Monday, January 9, 2012

Widows Talk About Joy, Happiness, Contentment, Part 1

Dear Reader, On Monday we cover grief topics, and today is no different. Can you imagine that Joy, Happiness and Contentment are part and product of the grieving process? Maybe you can see that, maybe you say "No way." In any case, here's part of the fascinating conversation my friend, Carol, recently hosted on her Facebook group, The Gathering Place.

CAROL  OK my friends--- Here goes! I am going to throw this out there, some will embrace it, some will throw it back, some will let it lie there til they are ready. I've been in prayer and talks with a couple of fellow widow friends about this topic, and I think today is the day ---are you ready for it? JOY. HAPPINESS. CONTENTMENT.
We can have all of these things, even on this journey!! I cannot tell you how excited I felt the moment I realized (just a couple of months ago) that there was more to this. That maybe God had a bigger purpose.
Now, let me just say-- everyone's situation is different. Keep that in mind. But losing my husband is not the worse thing that could happen to me. There, I said it. The worst thing I can think of is NOT having an intimate relationship with the Lord; the worst thing would be standing before Him and hearing, “I know you not. What did you do with the talents I gave you?” No way, I do NOT want to hear that!
So I'm thinking, what IF God called me to this journey? Yep----what IF He ALLOWED all of this to happen because He has great plans for me? I loved my husband very much. I STILL miss him. I STILL shed tears over certain situations, but I've learned to be content in whatever state I'm in'. (Philippians 4:11-paraphrased)
Deciding to surrender the situation to the Lord, letting Him do the work He has started in me, and learning to be content---that was the hardest 3-step process I've ever done. But it worked! I'm so thankful to be on this journey! I'm so thankful that my relationship with the Lord is the best its ever been! I'm EXCITED about what He has in store for me!!
KELLY   YES YES YES!!! I am here to say "AMEN" to all of that. The joy of the Lord never really left me after John died - I could go to church and fully worship and feel blessed. Happiness was elusive, however, but has returned. Contentment... now THAT is a biggie. But it returned to me as well.
     I am sure it sounds almost blasphemous to agree with Carol in saying the death of my husband was not the worst thing that could happen to me. And I also agree with her when she says the worst thing would have been to lose or walk away from my relationship with Christ. He has to be my everything now - He has to guide my choices and my path. And I have to let Him.

MYRA  Amen, sister! I have tried to explain this to other people that are in a different place in their journeys, but they are not yet ready to hear it. You got it, girl!

SANDY  AMEN! My daughter-in-law and I were just talking about this very subject this morning! God is AWESOME! I cannot image my life without Christ.  Not only when Steve was killed, but also 5 months later when losing my mom. How anyone goes through these trials without God I just don't know! He IS my Rock and my Redeemer, my Savior and my friend!
     
I had someone I love dearly say I couldn't have loved Steve because I went on with my life. This absolutely crushed me. But I KNOW I love Steve and my life was complete with him. But God had a different plan for me. And I have gone on and I am content. IF God ever brings someone into my life then so be it. But if He chooses for me to be alone that's ok too. It will be two years on March 5th that Steve went home. Yes, I've gone on with my life with Christ by my side. And that is what I'll continue to do till He takes me home!

What would you add to this conversation? Let's keep it rolling with your comments below. Agree? Disagree? And check back tomorrow for Part 2.
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9 comments:

  1. I would add a hearty AMEN.I too am feeling contentment,and joy and even happiness. Yes,I loved my Jake more than words can tell,but this is where God has placed me right now so I will live for Him and do the best I can.It was a precious moment,the day I realized that it was OK to laugh heartily again and really enjoy life.God is so good.

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  2. I totally agree with everything said! Although this new stage of my life is sometimes overwhelming and the tears still come I know that it is the life God has planned for me. He will lead and guide me in the days ahead and bring me into the fullness of His plan for me. That being said, however, I have to admit honestly that the waiting and loneliness are the most difficult things to endure. But even those things are being used by Him to accomplish His plan for me.

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  3. Wow girls, I am hoping I get to that point soon. Thanks for sharing.
    It is 112 days, 16 weeks or 3.5 months on Thursday since David passed away. Seems so much farther away. I have been feeling different lately, since I put ALL in God's hands and asked daily for a garment of Joy to replace the spirit of heaviness. We/I should not be so surprised when God acts so powerfully in our lives. We spend lots of time praying for other people and not being surprised when He answers, but I think we are somehow taken by surprise when we feel Him working in our own personal lives. I do feel a bit uncertain because I think I should still be feeling devastated, which inside I feel that I am, but I am functioning so much better, and I am worried in case I'm burying things and they will sideswipe me when I'm not looking, but wow if I could stand up in front of people without weeping and show them just how God is carrying me that would be amazing. No wonder He keeps telling me to TRUST HIM.God Bless you all xx

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  4. Great comments, keep the coming. Ruth, I can't begin to say how happy I am when I see where you're at today. Have you thought of comparing it to one year ago? I've followed your beautiful blog since then, and if I remember correctly, you know exactly how the two Linda's are feeling. Praising God for your growth through this painful experience. And to both Linda's--take heart! As these other widows attest, there IS life after a husband's death. love to you all.

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  5. During the first year after Don died...I felt guilty when I realized I could feel joy and happiness...now it's been over two years and I'm sliding into contentment! I'm not struggling with contentment as I did with joy and happiness!

    I feel I walk with God and Jesus...but ours has been an up and down relationship (on my side of course)...they're always there for me...sometimes I'm not there for them.

    Letting go and letting God has always been difficult for me...I'm still learning...it's much easier now. Don dying has, in many ways, brought me closer to God! Don was a much better Christian that I am, in the sense that he believed as a child...he didn't worry the thing to death trying to figure it out, analyse it, look in all the nooks and crannies...he took it on faith and ran with it!

    God saved me, once again, after Don died, I wanted to DIE...so I could be with Don...I was so far down the pitch black hole...I knew if I didn't have help I'd be sent to a psychiatric hospital. Don died in October, I spent Christmas with my family...we went to Christmas Eve service...I sat in the back of the church and shook, holding on with all my might...I asked God to help me to want to live...to live for my son and DIL, to live for my g'kids, to live for Don, to live for me, to live for God himself, since I am one of his children! I am still here because God wants me here.

    What have I done with the talent(s) God gave me...God gave me the joy of color, the happiness of color, the contentment of color...the ability to look at color and feel it's emotion...my blog and my blog friends have shown me that it's now or never...to explore this thing I have constantly put to the side to do other things that were definitely more important!

    I start on this journey with faith that God and Jesus will continue to be with me until death...that at my end will be a new beginning united in spirit with God and Don!

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  6. I am SO happy to see more widows attesting to the love they are getting from our Lord. Linda #2 above, I LOVE your prayer to God asking for "a garment of Joy". That is such a wonderful way of seeing it. But we can't just put it on, it can't just be on the outside... the harder part is to let it warm us and sink in, so that the Joy remains in the midst of the sadness or the loneliness. YAY for US!!!

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  7. Oh yes and amen! Love reading these women's comments. God is so good - all of the time, His ways and purposes past finding out so great ate they. One thing sure, this whole experience has taught me to lean hard on the Lord and He has been so there to carry me through each step of the way. Loving Isaiah 46:4 at the moment. I too, don't know how people make it without God, His love, His promises, His tender mercies.

    This whole thing has also changed my view of death. It doesn't hold the fear - it is just the entry way to be with Jesus and those who have gone before us. Oh death where is thy sting? Swallowed up in Christ! ... has become a reality to me. Now when someone I know dies in Christ, my heart gives a little leap of excitement and joy for them even though I know it is hard on the loved ones who remain.

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  8. Thank you for this blog. My darling husband passed away 4 months and 4 days ago after a 6 month battle with cancer. Without the Lord, His guidance, His love for me, I would not be here - I would have taken steps to follow my darling. I know he is with the Lord. I still want to be with him more than I want to live. I do not yet have the joy and happiness. I do have a level of contentment, and I have faith that the Lord will send me the joy and happiness if that is in His plan for me. Your blog is just what I need at this stage of my journey - nobody who has not experienced this series of body blows known as widowhood really wants to talk about it or to listen to me talk about it. Thanks, and may God bless you for this ministry.

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