Bored – Sad – Happy

It seems that we are often bored and need to figure out how we are going to move forward.  Just remember it takes time and often we need to figure that out!  Each of us handles this a bit differently.  Being involved with a widow group helps us to work through this.   Job 8:21 reads: “He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.”  What a great promise! 

Chuck Swindoll has said, “Laughter is the most beautiful and beneficial therapy God ever granted humanity.”  How do we get to the point that we can smile and have laughter as part of our daily life again?

Sadness is such a big part of grief.  We often wonder if we will ever be happy again. As we think about those we loved, these memories will help us heal and once again laugh.   Proverbs 14:13 reads: “Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains.”

I am aware that often it is easier to seclude oneself as we are feeling so alone.  My prayer is that you have a couple good friends that are watching over you at this time.  This may also be a good time to journal or keep notes on what you are doing or going through.  If you find you are isolating yourself quite often, I may suggest making an appointment with a grief counselor, meet with your pastor, priest, or rabbi.  Another idea may be to talk with your doctor.   Each of us handles this type of stress differently.  Pay attention to your body.  Our bodies have a way of letting us know that our emotions are affecting our bodies.

For any of you who I refer to as seasoned widows, perhaps keep an eye open to someone who has just lost a loved one.  This may be a spouse, a child, a parent, a sibling, or a good friend.  God does have a promise for us all.  Proverbs 31:25-26 which reads:   She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.  The day will come when joy and laughter in our lives again!

In my early years of widowhood, I often felt like I had a fake smile.  It was easier to have a fake smile than a sad face then be asked what was wrong.  Ever felt that way?  As I began to heal, I was able to talk about what I had gone through and how I was working through it.  There are a lot of great books on widowhood to read to help you.  These are just a few that you may want to check out:

With time joy, will come in the morning.  Luke 6: 21 promises:  Blessed are ye that hunger now: for you shall be filled.   Blessed are ye that weep now; for ye shall laugh.  As I often say, be patient with yourself.  We will always miss those we have loved and lost.  The time will come when you will once again laugh, be not so bored and not so sad.

Blessings to each of you.  May you feel God’s arms wrapped around you!

Love – Guilt – Loss?

It seems with the holidays behind us, and spring around the corner (or let’s hope it is really around the corner), this time of year gives us time to reflect.  We reflect on the good times we have had and things we may be looking forward to.  What do you or I want to do going forward?  What are we holding onto from the past that we need to let go of?

When we have lost someone, we love, sometimes it seems we think there was more we could have done.  Or things we wished they would have said more often. Many of you have been blessed with amazing marriages.  Others really had to work at it.  Still others, there marriages seemed like a roller coaster ride.  No matter what your marriage was, we probably all have a few regrets.  Along with a lot of great memories.  Try your best to remember the good times. 

 Micah 7:19 reads: “…He will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities, and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Let them go because you have been forgiven.  To me this says, God forgives us no matter what we have gone through in our lives.  We definitely are not perfect here on earth but someday, when we get to heaven, we will be.  We can not undo what we wish we would not have done…

Every once in a while, I ask widows how they handle this.  The answers are different but often the same.  It just depends on their marriages.  One thing I love to hear is when they decide to do things that they enjoyed doing together even though they are no longer together.  Many travel with new friends or alone.  Others will get involved with things that they wished they would have before, but their spouse didn’t like to do. While others get involved with volunteering. 

Something I rely on is found in Isaiah 50:7 which reads: “Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.”  My thought is, God has been there for me before and will be with me again.   With that being said, that doesn’t mean life will always be wonderful.   I have said many times, just put one foot in front of the other and eventually it does get easier.  We will always miss the loves of our life and that seems to be a given. 

Others have shared with me that their spouse loved butterflies or birds.  It seems when they are missing them or wishing they were close by, all of the sudden a bird or butterfly will be nearby.  A friend of mine, her husband loved yellow butterflies.  If one stopped on a flower on her deck, she would say something like ‘Hey Steve thanks for thinking of me today’ and then go on about her business.

 I totally understand how lonely it can be and there are days it is ok to feel sorry for yourself.  However, keep tabs on yourself as to how often you may feel this way.  It depends on how you are feeling and where is God during these times.  Rest in Christ that he will be with you as he says in Romans 8:1 “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  He is with us even when we think he isn’t! 

When times are tough, please reach out to someone who has walked down this same journey as you are.  Things may be different between you but they are often very similar.  Join a widow’s group.   If you are not attending a church, may I suggest you find one.  Seek a counselor in your area or perhaps your pastor, priest or rabbi. 

We cannot change the past, but we can move forward by taking one step at a time.    Remember to know that each person goes through this journey at their own pace.  Some ladies go through grief share 3 or 4 times, some only once and some never go.  You need to do what is best for you!

Blessings to each of you my friends…   God loves you and is with you each step of the way.

All things new – really?

As we begin the new year of 2022, during the grieving process, it is really difficult to think of all things new for several reasons.  Each of us is different in how we handle things.  We are also at different stages of our grief.  Each year we think things will get better, but it certainly hasn’t gone that way so far.  Unfortunately, that process is not up to us and we truly need to rely on God for each stage of life.

God promises us all things new!  How do we believe that as we are going through each stage of grief?  One of the blessings is that God puts those in your life that have gone through this journey also.  He has provided those who will walk with you through each stage.  One of Gods promises is in Jeremiah 29:11 ESV which reads ‘ For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’  Oh, but at the early stages, it is hard to believe it isn’t it? 

Accepting what we cannot change is hard to do!  However, with the beginning stages of this journey, there are many things we need to do to move forward with all that needs to be done. Unless you have a close friend or relative to help you through the beginning stages, there are those who may find themselves sinking.  Perhaps your minister or a Grief Share group would be able to help you through this.  That’s not to say there will not be those days when you truly miss your husband. 

When I became a widow, there wasn’t much to offer to help with grief.  Grief Share did not start until the early 2000’s.  Most hospitals or churches did not have a support system.  I was fortunate to have had a brother who had lost his wife several years before I lost my husband and he did a great job of helping me with each stage.  We both attended the same church at the time and so we saw each other almost weekly. 

I must say, even with the promises God has for us, we need to take it slowly and believe He truly is with us.  The Psalms of the Old Testament has so many promises.  One for sure is:  Psalm 16:11 (NIV):   You always show me the path that leads to life.  You will fill me with joy when I am with you.  You will give me endless pleasures at your right hand. 

I pray that along your journey, you will sense the prayers that others are praying for you.   It often is just the little things in life such as a cup of coffee, someone opening up the door for you, someone picking you up for an event or to go to church with you.   All of these small things are so helpful and seem to show us God’s love.  It’s amazing as time goes on, you will become that widow to help another widow along the way.

May I also suggest something that may be difficult for you in the early stages of widowhood?  As I have mentioned before, please take care of yourself!  Some days it is difficult to get out of bed, but try taking time to go for a walk or drive thru a coffee place for a cup of coffee even if it is by yourself.  Those may sound difficult in the beginning but they eventually will be the beginning steps to help you move forward.  With God’s help you will find healing in each new step…

Although we cannot bring our spouse back, think about what he would want for you!  Would he want you to sit and be sad all the time?  I do not believe so.  As a Christian, he is in heaven with God and looking down on us smiling. 

For some reason this past Christmas holiday, I have heard or read of several ways that many widows have honored their spouses.  Many have put up their husbands’ stockings and had family members or friends bring notes regarding them.  They then put them in the stocking and throughout the day they would read the notes.  Some were funny stores, things that had been taught to them as they grew up or something thar reminds them of their dad/husband/brother or friend.    Others made Christmas ornaments to put on the tree.  Some have done this for years while others do it for a short time.  It’s amazing how this can be so healing for each widow.

Remember God is in control and with you each step of the way, even though we may not ‘feel’ it.   Another promise in the scripture is2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

As I wrap this up, I realize each step becomes one step closer in the healing process of your journey.   Please know each of you are in my prayers.

Blessings to each of you!

How has my identity changed me as a widow?

It doesn’t seem to take long after we become widowed to discover we have changed or others have noticed we have changed.  How can we not change?  I mean our life have been uprooted.  We were a couple, a pair, a duo and now we are one.  How can things not change!  Now we are one and it’s up to us how we will handle the decisions that need to be made. 

The goal of our grief is not to walk away, move on or find closure.  The goal may be to figure out how we are going to handle the challenges of our ‘new’ changed life.  Keep in mind, the person who we discussed things with or bounced options off of, is no longer there to do that with. I remember times when I wasn’t sure what to do, I would think or speak out loud of what I would think Dan would do.  I’m not saying he always had the right answers, but it would help in thinking things through.

How things changed!  If your spouse was Mr. Fixit, he may have fixed things around the house that you have no clue how to fix.  Now you will be asking someone else, or calling someone who is good at plumbing, electrical or whatever needs to be fixed.

What about those in your life while you were married that drove you crazy but you tolerated.  Depending on the relationship of those, do you need to keep them in your life or can you move on?

Be careful of your behaviors during the early stages of widowhood!

  • It is so easy to binge on foods.
  • Excessive drinking of alcohol.
  • Shopping too much.
  • Or other poor destructive habits or addiction.  

Perhaps we are now at a place we can focus on solutions. 

  • Have you had the chance to think through where you have been or gone through and realize what you are good at?
  • What wisdom have you mastered?
  • What life experiences have you gone through during this time?

What are some things you may be able to do now? 

  • Some things you may be able to do now.
  • What can you do to transform your experience to being positive?
  • What is something you can do that would be powerful for others?

While thinking on these things, what would be key in building a new life for yourself?  As much as we may prefer the old life, it isn’t for us to have any longer.  Let’s consider a couple of things: 

  • Not that we are living our lives based on what our deceased spouse would want, but what do you think he would say.  Perhaps to some of you it may not matter and I don’t mean that in a mean way.
  • God has given you experiences to help you through this time.  Maybe it’s been a teaching or learning time to help others.
  • Your wisdom can be a tremendous benefit to help others going down this journey. 

A great scripture to help mold us is found in Isaiah 1:17 (NIV) which reads:  Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.  God did not allow us to become widows to help others.  Things happen in life and God helps us use these things to help others. 

God certainly has a plan for each of us.  Some of the plans may be similar while others are completely different.  It is all in the purpose for which God has planned for you.   Proverbs 31:25 (NIV) reads:  She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 

The time will come when we will laugh again.  Does it mean we will forget?  Absolutely not!  I would suggest you lean on God to discover what His plan is for you.   It may be for you to become a leader or someone to just be there for someone going through something similar to what you have gone through. 

Although we miss the love of our spouse and we will never forget what we had with them, God’s great love is amazing in I Lamentations 3:22-24 (NIV): Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for him.

Perhaps you are dating, thinking about dating or have remarried.  God does not want you to be lonely but it is ok to be by yourself Patience is not always easy but God has a plan for each of us.

Hugs, blessings and prayers for each of you!

What to expect during the holidays!

Well folks– it’s that time of year already!   The time during good times, we look so forward to! We may have looked forward to the holiday with the traditions of the past or perhaps the new traditions we have decided to make.   Easier said than done on making changes, isn’t it?!   So much has happened to a lot of you during the last year or maybe even two years.  Go easy on yourself!  I know I have said this many times, but please just take one day at a time or just one step at a time.

Anyone who has gone down this path, totally understands how tough this time of year is.   One verse that comes to mind is Psalms 34:18 which reads:  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.  This verse is God’s promise that He is there for you and I.  This doesn’t mean life will be easy.  It’s a promise that God is always with us.

Let’s take this blog in sections.  Let’s remember what you have had:

  • The vacations you two have had.
  • Your children and grandchildren.
  • The favorite things you did together.
  • The silly things you two have done together.

Consider changing things up such as:

  • Plan and take a trip over the holidays.
  • If you have always done the entertaining, consider suggesting someone else to prepare the dinner.
  • Invite someone completely different for the holiday.
  • Give yourself permission to spend the holiday by yourself.

Ways to remember your spouse at Christmas: 

  • Put together a memory book of your spouse.  Invite others to add memories to this book. 
  • Make or purchase a holiday decoration in honor of your loved one.
  • Donate to a charity of your choice or your late husband’s favorite charity.
  • Continue to hang the stocking of your loved one.  Let your guests know ahead of time to bring a written note of your loved one.  As they arrived, put the note in the stocking.  During the down time, share the stories with all.  The stories can be funny memories or something special they remember.
  • Hang onto your spouse’s favorite coffee cup and bring it out for each holiday.

Don’t forget about you!   For those who are mom’s or grandmother’s, it is so easy to take care of everyone else and forget about ourselves.  Part of that maybe we just do not want to deal with the holiday and it’s easier to worry about other’s than it is ourselves.  Consider a few of these:

  • Schedule a massage, pedicure of manicure for yourself.
  • Give yourself permission to turn down events that you are having a difficult time deciding if you want to attend. 
  • Be open with your family and friends on what you are feeling.  Unless they have walked in your shoes, they may not understand your choices.   But that is ok.  For now, it is about you!

Remembering that this is the season of changes from the birth of Jesus through today.  Does that mean life will be easy, absolutely not!  The promise regarding Jesus from the Old Testament says:  Isaiah 7:14:  Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign.  The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.  As with the promise of Jesus birth from the Old Testament to the reality of the New Testament, is we have the hope that we will be able to move forward and see our loved ones again. 

I often get pretty sentimental over the holidays.  I miss the fact my ‘helper’ isn’t here to help.  However, my kids have been amazing on helping out with the holidays. 

Believe me when I say that one day you will smile and laugh again.  God wants you to be happy and smile again!  The reality is, so would your loved one!        

My prayer is that you find God’s peace as you do your best to get through these first couple of holidays without your loved one.  May you feel God’s arms wrapped around you. 

Hugs, peace and blessings to each of you!

Missing love or to love again?

We certainly do miss our loved ones, don’t we!  But at what point do we consider dating again, or do we. If we do, are we disrespecting our late husband?   Oh, how times have changed………   It’s amazing what goes through our heads as we process widowhood and think about the future.  Each of us handles this differently, but many are very similar in how they handle it. 

There are so many things that go through each of our minds.   Many choose to marry again.  Others wait for a year or two.  Yet others begin looking right away or choose to go online for dating.  So much has changed over the years depending on your age.   

Many have been fortunate to have found a new love in their lives.  It’s a different ballgame from when we were teenagers and dating.  Many things change just because we are much older.  Our goals change.   Unfortunately, many women become widows at a young age and have small children or perhaps did not have children with the spouse.   For these gals, there is a decision to make if they want more children.

In talking with other widows, many have no desire to remarry.  Others start dating to soon as they are so lonely.  The divorce rate is high if one remarries within the year of losing your spouse. What are you feeling about dating?  A couple things to consider:

  • Am I ready for dating?
  • Am I secure with who I am as a single person?
  • Am I content with myself?

When or if you are ready to date again, proceed with caution, joy and anticipation.  The Bible does have something to say about remarrying.  In 1 Corinthians 7:39 (NIV) reads:  A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.

I would encourage you to take your time – allow yourself to grieve.  Perhaps join a Grief Share group either on line, through your church or through a hospital.  Check online at:  www.grieffshare.org to find a group near you. 

Your financials will change.  I would encourage you to consult a trusted financial advisor to go over your pensions, Social Security, life insurance policies and your late husbands’ pensions.   There may be options out there that you are unaware of.

So often we as widows tend to be vulnerable during this time of grief.  Are we concerned about being loyal to our spouse?  What about his family or even our kids?  There are so many emotions involved!  Also, it often differs because of the age of your children.  If they are young, you may be considering having someone help with raising of your kids.   But then, you may be very fortunate to have close friends or family that are filing in that gap.  Many times, teenagers or adult children are concerned the ‘new’ person in our lives wants to take over.  Keep the communication open or consider counseling for all involved.

One of the greatest fears about getting involved with someone new or remarrying is becoming a widow again.  Be careful not to compare one to your late spouse.  Others may have their own opinion on what you should or should not do.  Remember – this is your life and keep God in control of all decisions.

Pay attention to yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally.  By doing so, you will become aware that you are healing and are ok with being yourself.  That is a great feeling!  God is in control of your life!   By studying His word and prayer, He will direct you down the path He has for you.

Does any of this mean you will not remember what you had with your husband?  Absolutely not!  I have had widows tell me they talked about remarrying with their late spouse before he died.  I do not recall any of them saying this was not a decent conversation!  It was hard to talk about, but it gave them peace.

Just remember that God has you in the palm of His hands and is there for you always.  If you are fortunate to find a ‘new love’, consider it all joy.  If not, God has other plans for you!

Hugs, peace and many blessings to each of you.  This isn’t always an easy topic to share or to talk about.  But God loves you, past, present and always!!!!  

Giving & Receiving while Grieving

This title may seem somewhat unusual for a new widow or anyone who is grieving.  However, life does seem to be about us at the time and it probably should!  While we often reflect on others and why they are not helping us at the time, we tend to forget how little we may have done for others when they have lost their spouse.  Often, it is because we had never walked down that path before and didn’t know what to do.  Scripture reads:  Acts 20:35 (NIV) In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

As you go through this journey, I would encourage you to take notes or write a journal of what you are going through.  A couple things will come across down the road as you read what you have gone through:  First it will help you see how you are healing through this journey.  Second, it will help you understand what may be helpful to someone going down the road.  As you reflect, you will sense what helped you as you received from others, it will also help you to give to others down the road.  

This is quite a process that does not have a time frame tied to it.  You will need to be patient with yourself!   Be patient with those who mean well and with others going through the journey of widowhood.  I Timothy 5:5 (NIV):  Now a true widow, a woman who is truly alone in this world, has placed her hope in God. She prays night and day, asking God for his help.  I remember reading this scripture and thinking it was so superficial…  My thought was God really doesn’t understand.   As time went by, I really did realize God did understand!  By resting in him, I learned a valuable lesson.  The more faith and trust I put in God, the more he carried me though the journey. 

The lessons I learned then, I am able to apply in today’s journey.  This doesn’t mean each day is easy or perfect.  What it does mean is, God is there for you and in turn you can be there for others going.  Remember each of us is unique and walk the path a bit differently.   With that being said, the pain of losing a spouse is similar. 

Just talking with someone going through this, helps so much!   As you are holding their hand and helping them through this, it doesn’t seem long before that person is holding a new widow’s hand.  Luke 6:38 (NIV) reads:  Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

I hope this helps you understand that by receiving help when you are hurting, turns into giving help to another widow going down the same path.  God is with us each step of the way.  We are here on earth to help each other.   Many times it is someone who has gone through what we have gone through, that truly helps each of us.

May you feel the blessings which God had given you to bless others.   Hugs and prayers to each of you.  May your use the healing from your pain (no matter what it is) to help others along the way! 

Blessings, hugs and prayers to each of you!

Uncertainity – Hope- Grace

Where are you at in your journey of widowhood?   If you are a fairly new widow, you are probable oblivious to what is going on outside around you.  You are just trying to get through the day.  There are so many uncertain things that come up on a regular basis!

For me, making lists was a big help.  However, some days the list seemed way to long.  And some days, I was able to cross things off easily.   One thing I did discover, was I needed to categized my lists by importance.  That seemed the best for me to make sure the important things DID get done.  There are times I still do this.  Once I was making my lists while listening to a sermon years ago (apparently the sermon was boring and I had to many things on my mind. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has ever done this).   My friend sitting next to me whispered wanting to know what I was doing.  I explained I didn’t want to forget the important things that need to be done.  She totally understood. 

One of the scriptures that gives me hope when I’m feeling uncertain is Romans 15:13 (NIV) which readsMay the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  I have had to claim this verse time and time again!  It is so easy to get discouraged when we are feeling uncertain on what seems to be everchanging in our lives!

This seems to be such a cliché when we say God is always with us.  But even when we do not sense he is near, he is!  However, scripture tells us in James 4:8A (NIV): “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Often times we just need to believe this to help us get through the uncertain times.   I wish I could wave a magic wand that would help you believe this.  But our God does not work with ‘magic wands’.  However, the promises we have are amazing.  You will be ok!!!!

When we make mistakes, and we all do, God’s grace is sufficient.  In Acts 20:32 (NIV), it reads:  Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those are sanctified.  What an amazing promise!  Be quick to forgive yourself when you have made mistakes!  Take note of the times you have seen God work in your life.  Neither the good or the bad, need to be big things, but just for you to become aware of what you are going through.   It’s a way for you to  reflect that you indeed are healing.

May I encourage you to take this verse to heart and memorize:  Romans 12:12 (NIV) which reads:  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.   So, in the uncertainty in our journey, there is hope and grace.

My prayer for you is to find hope and grace.   May I also suggest you check out The Widow Might Website at:  https://www.widowmight.org/.  They have a lot of great material on their website.  If you have a prayer request, please send it my way! God’s blessings to each of you!

Making Choices or Decisions!

Making decisions isn’t always easy to do!   Especially now that we are making decisions or choices on our own.  The one we bounced things off of is no longer here to help make those choices.  Many times, the decisions were easy and often times we had quite the discussion on what we should do!  Now that things have changed, the big decisions need to focus on God for direction.

Over time, I did realize I needed to figure this out, but knew I could not do it on my own.  I needed to rely on someone who truly had the answers.   Believing in God was always instilled in me from an early childhood.  So, I knew I would go this route first.  One of the great scriptures for me was Deuteronomy 31:6 which reads (NIV):  Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

My thought was – how do I be strong and courageous when I am hurting emotionally!  However, if I truly believed in God, I was going to have to learn to lean on him to allow him to be there for me.  Of course, that may take time and patience isn’t a virtue of mine.  But I did have enough faith to believe he would be with me each step of the way.

Things I needed help with, I wanted trusted people to contact.  In reading Miriam Neff’s book ‘Where Do I Go From Here?’: she has offered some great advice…  She calls these people her Board of Directors.   Miriam’s thoughts:

  • Choose a godly person who has experience a similar loss. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
  • Choose a person who has financial wisdom who you trust.   Psalm 24:1
  • Choose a practical friend.   Proverbs 15:22
  • Chose a friend who is an encourager.  Philippians 4:8-9
  • Choose a friend with spiritual discernment and courage.  Proverbs 27:17
  • Choose a friend or relative whose priority is your wellbeing.  Proverbs 18:2

These people will change over time and that is good, I know mine have. There are times you think you really know someone, but they are not necessarily looking out for you in the best way. 

I would suggest to get connected with a Grief Share Group, The Widow Might Organization (https://www.widowmight.org/) or your church or synagogue to give you some direction. 

The changes in your life take time so please be patient with yourself!  When getting direction from others, you will be able to look back and know that you will begin to make better choices.  In Romans 15:13 (NIV) reads:  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.  In time it will.  And he will.

For me, reflecting on what I have gone through in my live, it has taught me to look at the whole picture.   Some things were more difficult to go through than others that’s for sure!  Not all of our choices are good ones.  But with time, we will learn to rely on God and the advice from others.   Keeping that in mind, our decisions will become easier and we will make better choices….    Assurance of that is found in Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV):  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Blessings to each of you as you walk through this journey.  Many of you have come a long way and others are still struggling. 

Old Friends – New Friends

Life is ever changing, isn’t it?   Sometimes change is easy and sometimes it is very difficult.  Things change with family and friends we had prior to the loss of our spouse.  If you are new to widowhood, please take this part slowly.  More often than not, people who have never gone down this path, are not sure what to say or often just back away.

There seems to be so many changes with the loss of a spouse.   Not only are we no longer a couple, but there are so many emotional changes.  And who understands more than others who have walked this path!!!!!  God promises in Psalms 34:18 – The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Some of the emotions are:

  • Moodiness
  • Painful thinking – negative thoughts
  • Sleeplessness and loss of appetite
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Delusional thinking
  • These are all normal issues and you/we are not going crazy

However, many of our former friends often stop calling or call less often when we go through any of these emotions.  They often are ready to give us a phone number of a counselor to call, when we are only looking for an ear that will listen!   With that being said, there have been a few times when I have suggested a counselor to a couple of widows.  One of God’s greatest blessings or promises is found in John 14:27 (NIV), which reads:  I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

If we are going to have a healthy recovery, we need to change!  We need to change to accommodate the reality of our new life alone. How do we go about this?

  • Accept what we cannot change.
  • When depression seems its right there, pay attention.
  • We need to make adjustments to things that have changed, such as income lost or loss of friendships.

Connecting with those who have gone down this journey is so important.  Watching new widows come into our group not knowing how they are going to get through this journey, is sometimes difficult to watch.  However, watching them learn from other widows and how they have moved forward to help others is so helpful.  I have watched ladies come into our group in tears, and within about a year, they are the ones holding the hand of a new widow letting her know she will be ok. 

There are so many promises that God is our protector.  It reads in Psalm 91:4: (NIV) He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. For those of you going through the early stages of the journey, it may be difficult to understand this.  Let me assure you, God has His arms wrapped around you and often is carrying you each step of the way.

Many times, our true friends are with us along the way.  Other times, we meet new ones to be with us who understand what we are going through.  There is a saying written by Selina Man Karlsson which is: “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.” 

Cherish those who are there for you to help you along this journey.  Early on we are so unaware of what is going on, we struggle with ‘new’ people in our lives but remember unless they have walked our path, we need to give them grace.  You may be thinking this statement is a little strange being you are the one going through this journey!  However, if we can keep this in mind while we are going through this, it does help us heal.

Blessings to each of you.  You continue to be in my prayers…….

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