Loneliness and isolation are 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. My book illustrates many more:
- Naomi suffered many losses--her husband, her sons, her homeland, her security, her future. 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. These are classic choices for many widows today! Read Joan Wyrtzen Bagg's story from last Tuesday and Wednesday to see how she experienced those choices 5 times during her life so far.
- 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. Don't you long for those two words too? They are exactly what at 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. As our hearts search for home, we must take one step, one day, one breath at a time. Never more; never less.
P.S. Have you read "Facing the Death of Someone you Love" by the late Elisabeth Elliot? It's a treasure in a small pamphlet. As a special offer, I'm including one FREE with every "Postcards..." book ordered this month. You can order on Amazon, but the best place to order and get the best shipping and group order prices is directly from me, right here on this blog. Scroll to the top of the page and click the BOOKSTORE line. Thanks!