My Westwood

Honoring God. Loving People. Stories at Westwood.

God's Got This

Published February 15, 2017

Jane Held Sometimes it takes being completely at the end of your rope to realize you need to just turn everything over to God in prayer. For Jane Held that time was two years ago.

When Jane and her husband Bob divorced after 17 years of marriage, they made an agreement. If one of them ever got sick and didn’t have anyone in their lives at that time, the other would step in to care for them. At the time, that situation seemed very unlikely. Eight years later Bob was diagnosed with ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes paralysis and ultimately respiratory failure.

Without hesitation, Jane became Bob’s caregiver. Although he initially had mobility, the disease quickly took its toll on his body. Jane realized from a legal and medical standpoint, being an ex-spouse precluded her from making decisions on his behalf and limited the access to information she’d be given. Jane and Bob got remarried.

Jane took care of him for 18 months before his death on June 25, 2014. 

“That time was such a gift. I hate to say the disease was a blessing. That just sounds cliché, but it really was for both of us. We had remained friends after the divorce, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t hurt feelings and things that needed forgiveness. We had the chance to talk through everything. We both got the resolution we needed,” she said.

When Bob passed away, Jane’s life went from what she called “a full plate” to a “full table.” Jane found herself exhausted and overwhelmed. Between the two of them they owned four houses, she had a career choice looming, and she was faced with the decision whether to relocate closer to family in Minnesota. She didn’t know where to even start, and she couldn’t sleep.

“As humans we try to handle everything on our own. I realized I needed to take it right to God. I read devotionals each night and prayed each day. I literally told God He needed to help with this mess. I felt like God was saying to me ‘Wait until you see what I’m going to do. Trust me.’ So I did.”

The months that followed brought one obstacle after another as she prepared to get the houses ready for sale. Her mother passed away a year and a half later. “At times I felt like hanging out in a pity pool because I was here all alone managing everything, but God kept saying ‘I got this.’ Some of the best times I had were lying in bed talking to God asking him for strength.”

The Bible verse that she kept focused on was Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

God worked all the details of Jane’s life out. The houses all sold, and she moved from Chicago to Eden Prairie. She had visited Westwood before and made the decision to get involved in volunteering in several areas where she felt her talents could be used. In January, she will become a member.

Jane looks back on the last few years with gratitude for all she’s learned. “  The biggest lesson I learned through all of this is to just lean on God. When you really do that, you get His best for you. His timing on everything is perfect.”


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