Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Echoes of Loneliness and Prayers

As a little girl growing up in rolling Wisconsin farmland I remember playing outside after supper in the summertime. Just before sunset the air would cool and freshen and my brother or my cousins and I would start yelling "Hello! Hello!" to hear our voices echo off the hills. During the school year we sang a song in school about echoes. Just a silly thing about "Little Sir Echo..." but the last line of the song and the last echo on the hills at sunset carried the same message---"but you're always so far away...away." Now that I think of it again, it was a song about loneliness...It was a sad song covering a wound with the innocence of childhood.

Loneliness and finances vie for the #1 spot on the list of problems widows face. Here's a short, honest prayer about loneliness, very much like many of the psalms. See if it captures any of your thoughts and use it frequently. God is never tired of hearing from you.

Dear Heavenly Father,

There are days when I feel suffocated and overwhelmed by loneliness. It's like a heavy, dark blanket pressed to the face and I'm powerless to pull it away. It drains my strength and hope; its like arthritis of the soul---it just won't go away. How can I live like this? How can I go on when my soulmate--the one person I can't live without, the one who was a part of me, who completed my sentences, who filled my thoughts, pleasured my existence, and gave purpose to my days? How can I go on when he's gone?

Life has blown up and been scattered to the wind. I am a solitary speck in a lonely wasteland, a wandering soul in a dry, empty desert   . . . 

I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake;
I have become like a bird alone on a roof.
Psalm 102:6,7

. . . Amen.

Have you been in such a lonely place? Like a bird on the rooftop, watching life pass you by? Prayers and verses like the ones above are labelled as "laments," by theologians. They provide no answer, they only express the honest cry of the heart.
What?!! No answer? No three-point sermon or 12-step plan?
Nope. A lament is just a simple, honest heart cry.
God's OK with honesty, with laments. He wants us to bring Him the loneliness and pain we feel. He understands and accepts us; if we've confessed our sins He hears our prayers even though we wonder about that at times.
If you're lonely today, tell the Lord about it. If you're not, then please pray for widows and many other people who experience this echoing silence moment by moment. ♥ ferree


  1. I am into my 5th year without my dear husband, and the loneliness can be so overwhelming at times.

    * How can I go on when my soulmate--the one person I can't live without, the one who was a part of me, who completed my sentences, who filled my thoughts, pleasured my existence, and gave purpose to my days? How can I go on when he's gone? *

    Oh so true. A lament from my heart.

    But, Jesus is my strength and sees me through each day. He fills me with His love and peace. He bottles all of my tears.

    Thank you for this post ~ FlowerLady

    1. Thank you Lorraine, you speak hope through the pain, and that means so much. <3

  2. Thank you Ferree! Statement of my feelings daily. Everywhere I go and anything I do I face loneliness because he isn't there. I know God is with me, but I can't touch Him, hug Him, or see Him. Can't even imagine how I can continue living the rest of my life like this. I'm only 63, and had wanted to live a long life, but I can't imagine 25 more years of this. It's not even been a year yet since he first got sick, and he's been gone almost 8 months. Pancreatic cancer is the evil disease that took him. Death is a robber of life for him, but also for my life. It's not the same and never will be the same. I have wonderful kids and grandkids, but they're in busy stages of their lives. I don't want to depend on them for companionship. I am a retired teacher and am thinking of going back to work just to be busy so I won't have time to dwell on my loneliness. I know our Sovereign God knows best, but it's so hard to imagine how this is better for my husband or for me. My husband wanted to live so much and we both believed God could completely heal him, and asked for that to happen according to God's will. But, either God just chose not to do that, or we just didn't have enough faith. I guess I just don't know. It's just so hard to submit to this, and praise God for the suffering He's brought into my lives and the lives of my children. I try to look at it as a sacrifice of widowhood to bring God glory in some incomprehensible way. So hard.

    1. You're right, this IS hard! I'm so sorry for your loss, you've had a very difficult year and I can tell you're working really hard to overcome the pain. Please seriously consider coming out of retirement, there's much life ahead of you. Your husband is healed, your faith is still accomplishing much, and joy will come again when you're ready for it. Don't give up yet.

  3. Life has blown up and been scattered to the wind. I am a solitary speck in a lonely wasteland, a wandering soul in a dry, empty desert . . . Yes, those lines describe me.

    I would like to know what it is like to be a widow that does not have to struggle with rebuilding a career - one that pays the bills. The grief and loneliness from career instability is much worse that when Joe passed and that was excruciating.

    1. Michele I'm so sorry to hear that this is still a hardship. I urge everyone who reads this to be praying for you.

  4. I'm new to this blog. In fact, I'm new to widowhood. My precious husband of 15 years died tragically in a car accident just 39 days ago. He was only 36 years old, as am I, and we had nothing but a fantastic life ahead of us with our six children in tow.

    I struggle daily to get out of bed and make myself go. As my friends and family remind me, I have much to live for...our children range in age from 16 years to 10 months...but even looking into their beautiful faces I just want to turn over and quit. Every corner in our home reminds me of him and I can't help but think thousands of times a day that he should be here with me...doing life with us. We built this amazing life together and now I'm left to live it alone...only I have no drive to do so. I know it's still really soon, but I'm so desperate to learn from others who have walked this journey before me that it get easier or less overwhelming, or something better than what I'm experiencing now. The loneliness is gut-wrenching.

    1. Dear new widow and mother of six children, My heart goes out to you and I'm so very sorry for your loss. I hope I can help absorb some of the pain for you, as I know that anyone else who reads your comment would also offer to do.
      When my first full day of widowhood dawned the first phone call I received was from another young widow who's husband and mine had been friends. She was a couple years ahead of me as a widow and the first words out of her mouth were "You can do this. It's hard, but with the Lord, you can do it."
      So let me pass those words along to you, because I have found them to be true not only for myself but for hundreds and hundreds of other young widows too. I often recalled my friend's phone call and her words on days of desperation, days when I couldn't do anything either but gasp for hope like a fish out of water.
      In these early days you will be successful to simply "do the next thing." With six kids there are plenty of next things. So just take it day by day, moment by moment. The big picture of what you expected the years to hold is too overwhelming right now. To try to figure it out is an unnecessary torture. Just breathe.
      My friend Myra's husband died the night of Christmas Eve. The ambulance came while their 2 little daughters were dreaming of the Christmas presents they'd wake up to find. Instead life became a pain-filled blur. But Myra and the girls came through and the wisdom she brought out of it was this: "In saving your kids you'll save yourself."
      This is the hardest challenge you'll probably ever have to face, but God can help you. Everything you need is in Him and will come to your aide in His perfect time. But for now, don't quit. Take a breath. Take the next step, and make sure each of those precious babies of yours grows strong through this ordeal. Picture the future you want for them as individuals and pour you and your husband's life and love into them. It's never too soon to start. I'll be praying for you and I know that everyone else who sees your comment will too. Please make yourself "at home" here and come as often as you like, and ask all the questions you have. I don't have all the answers, but God does, and there are many other women who will hold you up and share your burdens too. God is with us!


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