Faith & Family

The things of God are made to last

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Kathi Van Eepoel

My marriage to Gus was made to last until death parted us. My marriage to God is made to last forever. My relationship with God was strengthened and grew through my 30-plus years of marriage to Gus. We each brought to the covenant of marriage our individual strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes; but above all else, the spirit of the Lord united us together, and through a profound mystery, we became one flesh, fashioned for His good purposes.

Marriage points us to our eternal, perfect relationship with God. But it is also a crucible, one that refines us on a daily basis.

Prior to his death, Gus and I had a marriage that strived to put God at the head. We tried to make every decision together, after praying and hearing from God. There were instances when we both heard the same thing, but for some reason (perhaps our imperfection) we didn’t move forward and God allowed us to suffer the consequences of “missing out” on something He had for us. 

Now, since Gus’s death, when I pray, I am much more inclined to move forward quickly because the only other person I have to consider or consult is God. The prior habits have made my new reality much easier to navigate; the familiar patterns have not been lost. Just one piece of the consulting team has been removed.

The physical absence of my husband is the same as a loss of an extremity. No hand to hold, no shoulder to lean on, no smile to return. Walks, movies, and dinners all require more effort. Things I took for granted, I wish to be able to have a “do over.” Being ill or injured brings its own reminder of the significance of loss to “myself, my one flesh.” All of these voids are able to be filled to a certain degree. Yet, each is also a reminder of the loss of a part of myself.

My solace, my comfort in these moments, is God. Through songs, remembered scripture, and a physical awareness of His presence, He is faithful. He is the God of all comfort, a verb. He is my solace, a noun.

I’m still here in the life that together, Gus, me, and God, created. God is turning the pages of my life and He hands me the crayon box. I get to choose the colors — dark and dreary or bright and vibrant — the choice is mine. I can resist His comfort and solace, or I can turn and receive it, moment by moment.


Until death us do part. My marriage to Gus is over, but my marriage to God is not and never will be. Perhaps that is why life without my spouse doesn’t “feel” so different.

Gus has gone on to eternal perfection with God, a goal we shared, and one that I am still in the process of attaining. Gus is already complete, joined together with God in the perfect union. I rejoice in knowing that he has arrived, he finished his race, and he is experiencing rest. I will see him again, we will smile, and our eyes will connect. We will both be whole and complete in God.

And that will last forever.

Retired nurse and hospice volunteer, Kathi Van Eepoel, who has lived in Franklin since 2023, attends Discover Church services and a women’s Bible study. She and her husband, Gus, were married for 32 years. Her husband died in 2020.