Whether or not you are widowed, feeling alone or lonely is a natural emotion. It’s hard to separate our needs with what God has for us. Do we allow God to provide for us? Is He truly going to take care of all of our needs?!
In 2 Kings 4, the story is of the widow who goes to the temple to bring her money, but she has none and the creditors are coming to take her sons. All she has is a small jar of olive oil which she was instructed to sell. She collects all she has and can find, and had enough to pay off her debts and keep her sons. This widow was down and out and had no idea what to do! Normally her late husband would take care if this. She had felt so alone – now what was she going to do?
Throughout scripture there are many promises of God being with us each step of the way. In Isaiah 40:31 (NIV) it reads: But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint. I do believe this widow believed God would be with her each step of the way after this experience.
Oh, how our lives change when we become widows or perhaps you have found that with other big changes in your life as well! We certainly find out who our true friends are don’t we?! Unless someone has actually walked down the journey you are walking, they do not understand. Many have good intentions but often do not think first before they speak. Scripture even talks about this. In Proverbs 18:24 (NIV): There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Each loss is different whether it is a spouse, parent, sibling, child, grandchild or dear friend. A word of advice, even though it may be difficult, perhaps just nod your head and excuse yourself.
Do you remember when you were first married? It seems like your single friends often took the back seat. Once you were married, you began doing things with your married friends as you had more in common with them. As a ‘couple’ you now bounced thing off of one another to agree on what you were going to do. We often were referred to as ‘Dan’s wife or Naomi’s husband’. As scripture says, two become one. If you were married long enough, you thought alike. Perhaps many of you had friends, family or even your own children (if you had children together), would comment how much you have changed now that you are alone.
Yes, you have changed as you have had to change. Prior, you were a team and now you are single. Things do change and we need to change along with that, or we will sink. This also becomes a coping mechanism to help you get through this journey.
Many of our friends will stay, but others will not for many reasons. They feel like they do not belong, they feel uncomfortable being you are now widowed and things have changed being you are no longer a team. Miriam Neff explains how scripture lists the word friend three different ways in scripture. They are:
- One who loves – Proverbs 17:9 (NKJV) He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends. They will love us unselfishly and just keep showing up.
- One who is a companion or partner – Proverbs 18:24 (NIV) which reads: There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Be careful with these friends as they may tend to take advantage of you.
- One who persuades or influences – Proverbs 14:20 (NIV) The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends. They tend to gain personal information that will harm you in the long run.
God will heal us during our time of sorrow! So much of the book of Psalms is so reassuring. In Psalms 147:3 (NIV) it reads: He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Aren’t you glad for these promises? Each of our journeys is a little different, but His promise is the same for each of us. He will heal our wounds in his timing…
This journey may be difficult but with God’s help, he will help you with each day! Be patient with yourself! There will be those who think you should be over your loss within six months but for many it can take a couple of years. God’s timing is perfect! In 1 Peter 5:10 (NLT) it reads: In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So, after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.
God’s blessings to each of you as you walk this journey. May He direct you to find the friends to help you along the way.