Monday, June 8, 2015

Surrender Is An Intersection


There comes a point in every widow’s life when she must surrender her sense of identity so that who she was and what she did is stripped clean. The time for that to happen is different in each widow’s life and no one can tell her exactly when that time is. It’s a time that she arrives at through the wooing of the Holy Spirit.

I came to that point and am finding it to be the only way to be utterly at peace with exactly where I am now at this very moment. I have to let God do His growth work in me so that the identity that I allow to fall away can be transformed from who I was to who I am created to be at this very time and this very moment in my life.

Is it easy to get to this point? No. Definitely not. I fought against it and struggled with it for long time. In fact, I embraced the struggle wholeheartedly for it was only as I embraced it that I could totally process through it. But, at the end of the struggle I found it necessary to come to that place of surrender in order to begin moving towards the “new me”. Coming to that place of surrender doesn’t mean that the struggle is completely finished. It’s not.

I find it to be sometimes a daily battle because this is not the life that I pictured – EVER. Somehow I had it in my mind that my husband and I were going to live forever sitting together in our rockers on the front porch rocking until Jesus comes. Where do I find out who I am created to be? There is only one place and that is the Bible. My friendship with the Bible can take me from who I was as the wife of Bob Feathers to the woman God intended for me to be now as a widow.

My being in this place didn’t surprise God. He knew before I was born that I would be here and He made preparations for me ahead of time to help me through the anticipatory grief, the initial shock on the day my husband died, all those feelings of betrayal, the months and months of questioning “WHY?!” and “HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!”, the realization that I needed help to process through my grief, the courage to ask for that help………….so many things that I have experienced and continue to experience.

Finding out who I am to be now begins with an act of obedience to simply read or listen to the Bible every day. Only God’s Word can reveal to me who I really am and illuminate the path that God has created for me to walk. The journey ahead is far more important than the past left behind.

© 2013 by Candy Feathers. Used by permission. Visit her blog, Reflections From My Porch Swing for more of her writing and godly wisdom on life and widowhood.
ferree


10 comments:

  1. I do believe that this is something I am struggling with at this time. I kept reading about how widows are a different person than they were, but I did not feel like a different person. Now, some of the changes are starting to show. So far, this is the hardest part of my journey and may be causing some physical ailments along the way.

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    1. Hi Teri. I have followed your widow journey via your blog for a long time. It's truly okay that it is only now that some changes are beginning to show. Evidently you weren't ready to see how you have been changed until now. I have found in my own journey that God has not shown me anything until He saw it was time and that I could handle it and process through it. I would encourage you to do what you need to do now to take care of yourself whether it be to seek out professional grief counseling and get the physical help that you need or to find a place to put down roots. Only you can know what is best for you.

      Will it be hard? Yes, it will be, but I can tell you that it will be very, very worth it!

      Candy

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  2. The first week after my husband (Tom) had passed away I had such a cold un-necessary comment made to me by a minister. He said..... "now Dodi you are no longer going to be Mrs @#+ .... and your identity now will just be Dodi" I had not even had time to process his death much less process my identity.
    It will be four years this November and I have given that cold unkind comment much thought and prayer. First I had to pray and ask God to please help me to forgive this man for his poor timing and insensitive comment. And second the Lord has and is showing me that even though my identity has been altered His identity hasn't changed and this gives me strength to begin another day.
    My life as being a wife was so structured on a daily basis of involvement towards Tom's agenda and now is zero involvement.
    Who am I? There is a promise in Isaiah 54:4 where the Lord promises ... "you will no longer bear the shame and reproach of your widowhood"
    I believe he is saying ..... I will take away your reproach and shame....and you were always my child but I am now your husband and I will fight your battles for you . He reminds me that my worth, identity and value is derived from him and not society's label.
    Through this journey I have prayed the serenity prayer many times "May God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can't change , courage to accept the things I can change and wisdom to know the difference. L / Dodi

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    1. Dodi, I am so sorry that the pastor said those very insensitive words to you. Sometimes I wonder just what people are thinking or not thinking when words like that come out. The direction that you have taken in dealing with it has been just right. And I have the Serenity Prayer hanging in my master bath. May God continue to be your guide in this grief journey.

      Candy

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  3. "...and you were always my child but I am now your husband and I will fight your battles for you . He reminds me that my worth, identity and value is derived from him and not society's label."
    Some hard fought wisdom there, Dodi. I cherish your words!
    Thank you Teri, too for your insights about what the Lord is showing you these days. And Candy, your writing really resonates with so many, I'm so grateful you were will to share your posts on the WCP this week.

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    1. Thank you the opportunity to share what God has spoken to me in these years of being a widow, Ferree.

      Candy

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  4. Perhaps the widows who feel that they must wipe their past life clean before they can truly go on are rather young. It's obvious that Candy loves and is being guided by our Lord, as we hope all widows are. But I am an older widow, almost 78, and there is no way I can, or care to, wipe away the 60 years of loving and being married to my husband. I know that I will be joining him in a few years because of the sacrifice of our dear Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ. I do pray always for God to guide me in serving Him in any way that I can while I'm here on earth. I've been a widow for a year and a half and it has been the worst thing I've ever had to live through, as you each know from experience. Every day I pray for God to help all widows, all over the world. We each suffer the same loss.

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  5. This is my first time responding to any blog post as a widow. As a new, forty-something member of this unwanted sisterhood, I'm finding that I really hate the title of widow. It wasn't supposed to be mine for a very long time. It's semantics I guess, the title doesn't change the truth. But I recognize that God has appointed me to this position. He called me to it. It didn't just happen. Therefore I need to learn to walk it out with grace. And someday when I'm ready I'll dig into the Word to see what promises and provision God has for those he calls to widowhood.

    In the meantime if you have placed your trust in Jesus Christ, I'd like to encourage you to read Ephesians 1 and let your Father remind you that you are so much more than "widow". This is how he defines you and me:

    Blessed with all spiritual blessings
    Chosen
    Without blame
    His adopted child
    Accepted
    Beloved
    Redeemed
    Forgiven
    Heir
    Sealed with the Holy Spirit

    This is a reminder that I need. Maybe you do too.

    “And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
    ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭3:18-19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

    JenM


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    1. Jen, Thank you for commenting on this blog post. The first time might be a little intimidating, but I'm so glad you did it! Yes, that "w" word is very uncomfortable and alien; it's not a word or choice. But you're so right---the Lord has clothed us with far more than widowhood. The riches of Christ still hold true, and His love is big enough to get us through this. In the mean time we can rejoice in multitudes of God's promises that pave the road ahead. Blessings and love to you Jen!

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