My heart broke as Christina tried to finish "the letter" to her dear husband, Doug. She wrote about her desire to write one final letter to Doug, asking God for help, apologizing for waiting so long to do it, wondering if she could complete it.
I had watched Christina write many updates for her blog. Writing was never, never easy for her. Hours of labor and soul searching went into each paragraph. I always said, "Just write a little bit, a paragraph perhaps. It doesn't have to be a book." She never took my advice. She labored and we all benefited from the beautiful truth poured out.
Near the end of her life, her brain was riddled with tumors and the process of writing was even more difficult. She could write but had trouble understanding the words she wrote. Her last entry in her journal began, "I just read through my last journal entry and am laughing because of how jumbled it is." In reality, her previous journal entry was well written and easy to understand but her brain had trouble deciphering the written word.
So Christina struggled to write a final letter to Doug. She closed herself in her room and spent hours and hours over several days trying to put into a Word document what was in her heart. As I questioned her about her progress she would only say, "It's close. I just want it to flow and make sense." And all the while, she was probably making more sense than she knew. Her struggle was really with her failing eyesight and her declining ability to perceive the written word through her tumor scrambled brain. I longed to help her, to make it easier. I wondered if her time would be better spent just talking to Doug instead of isolated and struggling with a project that seemed overwhelming. I wanted her to stop. She did not stop. She wrote and wrote until at last she broke down in tears and said, "I can't finish." She felt so defeated. Like she had waited too long and it was too late. She closed her computer and never opened it again.
A week later, I picked up her computer, and printed off the letter. I was worried that if the computer crashed, the letter that was Christina's last and hardest labor would be lost. The letter was 6 or 7 pages long. It was not finished. It ended with an incomplete sentence. It had no signature. But it was priceless to me. I folded it and put it in an envelope and carried it with me until Christina died. Then I left it with Doug. Tonight I asked him if the letter was important. Here is his answer.
"The letter was God's way of using Christina to minister to every area of my heart. She gave me counsel and direction for the future--for raising Isaiah and interacting with people. The Lord used it for healing my heart and it is amazing that she touched every facet of what I was longing for."
It is very sobering to think that if I had my way that letter would never have been written. Thankfully, Christina knew what she needed to do. The price was immense. The fruit of her labor was life changing for Doug. I am very, very thankful she persevered and left such a valuable and costly gift. Sometimes the right thing is the hardest thing. I pray I remember that for the rest of my life.