When they happened to me I was shocked, confused, dazed, and in extreme agony. Although I had no physical injuries I often pictured myself on a stretcher being pulled from a fatal car wreck. Suffering and trouble exploded my world and life chaged. Forever. In an instant.
I faced the hardest challenge ever, but I was too bewildered to understand that. No one sat down with me and told me, "It's just as Jesus said, In this world we'll have trouble..." I didn't really look at widowhood as trouble or suffering. I was too stunned. I thought, "I can't believe this happened! I hate this! I want my husband back! But I'll get through this. I'll grieve and mourn. I'll be shocked, angry, depressed, etc. (You know---those "stages" of grief). And then I'll just be a single, struggling mom like millions of other faceless women."
I didn't put it in the category of troubles Jesus told us to expect. I didn't get it that God already knew.
Neither did anyone mention that those words of Christ were flanked by comfort: "in me you may have peace... I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 NIV)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”For some reason I didn't think widowhood qualified as trouble or suffering. At the time I saw it as an unfortunate circumstance. My heart ripped out---I didn't see it as something God would help me overcome. Maybe I'd picked up that popular platitude --MOVE ON-- and thought that was all I had to do. Like I thought moving on was the solution? Perhaps.
Having come through it the hard way, without any resources, I want to tell you about a free resource that's on the radio this week. Tom told me he hears it on his drive to work every day and replayed the broadcast for me last night: Soaring Above Your Circumstances series by Dr. David Jeremiah.
As I listened to When Trials Become Our Teacher (the suffering of Job), and A Prayer From A Cave(the troubles of David and depression), I thought of all my widows and readers and how so much practical help sits right there for us all in the pages of Scripture. I wondered how much easier my widow's walk would have been if only I'd heard stuff like this. I hope you'll tune in to these broadcasts today to feed your hungry spirit and encourage your aching heart, even if you're as stunned as I was and look at widowhood as more of a circumstance to live with than a challenge God will help you through.
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