Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Porchlight: A Prompt for Your Stories, 4


(Since I'm travelling most of this month I'm re-posting some of my favorites. This Porchlight Series will be every Wednesday. On Wednesdays I post widows' stories and what I love about Porchlight is that it tells YOUR stories as readers answer the questions and correspond in the comment boxes. I hope you'll appreciate these stories as much as I do, and I hope to hear from you!)
* What Is It About Church? *
My blogger friend Bridgett said it so well after her first husband died:
"I'm far from alone at church, but it's where I feel lonely more than anywhere else. I miss walking into the building as a family of five, having help dropping off and picking up the boys in their Sunday School rooms, sitting next to someone during the service and talking about the message on the way home. I even miss being a passenger in our truck! I may look and sound okay, but my heart is still hurting."
Can you relate? I know I could. I found being alone in a crowd of people was one of the loneliest spots on earth. But something about being alone in church was another degree of separation. I haven't quite put my finger on it.

I've gotten to know Bridgett a bit, and I don't think you have to worry that she'll leave her church. She's not really looking for sympathy or encouragement, she was just kind enough to share her honest feelings. She wouldn't quit her church for anything! But the question is this: have you felt the same way? Other widows do.

On Widow Connection website I read, "Approximately fifty percent of widows will leave the church they attended as a couple." The author also said, "loneliness is not descriptive enough of the space that becomes the cocoon of the widow."

What is it about church? At a time we so desperately need the fellowship and the spiritual feeding, why is it a struggle for some widows to attend?
Help us all navigate this "new normal" by sharing your experiences. You'll be a great help and encouragement in letting others know they're not alone!

Has your church attendance changed or stayed the same since your husband died? Tell about the difference, or please tell why it hasn't changed.
Click the comment line below and let's hear from you.

Thanks! ferree

6 comments:

  1. I haven't been able to attend church alone since my husband died 6 weeks ago. My adult daughter has been going with me but I know the Sunday will come when she will be working. I am not sure if I can go solo. For me church is a huge reminder of his memorial service which was held there. Then there is the uncomfortable and awkward attempts at conversation with people who knew us as a couple. We did social things with other church couples and I know those days are over for me. I do go to a women's Bible study at my church and it's ok but I still sense a degree of discomfort among the other women. Am I a source of fear for them that they will be in my shoes someday? I very much want to continue worshiping in this place but so far, it's very difficult.

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  3. Dear Anonymous, I want to encourage you too, like Swans Forever, to try to find someone to sit at church with when your daughter isn't available. It was hard for me, too, so I'll really be praying for you. I'm glad I stayed, to lose my church would have been another loss for me at the time. I hope we can hear from others on this too.

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  4. Hi Ferree,
    I am new to your site and actually new to blogs. I have found Widow's Christian Place very comforting to me as I search for support as a recent widow. My husband passed away suddenly 10 monthas ago. I have not been able to return to our church, which we were actively involved in for years. The thought of returning was painful. However, I am attending a new church, which I find very uplifting. I do feel lonely wheb I first go, but then feel uplifted during the service. With each new day, I ask God to walk with me on this journey. Thank you for your compassion in support new widows.

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  5. I'm so glad you commented, Sharon. A number of widows feel the same way and also find a new church. It's hard for others to understand sometimes, but a new church can sometimes help start the fresh new life God has given widows.

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  6. I think most people do not understand how lonely church can be for the widowed. It's such a social place! And it's meant to be an opportunity for celebration of what the Lord has done for us through the gospel of Jesus...but... I have been the most hurt by people at church. I've been hurt by people who think nothing has changed in my life. I've been hurt by people who think I should be better by now (I'm over 2 years out, but at even a few weeks out I was being asked to return to the ministry my husband and I had done together - um...no!) and by people who ask me how I'm doing only so they can tell me their own sad tale of woe (I'm sorry, friend, but your husband working 3rd shift is NOT the same as my husband being dead). It's no wonder we hide at home, or desire to find a new church family. And it's okay to find a new church family! It's a deep relief to join with others in worship and JUST WORSHIP. LOL. You can tell this is a painful subject for me, and one I am still in the process of exploring.

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