Thursday, October 18, 2012

Widow's Story: Sharon Vander Waal, part 2

Dear Reader,
I hope you enjoyed getting to know Sharon a little bit yesterday. Through widowhood, cancer and caregiving, there's more treasure she shares with us today! I also urge you to visit her two blogs. Moments With God provides devotions from Scripture and is an offshoot from a devotional book she wrote and gave to her children in 2005 before Wayne was diagnosed.
Christian Caregiving is her site for encouraging caregivers. She told me, "I started it not long after Wayne's death. I wanted to encourage caregivers, but it has been a release for me also."
Please visit her blogs, say "Hello," and would you please let her know you found her through this blog? Thanks so much!
Here's the continuation from yesterday:

Sharon, may I ask what's the best thing you learned about the Lord through your experiences?
Through the struggles of my four and a half years of caregiving for my husband, through my own diagnosis of breast cancer in 2007 a year after my husband’s diagnosis and my subsequent 8 months of treatment, and through my grief since my husband’s death I have learned in new ways of the faithfulness of my Lord. I have learned that I am not in control, but the Lord is in control and is sovereign over every aspect of my life. It has and is teaching me dependence on the Lord. I have also learned of His unfailing love for me. His love and strength has been my comfort.

What are some of the other challenges you’ve faced since being widowed? Would you please talk a little bit about how knowing Christ has helped bring you through them?
Besides the challenges of losing my husband of 39 years there have been the challenges of working through the many layers of grief, There has also been loneliness issues and issues of feeling out of place in a coupled society. There also have been home maintenance issues. Turning to the Lord through prayer and Bible reading is helping me work through emotional issues. God has always provided a way also with the home maintenance issues. He is indeed faithful.

What sort of opportunities do you have to serve your church?
I sing in church choir and participate in a woman’s Sunday school class.

Sharon & Wayne
2005
about 1 year
before Wayne's diagnosis
What's the most surprising thing about widowhood you've discovered?
I was surprised how long it takes to work through the many aspects of grief and how difficult it really has been.

What are your ideas for things you’d like to do in the next few years?
Most of all I want to continue to deepen my relationship with the Lord. I think my future could possibly include ministry to widows and/or to caregivers or possibly some other ministry of mercy. I am quite sure my future will also include writing of one form or another. I already have a blog site to encourage caregivers and a devotional blog site, and I do a volunteer job on Tuesdays which gives family caregivers a respite time. 



What encouragement can you give a woman who is in the early raw pain of loss?
I remember widows telling me in my early stages of grief, “It will get better.” I think that is a good way to sum it up. Even though it will be two years this coming January since my husband’s death I still miss my husband every day, and there are sad moments every day. I sometimes also feel a sense of real loneliness. There are also good and joyful moments again, however. 
     I would encourage a new widow to keep turning to the Lord and to His promises in His Word. Because I have continued to do this, I can tell you that my relationship with Jesus Christ is deeper, sweeter, and more precious than ever before.
     Also I would advise a new widow to not be troubled with thoughts about lack of purpose in your life because of the death of your husband. Concentrate on deepening your relationship with the Lord, and the rest will fall into place in God’s timing. It is not about doing, but about being. God may be already using you in ways you do not even know about. Be patient with His work in your life.


Thank you for sharing your life and your heart with us today, Sharon!
And thank you, dear reader, for visiting here today.
ferree

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing Sharon's story with us. I can relate in so many ways to her sentiments and journey. My husband of 51 years passed January 3rd, the day before his 73rd birthday. I've desperately needed support since then and deeply appreciate the thoughts and experiences Sharon has shared with readers. I plan to visit her blog/web sites. Somehow the Lord led me to your site, and for that I am very grateful.

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  2. Thank you Sharon, for sharing your heart and God's faithfulness through this interview. It is always heart warming and encouarging to hear another widow's story and how God has sustained them during their journey. Bless you!

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  3. Thank you Sharon for sharing you experience. It is so easy to get caught up in thinking no one knows what you are going through and then the Lord sends someone special like you. I too have had trying home maintenance issues. The Lord provides just what I need at the right time.

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  4. Thank you ladies, for your kind comments. May you feel the Lord's presence, as you walk the path of being a widow.

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  5. It is not about "doing"; it is about "being". I needed to hear that. You have shared some very encouraging words. Thank you!

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  6. Thank you Sharon for sharing a part of your journey. Only another widow can understand and relate to what we're going through. You have said it as it is. Like you, its been 2 years since my husband died and it was comforting to read that I am not alone in my emotions and what Im still going through. Those who haven't been through what we have often think we should be over it - far from the truth. God bless you for sharing.

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