For I know the plans I have for you declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.   Jeremiah 29:11

I spend a lot of time hiking which allows me quiet time to think.  As I climb over rocks and roots watching rivers rush by I reflect and think.  I have noticed something lately that is yet another layer to my grief.  I do not think about or plan the future.  I think this is because my late husband and I had mapped out our future together well into our senior years.  We had planned the lifestyle we would live while our kids were teens, the type of grandparents we would be, the options of where we would be living in retirement, activities we would do in retirement and eventually how awesome it would be to be “that couple” in the retirement home, still flirting and excited that our meals were always cooked for us.  We then joked about haunting each other after we died, and then one day continuing our marriage in heaven.

A simple comment about needing the odd baby equipment for when I am a grandparent brought a deep sadness that I had to push away.  I can’t think that far into future without instantly being triggered.  The one meant to share those plans with me won’t be here.   He should have been here!

I am an optimist and have always looked at life as half full so I don’t always look to the future with dread any more like I did in the early days of my grief.   However, I find now I just can’t bring myself to think about any future plans beyond dreaming of holidays or adventures.  I never could have imagined I needed to be planning to be widowed at 40.

Reflecting on this has made me aware yet again of just how many aspects of my life have changed with widowhood.  Nothing is the same anymore, Widow Life is Hard.  Everything has changed from my mental health, to how I raise my kids, to how I interact with people, how I handle stress, how I view the world, my fears, my finances, my friend group, my hobbies, my lifestyle, my sleep patterns and daily routines.  I also struggle to be able to visualize the future. I am not done figuring any of these changes out.  My life continues to be changing.  I continue to change in all these areas.  I am still very much learning how to be on my own.

I think sometimes my brain is still trying to figure out how this could be possible.  In a month and one week it will be three years.   Yet there are days I still can’t believe Chad isn’t here.  How is it possible that I am here trying to live our life and he isn’t?

I notice people more now than I did prior.  I have never been a “people watcher” but now I see them and am in awe of them now.  So much brokenness in our world yet people continue to live.  As I see people going through life, I wonder the reason for it all.  Why am I still here?  Why are they?  Who does God step in and prolong earthly life for and who does he not?  What is the purpose God must have set out for me that allows me to still be here?  In a world so full of pain and brokenness what role does suffering play as God refines His people?

So many questions left unanswered as I try to heal and figure out life after it was hijacked by cancer.  How is someone suppose to plan any kind of future when the original plan was stolen and all that is left in its wake is uncertainty?

I have decided I am not meant to plan the future or need to have any idea what it might hold.  I just need to hold on to the ONE who does.  Trust that despite my brokenness in a broken world I don’t need to have anything figured out but just be willing to go where He calls me.  God holds my future so in that I give up my need to know and can relax.  Filled with His peace.


Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10



Tanya Christians met her soul mate during her final year of university in Spring 1999. Although she was only 21 at the time it didn’t take long to know that this guy was the one. Chad Christians was charismatic, adventurous, confident, gorgeous and incredibly kind. He was a talented athlete who made everyone feel better the minute he entered a room. Deeply loved by everyone who knew him, Tanya always felt incredibly blessed that he chose her. Chad had a 2-year-old son when Tanya met him so once they moved in together in 2001, Tanya became a part time step mom. They were married July 2004 and then had 3 children together; a daughter in 2006, a son in 2007 and a second daughter in 2010. They built a beautiful life together in a close-knit acreage community.
Chad was a successful business owner and Tanya happily gave up teaching to stay home and raise their kids. They were incredibly happy.

In 2015, Tanya returned to work as a teacher, first part time because their youngest was in kindergarten and then full time when she was in grade one. It was June of this year that everything shattered. The life Tanya thanked God for several times a week came crashing down. Chad had been having severe back pain which led to his gall bladder being removed. After that surgery, Chad’s intense back pain was still more than he could stand. He had
been seeking medical attention for his pain since February but it wasn’t until June 11th, 2017 that the answer to the pain was found. A moment forever etched into Tanya’s mind. Chad had terminal, stage 4 gall bladder cancer. Despite being told the odds, Chad fought this cancer with everything he had, even seeking private treatment out of country, but it was just too aggressive. To everyone’s devastation Chad passed away 3.5 months later at the age of 41. When Chad moved into the different hospitals, shortly after diagnosis, Tanya moved in with him. She was by his side every moment as his health started deteriorating very quickly. Tanya’s strong faith in God gave her peace and hope during this horrendous time. She started a small, private blog telling her story during the endless hours of living in a hospital. Reading other widows blogs during this time gave her hope as well that possibly she could figure out how to live without her beloved Chad.

Chad passed away September 19th, 2017 at the age of 41. Tanya still lives on their small acreage, is working full time as a grade 6 teacher, has three kids in sports and activities and tries to stay connected to her community.
Tanya hopes sharing her story of how she is choosing to build a life where she and her kids thrive, despite her devastation, will give others hope too. How being intentional with her healing, taking steps of self care, adventures with and without her kids, staying connected to those who love them and a deep faith in God is helping them all to live a whole-hearted chapter 2 of their lives.

You can find Tanya on Instagram @christianstanya and her personal blog