But some dreams do

Last week I said that not all dreams come true.  Susan and I dreamed of growing old together.  She had some very specific details to her version of that dream, including what I would be wearing (cardigan sweaters) and where we would live (a house with a kitchen like Meryl Streep’s character in It’s Complicated).  She dreamed of watching the kids go to proms, college, find their calling, and get married.  She looked forward to them growing into godly and passionate teens and then adults.

Today, though, I read something Susan wrote, and it reminded me that she believed that many of her dreams had already come true.  It floored me.

What she said reminded me that many of mine came true too:

-I found the love of my life at Chapel Hill, our favorite place on earth

-She said “yes!” to me one night on a windy North Carolina beach

-We had 15 amazingly happy years of marriage together

-We had 3 beautiful children together, each of whom remind me so much of her

-We bought our first and second houses together

-We co-labored in ministry together for every one of those years

-We laughed a lot more than we cried

The list could go on and on.  If there’s anything you take from this, let it be to think about what dreams you have dreamed that have already come true, or are true for you right now.  Take time to celebrate those things, to appreciate them in one another, to say what you need to say and not wait until tomorrow.

It’s true, we aren’t promised the fairy-tale ending (or the awesomely-expansive and laid-out kitchen in that movie) – but we do have blessings everywhere.  Not noticing them and thanking God is both foolish and ungrateful.

Thanks Susan, for reminding me of that today.



16 Responses to “But some dreams do”

  1. sherrie cockram Says:

    Sometimes dreams come true sooner than later. There has to be a reason why Susan was taken from this earth sooner. She is missed & will be missed.

  2. Lori Yearick Says:

    Thank you for continuing to write & update your blog. I check daily for what you write. The grace and strength you write with reminds me of her – always filled with grace and strength!!!! What a beautiful testament to your life with her. Her death and your comments have ignited a depth of soul searching within myself that I have never before experienced.

    Thank you for sharing with everyone.

    Lori Yearick

  3. Missy Says:

    Thanks for posting that Jerel! I needed to hear that today, so thank you!

  4. Michelle Harrison Says:

    Jerel, I wanted to attend the visitation, but I was taking care of my son Cameron who had just had a painful dental procedure. My thoughts and prayers were with you that evening and I knew Susan would understand being the devoted mother she was. I just love this post! It is so true and reminds me of something I posted previously….some people search their whole life for their earthly true love and their heavenly true love. You and Susan found both. I pray your pain will soon be replaced by your cherished memories. Please know as the days and weeks pass by, prayers and thoughts continue to flow from all of us.

  5. Steve Stemmer Says:

    Thank you for your post. I lost my Susan last year before Christmas. Everything you wrote about honoring and remembering what we had together stays with me and makes smile and appreciate what good there is in this world. Most of all for giving us our beautiful daughter Sam (Bailey’s friend). My heartfelt blessings to you and your family.


    • susanlaw Says:

      Hey Steve – I met your daughter at the fifth grade retreat (I was a parent volunteer there). I’ve thought about you, and her, often these last few months. And wondered what it was like to go through this kind of loss. I’m sure we’ll meet at some point. Thanks for posting and thinking of us during this time.


  6. Melissa Durham Says:

    Thank you Jerel for sharing this today with us…and you are right we need to do that and you reminded me of that after reading this. You and Susan are and were a great inspiration to me and my family in ways that you don’t know!!! So thank you for sharing while you go through this time of grieving!


  7. Stephanie Larson Graham Says:

    Thank you for reminding us a what servant of the Lord you and Susan both are to look for the best in everything you are given and not look for more. We are all given gifts from God that make our dreams complete. I too have a wonderful husband and 3 beautiful children and my dreams are so fulfilled with them. Gob has given us great dreams and has given us an angel in Susan to watch over all of us and to make sure that we all keep dreaming! God Bless you and prayers will continue for you and the kids. My heart breaks for them but I know from losing my mom that she is their angel like my mom has been mine!

  8. Addison Ayer Says:

    Susan’s service was beautiful….just like her. The music played & sung, the words shared by those who loved her so, the hymns chosen, the prayers offered….all were beautiful…just like Susan. All honored your incredible wife and all gave glory to God. Susan would be proud.

    Our family continues to think about you and pray for you and your whole family daily. Thanks for continuing to reach out to us through these blog posts. The fact that you have so much hope and stand so firm in your faith in the midst of your grief is nothing but faith-changing for all of us.

    I came across this Scripture yesterday and wanted to share it with you:

    And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (I Peter 5:10)

    May you continue to be comforted by the memories of Susan and your wonderful life together. May you be blessed by the love and support of your many friends and devoted family. And, may God’s grace continue to cover you all during this difficult time.

  9. Julie Martin Says:

    Such great perspective for us all, Jerel. Thank you!

  10. Donna Cameli Says:

    What a beautiful post from a grieving husband. You both have prodded me to be a better person. I am thankful for Susan’s and your insight. Knowing now that she is whole and has flown safely into the arms of her God, and praying for your family’s healing.

  11. Bert Mims (Susan Weather's Mom) Says:

    Having known Susan through my daughter, Susan Weathers, and Bailey through my granddaughter, Hannah, I grew to love Susan and her family and have kept your family on my prayer list the past years and especially the past year. I have participated in many breast cancer fundraisers because of Susan. You have been on many prayer lists in Burlington.

    I want you to know how much I appreciate this website and hope that you will continue to share your love of Christ. Your writings are like a daily devotion to many of us.

    I will continue to keep you and ALL of your family in my prayers.


    Bert Mims

  12. Scarlett Westmoreland Says:


    I was the director of Weekday WeeSchool at First Baptist when Bailey and Christopher were enrolled there for preschool and got to know Susan very briefly during that time. I’m a member of First Baptist, so, know Bill and Martha, also. I was aware of Susan’s diagnosis and have prayed for her over the years. Thank you for such encouraging words at such a very difficult time. I have read your blogs over the last few weeks, and have been so inspired by Susan’s peace and your strength through this ordeal. My children, Jason – who is 11 – and who kinda remembers Bailey from WWS, and Ashley, who is 13, pray for you and the children nightly. May God richly bless you and your children and what a comfort to know that such a sweet angel will always be watching over you and them.

    Scarlett Westmoreland

  13. Leigh Vlasblom Says:

    Jerel, thanks for showing us everyday how to turn grief
    into glory! Stand tall and strong…

  14. Ida McGinnis Says:

    We have know Martha and Bill for about 10 years and are in
    their Sunday School Class at First Baptist. I did not know Susan
    personally, however your post have given encouragement to many of
    us. I have forwarded your post to our Sunday School class and have
    been aware of Susans condition and kept up to date about her
    progress through Martha and Bill. We have prayed for her and your
    family since Susan became ill. God has given you a gift of writing
    and expression of your personal feelings many (especially men) do
    not have the ability to do orally much less in writing. Thank you
    for taking the time to write and inform everyone and may God grant
    you healing from your loss through your writings. Ida

  15. Misty Dove Says:


    That was so beautiful! Thank you so much for continuing to post. Posting helped me get through my initial grieving process and I am sure that it will be therapeutic for you as well. Still praying for you guys….

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