Monday, September 27, 2010

How Long Will This Go On?

How long have you been widowed? Days? Weeks? Months? Years?

In the first hours it seems like you cry non-stop and you never expected it to hurt like this! Like you're flooded. You didn't know you had so many tears. Then you get a repreive. You only cry a couple times a day. After a week or two, a couple times a week.

Sooner or later--there is no schedule, each goes at her own pace--the crying gets down to a couple times a month . . . a couple times a year . . . These crying jags are like labor pains in reverse. While labor pains start out mild and far apart, grief starts out painful, fast, and intense. The next round of "grief pains" are a few seconds shorter, a little further apart. They still hit, but most of the time each new round is a bit diminished; they are a little weaker. Or perhaps you're a little stronger. Brace yourself for birthdays, holidays and anniversary pains. Like labor pains, you know they'll come. Prepare for the wave. But these, too, will become easier to bear.

If the "Grief pains" have done their job well, like birth contractions, something new has been born. When the tears diminish, don't think it's because they've dried up or you've become numb and indifferent. Tears have watered you like raindrops, and you've grown and transformed into the resilient, fruitful orchard of a woman that God had planned all along.
When we look at an apple, we see a piece of fruit with seeds. When God looks at an apple, He sees an orchard. I heard that the other day. It's true, isn't it? I think God sees an orchard when He looks at widows, too.

You might think He sees just an ordinary woman, but I think He sees the real you--the courage, resiliance, and faith. God also sees the legacy of blessing--the seeds--you'll leave for future generations by the choices you make today. There is a lot more "fruit" to be produced in your life, and many more "trees" to grow which will provide the shade of God's goodness to the world because of you. What sort of plans do you think God has in store for you?

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 17:8 (English Standard Version)

P.S. I just read a great story of God's grace in the life of Carol Kent. Although she's not widowed, she's come from between a rock and a hard place to 'between a rock and a grace place,' as she deals with her son's incarceration for murder. Visit my friend Elaine W. Miller's blog today: http://www.ElaineWMiller.blogs

(Photo credit:


  1. Ferree, That was written so beautifully. I love the thought that as a woman God sees me not as a tree, but as an orchard. I am not a widow, but the day may come and I feel more prepared to face it with confidence because of what I read in your life and your blog. Thank you.

  2. I'm amazed to realize that God's face lights up with love every time he sees me. He sees the REAL me, deep inside, and he see the me I will be. I'm encouraged and refreshed to know all His plans will create a tapestry of glory from my life--an orchard, maybe a forest of His grace--and that's the legacy for each of us through Him! God loves us, and he loves our husbands, but when the husband is gone, its just GOD loves me--God LOVES me--God loves ME--GOD LOVES ME! We have an amazing Lord!


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