Strength During Loneliness

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. 

Grace and Mercy

You may be wondering what grace and mercy has to do with widowhood! This is probably one of the areas at the time of my loss, I never even thought about. At that time, I was only concerned about myself along with my kids.

As a mother, knowing my kids were going through so much with the loss of their dad was heartbreaking. It surprised me of how some people had expectations of them and they had never gone through the loss of a parent. I remember how unfair I thought this was! I may have said things I shouldn’t have, but I felt I was being protective of them.

When life is tough, it is so easy to get wrapped up in the moment or the season of our grief or whatever we are going through. As we go through this journey and begin to heal, we soon realize how important it is to heal one step at a time.

The definition of grace is: A virtue coming from God, a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance. The bible states in 1 Timothy 1:14 (ESV): The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Some of these virtue’s which come from God are hard to accept aren’t they? I hadn’t thought of grace as a virtue before, had you? It is easy to give grace to those that treat you well, but not necessarily when someone does not….

When looking up the definition of mercy, it is: A blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion. Psalm 145:9 (ESV) reads: The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. How reassuring is that! Just knowing God’s mercy is over us is amazing!

Oh, how we need grace with mercy! Once I accepted that, it was easier to move forward. There will always be times in life when things are difficult. There will always be those people who do not think before they speak which that is often hurtful.

Billy Graham says it so well: Grace is when God gives us what we don’t deserve. Mercy is when God doesn’t give us what we do deserve.

Be gentle with yourself as you go through a difficult time. We all go through difficult times in our lives and wonder where God is. Remember, God promises to never leave you! This promise can be found in Deuteronomy 31:8 (ESV): It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

God’s grace and mercy is sufficient for each of us. There may be times when we need to ask for forgiveness or approach someone who has hurt us. Regardless if forgiveness is accepted or not, God is with us!!!

My prayer is you feel God’s presence around you. Blessings to each of you!

Where am I and where is my hope?

Do you ever find yourself in a place where you know God promises to see you thru but you do not sense Him being nearby?  You feel so alone that you wonder if God is even close by?  How am I suppose to believe God is there each step of the way? 

There are so many scriptures both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament which give us assurance that God is with us each step of the way.  Deuteronomy 31:6 reads:  Be strong and courageous.  Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you.  He will not leave you or forsake you.  If we go to John 14:27 it reads:  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.   Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 

When we are living alone as widows, where is God during these times?  He promises over and over that he will never leave us!  But do you believe it?  We often need to look back before we are able to look forward. 

With this season of Easter, I often wonder how Jesus felt!   How often was he persecuted, rejected or betrayed?!  I’m not saying we are in the same boat as Jesus.  However, when our life has changed to the extent we feel alone, we are able to rely on how he leaned on God to help Him with what he was going through.   Isaiah 49:23 reads:  She who trusts in the Lord will never be disappointed.

There is so much hope knowing He is with us each step of the way.  The book of Psalms has so many promises regarding this.  Psalms 147:3 reads:  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  He promises to be there for us along the way.  To me that is amazing!  Does that mean I do not struggle along the way?  Absolutely not!  But the promises are there in the Bible!

This has certainly been a tough year with what we have gone through but to add a loss or several losses, it may have made your year even seem longer.  What have you found to help you through this year?  Is there anything you can share that can be shared with others to help along the way?  Everyone’s journey is a little different and we all handle our journey somewhat differently.  

Some of us extroverts, others are introverts and yet others all in between and just do not know where to turn when going along this journey.  Many times, it is the first time we have lost someone close or we do not have someone close to us to talk with.  If this is you, I urge you to reach out to someone.  If you have gone down this path, and know someone who could use an ear, please reach out to them. 

Remember God cares for each of us – ALWAYS!  1 Peter 5:7 tells us to:  Cast all your anxieties on him, because He cares for you!  Christ truly does care for each of us no matter what we are going through. 

Life is not perfect and never promises to be perfect!   And it will not be until we reach heaven!     In talking with many of you, the one thing I have noticed is, watching you go through the first year or two of healing.   You often are wondering if you will ever feel ‘normal’ again!  Within that first year, I have noticed you are holding the hand of a new widow and helping her through this journey!

Please let us know if we can talk to you, pray with you or for you.  Blessings to each of you!   God has his arms wrapped around you!

What’s for today?

Do you ever wonder what today will bring, when you have gone through something so great in your life that you could not even imagine?  Things would be so different if we wouldn’t have lost our spouse!   We wish for yesterday which is gone….  We hope tomorrow will be a better day, but we have no guarantees.

Max Lucado has said:  Here’s what you need to keep in mind.   You no longer have yesterday.  You do not yet have tomorrow.  You only have today.   This is the day the Lord has made.  Live in it!

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow?  None of us do!   James 4:14 (NLT) reads:  How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.  Isn’t that the truth!  How many times do I wish I knew what tomorrow will bring!  Many times, I think about that and decide what I would do differently.   Seriously – what makes me think I have that power?  

We can hope and dream that tomorrow will be a better day.   We can reflect on what we had yesterday providing we do not dwell on it.  What have we learned from the past?   Can we bring it back?  Absolutely not!

It is so easy to remember what we had!  However, all we have is today.   What are we going to do with today being we no longer have yesterday and we are not guaranteed tomorrow!   I found this scripture/quote and found it so true.

What are your dreams for today?  When you woke up this morning, you may have felt like you could not make it through the day.  Perhaps you thought ‘I can do this so how do I want to start today.’  Are you one that has decided to start a project of cleaning out a closet, go through files or maybe start cleaning out files?  These are all big projects for sure, but they do not have to be completed in a day or week.   Take one step at a time!  We are all on our own time schedule.  There is no need to compare yourself to anyone but you.  Besides that, it is ok to ask for help!  Some things or projects are just too big to do by yourself.

There are a couple of scriptures of the Lord’s assurance in our lives.  One is from Isaiah 41:10 (ESV) reads:  Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  The other is from Mathew 6:34 (NIV) which reads: Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

God’s promise is to be there for us no matter what we go through!  I totally understand that is hard to accept when we are going through tough times. Please rest in God’s promises that he is there for each of us every step of the way! 

We only have today to live for!!   Yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t here yet!  With that being said, what is your plan for today?   I am not suggesting you have something huge planned, just take those small steps.  Perhaps you have a project that you want to work on that is going to take a while to do, take a step at a time.  Eventually your project will be done!  Do not feel bad if you need to ask for help or for suggestions.  

However, Joshua 24:15 reads:   But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”  With God’s help, He will lead the way that pleases him and us…… 

With every step we take with every new day, God will lead the way for us.   We need to trust in him that it will happen – and it will!  We all have days where we wonder if this will truly happen.  Even if it’s been years since we lost our spouse and we seem to be following a new path in our lives.   I have often thought when this happens to me if I am following what God would have for me.   The truth is, I do need to rely on God to lead me in the path that He has for me.   When I let go of what I think should happen and rely on God, it truly does happen!  We just need to believe!

Blessings to each of you!   God has a plan for you!  It may not be what we thought it would be. God often has another plan and He will lead us down the new path!

ANTICIPATION OR EXPECTATIONS

For me, with spring around the corner, there is always the anticipation of warmer weather coming soon.  There are many other things we tend to anticipate the first of each year.   But, how do we do this in a positive manner when we have lost someone close to us. 

According to Webster Dictionary, there are several meanings for anticipation.  

  • A prior action that takes into account or forestalls a later action
  • The act of looking forward
  • visualization of a future event or state
  • An object or form that anticipates a later type
  • The early sounding of one or more tones of a succeeding chord to form a temporary dissonance.

How may times have we anticipated where we will be in each stage of grief??!!  I remember thinking:

  • In three months, I will have all my paperwork done.
  • In six months, the holidays for me will be done.  Oh, how I dreaded those days.
  • In a year, I will be done with all the ‘firsts’.

I was fortunate at the time that Dan passed away, my two oldest brothers really walked beside me.  Gary at one point had lost his wife from a car accident so he had gone down that path.  My brother Bob always had good solid advise, but allowed me to make my own decisions without me feeling bad or guilty.  By the time the first year was done, I was ready to make major decisions and for that I am thankful.  Does that mean all my decisions were good ones?  No, but I was able to figure it out and knowing I had a lot of people praying for me certainly did help. 

One thing that says a lot to me is found in Jude 1:21. It reads – Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.  But when one is going through something, it is difficult to wait for the mercy of Christ.  But persistency and prayer sure will help us along the way. 

I think this quote by Anna Grace Taylor says so much:  

It seems many times we need to look back to move forward, doesn’t it?  With God’s help you can do this!  However, if you need someone to talk with, don’t be afraid to ask.   These verses are such a great promise to us.  They are found in Romans 8:37-39 which reads:  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When we are down emotionally and things just don’t seem to be going our way, remember God is always with us!  He has promised us this in Deuteronomy 31:8 which says:   The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

So, with the new year upon us, may we look forward to God’s help with what we are going through.   I have faith in you that you can do this!  Just remember, there are many people to help you each step of the way.  Don’t hesitate to send me a note on my blog site:  https://encounteringwidowhood.com/.

One of the best anticipations is seeing our loved ones once again in heaven.  Blessing, hugs and prayers to each of you!!!!

A Year of What If’s!

 

Christmas 2020 – A Year of What If’s!

Oh, what a year it has been!  It seems like I have brought that up several times this year.  However, if you are someone who lost a spouse it has been even more difficult.  Many of you were only able to have small groups at the burial.   Many of you are waiting for this pandemic to pass and have a memorial service down the road.

There are others that have made it past the first and second year and are beginning to feel as though they are coming to terms with their new normal without their spouse.  Do we ever forget?   Absolutely not!  Do we stumble along the way – absolutely!   As we grow and learn how to handle this – we are there to help others along the way. 

Perhaps we learn how to come up with new traditions.  One promise I have relied on is from Psalms 147:3 which reads:   He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Keeping some of the old traditions are almost a must.  However, we can add new ones along the way

For me, I needed to make new ones the first year as it was difficult to keep all the old ones.  Some options may be:

  • If you have been the host to holiday’s in the past, suggest to one of you children or other family member host these first few holidays.
  • Invite another person to your holiday who is also alone.
  • Perhaps this year is just too difficult to be with others, give yourself permission to spend it alone.

There are options to share memories with others or just keep for yourself.   Many of these ideas I received from other widows.  Here are some options to keep your husband’s memory alive:

  • Put together a memory book of your spouse.  You may also invite others to add memories to this book.  This doesn’t need to be just for the holidays but can be for all year long.
  • Make or purchase decorations in honor of you loved one.
  • 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 and put it in their stocking.  Take turns pulling the memories out of the stocking and read them.  Hopefully, you will have some happy memories that will make you laugh and sometimes cry.
  • Donate to a charity of your choice in honor of your loved one.

Please remember to take care of yourself!  As many of us are mom’s or just being women, we often feel like we need to do it all.  But we do not!   Take care of you!   You may have to sort through your feelings about the holidays.   Take time for a massage,  pedicure or manicure or even read a book.

It took me a long time to understand this verse Jeremiah 29:11 which reads 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.  I often thought if another person quotes me this scripture I was going to scream!   But as time went on, and I reflected on what has/had happened in my life, I realized that God does have plans for me!  He is going to be there for me during tough times and also the good times.

I often get sentimental over the holidays.  I found a picture of my family at Christmas time in 1992.  My kids always made a big deal of how I always wanted a family picture taken.   Amazing as time goes by, they love the old pictures.

Blessings to each of you.  I so look forward to the time we can meet together as a group to laugh and cry together.  And to enjoy each other’s company!

Thankfulness

                       

         

                                             – Thankfulness –

What are you thankful for?   During tough times can we be thankful?   With the loss of our spouse, how are we to be thankful?   How often have we asked God – “What are you thinking?”

As we approach the season of Thanksgiving, let’s reflect about what we may have had.   These may be tough for you to read, as you may still may be hurting.   A few things such:

  • The memories the two of you shared.
  • The love the two of you had for each other.
  • The trips or vacations you took together.
  • Perhaps you had children together and now you have grandchildren.
  • With the loss of a loved one, during the holiday season, it is difficult to be thankful.  If this is your first season, please be patient with yourself! 

With the changes in your life, you may just want to hibernate. Be careful if you find yourself hibernating for more than a few days.  Perhaps some of you may not have had a loving marriage.  Or you are heartbroken for not being financially taken care of.  There is nothing that can totally prepare us of being alone.  This year may be interesting with the Covid virus and the restrictions that have been put on us.

We certainly cannot change what has happened in our life, but we can rely on God to help us through it.  I know it is difficult, but God has promised to be there for us each step of the way. Philippians 4:6 reads:  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  You may be thinking, it seems we get anxious just trying not to be anxious.   With that being said, if we truly rely on God, He will take away our anxiety. 

I do understand when we are going through tough times in our lives, it isn’t easy to believe this is it?   But in talking someone who has walked this journey with you, it certainly helps us think things through.  We also realize if others have gotten through tough times,  so can we.

This may be a long shot for some of you, but being joyful will also help you be thankful.   However, another of God’s promises is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 which states:  Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Again, this may be difficult to handle during these times.  In looking back on my past and see how God has carried me through losses and trials, it helps me remember how He has been there for me.  Perhaps keeping a journal of tough times in your life.  Upon looking back, it is a reminder of how God has helped you through many things in your life.  God’s promise is found in Philippians 4:5 which states: The Lord is Near.  From life’s experiences and reading back on my journaling, I certainly have found that to be true!

One of the sweet memories I have of my mother was her reading the bible.  One of her favorite verses was Psalms 106:1. This verse states:  Praise the Lord.  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. She loved this verse and after her passing, I realized important it was to her.  She relied on God and knew His love did endure forever.

May you be thankful this season even though it may be a tough time of year.   Here are some things to consider to help you through this time:

  • Think of the sweet memories you have had.  
  • Remember the silly stories you share with others that love you and your spouse.
  • Perhaps burn a candle during this season in honor of them. 
  • Make a scrapbook of memories for yourself or your children.

Things have changed a lot for many people this year.  Not just because of a loss, but because of a pandemic, many will not be celebrating the holidays with their families which makes things more difficult.  Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone to call your friends or loved ones to help pass the time.

Blessings to each of you during this time of year.  Remember, God is with you each minute of the day.   Hugs and prayers to you!!!

Faith and Assurance

 

Faith and Assurance

Do you struggle with your faith when going through a difficult time?  That may seem like an easy question as many of us do.   When we are really hurting, and wondering if God really cares, where is He?   Where does our faith come in?

If you are searching for scripture on faith and assurance, Hebrews is a great book in the New Testament of the Bible to read.  Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) reads:  Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

It seems like even the smallest thing can throw us for a loop doesn’t it?  When we are down and out, it doesn’t take much.  However, with God’s help we can get through these tough times.   Hebrews 10:22 (NIV) reads:  Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

I know I often suggest that you/we reflect on our life in the past to focus on today and the future.  Several years ago I attended a coaching seminar.   One of the assignments towards the end of the seminar.   We were to share with our self as an 18 year old on what we have learned today and what was most important.  This was probable the most meaningful assignment I have done! 

One of the great things about reflecting back on our lives, is seeing where we have been, what we went through and how we can focus on the future.  Life is full of ups and downs.   Some of these are more difficult to go through than others.  Psalms 46:10 (NIV) reads:   Be still and know that I am God.  This promise is so great!   Just trusting God to help us get through the bad and the good.  

I love Rick Warren’s quote on faith.  He says:   Faith doesn’t always take you out of the problem, Faith takes you through the problem.  Faith doesn’t always take away the pain, Faith gives you the ability to handle the pain.  Faith doesn’t always take you out of the storm, Faith calms you in the midst of the storm.

While you are going through these tough times in our lives, remember to take note of a few things such as:

  • Pay attention to what pulls you down and what energizes you.
  • Take care of your health.
  • Exercise is always beneficial and relieves stress.
  • Due to lack of touch in your life, consider having a massage, a pedicure or a manicure.
  • Perhaps keeping a journal to help you express and understand what you are going through.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.   Remind yourself that those who love you really want to help.

Thank goodness for the promise we have in Christ.  I trust you believe in the promise and hope we have in Him.   Romans 8:38-39 (NIV) reads: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God’s blessing to each of you as you grow from your grief to where God would have you be.  

Encouragement During Difficult Times

 

ENCOURAGEMENT DURING DIFFICULT TIMES

In talking to many people, listening to the radio and TV, it is so easy to be lonely, discouraged or afraid.   We also tend to worry more about older friends, parents or the stress our children are going through especially if they have children they are helping with schooling at home.  Many are working from home and expected to help with the education of their children they normally do not have to do.

 It has been heavy on my heart that many are sad and lonely.  It’s not a big secret that the pandemic has had a lot to do with it.  What a year 2020 has been, not just here in the United Sates but around the world.   Then to top it off with it being an election year here in the United States which can add more stress typically along with a virus going on. 

What actually surprises me is, those who I have thought have had a lot of people in their lives, are just as lonely as those who have few.  Many people live alone and their phones rarely ring.    Those with lots of people in their lives, everyone thinks the ‘other’ person will call them.  I have to admit, that sometimes has been me.  However, as I am calling others, I’m truly listening to what they are saying.  With the pandemic and so many things being closed down or open as long as the weather is nice, effects how often they get together.  

Many of us have been in a place where we feel there is no hope.   Many of the great leaders of the Bible felt this way.   David cries out to God in Psalms 25 verses 16 – 21 (ESV Version) which reads:  Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.  The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.  Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me.  Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!  Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.  May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.

May I suggest you make a list of those who you know who live alone, are in a nursing home or assisted living or are just normally very quiet and do not reach out to others.  It doesn’t mean they are not lonely, but may just want someone to talk to.  This doesn’t mean any of us have to be on the phone all the time.  Perhaps just call one person a day or every other day.  Or check with others who know the same people you do and divide the list.   Perhaps drop a card in the mail.

God is always on our side no matter what we are going through.  Part of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:20 (ESV Version) reads:  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.  What an amazing promise even when we are going through times of loneliness!   Even though there have been changes in how we handle events at our places of worship, God is still with us and encourages us to help one another.

Even though things are tough and we get sad, remember God does provide.  Romans 8:28 (NIV Version) reads:  And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  I understand we get worried on how we will handle things, but God promises us He is there for us.  

Probably one of my favorite passages in the scripture comes from the Old Testament and is well known by a lot of us.  It has such a promise of God being there for us each step of the way.  We just need to believe!  It is from Psalms 23 and is written by the profit David.  It reads:  1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  2He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.  3He restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.   6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Let me encourage you if you are feeling sad and lonely to reach out for help.   Give a friend a call or talk to your pastor, priest or rabbi. 

 

Blessings to each of you…

Acceptance of Changes

 

Acceptance of Changes

So many times in life, we find ourselves in a place where we need to accept what we cannot change.  Many times we all go through tough times, and need to think about how we handle these or accept the decisions we have made.  Each of us have made choices we are not necessarily proud of.   But what about the choices that are out of our control?

There are so many emotions that we go through when something happens in our life that we have no control over.   When we were first married, our hopes and dreams were so priceless and exciting.  Not everything was perfect by any means, but we enjoyed the good times and worked through those times that were not as we had planned……

The day came when everything changed….  We were no longer a couple….  How easy it was to be down and out and wonder how we were going to get through this new stage of life.  It was something we would have to accept.  But how were we going to do that?  One of the scriptures that stood out to me was Ecclesiastes 3:1 which reads:  For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.  Accepting that I could not change my ‘new’ life. 

So many questions, so many emotions, so many things to accept.  How does one get through this stage of life whether it is a loss of someone close, a disease, and loss of a job or a sick child?  One of my mother’s favorite scriptures was Psalms 103.  I particularly like the first few verses which reads:  Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.

There are many things we need to accept in our new life no matter what they are…  Have you given any thought to how you may handle this?  What changes will you be making or have you made?  The acceptance of new friends or of old friends that have moved on?  The acceptance of perhaps selling your home and moving to a new community or state?  Relationships with family or in-laws?  Many of these are so real and difficult to accept.  However, remember God is always with you.   Psalms 46: 10-11 reminds us:  He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, Iwill be exalted in the earth.”   The Lord Almighty is with us.

Life offers us lots of challenges.  How we accept these challenges makes a difference on how we heal and learn to enjoy life again.  Go easy on yourself!  I pray that God will help you through the changes you make in life.             

Blessings to each of you!