Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – Wisdom Finishes Victoriously

Though I knew the day would come, I always longed for the day to be another day, not this one. But the day came. I said goodbye (for now) to my beloved Wyndham last Thursday. I am grateful for every day and every extra day that God gave us. A week ago I got to hear Wyndham’s voice again, loud and clear. On Tuesday he told me that he was going to die and that he loved me. We exchanged precious words of love. I assured him he would live on in us and I loved him forever. I tried to find some way to thank him for his love and his life. I reassured him we would be okay. This time was a gift.

The next day he could not eat and was exceedingly tired, with a fever. His nurse thought he could possibly rebound since he did in March, but we would know in a few days. Leigh Ann brought the three little Shaw girls over to hug Papa, at Emery’s insistence. They sang for him “Amazing Grace,” “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” “Jesus Loves Me,” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” with verses that included every member of our family, including all the dogs. That was a gift that comforted him and brought him joy on what we did not know would be his last evening. Later that night the adult kids arrived and we talked to him and prayed, cried, and laughed. Wyndham seemed to enjoy listening, though he could not respond except to squeeze his eyes. Sam had been out of town on business and was flying back.

Thursday morning Sam was back and we all sat with Wyndham, unsure of what to expect, but we sat and loved him with all that was within us. I had begged God that morning to be kind to Wyndham and to us in his passing, and He was. Wyndham was not in pain and the transition was fast. Our hearts broke for us but rejoiced for him as he exited this world with impeccable courage, gratitude, faith, and love. I could even see some cheerfulness before he passed, as his eyes smiled a few times, even though closed. I know that eye-smile. Since we still thought there was more time, I made a run to the drug store to get a needed medical supply and Kristen and Sam went for a prayer walk. Melissa and Kevin stayed with him. Jacob was nearby, attentive to the needs. As a family, we have been on this journey together, all in.

As soon as I walked out the door, Wyndham was gone, likely thinking of protecting me, once again. It was clear his body was vacant, a mere shell that once housed the spiritual being that still lives. For this certain hope, I give thanks to God.

The world feels a little dizzying right now. The tears just keep flowing though accompanied by smiles and precious memories. I feel strangely both sad and grateful to be able to now freely just walk out my door to go somewhere, and I find myself feeling guilty for being able to do so. That probably makes little sense, but many things feel a little strange right now. Transitions are hard. This dreaded and worst day of my life also brought many precious, touching moments, which are ours to treasure. There were also some moments that one day will give us laughter, but not yet.

The following day, when the hospital bed and medical equipment were all gone our dog, Denver, walked into our room and just stood there frozen, looking around as if he were thinking, “Everything is different. What do I do now?” I felt the same.

Some of the grandchildren struggled while watching Wyndham’s “things” go out the door. Wheelchairs and machines were familiar to the youngest ones and were connected to their Papa. Sam reassured them that we were not taking Papa out of the house, but just the “sick” out of the house. Papa will always be with us because of all he gave us. For me, I long for the memories of pre-sick Wyndham to return, as I know they will. The last five of our forty-five years feel currently at the forefront, though I know that will change over time. The last five are, however, sacred and precious, terribly hard though they were. We all grew and were changed, and our love only grew stronger. I have a keener sense of what is most important. Love God wholeheartedly. Love each other wholeheartedly and help as many as possible to know God. One. Day. At. A. Time.

When Wyndham received his diagnosis of the horrible disease called Multiple System Atrophy, we had a sobering idea of what could happen to his body. It was like a bad dream. Knowing something of what was likely in store for his future, he studied the book of Job and committed to being grateful, faithful, courageous, and cheerful every day throughout his illness. He excelled in fulfilling this commitment to his last breath, even finding a way to laugh almost every day. Not one time did he complain or ask “why me?” Instead, he felt, “why not me?” I often tried to discourse with God on why such a good man had to suffer in such a drastic way. God did not tell me why, but we have all grown and changed because of this time. As much as I hate this disease. God has walked with us through it all, and He has been enough. For this I am grateful.

It does me no good to ask why, though truthfully I often have. If I could understand all of God’s ways and how He sees beyond and works for good despite the evil in our fallen world he would not be God, for God is beyond the dimension of human understanding. There is nothing I can do about that except to surrender and trust. He is God and I am not. He remains a good, good God, with a perspective that is beyond my reach. I know and believe God will continue to work in amazing ways as a result of Wyndham’s life. I will thrill to witness ways God will continue to work through the life Wyndham lived on earth.

Many of you have asked how I am doing, and your love and prayers mean so much. They have sustained me. Thank you. The best answer I can give is that I am deeply heartbroken, but okay, if that makes sense. We are all holding tight to God and each other.

Every time I say your name in prayer—which is practically all the time—I thank God for you, the God I worship with my whole life in the tradition of my ancestors.
I miss you a lot, especially when I remember that last tearful good-bye, and I look forward to a joy-packed reunion.
That precious memory triggers another: your honest faith—and what a rich faith it is…
(2 Tim 1:3-5)

Wyndham is no longer suffering, which makes me so happy for him. He fought the good fight, finished the race, and there is a great reward for him. I wish I could know what goes on in Paradise, but Paul himself said it cannot be stated (2 Cor. 12:2-4). Paul says that the eternal glory makes the worst suffering seem as light and momentary trouble. Only one day will I understand this.

I am thankful for every moment that God gave me with Wyndham. I miss him more than words can express and am forever grateful he has shown me how to live and to die in the Lord…with a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith (1 Timothy 1:5).

I know these would be words Wyndham would pass on today.

But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.
You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar.
This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way.
All that’s left now is the shouting—God’s applause! Depend on it, he’s an honest judge. He’ll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming.
(2 Tim 4:5-8 MSG)

 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
(2 Tim 4:7-8)

Thank you for sharing with me on this journey of “Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham.” My prayer is that it in some way helps draw us closer to God and victoriously finish the race marked out for us. Please keep us in your prayers. We need them.

42 thoughts on “Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – Wisdom Finishes Victoriously

  1. In 1988, Wyndham and I met at a McDonald’s in Gastonia, NC. Christy and I were thinking about moving to Charlotte to learn how to become better ministers for God and His church. I still remember Wyndham encouraging me to come and work with y’all. But what I remember most was his saying: “Gary, I believe in you.” Besides Christy, no one had ever told me that before. It meant everything to me.

    I loved him and have always thanked God for him and his life. I am very confident that I would not be here doing what I love to do had it not be for Wyndham.

    We love you and will be praying for the comfort that only God can supply during this time.

    Like

  2. I have been praying for all of your family.
    I, as so many others, knew Wyndham through his faith building lessons. He was such a gentle but grounded teacher. I have no real clue what you have been and are going through, but I so appreciate you sharing your wisdom and insights. I will continue to pray.
    In Christ,
    Susan

    Like

  3. I have followed your journey from Atlanta, praying each morning for you and Wyndham as I read your letters to us. Thank you for your vulnerability, your humility, your consistent love for Wyndham and us as you showed us God through this whole process. I will continue to hold your family before God, knowing He will continue to walk you through the days to come. Love you Jeanie.

    Like

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your journey caring for Wyndham. His life was a gift to God’s kingdom and he lived for the purpose of serving God. It’s great to “share” some tears with you this morning. Your family is a great example of trusting in God in times of grief. Love you, Jeanie!

    Like

  5. Thank you Jeannie so very much for sharing this journey with us. It has meant more than you know. Thank you for the example of faith and love, perseverance and kindness, trust and love. You and Wyndham have helped me to understand a depth of devotion both to God and one another that I will fight to imitate all my life. I love you both so very much and am praying for your family.

    Like

  6. Jeanie- you and your family remain in my prayers, and with love. You and Wyndham have given us, your church family, so much biblical teaching and how to pursue God’s perspective in this life here on earth. You are a treasure. I continue to pray for God’s peace and comfort.

    Like

  7. Wyndham was very involved in the beginning in Boston’s development of training interested families to either foster or adopt children from inner cities. We then fostered 2 children, Laura 2 and Andrew was 8 months. Jeannie and Wyndham were pillars of faith helping each family cope and love whom they were given. There were real challenges throughout each family. It was a labor of love and will cherish there input in our lives through that time! Yes we adopted or 2. Thank you! Our children are now 21,23, and 26, all doing well. His support then and now has taught us how to never give up on love as our precious Jesus and Father never give up on us.
    Thank you Wyndham and Jeannie Shaw!!
    We will never forget!
    Linda

    Like

  8. I am really heartbroken reading this Jeanie I have followed WWW since day 1 and looking forward after midweek devotional to come home os I can read and you have inspired me in so many ways always grateful for sharing your life with us.My thoughts and prayers at this difficult time in your life.Love in Christ,Mary.

    Like

  9. Jeanie my heart breaks for you and your family. Even though it has been many years I have held you and Wyndham close to my heart. There has never been another who has impacted my life as both of you. I love you both. Prayers for everyone. Wyndham is in Paradise now with his Lord and Savior. ♥️♥️♥️

    Like

  10. So sorry for your loss of your dear Wyndham Jeanie & family. Thank you for sharing your journey with us…your journey with your husband through sickness & in health. Your vow carried out in life is a powerful example to me and so many others. I appreciate your God given ability to put into words what only the Spirit can grown from most of our hearts. This clarity helps increase our faith…and for that I am so so thankful. Such a beautiful legacy that gives me hope for our young family & future. Thank you and may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving together the way Wyndham would have wanted you to, together with laughter mixed with tears.

    Like

  11. So very sad to hear of Wyndham’s passing. Larry and I send our prayers for you and your family. We only met him once but found him an amazing man with the full acceptance of God as his Master of life.
    All our love and prayers. 🙏🙏🙏🙏

    Like

  12. Oh Jeanie, tears are flowing as I read your words, so powerful, so full of faith and pain. I understand your mixed feelings of guilt and sadness as I witnessed my mother die many years ago and Jim’s mother also. Even knowing this is the path we are all on, it is still hard when it comes. Jim and I have prayed for all of you so much and have been encouraged by your faith and courage from afar. Thank you for sharing your heart and your wisdom and so much of Wyndham with us. We loved him too and love you…forever friends made in Gainesville all those years ago. One day we will all meet up again for one more Play Day or Work Party or Worship Service. May God continue to strengthen and comfort you as He so faithfully does. We love you, Jim and Debbie

    Like

  13. My sincere condolences to you and your family. Thank you for sharing with such honesty and vulnerability. I marvel at what courage and strength it has taken for you to share your life with us all through these articles, especially now. The feelings of loss, heartbreak and discombobulation alongside gratitude and sweet memories are familiar. You’ve described them perfectly, and in strange ways, knowing that someone else understands and has been through similar grief and still standing is comfort for the journey. May I share this passage with you from the CJB that I love?
    “But in my mind I keep returning to something, something that gives me hope — that the grace of ADONAI is not exhausted, that his compassion has not ended. [On the contrary,] they are new every morning! How great your faithfulness! “ ADONAI is all I have,” I say; “therefore I will put my hope in him.”
    ‭‭Eikhah (Lam)‬ ‭3:21-24‬ ‭CJB‬‬
    My prayers are with you all.
    Love, Sue

    Like

  14. Thank you Jeanie for allowing us to be part of this journey. And it makes perfect sense that you feel some freedom in being able to walk out your door. Awe and relief were feelings I had when my Mom passed in January after years of short term memory loss. I pray to imitate your and Wyndham’s faith and courage as I now face my journey with pancreatic cancer. Thank you for always pointing me to God with your words and thank you for your generous, open heart to share with and bless so many of. I love you forever and will keep all of you in prayer.

    Like

  15. Jeanie,
    I have been praying for you and your family every since I found out about Wyndham’s passing. I can so relate to everything you just wrote. My husband passed 4 years ago after his fight with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He suffered greatly as well, and was faithful to the very end. He, like Wyndham, finished strong. I’m grateful for your thoughts this morning. If there is anything I might help you with, please contact me ~ I started a widow’s group here which has been so encouraging. We are all in different stages of our grief and it has helped us all to be able to share our thoughts, feelings, and challenges. Even though we know our husbands aren’t suffering any longer and they aren’t living by faith any longer (which is very comforting), the pain of the loss is still something we have to go through ~ and like you stated, it is one day at a time, and some days it is a matter of just putting one foot in front of the other. I am so thankful for the friends and family that I’m surrounded by, a precious gift of God!!!
    With deep love, Lyn Fulcher

    Like

  16. Jeanie I have only met you once… right before I spoke to the women in St Louis at the Reach conference in “The View” section. You were so loving and encouraging to me… I will always remember that moment. You were an angel sent to help me be calm and deliver my “Ted Talks” exactly the way I wanted. You were a beacon of light for me, just as I know you and Wyndham have been for so many. Thank you for sharing your life through this difficult time. You are paving the way for so many of us who have not had death confront our faith as of yet. I know it’s coming. It scares me, but knowing there are faithful women moving through it day by day, victoriously, gives me hope that I and many others will be able to do the same. Please know we are praying for you and your family!
    Love, Robin Wadsworth
    Los Angeles

    Like

  17. Dear Jeanie, your emotions are so tender. I am so thankful that you shared them. All of my memories of you both are in the late 70s and early 80s. Both you and Wyndham taught me how to live a life of thanksgiving and how to build a married life pleasing to God. I can’t forget the perfect humor at the perfect time! My prayers have included you and your family, as you take it One. Day. At. A. Time. I love you and I am keeping you in our prayers.❤❤

    Like

  18. We will continue praying for you and your family through this heart-wrenching time—for the peace and comfort that only our great God and Daddy can give. I have been inspired by your “Wisdom with Wyndham” posts. Thank you for your vulnerability and your sharing spirit. The ripple effect of it all, you’ll probably never know, but I’m sure God will have it reach far and wide for years to come. We will all be on this very difficult journey of losing a lifetime love that we can never truly be prepared for, but I believe that’s also because our God is a merciful and kind Father. Thank you for helping to digest just a bit of the bitter pain that is death, while also comforting us with the peace that comes from a submissive and strong faith. May all of the prayers going up for you and your family strengthen and comfort you. I’m sure there are many.🙏🏻💖

    Like

  19. Beautifully written, Jeanie, about a beautiful life lived before thousands, and enhanced by your writing about that life. Wyndham touched so many through his, and thanks to your writing, many more through your writing. His beautiful life, combined with your own, was reproduced in your family and certainly affected so many others of us in your spiritual family. Saying that his life was one well lived, which are great words often used at times like this, would fall far short of describing his life. Your written words through these last years helped us see that his belonged in a different category, one attained by few. Thank you!

    Like

  20. We are sobbing riding down the backroads off Florida, reading this. You have been such a soldier, Jeanie, so brave, one got in front of the other. I pray you can rest now. Now we will sing…

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  21. Jeanie, thank you for being so vulnerable in sharing this intimate journey of Wyndham’s life. I am in tears Heartbroken for you and your family, sharing in your grief and yet rejoicing in the victory. Your example of faith, trust, perseverance inspire me. Eddie and I will continue praying for your family as you adjust to a new norm. With love and respect dear sister. 😔❤️🙏🏼

    Like

  22. Jeanne, my heart goes out to you and your family. Thank you for this wonderful tribute to Wyndham and the life you both lived. I too loss my husband 2 yrs ago after nursing him back to health only to have the disease come back. The grief journey is different for everyone but I pray you give yourself all you need and all the time you need – it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. We are grateful for fir the path you planted in Charlotte (our first visit was your last day before going to Boston).

    May God continue to bless and comfort you. 2Cor 1:3-5

    Like

  23. Thank you for your beautiful words. Your vulnerability and faith during this time has been so inspiring! May God continue to comfort you as you comfort others with your gift.

    Like

  24. Jeanie,
    Thanks so much for sharing and masterfully writing this discourse on what the last week has been and the passing of my dear friend. I have been sad and wept when you told be he had gone to be with papa. But reading this today unlocked all the emotions that have have kept bottled up till now. I needed that and appreciate your gentle prompting to get in touch with how much I loved Wyndham and will miss him. I have had you in my heart, been on my thoughts and are constantly in my prayers. As much as I appreciate all you shared about Wyndham, I think a few words of sharing about Jeanie would be good as well. You have been amazing through this. I have been so impressed with how you have handled these past few years with grace and courage. You have remained joyful through it all. You have served Wyndham and your family through it all. You not only took care of all of us, you took care of yourself as I have watched you take it deeper with your own relationship with God, even going back to school to help understand better what it means to be a spirit led and empowered person. I know this has not been easy. I know there were times you probably did not know how you could get through another day. But you have masterfully navigated this and I admire you all the more for it. You remind me so much of a ‘female version’ of your dad, the same effervescent smile and demeanor, deep convictions and courage to say what was on his mind and heart. Yet you bring a warmth to that courage, and have been a ‘mom’ to so many as Wyndham was a ‘dad’. Thank you for showing all of us how we can love, support, be joyful, be courageous, take it deeper, make the most of a terrible situation, keep family together, be a caretaker, continue to laugh with life and be an amazing wife through it all. You have all my love and respect, your brother and friend, Mark

    Like

  25. So breathtaking Jeanie. Tears came as I related to all the beauty and sorrow of letting go. Your story reminds me of the many journeys I have made in letting go (mom, dad, my sister, other relatives, friends). I read a book after my dad’s death (making me a mid-life orphan) that talked about how that closure caused people to realize this is their time to make a difference. In their research study, they found many hatched new dreams, made bold steps, thinking I’m up next…this is my time to establish whatever legacy I will leave behind. Can’t wait to see all God does through you as you move boldly into this next stage, ever mourning, planting in tears, yet reaping new avenues of service and effectiveness. No doubt, Wyndham will be cheering you and your family on as part of your Heavenly great cloud of witnesses. Sending a prayer and a hug! Robin

    Like

  26. Thank you so much for sharing your full journey with us! Many disciples are entering this phase of life. Your love for Christ, humilty, words of wisdom are great examples for all of God’s people. We will continue to pray for you and your family as well!
    Your sister in Christ

    Like

  27. Jeanie, what a beautiful piece and tribute to Wyndham, who was so loved and cared for prior to his making his way to the doorway of eternity. I am praying for you and your family. May God’s peace comfort you and Wyndham’s memory sustain you.

    Like

  28. I will always remember Wyndham for his kind loving spirit. He was so encouraging. You and your family have been in my prayers. I am grateful for your wisdom. May God bless you Jeanie. Thank you for sharing. Love Sondria

    Like

  29. This is so beautifully written. You have a wonderful gift of putting your heart into words! I love you so much! You and Wyndham are always in my heart! My prayers are with you!

    Like

  30. Jeanie – I have been praying for you and your family. I am so grateful for all Wyndham have meant to the Kingdom of God. I continually treasure the time we spent in Boston with you. In January it will be 2 years since Joe passed. I love you heart and faithfulness to God and to Wyndham. You will have no regrets as his beloved wife and caretaker. Please seek Grief Share and Grief Counseling as you gently move forward to your new norm. I pray that you take time to grieve and take care of yourself and your family. I ask God to be your encourager one day at a time. Love you forever. Dora Lynne

    Like

  31. Dearest Jeanie,
    Thank you for sharing your life, the good and the hard, with so many. Your example is worthy of imitation and will be a light to so many who will travel similar roads as we journey through this life. I know that you have been simply living your life out loud and not necessarily venturing to teach us how to gracefully accept the ups and downs of this earthly life, but you have been such an example to me and many. I love and respect you and am praying for your peace and comfort.

    Barbara Owens

    Like

  32. Thank you, Jeannie, for this beautiful insight, as well as all the others you have shared.You have allowed us to grow with you through your Wednesdays. I am sorry for this great sadness in your life, but confident God has used you and Wyndham through it all.
    Please, when you can, continue to write.

    Like

  33. Jeanie, thank you for sharing the inner sanctuary of these moments from yours and Wyndham’s lives. We are all blessed because you not only shared but showed us how to be ready when the time comes for us all to be strong and courageous. I will miss my friend and find comfort knowing he is with our Lord. Until we see him again know that we are here for you and your entire clan…even the dogs. Love you!!!

    Like

  34. Dearest Jeanie, thank you and Wyndham for allowing all of us to be a part of this journey over the last five years. You have so beautifully shared your heart and soul throughout this time. We love you and will continue to pray for you and the family. May God cover you with His love and comfort now and in the days to come.

    Like

  35. Jeanie-No words adequate to express how very sorry I am for your broken heart! Saying that WTS was an extremely good man is a huge understatement. I have read your post each week and prayed prayers for each of your children, your grands, and you! God has used each of you through this journey! And Wyndham, just like in his daily walk, but more so in his suffering and in his death has taught me and many how to be. Thank you for journaling out loud for all of us to read and glean and feel a part of your lives in spite of the many miles.
    The Shaw’s are loved deeply by Lenahen’s!
    💚Helen

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s