struggles. I am not through the valley yet. The biggest difference between year one and year two (that I can articulate at this point, knowing full well other things may become clearer when I am further out) is that the first year was more of a fog and this year has been more clear. That is a good thing and a bad thing. The good part about clarity is that I am able to concentrate longer. I see what needs to be done and I can accomplish those tasks. I understand so many more things that I didn’t have to pay attention to before, such as car insurance, gas prices, the cable & phone options (don’t get me started on that – I don’t know which company is worse to deal with: WOW or Sprint), a 401k, PTO and on and on the list goes.

The bad side of clarity is that I am fully aware of what “alone” means. I know the depths of my pain and I still experience it regularly. I completely get it that Patrick is gone forever and that my life with him is in the history books. I can’t get back what I had. I know what it’s like to trudge through each day without a best friend to share the details and struggles. I don’t want to repeat what I’ve said before, but believe me, it’s rough; and it’s lonely.

The best part of my clarity of this past year has been that I am overwhelmed with the goodness of God and His continual provision. I see it all the time, in little ways and in big ways. Sometimes a need is met before I’m even aware of the deficit. Sometimes it’s financial; other times it’s just the timing of an event or an opportunity that just “happens” to appear.

gen-22-14-and-Abraham-called-the-name-of-that-place-Jehovah-Jireh-as-it-is-said-to-this-dayEarlier this year I started my Jehovah Jireh list. Jehovah Jireh is an Old Testament name for God and it means, “The Lord will provide.” Abraham used this to name the place where he was called to sacrifice his son Isaac. As he chose to obey, he knew that God would either provide an alternative sacrifice or raise Isaac from the dead (Genesis 22).

God provides for me in the same way He has provided for His people for generations. Here are a few examples from my 2014 list:

  • Encouraging cards and texts that I still receive regularly
  • $450 in the mail right before all 4 van tires needed replacing
  • Toilet leaking and plumber fixing it at no cost
  • Both kids’ cars repaired (more than once) and never receiving a bill
  • Driveway and sidewalks plowed all winter (by various people, whom I lovingly dubbed “my snow angels.”)
  • Window Cleaning by professionals with no bill
  • Meds for my kids when they were out of the state or country
  • Amazing summer jobs for Paige and Parker that provided both financially and with ministry opportunities
  • Gas money given to make an extra trip to my brother’s
  • A hotel stay being covered when I visited my son at college
  • Training and facilitating Grief Share for our church’s first time
  • College tuition currently paid in full with no debt
  • A job where I have learned a marketable skill and have had success
  • Friends who have given me an open door policy
  • Adjusting to working full-time and having a long commute
  • Both kids doing well in college and on target to graduate on time
  • Ability to remain in house as the value continues to go up
  • People who share with me stories of Patrick, which I never tire of hearing

As of today, I’ve been a widow for two years. Although I don’t care for that title and it’s not the first word I use to describe myself, it is the box I have to check. It’s my reality. My life has been marked by loss. It’s a part of my story and I am being transformed through it.

I have been called to suffer, just as all Christ followers are. Jesus was the suffering servant and His road lead to agony and death, such as none of us will ever experience. The road of ViaDolorosa was the one He walked. I am called to follow Him. But just as He redeemed us through the agony of the cross (Hebrews 9:22), so likewise He will use our suffering for redemptive purposes. It is not in vain. “Because of Christ, our suffering is not useless. It is part of the total plan of God, who has chosen to redeem the world through the pathway of suffering” (R.C. Sproul, Surprised by Suffering, p.23)

Patrick was an amazing man, although not perfect. He lived his adult life serving this Savior and He died continuing to believe. Now he is part of the cloud of witnesses who is cheering us on to continue to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labor is not in vain (I Corinthians 15:58).MCGOLDRICK-PATRICK-474

I miss him every minute but I continue to move forward, believing and serving God and watching Him continue to care for me and my family.

  1. Tim Vermilyea says:

    Once again God has given you words to articulate your experiences – and help some of us who haven’t traveled the path you are on (yet, at least) to have a greater appreciation of the pain AND the amazing grace of God. Dena, we’ve never met you – we knew Patrick mostly through our daughter, Mandi Vermilyea. But we thank God for the privilege of “watching” you deal with life and write very candidly about that life. Each post is another reminder to pray for you and your kids!

  2. Brenda River says:

    Well said‼️

    You nailed it‼️

    You are a beautiful flower‼️

    And a strong and mighty woman of God‼️

    Well done ‼️ ❤️

  3. Rick Wiegand says:

    You are amazing my sister. Always remember that there is a chorus of prayers made on your behalf from all your brothers and sisters who love and adore you so dearly. You are truly an inspiration. Keep shining for Jesus. Psalm1 The Wiegands

  4. Karen Davis says:

    When I read your up-dates, my heart aches for you. At the same time, it is encouraging to read how God is meeting your needs, and how your life is advancing on. Of course, I will admit that I would like the rapture to occur before I would have to deal with this kind of pain and loneliness, I’m sure that Patrick is one of those in the cloud of witnesses, like you said, and is encouraging you along! I think he would be thankful for the steadfastness of your faith.

  5. Karen Holler Zulauf says:

    My pandora radio played “I Can Only Imagine” when I got to the end of this post. I’ve been watching for your 2 year post…and praying all along. You may not remember me, but I was at BBC with you and Patrick in ’84/85. Thank you for sharing! You are so articulate and your testimony has shone brightly-real,raw, and honoring to God. Your posts have ministered to me in so many ways-and remind me to continue to pray for you and the children. ~Karen Holler Zulauf-Geneseo, NY

  6. shelly-ann Grant says:

    Hi Dena, I trust that you and the children were able to have a merry Christmas despite the absent of Patrick. Know I was praying more for you all during this season. I will still continue to pray and I wish for you all a Splendid new year. I know God has a lot in store for you. I was bless by your Jehovah Jireh list. When we spend time to count our blessing we will be surprise to see what God has done. I am thinking of starting a list for my self. Judith and the kids said to wish you and your kids a blessed new year. Love Always Shelly From: Patrick’s Story To: Sent: Friday, December 26, 2014 8:02 AM Subject: [New post] Jehovah Jireh #yiv2717126674 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv2717126674 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv2717126674 a.yiv2717126674primaryactionlink:link, #yiv2717126674 a.yiv2717126674primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv2717126674 a.yiv2717126674primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv2717126674 a.yiv2717126674primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv2717126674 | Patrick’s Story posted: “Throughout the past two years since Patrick left this earth for his Heavenly home, I have seen God provide in amazing ways. Actually, LOOONNG before Patrick was sick, we lived our lives being aware and thankful for God’s faithfulness. Numerous times and i” | |

  7. Betty Ticker says:

    As always, Dena, I am inspired by your words. You are such a role model for any and all of us facing losses in our life, whether the loss is now or to come. I am so thankful that God has promised to ” meet all our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”. May God continue to use you and bless you abundantly in every way. Bless your heart. We love you. Ron and Betty Tucker

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