Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Widow's Story: Carrie Jo Kistler Shride, part 1

Ferree: Hi Everyone! Today I want to introduce you to Carrie Jo Kistler Shride, a widow I met online shortly after her husband died three years ago. I approached her with this idea a few months ago, but shortly afterwards her grandpa passed away and she was managing his estate and house, plus her three girls, a new husband and stepdaughter! So she’s had a busy few months and I’m so glad she’s been gracious (and efficient!) enough to share her story with me.  

Carrie: Hi Ferree, I am finally answering your message from so long ago. Life has been very active and I haven't felt that I could take the time and put the words down correctly and God-led until now. Thanks again for the opportunity to reach out to those who have become a widow. It was a journey I never expected, but I have learned and grasped every bit of it walking with the Lord, step by step.
It’s been just over 3 years since Mike died in a car accident. He fell asleep coming home from work after working third shift, about 3 miles from home. I was widowed at the age of 36 and had three daughters, ages 10, 5, and 2 to raise.
Mike & Carrie and their daughters several years ago
How did you react at first, Carrie? What was that first year like?

The time has gone fast for the most part, looking back. But I remember how many, many days would drag on with being the only parent. I felt as if all I did all day long was discipline. I became more and more lonely as a woman craving to be loved by her husband. I missed him so very much. I look back now and have NO idea how I did it...Phil 4:13.
Where there certain things you found especially difficult?

There were several "harder" parts for me as a widow. Our oldest daughter is handicapped, so the physical strain I had to take on daily was tremendous. Mike and I were such a great team and he was such a hands-on daddy. I took all of that for granted, until he was gone.
Probably the very hardest part for me becoming a widow was the FEAR! I have always been a "scared of your own shadow" type, but staying alone at night with the girls was so out of my comfort zone. My grandma (her and my grandpa raised me) stayed with us a lot, as well as my aunt. I always feared something would happen to our daughters during the night and I would be alone.

How did you begin to grow through your grief?  
I had thought Mike was my rock during all of our years together, but I soon learned and figured out that Jesus was my Rock!!! Letting go of the fear of being alone was the one most healing things that changed my life. I know I can do anything, now!

I want others to learn from me that no matter the situation we find ourselves in during widowhood, God is there for it ALL! For finances, loneliness, raising your kids, any decision making... Seek Him and He will show you the way. I had to rely on Him through all of these things. Mike wasn't there but I loved growing deeper and deeper with Jesus through it all.
In fact, a friend of mine said awhile after Mike's death, "If your husband would have known how much deeper your relationship would grow with Christ because of him dying, he would have died for you a long time ago." At first, it took me back, and then I thought, “Yes, you are right. That's the kind of husband I had.”

Mike must have been an awesome man! That’s an amazing thing your friend said! I'm looking forward to continuing this tomorrow because your story can bring hope in the Lord for other young widows. We'll talk about some of the other keys that helped you along the way and discoveries you'd like to share.

1 comment:

  1. Carrie, thank you for sharing. A couple of your statements hit home and I know that God is using you in a mighty way.


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 when you are done.
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!