Wednesday, February 1, 2012

CarolMarie Smith

Today I’d like to introduce you to CarolMarie Smith (that's her in the middle of the picture). I met her in Knoxville, TN, where she portrayed one of my favorite Bible widows, Naomi. CarolMarie speaks to widows all over the world with the transforming message of the special place they have in God’s heart. It was a real joy for me to hear her speak and I think you'll enjoy my reposting this interview today.

Ferree: Hello, CarolMarie, and welcome to WCP! It was such a pleasure to meet you at the Widows International conference. (Nov. 2010). Let's start at the beginning and hear about when you were widowed?

CarolMarie: On Dec 29, 1999 my husband, Sonny, moved to Heaven after picking up a staph infection in the hospital. That very morning the Lord had asked me if I could trust Him totally with Sonny. I knew it meant his future and mine as well. I said ‘Yes,’ for only He knows the future and could make the call.

Ferree: Is it hard to believe it’s been almost 11 years already?
CarolMarie: At times it seems like a lifetime...then others like it was yesterday!

Ferree: I still feel like that at times, too. In fact, I mentioned that on Monday. Sometimes time seems liquid and memories of the past can wash over us and seem as real as the present. It's interesting and gives us a glimpse of eternity, I think. But as you think back, CarolMarie, what was the most helpful thing people did for you?
CarolMarie: The most helpful thing for me was for friends to be there and listen! One friend would sit up all night and just listen to me talk and share stories...that was so healing!

Ferree: The worst thing?
CarolMarie: Some wanted to tell me their story of how much worse their situation was than mine...I was too fragile to hear it at the time. Sometimes they would try to change the subject to "save me from the pain," not realizing I needed to share!

What was the best thing you did for yourself? Was it a book you read, a grief group, moving or traveling, etc.?
I started volunteering at a widows center and I was asked to lead a "Grief Share" group. I really didn't even want to go, but since I was asked to lead it, I had to show up! It was the best thing I did to work through the multiple grief issues I had experienced. I recommend a Christian-based grief recovery series of classes for all!

What do you do during the holidays?
Another thing that really helped me was to reach out to others during the Holidays. Sonny had been hospitalized right before Thanksgiving, moved to Heaven between Christmas and New Years, his birthday was on the 4th of July and our wedding anniversary was on Labor Day. There weren't many holidays left if I didn't CHOOSE to make new memories! My first Christmas as a widow I invited those in my church who were alone for the holidays to a surprise luncheon that had a coded menu! It was fun and we all moved 'out of ourselves' as we reached out to each other!

What Scriptures have been most comforting to you?
Isa 54:5 -- that God is married to the widow! I also love that He certainly hears my cry or prayer (Ex 22:23) and that he will establish the territory or borders of the widow (Pro 15:25)...these gave me fresh purpose and security in Him!

Would you please talk a little bit about how knowing Christ has helped bring you through this? Knowing Him has brought me life in the midst of death, and hope when I felt I had nothing left! He has truly become my Husband in a very real and pure way, meeting every need and filling every empty place!

What's the best thing you learned about the Lord through this experience?
That His ear is tuned in to my cry, sigh and even faint desire....His care and love is incredible!

What sort of opportunities do you have to serve your church?
Whether it's through speaking at churches, or knowing my DVDs and CDs are empowering widows to move into this special place of knowing God as their Husband, there is no greater joy! To see the hope come into their faces and know they have made the shift into a place of purpose and power makes it worth the journey myself!

What's the most surprising thing about widowhood you've discovered?
That I have a special place in God's heart and plan! That there is a harvest of souls assigned to me (according to the book of Ruth) that I can help call in! It’s amazing that I can partner with God and it can bring so much fulfillment!

What encouragement can you give a woman who is in the early raw pain of loss? Trust God with what you don't understand...simply trust Him. Put one step in front of the other, and take one day at a time, until you are able to do it without telling yourself to. It does get easier as you continue the journey! Give yourself permission to embrace life again!

Ferree: Is there anything else you'd like to share?
CarolMarie: I'd like to invite you to two special websites: and  There are articles, videos, scriptures and insights that will help you, and even a powerful 'prayer of empowerment' you can download!
Ferree: Thanks so much, CarolMarie!

Don't forget: CarolMarie is hosting a He's My Valentine party for widows on Sat. Feb. 11. Be sure to sign up by Feb. 7. This is a wonderful opportunity to refresh your spirit and discover some of the good things God has in store for widows. Sing up today!