You know that magical moment you see in the movies where somebody runs into someone, their eyes meet, their heart pounds, and they just know they have found “the one?”
I had that experience when I was in the 8th grade with the cutest blonde-haired, green-eyed guy I had ever seen. As crazy as it sounds, that was the moment when I knew that I would marry Troy Glasco. Now, he had no clue of this revelation, and to complicate matters, my family moved away. But for whatever reason, I held onto that moment. Right before the beginning of my sophomore year of high school, Troy and I saw one another at a dance and a week later we were dating. With him I felt safe, secure, and loved, unconditionally, for the first time in my life. In December of 1981 we were married, he was twenty and I was 18, just babies! Troy had started his own business that over the years we grew into a successful company. We were blessed with four beautiful daughters and together we walked through the loss of our second daughter.
Our faith in Jesus was the foundation of our marriage and family and we found great joy in serving Him together. Family was our priority and every moment we spent together was treasured. Our lives weren’t perfect. We had our trials and struggles and clashes of strong personalities, but our marriage was amazing. Troy was the love of my life, my very best friend, and an incredible father to our girls. I know what it is to be loved well, and that is a gift!
We had entered the season of life where our girls had finished college, married, and grandchildren began to arrive. Troy had initiated what he called his “five-year plan” until early retirement. We were dreaming and planning for the future and part of that future included an old farmhouse in the country that we had restored, Camp Mia & G-pa for the grandkids one day and more time to do ministry together.
All of those dreams were shattered on July 26, 2014 when Troy was killed in a freak accident. He was electrocuted while doing some work under our house. The trauma surrounding this accident is beyond explanation. Just the night before, we had a sleepover with the grandkids. We were playing on a slip and slide and eating ice cream. Without warning we found ourselves in an ER standing beside the lifeless body of this man who was bigger than life to so many people. I will never forget the moment when one of my girls asked, “Mom, what are we going to do now?” The Lord spoke over my family in that moment, as these words came from my mouth, “We are going to honor the Lord and make your dad proud.”
Our lives were suddenly shattered into a million pieces, but we had Jesus.
I honestly didn’t think I would survive. I had walked through deep grief when we lost our infant daughter, but nothing could have prepared me for what was in front of me. I had no idea the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual impact grief could have and how long it would last. I was overwhelmed with the weight of responsibility. I was now the sole owner of a company with almost seventy-five employees. I needed reassurance that this company would survive without the man who cast vision and cared individually for each person. I was now the head of a family that had been led by a wise and godly man. Every responsibility that we had shared was now mine. I felt alone and afraid; I felt like half a person.
In the early morning hours after Troy’s accident, I sat in a chair with his Bible in my lap. As I opened it my eyes were drawn to a verse he had marked, Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” God saw me, He knew my pain and fear, and He promised to lead me. As I approach seven years without Troy, this I know with every fiber of my being, God is faithful. His mercies are new each morning and He will never fail or forsake me. He is my portion, and He is enough.
So, what does my life look like now? In all honesty, I would say that I am still figuring that out. I was Troy’s wife for almost 33 years. I loved our life. I loved us. In the midst of the missing, God has shown me so many gifts. One of the most precious gifts I have been given through loss is the depth of my relationship with Jesus. I have loved Him for most of my life and served Him for years, but nothing compares to the intimacy I share with Him now. I relate to Job when he said “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.”
I have seen and experienced the Lord in ways that cause me to stand in awe. God has brought purpose from the pain. He led me and two friends to begin a ministry to “younger widows” in our community, and we have watched Him do exceedingly abundantly beyond all we can ask or think. This ministry, HOPE Gathering, is now a nonprofit that is reaching hurting widows across the United States. Through our Hope Boxes, local chapters, and our annual retreat, widows are finding Hope and healing in Jesus Christ.
God is bringing beauty from the ashes.
My deepest joy remains my family which now includes ten grandchildren! My story doesn’t look like I dreamed it would, but my story is filled with hope and purpose because my God is still writing the next chapter. The desire of my heart remains the same, honor the Lord and make Troy proud.