Monday, December 15, 2008

AMAZING SELFLESS LOVE...

Kristy wrote the following last year on Christmas eve on this blog. I am sharing this because it is the beginning of God preparing me through Kristy's selfless love for the place I am today and the future that is before me. She wrote these words and I wept as I read them. God has given me a new love. It is an amazing love, but it goes back to this moment when Kristy wrote:

You'll Get Another Wife....

......It came tumbling out as tears trickled down his cheeks (and this man never cries), and my tears were flowing, too. What if he loses me? What'll he do? He needs me. He can't bear the thought. If it happens, he wants to go with me.


"Milton," I said softly, "if God takes me to Heaven, He will provide you with another wife."


"Don't say that," he nearly shouted.


"But it's true."


"I said, 'Don't say that.'"


"She'll be a good one." I knew there was a twinkle in my eye even though they were brimming with tears. "Like me. She'll help you in church work--"


Great tears poured down his cheeks. "If you say anything about that again, I'm...I'm...I'm getting up and leaving this room. DON'T SAY THAT AGAIN. EVER!"


"Okay, okay, I won't. Ever again."


We grabbed each other, both of us crying.

***

I know that I haven't veiled my thoughts very well these last weeks as many of you know that a new love has entered my life. A number of times I have written that God had sent help and the help is my new love. 

My children both were prepared by their Mother and certainly I am very sensitive to their hurts and needs.  I do not mean to be coy or sly but I cannot write what has happened until I tell you some back story of God's incredible love and provision. I was blessed beyond measure by Kristy's love and far reaching insight and understanding. She was selfless. She really loved me.

45 Comments:

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Richard Mabry said...

Milton,
I am happy for you.

I expected to go first. Men think that way, I guess. And in one of our conversations, I said to Cynthia, "When I die, I want you to remarry."

Her reply was pure Cynthia. "I will if I want to...but you have to."

I laughed that off, but the words came back to me when God showed me the woman he'd prepared to share the remainder of my life with me after Cynthia died. I know you've read about my own struggles as I came to grips with finding love again after losing the one I expected to be the only love of my life. And, as one who has had that same experience, let me say once more, "I'm happy for you." And I'm sure Kristy is, as well.

 
At 9:49 AM, Blogger hislady07 said...

Pastor Dykes –

Your joy yesterday during your “announcement” to the congregation was obvious – those who know and love you are genuinely happy for you.

I later mentioned it to a friend, and at first she smiled, then looked mildly shocked (you know the “so soon?” look) which is, I suppose, understandable. I explained a bit of what you told us yesterday.

As I thought about it later, anticipating discussing it with my older girls Wednesday nite (if they have questions/comments), I came to the realization that it makes perfect sense, since your marriage with Kristy was so...perfect?... no, what marriage is?…the better word is complete.

You met, fell in love, married, raised beautiful children together, ministered to each other and to your congregations, laughed, cried, fought, made up(!), dreamed dreams – big and little, both together and individually - reach some/set others aside and walked with each other all the way until the very moment when she stepped into Jesus’ arms. What more could one ask for in a relationship with the one that God has placed by our side in His most holy person-to-person covenant? Only to walk into His arms together, I suppose, but knowing that you would not, Kristy did what any loving wife would do – placed her husband’s great need as her top priority and made it a subject of her first face to face “appointment” with her Lord, I have no doubt of that.

Congratulations on your new relationship – I look forward to meeting the lovely lady that caused your heavy heart to leap again.

- Sheila

 
At 10:42 AM, Blogger Robin Bayne said...

Wonderful news, Milton. And I will share this--- my husband also lost his first wife to cancer. I am the second wife, and I knew his first wife (because I worked and still work with my husband.) His first wife was wonderful and we still do things to remind his son of his mom. (And she also knew her husband would remarry once she was gone.)

I am very happily married, but also glad he had that time with his first wife when he was younger. I bet there are many of us in a similar situation.

Merry Christmas!

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

Milton, early in Kristy's journey with cancer, she and I talked about this and we talked about death. She truly wanted this for you.

I've seen 3 of my pastors remarry fairly soon after the loss of their wives, and in all cases, it was a God-thing. :)

And it's a testimony to the great love you and Kristy shared, and to this friend's mind, it's a honor to her. Had she not been the wonderful wife she was, you wouldn't want to love again.

So I pray God's richest blessings on you and your new love. And if any naysay this, let the Lord deal with them. They're speaking out of their hurt or disappointment.

Live life and love.

 
At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milton, I wish you blessings. A friend of mine married a man a few months after his wife died. She was a smart woman. In a couple of places in the house, she left pictures of the first wife with her children and grandchildren. This helped when they visited so that they don't have to pretend she never existed. It started their relationship off on a wonderful foot!

 
At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a concept called "double bonding" which means you can't really bond to one person as long as you are bonded to another. Most professionals say to wait 18-24 months before entering into a new relationship.

 
At 11:55 AM, Blogger THOMBU1 said...

Milton, the Lord created Eve to be an helpmete fo Adam, and the scripture says it is not good for a man to be alone. This is a gift from God, and as we all know His gifts are always good, and good for us. May His love continue to envelope you as you walk in this new realm of His unfailing goodness.
Your Brother in Christ, tom

 
At 12:01 PM, Blogger Pam Meyers said...

Milton,
As I said in my comments to yesterday's blog post, I have seen God bless so many times over, second marriages, even second ones that happen close on the heels of the first one when a spouse has died. I've seen it happen with my dad, my uncle and many men in my church, including a pastor.

There will be some who will caution and quote stats or whatever, but what God wills trumps it all.

Kristy was a wonderful friend, wife, mom, and sister in Christ to you, and in her own selfless way she has given you her blessing.

Go forward and enjoy, praising and thanking God for his immeasurable goodness.

 
At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My tears are flowing, my heart is heavy, but only because I soooo wish Kristy were still here. I feel it is too soon. I feel you should wait and hold honor to her for at least 6 more months, but I know Kristy and I know she would not feel it is to soon. So because of Kristy, I wish nothing but God's love on you & your new love.
May your girls & grands love her and accept her with open arms because I know that is what their Mother & Nana would have wanted.

But, I am still heavy hearted.

 
At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the new lady. She will never measure up, nor even come close and I can say this confidently without even knowing who she is or anything about her.

 
At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hurt too, Milton. I hurt so badly. It seems so soon. But, who am I to judge when I know you've placed your life within God's Hands? I know that many have gone before you and done the very thing, falling in love within months of their spouses' deaths. We've all gotten so deeply involved in your christian love story with Kristy, and Kristy with you. Now, that she's gone - it still lingers on in our hearts adn minds. That's why it's difficult to comprehend.
We all want happiness for you, Milton - I know I do. I know I want for you whatever God has chosen, or should I say "whomever" God has chosen. I have no doubt in my mind that you've been on your face before God, and I can only wish for you HAPPINESS AND PEACE with your new love...especially at this special time of the year, Christ's Birthday. The "gift" of love...how synonomous, here at Christmas. May she be all and more for you and your family is my prayer.

A faithful follower

 
At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milton:
I have to know. Has it ever seemed that you were doing something wrong, by sharing your life with another lady? How do you surrender your life to another, after you've loved so deeply? Do you still feel like the same person inside? How do you re-fall in love so quickly? I need to know these answers. I know you'll be honest with us. We all love you and loved you and Kristy as one. This is not an easy transition for anyone of us. I know you have to understand, Milton. Please say you do. Please.

 
At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who am I, or anyone else here for that matter, to say how you should live your life? I cannot question God's guidance.

I do pray that you will take this slowly--extremely slowly. As I was praying for you this morning, I had this thought: If one of your daughters had come to you and said they were ready to commit to someone after this short of a time period, would you have given them your blessing, or would you have said to give it time, and get to know the person very well first.

You are at a vulnerable point in your life, and from a professional standpoint, I believe it's risky to leap into a brand-new commitment without having first traveled the full distance of grief. Yes, Kristy consoled you by saying there would be another wife.

She would also want to console her daughters in this year of "firsts," which will be difficult when they see you've moved on with your new life. Nobody wishes unhappiness on you, and speaking for myself, I would never step in God's way. I am simply advising you as a Christian counselor who has witnessed a few happy results of short courtships as well as multiple disasters from not allowing grief to heal completely. My suggestion (were you taking any) would be to get into counseling alone as well as with your new love. Take time to do the hard work of preparing for a second marriage. Kristy will be a hard act to follow, particularly this soon.

May God bless your journey with wisdom and grace. Praying for all concerned.

 
At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with anonymous 2:45 pm on everything he or she said, but would like to add that even if Milton waited hundreds of years to do this, Kristy is an act that can not only ever be adequately followed, but will be impossible to truly replace.

 
At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milton,

I have lurked for many many months -- I found this blog sometime in late May of this year, and most days, this is the first internet site I go to in the morning. I suppose it goes without saying that I've gone back and read this entire blog from start to present, as well.

Kristy was one special lady; her humor and vitality shine through her words, and I love all of the videos posted of her (plus her love of turquoise!). She is someone I would've loved to have known, and the support and love you gave her is amazing and inspiring. I never met her, or you, but I do feel certain that she would've wanted you to move on in this life with a partner.

I am thrilled that you have met someone who makes you happy again, and I'm sure Kristy is too. My only caveat is to take it slowly; no particular time length, just remembering that if it's truly meant to be, then it is and no amount of time will change that.

You seem to be the type of dad who has always been respectful of his daughters' needs and feelings; I guess living in a house full of women for decades helps that! :) I'm sure it'll be hard for your girls for awhile, but they love you, and it sounds like Kristy made it clear to them that this is what she wanted for you as well.

I am looking forward to reading how this love story unfolds. And I think Kristy must be, too.

-Heather

 
At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milton,

I wish you the best with your new love. I know God does not set timetables on how long one should wait after the loss of a spouse, to love again.

Kristy will always be in your heart. But life goes on, and Kristy wanted you to move on.

I did not meet Kristy, but I came to love her and your family through this blog.

I feel sad by some of the comments made. Your heart knows when it it time to love again. And God does not judge.


Arlene G (Lisa's mom, Lisa is Julie's friend)

 
At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ditto 2:45pm

Milton,

I frankly think you are carried away by your sense of aloneness.
That's understandable.

But please wait.

I honestly think this "new love" was horribly cruel to spring on your daughters this first Christmas without their mother.

Please think this though further.

With a qualified professional counselor.

I really do care.

just me.

 
At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"She was selfless. She really loved me."

If being selfless is a definition of real love....then perhaps you should consider Julie and Jennifer and the Grands a bit more.

 
At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel compelled to post again (I'm Heather, from the 2:59 post above), I don't know why. Some of these comments are making me sad, as we don't yet know how Julie and Jennifer feel about these developments, nor how this new relationship came out in the beginning. I'm sure it is hard; as a daughter myself, it would be for me too. But Kristy wrote about this herself on her blog, and if she wrote it here once then she probably spoke of it more than once; she wanted this to happen.

Milton, I don't think you're dishonoring her by moving on; I think it is a testament to your marriage and your love that you feel confident that she would want this.

As I said above, my only warning is to not jump into anything permanent, too soon. I do believe that when you know, you "know," but I also know that the last twelve months have been tumultuous and unlike any other year you've had before.

Thinking of you and yours,
Heather

 
At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Timing is everything.

Although some things may not be "right" or "wrong", there is indeed a proper time, in fact Ecclesiastes speaks of it.

You can do the right thing, but in the wrong time, or vice versa.

 
At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"These next weeks of holidays will be tough, very tough, but I am believing God to help me minister to my children and grands. They are hurting and need me. They are exceptional young ladies and kiddies and I am very proud and thankful for them."


Milton, you wrote these words a little over a month ago. In fact, as I have re-read your posts from November, I'm wondering what has happened to put you on such a seemingly different path so quickly?

 
At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milton, I think we all wish you well. Waiting certainly can't hurt anything. I'd hate to be the woman walking into the situation this shortly after a woman who has been so memorialized as the perfect Proverbs 31 woman. I also hope you are not accepting this other woman because it was Kristy's choice - that could make you emotionally caught up and blind. Wait until July, Milton and I have no hesitancy giving the advice. I stated to a friend a while back that I would hate to be the woman to try to fill Kristy's shoes. We don't know you, but what a tall order to fill. Give it time.

 
At 5:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milton, I hope you much happiness, but I am not sure your congregation is ready for this so soon. I know another pastor who did this and when the "different personality" woman tried to be the pastor's wife, it was disastorous. They wanted the other one. The stress of rude people and living in the former wife's shadow, was more than the new wife could handle. He eventually had to resign. I wonder if he had taken more time, what would have happened? Just think about it.

 
At 5:24 PM, Blogger Karen Eve said...

Milton - I celebrate with you and pray that you are able to hear loud and clear from God as you procede. You don't want to jump ahead or behind God's leading. And it will be hard for your new lady to fill Kristy's shoes, however she won't need to as she will not be Kristy. She will come with her own package of unique gifts and will be special in her own right.
However, whoever you marry, please, please give her a nest of her own to build. It will be hard enough to be compared, but she will really need a home that is yours and hers. Yes, she could redecorate in her style, but I have a feeling it will always be Kristy's house. I also trust that she will be confident enough to keep memories of Kristy alive for the grans.
It will be hard though to be the new Mrs. Pastor in a church where not only was Kristy the beloved pastor's wife, but where she also grew up.
Just my $.02. I wish you well. Praying as always for you and your family.
Blessings,

 
At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a lot of wise counsel offered in love here.

Please carefully consider all of it.

a friend

 
At 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading this blog for several months. I have enjoyed reading it but at the same time wonder how someone can bare their soul for others to take pot shots at and judge. Milton, I wish the best in moving forward with what God has for you. Everyone can sit back and be arm chair quarterbacks and tell you what they think and how they would do it but that, in my opinion is between you, God and your new love. This hits closer to home to me since it is my mother-in-law.
For all your readers I encourage them to read their Bibles a little more instead of the internet. I believe if you read the word you might understand what peace and happiness are, as Milton has found. Also, comparing Milton’s new love to Kristy is just wrong. Whomever God gives us is and will be our perfect partner, no matter what the peanut gallery thinks. In other words, get a life!

 
At 8:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing that always bothers me when someone gets upset about a remark that hits a little too close to home on a blog (and I've seen it on many) is to insinuate that commenters are on the computer too much and would do well to spend more time doing something else. Of course for Christians, it's a convenient "spiritual" thing to throw out that they should be reading the Bible instead of being on the computer. After all, how could someone argue back that they shouldn't spend time with God? This is a convenient line that people use when they really don't have another response that would truly suffice. Just because people are commenting here doesn't mean they are needing to spend less time on the internet. Many of the people posting here are quite familiar with the Bible as countless ministers and minister's wives post here not to mention other Christian authors who know the Word quite well! Obviously with your mother in law being involved you are biased in the situation so such is not surprising.

I think you missed the point...no one here is comparing Milton's new love to Kristy because there is no possible comparison.

 
At 9:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps we left the messages because of prayer and concern. You could only recommend we get off the internet by getting on the internet to tell us. -)

 
At 9:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Milton, my old friend, you have set off a storm. Bless your heart. I'll admit to feeling somewhat defensive for you after reading some of these statements. I loved Kristy dearly -- almost as many years as you did, though certainly in a different way! -- and I always will cherish the memories. Her passing left a huge black hole. I miss her and I mourn her, knowing she's not as close as the phone or a long e-mail and that we won't have the opportunity to plan an antiques shopping day. But Kristy has left this life and she is not coming back. You, however, are very much alive. As I loved Kristy, I love you and I love Julie and Jennifer. I want you all to be happy and hopeful and positive, to want to get up in the morning and not to be so heavy-hearted. With all my heart, I believe that's what Kristy wanted. Now, I have not met the fortunate new woman and don't know who she is, but I hope to meet her, and my message will be one of welcome. If you and she make each other happy, that's what matters. To those who want you to wait for some arbitrary length of time before you allow yourself to feel sunshine again, I ask why? Life is short and none of us is getting any younger. If God has given you a second chance at love, who are you to tell Him that His timing is off?! My best wishes go to you and the girls, and I hope you have a lovely holiday. It will be bittersweet but at least it looks like there will be some sweet to counter the bitter. With my love, Kathy

 
At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I go before my husband, I would hope that he would confide in and pray with a close brother in the church who really knows him, and that he would listen to his advice more than the advice of anonymous readers. May God bless your decisions.

 
At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this blog is so interesting. How people are reacting. I agree that maybe Kristy did tell Milton that there would be another wife to make him feel better. As a wife, I would have trouble with it happening so soon, grieving is a much longer process than people think. Just because I am a Christian doesn't mean that I can speed up the grief process.

My prayer is that God truly guides Milton and that if this isn't right he will have the courage to take a step back, but if it is right, that they will step forward together, in a new place. And they don't have to get married tomororow. She can still be a dating helpmate to him.

But if someone is going to open themself up in a blog, then they need to take the prayers and the praise AND the concern from people who have been supporting Milton through this avenue. God Bless You all!

 
At 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too was concerned by the message from the in-law.

Thank you 9:56 pm for giving voice to my feelings.

 
At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the inlaw comment has been removed.

 
At 10:11 PM, Blogger Deanna Shrodes said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 10:41 PM, Blogger Deanna Shrodes said...

Hello Pastor Milton,
I've continued to read your blog through the months and prayed for you and your family as well as asked our church folks to do so. I continue to be so appreciative of the exemplary way in which Kristy served in all the roles she fulfilled and continue to enjoy reading her writings.

I do not comment here often but simply feel compelled to say that the family member's negative comment concerned me as well. I am not sure if I heard said from Dr. Dobson or Dr. Dobbins (both are very wise men indeed) but I think it was one of them who said that when a couple joins in marriage it is not just two people marrying but two families marrying. I know you have not said the word "marriage" in your posts but you are indicating this is your new love so I'm assuming but forgive my assuming if I'm wrong. I've attached my name here because I think it's important also to not hide behind anonymity if we have something to say (particularly a caution) and want someone to take it to heart. As a pastor I'm sure you've gotten an anonymous letter or two, and they usually aren't fun. :-)

I do wish you much joy and happiness...surely you do deserve it after all you have been through. How unique of a woman Kristy was to have prepared you for it. I stand in awe of her example. I do not know if I could ever do something such as this for my husband. It sure does give me lots to think about.

Christmas blessings, comfort and joy to you and the girls and your extended family as well...

 
At 11:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The inlaw comment which was posted at 7:56 pm. has not been removed, but should be. It incites the wrong thing. I think that post would sadden Kristy so much since she spoke the truth in love. That post certainly does not come across that way.

 
At 11:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since Milton wants to unfurl the story his way and keep the identity of his new love a surprise. The it's my mother in law should not have been posted. Let Milton tell the story. Hope this is not a sign of anger and meddling in the future.

Lisa W.

 
At 12:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How sad to me that this negativity is taking place. Milton, I am so sorry! That "my mother-in-law" comment was uncalled for, and we are all concerned. You must know how much we love you. I'm praying for you and your family.

Cathy

 
At 5:49 AM, Blogger Barbara J. Robinson said...

I wish you happiness, peace, joy, and love.
Barb

 
At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing how so many people think that it's my mother in law comment is out of place. I imagine that this person feels the same about many of your comments as well. I would recommend that you tell your story Milton and just not allow comments at all, that way all will be protected from these responses. May God bless you and your future, but just be careful not to burn bridges before you get to them. I look forward to following your story, but I will not read the comments anymore.

 
At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting that because you don't like our comments, Milton should shut it down. Wow, that opens up the dialogue for the future with a new family.

 
At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:31 - you consider that a mature response?

Yours was the response that others should have been protected from. But then again you are not reading this, so it won't matter.

Milton, please, please tread with caution with this family. Kristy mentored your new love but she obviously did not mentor the whole family.

 
At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The daughter in law needs to go back and read all the posts. No one and I repeat no one said anything negative about Milton's new love because we don't know her. To insinuate that we are all a bunch of immature Christians out of touch with God is hurtful. If you can't handle different opinions, I feel sorry for you. I hope Milton's girls don't have to worry about this in the future.

Many of us just felt Milton needed to move slowly. It sounded, at first, like Milton was ready to jump tomorrow afternoon. He has since clarified that issue in a mature and caring manner which I know set me at ease. (And, I don't even know his family.) New love of Milton, I am so sure you are a keeper or the thought would never have crossed Kristy's mind and Milton would never have embraced it. We wish you well and blessed in this relationship. It's time to move on from the topic and watch what Milton unfurls for our eyes to read.

 
At 2:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I felt the same way when reading these comments... the negativity (and yes I am sorry but I concur on the daughter in laws comments) it is so different than what I have experienced on this blog for months now... my Mom died almost 2 months ago and it is hard for me to hear this story... but the problem I guess is we dont know the story and Milton needs to tell it in his time... but it is hard for those of us who have not been part of this new love story and have only been part of the love of Kristy!

 

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