Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Walking Away From Loneliness

I hope you all have a copy of Postcards From the Widows' Path. Not because I wrote it, but because
it's based on the story of Ruth and Naomi in the Bible, and offers some real solutions for the challenges of widowhood. God knows our needs and he's given us the Bible as our roadmap and guidebook for life.

Yesterday I touched on loneliness and isolation as some of the most difficult challenges for widows. The quietness of an empty house and the endless evenings alone can make a widow feel suffocated. She doesn't know where to turn.

Naomi didn't know what to do either. For ten years she was stranded in the foreign land where her husband and her sons died. But if we catch the cues from her story we can cut down that number of years. In my book there are simple journaling exercises that offer constructive gauges and steps along the widows' path. With journalling, widows can look back and see the real progress they've made.

Here's a quick summary of a few steps we can learn from Naomi, Ruth and Orpah:
  •    Naomi suffered many losses. Ruth 1:5 says she was left. Have you felt left behind too? I know I did! But by Ruth 1:7, Naomi does something: she gets ready to leave the graveyard of Moab. When the time comes, we can begin to prepare for the life ahead of us.
  •    But if we prepare to leave, where will we go? The book of Ruth shows three choices for widows. 1) Naomi returned to her roots. 2) Orpah remained with the familiar. 3) Ruth risked an entirely new life. Not one of those choices is better than the other, the most important choice is to follow Jesus; but of the three choices exemplified by these widows, which one is available to you?
  •    What will we need for our journey? Naomi prayed a blessing over her two beloved daughter-in-laws, asking God to grant them kindness and rest. Those two words are exactly what every widow needs!
  •    And then the widows walked. One. Step. At. A. Time. They left the graveyard and journeyed to the Promised Land, a place to call home.  
Doesn't your heart yearn for a place to belong too? It's a difficult journey, but by following the path and choices of widows in the Bible we can find our way too. May God grant us all journeying mercies. ferree

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