Monday, August 27, 2012

Is There Help For Loneliness?

Here's an email from an anonymous widow who puts into words a really dark time that many have gone through. The circumstances may be different as far as the ages of the kids, the length of the marriage, the suddenness of departure. But the outlook is the same vast, lonely horizon when we look to the future. The pain seems unbearable.

After you read the note below, would you please share about how we can carry on through these lonely times. What pulled you through?

     In the last year I turned 37, and my husband of seventeen years was killed by a large object flying off a tandem truck. He had just turned 39. We had four children who are still in school. I homeschooled them and was a stay-at-home mother since our first child was born.
    I found people in the very beginning! But no one visits or calls. I am alone so much that I cannot bear it. I am seeking the Lord through it. But I long for love with skin on.
    My prayer is that God brings a husband. In my age group other people do not have time for others. They are more interested in their own lives. It is very hard. A husband is the only solution I can see.

What would you say to this lady? Is a husband the only true solution? I look forward to hearing from you.
ferree

11 comments:

  1. Lately I have been thinking that a partner is the only solution I have to the the lonely feelings. I have co-workers to spend some time with, but its not the same. We all have different days off - not always Friday and Saturday, so we do not get together on the days off. I spend a lot of time alone, I go hiking alone, there are wine festivals and other festivals around that I do not want to go to alone. If I had young children, I think getting married would be a good option.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My husband went to be with the Lord on May 2nd of this year unexpectedly while playing basketball. I am 34. We too were married 17 years. He was and will always be the love of my life. We have two childrren, ages 1 and 4. I am so sorry for your loss and loneliness. I can identify, though I am blessed with the "busyness " of small ones and have some wonderful friends and family.

    It sounds strange to say it this way, but I was "blessed " with losing my mother while pregnant with my first child. I experienced my first big loss and have watched my dad grieve his lifetime love. Unfortunately, he put finding a spouse before all else, and I have seen the undesirablenresults from this. He didn't consider us or our loss, and he missed some great opportunities to pour his love and energy into worthwhile causes. Now he is getting ready to remarry in a few short weeks, and pretty much everyone who loves him can see it is the wrong choice and worries about his future. He became so obsessed with finding someone new that he is compromising and will likely end up unhappier than if he was alone. This "search" has also shown an ugly selfish side that I didn't know existed. I know this is absolutely not what I want to show my children as they grow and are grieving their own loss.

    I say all this to note what I feel I have been fortunate to learn. Just as our advice to our children as they enter the dating world would be that you can't expect your happiness to come from another person, I don't think we can expect that either. In fact, you can make yourself even lonelier and more depressed if you decide that is the only answer and then it is not easy to find someone. Not to mention how distracted your parenting could be and how your children could suffer further if that becomes your focus. Instead, make your children and others your focus and I feel you will find more satisfaction - not to mention the lord may find a servant's heart more pleasing as well. Try your hardest to find joy in your children. Try new things with them. Volunteer together or on your own. Let others know you need their friendship and presence more than ever, and that through this they will also be serving your children by making you a more content and confident mother. You can do this!!! Now this may seem like hard advice, and I certainly do not have all (or any) of the answers! But try to put another spouse out of your mind for awhile as you and your children heal. There are way too many stories of quick remarriages that end in divorce after the death of the first spouse. Think how much more hurt and confusion that could create for all of you.

    I hope for the best for you, and that you will find some relief from the gripping loneliness. Ttry to take your life in 30 minute increments right now. I think that makes it more manageable, though it is hard if you are a planner like me. I would also recommend a book that was recommended on this site, which is Miriam Neff's "From One Widow to Another". It is a quick read with lots of practical information that may give you some confidence as you move forward.

    Again I will repeat that you can do this, and you can even do it alone if you have to! But we are never alone, are we? Trust God, remember how much your husband loved you and how proud he would be of you in your strength, and love those kids!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I read something the other day about how easily we women make our husbands a relational idol...to the point that God does not have His rightful place in our lives. After almost 3 years of the aloneness of being a widow, I have found that a husband is not the answer. It is good for us to find out who we are in Christ and to learn to find comfort in our aloneness with Christ. Easier said than done, but this is a process I am working on.

    My heart goes out to this younger widow and I desire to see her have a husband and a father for those children. But she must take the time to grieve first and not jump into a new marriage just to fill up that empty space.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have been widowed now for just over one year. It still seems like yesterday because he was essentially my "soul". I loved and still love him with all my being. I dont think the tears will ever dry. With that said, of course, only God has my soul and oh, how grateful I am for that blessed gift and security of salvation, I've often wondered if God took him, indeed, because my husband might have been a form of an idol for me? My love for him was so intense and true. God the father is a jealous God and asks us to love and honor Him FIRST. But He also taught us to cling to our mates. It's a confusing array of thoughts that I doubt we could ever fully understand if even fully accept by earthly terms.

    I believe we will never understand God's devine plan for our lives and future from the minute of conception on. My loneliness without the one I still consider my soul mate has, indeed, been comforted by God's peace and love that only HE can provide and, I believe, because I asked Him for it. Through all the grief, I draw closer and more intimate to God. To rush in need of a replacement husband and / or a father figure is, to me, rushing God's devine plan for my remaining future. HE KNOWS BEST and will provide what we need in His own time. If a husband is not In that plan, HE will replace that void with something better. I wait. If the wait takes me until Eternity, I'm a winner either way because I know God will
    never ever leave me -ever. HE PROMISES. Allow Him to use you (us) as He sees fit. He never promised the road would be easy. But HE is and will be worth it! (ReginaV)

    ReplyDelete
  5. My heart goes out to this widow. Loneliness is something that makes widowhood unbearable and difficult. I agree with her when she says most people are busy with their own lives even when you have friends and nice colleagues the time comes for everyone to go home and there is no one to go home to. After losing my husband I realized more than ever before that he was my best friend and no friend or relationship can compare to a spouse. That is except God. the truth is even when we have our husbands there are areas in our lives they can't handle simply because they are human and limited when we go though difficulties thy can hold us,encourage us or pray with us but sometimes they are powerless to bring about a solution so together we seek the Lord. I don't think God intended us to need any human being more than Him. I have received well meaning advice from Christian friends to remarry someone actually told me I could remarry after a year! Others feel I am young and will need companionship especially when the children grow and leave home, others adviced I keep away from any thing called MAN! as those that will come aroun are up to no good. The issue however is what do I think,what do I want and most importantly where and what is God leading me to. I do appreciate the loneliness but I think it's bit earlier. I know for me my heart is still sore and missing/longing for my husband infact I found the suggestions about remarriage less than 3 months after his passing repulsive and a dishonor to him and what we had together. Like the bible says there is a time for everything now is a time to grieve and heal to a point where we can take good decisions and follow God's leading and not our emotions.like the other sister said the children are a major consideration how will they feel, will they take to the person and will he take to them? Won't they want us to honor their father by mourning as we should. This dear sister should look to God to fill the emptiness and he will. I have been widowed for less than 5months but I am reaching out to new widows this can be fulfilling or getting involved with a group in church you will make friends with whom you can do certain things as well as find fulfillment. I believe this will help. I know it's hard and sometimes when people point out that God is the husband of the widow and the blessing of that in my heart i say if its so great being God's wife they can have Him but i just want a flesh and blood man I am content with God as my father. Her lonliness is real and can make her vulnerable. Remarriage is a good option but She should take her time and allow God lead her.The bible says 'He makes all things beautiful in His time'. Halima

    ReplyDelete
  6. There is so much emotion around the issue of finding a partner and marrying again. This sacred ground is as individual as we are as widows. We are all at different places in our grief and we have many different ideas. What I am clinging to is being available for God's holy Spirit to continue to form me into the best I can be. I want to find comfort and support in Him first and trust that He is preparing me for whatever is to come next. If it is a new earthly husband, he will have to love me as Christ loved the church and I have to respect him enough to submit to his leadership. This is a tall order and I am not emotionally healed enough to receive a new husband. But when I am, I want to be a gift to his life and not just a comfort for my own.
    In 1 Timothy 5, Paul talks about young widows physical desires distracting them, so they should seek to remarry to help with that. With that in mind, I can understand the physical need for oneness. I just do not want the physical needs of loneliness rush the decision to find a partner.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you ladies for your good and Godly words. Feeling lonely is one of the hardest things for me right now. My husband went to be with the Lord on May 4. We were married for almost 18 years. I am 37 and have 6 kids ages 17-4. For many years my husband was #1 instead of the Lord. I made the mistake of relying on my husband for everything even the things he couldnt fix in my own personal and spiritual growth. My husband would tell me and remind me to always place the Lord first then him. It was something I learned and I think I finally had it right. Then I lost my love. The Lord had prepared me for this time. It is still very hard but I remind myself the Lord is carrying me through this. I also have to tell my self that my kids come next now. I pray and hope that the Lord will fill this loneliness with His love. I don't see myself marrying any time soon. I still have quite a bit of kids to raise. But I do believe that if it's ever the lords will to remarry He would let me know. For the moment I need to continue to raise and train Godly children.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Loneliness is much more an everyday aspect of living now, since my husband of 15 years has gone to be with the Lord, 4 years ago. Although, I have friends and family and keep myself busy with regular exercise and eating a balanced nutritional diet, all important, but lacking the main solution to loneliness. I have found that loneliness is thwarted by looking unto Jesus and asking God to surround me with His Love, Peace and Contentment like only He can give. When I reach out to others in need, that is directing attention away from myself and helps to fill a gap. However, the gap left by a wonderful spouse is not filled with expending oneself on charitable occupations, no matter how needy the requirement or how fulfilling the time spent. Even the thought of getting a dog for companionship has been suggested. I think my husband would laugh, if he knew I was thinking of replacing him with a dog. If I ever got a dog, I already have his name picked out, Ichabod. That would be such an appropriate name for a dog since I would call him Icky for short. As I take him for walks in the rain, sleet, and snow and who knows best how cleaning up after him would certainly be Icky to me. But this is just another worthless waste of time, if I am not using my time wisely to the Praise and Glory of My Lord and Saviour while I am left here on earth. No, I think it would be better to wait on the Lord for his direction as Psalm 25:4&5 declares. Show me Your ways, O Lord. Guide me in Your truth and teach me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. +
    I lost my husband 5yrs ago it has been hard we were married for 29yrs married young. he died at age 49. I married right out of high school Now I am learning to be single I kind of for the first time. I have 5 children 24 and up they are all moved out. holidays are hard. I have been going to singles groups. and work a lot, started to do gardening. Now i am in my young 50;s and more women come out to the group then men Or he men are in their late 60 or older. Trying to be content in this new season of life and staying away from reading romance novels or romantic movies I find they are major triggers that add to the loneliness feelings. This is only one season God says all hings shall pass. I know I need to remind myself that Jesus is loving me and His grace is sufficient for each day.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's so hard to be content when there's the ache of loneliness to deal with. I'm not sure that contentment and loneliness can co-exist. There's a big difference between being alone and being lonely. It's a battle for contentment. Each of you women are duking it out every day and finding the right thing to do. God is going to bless and honor you ---and develop strength and perseverance along the way. Hang on to Him and lets hang on to each other.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I too have gone through and still go through the loneliness. I too have considered if having another husband would help. God in his graciousness has led me to see that at some point it may be an option, but not at this time. Like some of you others, I also wondered about the idol angle and for me that was what God wanted me to learn. This is timely as it is just recently that I acknowledged his prompting. After all who wants to believe that their husband was an idol, but mine was to me. I relied on him so much and I was sure he could do anything in the world. So for me it is a double edged blessing that Glenn is gone. First because I didn't want him to suffer and secondly because I am sure that I would not have listened to the prompting of what are the idols in my life. I have learned that each and every "new" thing in my life becomes an idol. Some for short periods of time and others for a longer time. Since Glenn passed away, I have had to get a different vehicle, move and am now in the process of moving again. I made mistakes by making things bigger than they should be and by allowing them to become all consuming. I could probably write a book after what God has taught me in the past few weeks. Praise him for John Hagee ministries, for Life Today and other TV ministries he has used as well as for my devotional books I use. God's timing is perfect, so I have learned that I need to slow down. When something comes into my life, whether it is a need or a new way of thinking, I need to take time, pray, cry, learn and give it up - sometimes for good, sometimes for a short period of time until the spirit can get my head and heart around the item. I am really learning just what an idol means in my life - food, possessions, people, ideals and relationships. So my advice is slow down, enjoy those hikes alone, enjoy the peace of having time to yourself so that God can use his still small voice in your life. If something is meant to be in your life, it will happen. So, until you are sure it is what God wants, don`t jump the gun - it usually leads to a lot of heartache for us and right now we don`t need anymore to grieve than we already have.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. I am not always able to reply but your remarks mean a lot to me and will appear as soon as possible.

Here are some tips for commenting:
Remember to click the Publish button.
Choosing the anonymous identity is easiest if you do not have your own blog.
Using a computer rather than a cell phone seems to work better. Thanks again!