So many times when tragedy strikes, we cry out, “Why me, God? Why ME?”
It’s easy to confuse personal hardship, especially death, as a punishment from the Almighty, but if we look just past the pain, we can sometimes see the beautiful picture of redemption being painted in our midst.
Such was the case for Steve Ullmer and Erin Stoffel, a widower and a widow brought together through the most unlikely of circumstances.
Steve shared his story of love and loss with Love What Matters, and now his inspiring story has taken the web by storm.
He began by sharing the chain of events that led him to marry his gorgeous first wife Wendy, and the fateful night that took her away from him:
“Wendy and I met in high school. We did the whole long-distance thing all through college. I’m still not sure how our relationship survived those days. She loved me despite myself. Despite the pain I caused her. She taught me what unconditional love meant. Her selfless nature would come to define her among those whose lives she intersected. She stuck with me while I nearly destroyed my life with alcohol and drugs. But grace invaded my world when I wasn’t expecting it. God got my attention at the age of 22, and I gave my life to Him. Everything changed. I asked Wendy to be my wife two weeks later, and we were married the following year.”
Photo Credit: Amy Fiedler Photography
Nearly 13 years had passed, and life was good. The Ullmers had a strong marriage, four beautiful boys, and they had just moved into a new house.
Little did Steve know, the fateful night that he would hear his wife take her last breath was fast approaching.
“I don’t know why I woke up that night,” recalled Steve. “I looked over at her, sleeping, hair spread out across her pillow. Peaceful. Beautiful. My wife.”