Thursday, June 5, 2014

Looking Ahead: How to Get Through The Month of June

Photo courtesy photos-public-domain.com
June is a tough month for many widows because it marks so many of life's significant events from...

ORDINARY... a change of season and start of school vacations---so many memories! Picnics and last-day-of-school parties, sunshine and freedom, packing for vacation, picking strawberries, running through the garden hose as a child, catching fireflies....

to the EXTRAORDINARY...
  • weddings! June has always been the traditional month for weddings and is still a popular time to get married. Perhaps your own wedding was in June and you're anticipating your anniversary alone, or you've been invited to attend a wedding---alone. Most people don't realize what a struggle these days present.
  • graduations! Highschool, college and even pre-school graduations bring a grand finale to the school year and mark the start of a new chapter of life. Getting through these without your husband/their dad is a challenge.
  • Babies and birthdays! It's kind of odd---so many families find their birthdays tend to cluster around certain months. Is June a birthday month for you and yours?
  • and last but not least---Father's Day. Why don't they just stab us and get it over with, right? I don't know of a more dreaded day for widows. On Monday we will talk about it and hear some tips from others on how they survived.
But for today, here are a few tips on dealing with June. Some winning attitudes and actions you can begin to take now to clear these humps.
Read the book of Philippians over and over this month. You might read it 20 or 30 times and that's good! But at least read it once---it only takes about 15 minutes for the entire book. Grab a pen and mark up your Bible. Underline and take notes. Circle the words that repeat and pop out at you. The author writes from prison, having lost all, but choosing to rejoice in the Lord. You'll find much hope, confidence and joy woven throughout this piece of Scripture that will refill and restore your own soul.
Pray about everything (Phil. 4:6)
Rejoice always (Phil 4:4) This isn't asking you to rejoice that your husband is gone, but rather to open your eyes to the life going on around you. For example, if you have to attend a wedding lock your thoughts on the young couple and being happy for them. Also, concentrate on telling yourself thoughts like "I'm so thankful I had ___years of marriage," rather than, "Why can't I still be married?" Don't give in to self-pity but you must replace it with strong-willed gratitude to God---that's the only way this widowhood student and veteran has found.
Think about praiseworthy, excellent things (Phil 4:8) You can't stop negative thinking, you can only replace it with right thoughts. Phil 4:8 tells us how. Consider each word and collect thoughts and pictures for it. For example: for "whatever is true" you can picture and state in your mind all the true things you know about God and His love for you. Do the same with the words noble, right, pure, etc.
Press on to the prize (Phil. 3:13,14)

These tips will work for you! How do I know? How can I say that?
Not only have I done all this myself, but also, here's why I'm so confident--Phil 1:6 in my own words:
Because God, who began a good work in you when you became a Christian will carry it on to the day you are complete and whole.

This chapter in your life is mighty sad, but your story isn't finished yet, and in the strength of the Lord it will have one glorious and happy ending. Keep on keeping on my friend! We will get through June together and with God's good help from the Bible!
ferree

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for the article...My husband of 30 years is went to be with the Lord 2 years ago...My daughter is getting married in one week and I am the one walking her down the aisle. Although never in front of her, many emotions, thoughts, and butterflies arise at the most unexpected times. Thank you for bringing in perspective what Truth looks like at this time....He gave us 30 years together....God has given my daughter a man who loves Him and her and I am truly thankful for that....

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  2. Wow, I sure will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I had two daughters get married after Bruce died, so I know God will keep you together, and how His Word will be your anchor. If you do cry, in fact probably expect to as it's something most every mother-of-the-bride will do. But I think you'll find people to be very understanding of some tears, and it'll be a tremendously touching and special event. 30 years together --- and now you can bless your daughter because of it. What a treasure.... Thank you so much for sharing today.

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  3. Ferree, DeWayne and I had the same birthday--June 15th. The year he passed, it landed on a Sunday, like this year--Father's Day! That day, six years ago now, will always be remembered as "Triple-Whammy Sunday." It was hands down the worst grief day that I remember. But by God's grace, I survived it, and the bittersweet birthdays that followed, and in an incredible act of His kindness, this year I will be celebrating the two-year anniversary of my first date with Dave, my new husband! What a sweet gift of restoration from God!

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  4. Leslie, I didn't realize you and Dwayne had the same birthday---that sure would make for a triple whammy when it landed on Father's Day, oh my! But yes, PTL you did survive, and thrive! God's restoration is such a gift and it happens in so many ways. Congratulations as you come to the 2 year mark of the first date with Dave. I'm so happy for you. My memory is terrible but I think your one-year wedding anniversary's near this time of year too. Love hearing from you!

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  5. Sometimes I am sad because of his absence, laughter and little surprises, but rejoice in what he must be experiencing today. As (Phil.) reminds us think on the lovely, the true, good report and then just say (thank you Lord) for every good and perfect gift is from above. L/Dodi

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  6. Well said, Dodi, and to think that we can turn our mind to those joyful things even in the midst of sadness. I know you miss your Tom deeply, but I thank you for pressing on and turning to Christ as your comfort and peace. We talked about role models yesterday and I appreciate your loving example.

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