Monday, May 9, 2011

Widow's Story: Ruth H.

Today I'm able to post a story from a widow who is at 6 months in her journey. I've gotten to know her a bit over this past winter, and I know you'll like her, too. Please be sure to leave a comment, question or thank you for her, and visit her blog, which I've linked below. I hope you have a good week and please be sure to check back next Monday as I have some more good things in store for you.
Ruth lives in Canada and enjoys the various bird migrations every spring and fall. The picture of the bird flying over water was used at Jake's funeral. Isn't it beautiful? More wonderful bird and nature photos are on her blog.

My story begins about 1970. I had known Jake before that, but wanted nothing to do with him. God created a change in me and I fell madly in love with this man. We were married on June 9,1972. Life was good and when we were blessed with a healthy baby boy it was even better. We had many wonderful years living on an acreage in the country, raising our son and loving each other.

In the spring of 1992 we moved to a simple home in town, but the real changes in our life began in the summer of 2010. I had noticed that Jake was not quite himself, but attributed this to his getting older. He had no interest in life and all the things he used to enjoy. His appetite dwindled and my concern grew, but still he claimed that all was well.

One day in July I was having my devotions and came upon this verse:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 42:2)

I did not want to hear what God was telling me in this verse. I knew that tough times were ahead, but little did I know just how difficult it would get.

Copyright 2010 by Ruth Hiebert
Jake grew more and more tired, but said he had no pain and did not want to see a doctor. On September 18, he had no choice but to visit emergency. He had not slept all night and was constantly having hiccups and burping; something was not right.

By the following day we were told that he had a large mass on the pancreas and there was nothing they could do but to keep him comfortable. Cancer had taken over his body and life as we had known it changed forever. I now knew that I needed to become a care-giver to the man who meant the world to me. Seven-and-a-half short weeks later, on November 10,2011, after telling me he loved me, Jake slipped into eternity. His passing was so gentle and peaceful . . . I could not have wished anything more for him.

Jake's move to glory meant my first steps into widowhood. At first it seemed I was on auto pilot, just doing what needed to be done.After the Memorial service and everyone went back to their own lives, my lonely times began.

Many a day I would give my right arm just to have Jake with me again. I know that God is always with me and were it not for His strength I would not be able to go on.

My boat has been very rocky at times, but true to God's word, the rivers have not swept over me. Today I praise God for His faithfulness. I move on with my life,trying to find a new normal. At times I think I am finding it, but at other times it seems very distant.

It has been almost six months since Jake passed away. It seems a lot longer than that, but I've made it this far and by God's grace I will make it further.

Copyright 2010 by Ruth Hiebert
Jake and I had shared the love of nature and photography. We spent many wonderful hours pursuing our hobby, a hobby he asked me to continue with. I still enjoy photography even though it is very different doing it alone. As I look through the camera lens I see the marvels of God's creation and praise Him for giving me the ability to do this.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Ruth. It's hard, but your quiet confidence in God helps us all--it's as beautiful as your photography. I hope everyone will visit you at Ruth's Photo Blog and leave an encouraging comment for you. love, Ferree


  1. Visiting from Ruth's blog to read her story! Our stories need to be told because God can use them to help someone else in their grief and struggles. As folks go through the valley of sorrow may God's love become totally amazing!

  2. Ruth,

    My husband Bob went to heaven on November 10, 2009. It's been 18 months tomorrow.

    Candy Feathers, TN

  3. Being the son of Jake & Ruth I have seen what God can do and am amazed at the strength that He has given Mom through these times. I thank God for that and for the amazing parents / roll models He blessed me with as I've grown up. you are one in a million Mom!!! I love you.

  4. Karin, You sure are speaking the truth! There's so much strength to be drawn from knowing we're not alone, and even more from seeing the reality of God's work among us and through us. And dear Candy, you've been through so much in such a short time. Will be holding you in thoughts and prayers, and so thankful you're part of my life now.

  5. Ruth, a dear couple in our church were parted by death a number of years ago. At the funeral service for his wife, the husband made a comment that I've never forgotten. He said, "Mary is with Jesus, and Jesus is with me." Immediately, a mental image popped into my mind of George and Mary walking on either side of Jesus and holding His hands. It's a comfort to think about that when someone I love moves on to glory and leaves me behind.

    The way things are going in our world today, I'm feeling that the reunions can't be too far in the future.

  6. Ruth has been a blogging friend of mine for a long time and I'm always inspired by her love of the Lord as well as her quiet grace. This is a hard road, especially when there was so much love, and I'm glad she has this lovely place to come. Diane

  7. Dear Ruth
    I lost my husband Steve just two weeks ago on 26th April 2011 and I have been searching to hear from someone who was widowed a short time ago so that I can track their progress and compare it with my own. I am devastated and the grief and loneliness are, at times, agonising. My husband was just 55 years of age - we had been married for 36 years and were very close. He was diagnosed at Christmas with terminal lung cancer which had spread through his body - 4 months later he died. It is hard to comprehend - we simply had no idea - I feel as if my very guts have been twisted out of my body- I know that I am still in shock and disbelief. Like you, I am close with the Lord and find that my relief comes when I spend time with Him - then, and then only, do I have the strength to do what needs to be done. I am not looking forward to the lonely, agonising hours that stretch before me. Thanks for sharing your story - it has been a great help.
    kind regards

  8. You have told your story well, Ruth. So sad, but hopeful, as well.

  9. Ruth, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story with us. ((hugs))

  10. I am deeply touched by each comment.Thank-you.If any one would like to contact me personally,I am open to that.If God can use me to encourage even one person,that would be amazing.

  11. Dear Jacquie, I'm so sorry for your loss, two weeks is so raw and hard. I'll be praying for you and feel free to contact me anytime.
    There's so much hope waiting for you and many amazing and precious things you will discover along the way.

  12. Also visiting from Ruth's blog - thank you so much for sharing her story here. All too often we go thru the trials in our lives - thinking why must I do this- how can I ever endure . . . only to find that God is preparing us to perhaps help someone else walk the same road - and we have been blessed to have gained the 'expertise' to help them get thru. I know - during the grief and sorrow - we don't see it as a blessing. But, I have seen it over and over again, as we deal with losses of children, spouses and parents.
    Somewhere down the road - may we be a blessing to someone we come in contact with.

    Beautifully written. May God be praised!

  13. Ruth, my grief is very fresh as well. I also trust in the Lord to help me on this unwelcome journey. ("I can do all things through Him, (Christ Jesus) who strengthens me.") It is a verse both my husband & I were depending on, and that I must continue to rely upon. He has blessed me with the loving support of wonderful, Christian family & friends. My husband Bob, 67 yrs old went home to be with the Lord this past February 16th,- (we fought cancer for a little over 2 years) - Still nothing prepared me for being without him. It is still so hard. My Mom had just passed away in January, barely a month before. My 91 yr old Dad had a stroke in March, but has recuperated well. Still, there are challenges. It continues to be a very tough year so far. But, I try to keep my focus on the eternal perspective, knowing that all of our lives are brief, no matter how long we live on this earth. And that this present earth is not our true and eternal home. Yet, it can't change the fact of the loss or pain that we who remain, are engulfed in at times. Each time we would lose a loved one, my Mom would always say: "One by one, He is calling us home." I can hear her saying it now, and it reminds me that she and Bob are at home, and that I will someday be home with them and with my Lord & Savior, Jesus. May God continue to uphold you in this season of your grief. May He be your Joy & your Peace. You are not alone. Blessings, Carolynn

  14. Ah Ruth, it IS hard, so hard without one's comfortable companion. I'm down here in Vancouver (arrived into the condo today) and have been remembering our last time together at the coast as I walked Mingus down by the river. The skies are gray and life's prospects seem a little gray too. Less than a month and D will have been gone one year. How can it be? How have a managed this long without him? How can I keep on managing? Yet I know, I serve a great God ... and it is still ... one day at a time purposefully keeping my hand in His hand.

  15. Great testimony Ruth. Enjoyed reading it. It was a pleasure to have met you (under different circumstances would have been better)I check for an update on your blog everyday. I really enjoy your pictures and the pictures that Jake took.We will have to meet and coffee. God bless and continue the great picture taking..God does speak in the beauty of nature.

  16. I really can't remember how I came across Ruth's blog, but I did. I'm over here visiting to read Ruth's story. I am also amazed at what a wonderful ministry you have created through your blog. Blessings to you.

  17. Karen, thank you for your kind comment. I visited your blog and felt so enthused to show some love and beauty to my surroundings and the people in them like you and you "friend" Determination have done with your deck.
    And thanks too, to all, for the love and encouraging words to Ruth. She IS a special lady, and I hope she's felt your hugs and affection. My heart goes out to the new widows I've met through this post. Please know I'll be praying for you. Draw strength from your Savior, His Word and His people. ((hugs))

  18. Oh... I can relate to the grief and struggles of Ruth... It has been almost 7 years now that my husband went to heaven.. Although I have moved on with the strength and grace of God but still I do miss him. My only consolation is that he is with the Lord now praising God.....

  19. Ruth, I just read the comment that your son left on here and the tears are now rolling down my cheeks. May God bless you two in ways you can't even imagine.

  20. Oh Ruth - Huge hugs...
    And what your son wrote above - priceless.


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