Matthew Weimer conveys life lessons
In the fall of 2014, Campus elementary teacher Matthew Weimer’s wife, Heidi, passed away from cancer. At the time, he was my 8th grade English teacher and had been my fourth grade teacher as well.
Even after several tragic incidents in his family, Matthew Weimer trusts there is a plan for his life. Through the pain, he realizes he can not change his circumstances, and endeavors to seek the best in every opportunity.
“I remember praying, ‘God, I’m already hurting, would you take this and use every drop of pain for something good? Would you make good out of this place you’ve asked me to walk,’” Weimer said. “There are people that have said, ‘Watching you do this is encouraging,’ and that’s a little bit hard because there’s a part of me that says, ‘I don’t want to hurt, I don’t want to do this and I don’t care who it encourages.’
“But the other side of is that I can’t change what happened,” Weimer continued. “I can’t change that my wife passed away and I can’t change that my daughter had a life threatening illness that we didn’t have any idea about until the X-ray. I can’t change those things, but the part I can control is what I do and whether I’m going to be for them what they need, and for my students what they need. Bottom line is either I’m going to do it or I’m not. Either my faith is real and the things that God says are true, or they’re not.”
Mr. Weimer shared a story of a time when God helped him through the process. About a week before his wife passed away, his daughter Jenna had come home. At that time, God sent Weimer an entire conversation in the blink of an eye.
“I think at key times God shared things and made it easier,” Weimer said. “Basically, he asked me, ‘Do you remember Friday night?’ Friday night we had gone to pick up Jenna at the airport, and my response was ‘Of course I do.’ I realized that just like I was excited to see Jenna come home, God was excited to see Heidi come home and that He had been waiting for her.
“Also in that instant, there was this idea that my job was to carry her to the threshold and then hand her over,” Weimer continued. “And that was really helpful for me to have something to do, because watching someone die, if you have nothing to do, is like being dragged through glass. But if I had a job, it made it easier. I think God was very good to prepare me like that.”
Through the process, Weimer and his family received advice from friends and other relatives. He shares a couple pieces of counseling that helped most.
“People always talk about taking one day at a time, but when you’re hurting really hard, one day at a time is too far in advance,” Weimer said. “It’s really like one second, or one minute at a time. Then you build from there.”
I guess there’s a lot of choices in life and I can choose a lot of different things but there’s really only one good choice. That is that you believe that God equips, He is sovereign and He reigns over what happens. You trust him and you walk with Him–you walk where you have light to walk. If He said He would be with me and not leave me, then He will be with me and will not leave me. — Matthew Weimer
“The other thing that’s been really helpful is something someone I used to work with said, which was, ‘perfect is the enemy of the good,’” Weimer said. “I think he meant that if you are always striving for perfection, and you can’t quite attain it, sometimes you quit trying when good would be better than not trying at all.
“My life is not perfect,” Weimer said. “It’s not what I imagined, it’s not what I built for, and yet there’s a lot of good in it and there’s a lot of good to be had. If I will let go of my ideals and what seems perfect to me and be willing to accept the good, then there’s a lot worth fighting for.”
Along with counseling from people around him, Weimer shares a couple Bible verses that he read often. Isaiah 54:11-17 and chapter 64 talk about the afflicted city of Israel. Those passages help Weimer believe that God is not finished yet, has not abandoned him and that He will rebuild him and his family, but within His time and with the materials He chooses. Another piece of advice Weimer has held onto is the phrase “This too shall pass.”
“The hard times that people are going through will pass,” Weimer said. “Some of them are going to take longer, but if you just keep walking, you will get somewhere good. If God says He will provide, He will. If He says to trust him, the best thing you can do is to trust Him and keep walking and look for the good along the way. There’s a lot of joy to be found if you don’t miss the little things along the way.”
While Weimer has been given advice by others, his journey has bestowed upon him difficult life lessons. Through his struggles, he has seen opportunities to minister to others going through similar situations appear more often.
“No matter what, even if the worst thing you could imagine happened, you will be okay because you have hope, a future and a God who promises to be with you,” Weimer said. “It sounds cavalier, but no matter what, even if the mountains were to fall into the sea, everything will be okay. That’s something that I’ve learned the hard way. If you do have to hurt, allow Him to squeeze every drop of good out of that pain. God orchestrates and He does all the things He says He will do.”
“I guess there’s a lot of choices in life and I can choose a lot of different things but there’s really only one good choice,” Weimer continued. “That is that you believe that God equips, He is sovereign and He reigns over what happens. You trust him and you walk with Him–you walk where you have light to walk. If He said He would be with me and not leave me, then He will be with me and will not leave me.”
Weimer’s story is difficult, but people everyday go through burdensome situations. Weimer’s outlook is one that can be adopted when going through unfortunate circumstances.
For more articles, read Fikse displays perseverance on the court and Renowned journalist David Epstein lectures at SJV Town Hall@thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.
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