Wednesday, April 5, 2017

One Widow's Story: Widowhood Is Not A Mere Problem to Solve

My Facebook friend Lynda recently shared a discovery God put in her path as she was contemplating the many anniversaries and challenges ahead of her this month. Please read on to find out what she discovered. This wasn't "just a coincidence," so I am posting it today for your benefit too. Thank you Lynda for sharing what the Lord is doing in your life! ♥ ferree
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April as usual will bring a shower of family birthdays (and an anniversary), including my late husband’s “Forever 49” birthday. With the thought that he would have been 53 years old, I realized that I’ve become settled into the groove of widowhood. I felt somewhat ambivalent about feeling too settled, feeling like I need to push myself forward. I certainly have done several “firsts” multiple times over and there will be more to come. Funny, once in awhile I miss the rawness of grief for it kept the nearness of Mike closer. I can, however, still conjure up the physical solidness of him - how his hugs felt, how it felt to hold his hand, how it felt to be kissed by him. The last time ever I held his hand was the night before he slipped into the deathly coma. I remember his strong grip and how it loosened, but not letting go as he fell asleep, mercifully without any hallucinations. For a long time I could not think of that night without riding a wave of grief, but Time as the Healer enabled me to cherish the memory easier now.

Recently I went into a Christian store going out of business and a book “The Undistracted Widow” caught my eye and in leafing through it, a phrase jumped out to me: “Widowhood is not simply a problem to be solved or a circumstance that must somehow be overcome.” 

I then bought the book even though I had already read a few books on the topic of widowhood. The author, a widow herself, shared an article that helped her to see widowhood as a calling from God. The article goes on to say that both marriage and singleness are callings, or vocations. The article’s author explained that when we view our lives as a calling from God, we believe that God has arranged for us to enter a certain state and qualified us to be used by Him to bring in the kingdom of God.

The author then said that is true for a Christian whose spouse has died, and true for a Christian whose spouse had walked out, deserting him or her. And now we have the choice to see our singleness as a vocation, not by bad luck or chance, but as a gift from the Lord. He also wrote that of course, no one would expect such a person to think about the state of singleness as a gift immediately after some traumatic event that has made him or her single.

The author of the book, in another chapter, outlined 10 ways how not to waste the experience of widowhood and use it to magnify Christ:
1. We will waste our widowhood if we do not believe it is designed for us by God.
2. We will waste our widowhood if we believe it is a curse and not a gift.
3. We will waste our widowhood if we seek comfort from anything other than God.
4. We will waste our widowhood if we refuse to think about death.
5. We will waste our widowhood if we think that “surviving” widowhood means a desperate search for another mate rather than cherishing Christ.
6. We will waste our widowhood if we spend too much time reading about widowhood and not enough time reading about God.
7. We will waste our widowhood if we let it drive us into solitude instead of deepening our relationships with unmistakable affection.
8. We will waste our widowhood if we grieve as those who have no hope.
9. We will waste our widowhood if we treat sin as casually as before.
10. We will waste our widowhood if we fail to use it as a means of witness to the truth and glory of Christ. *
Ouch. I certainly needed to adjust my thoughts regarding widowhood and not to see it as just something to be endured. I have hope that I can live fulfilled in this second half of my life here on earth (if I should live to 100!) and it’s up to God if my calling or vocation gets changed back to marriage. Hopefully now I will get some Divine trajectory on how not to waste my widowhood in practical ways. ~ by Lynda M.S. 

* Taken from The Undistracted Widow by Carol W. Cornish, © 2010, pp. 168-170. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, To order a copy of the book for yourself, please click here: 
512320: The Undistracted Widow The Undistracted Widow

By Carol W. Cornish / Crossway

Writing from a biblical perspective, Carol Cornish helps readers to discover how God is working in the midst of the deep distress of losing a spouse. She provides the reader with direction in finding true and lasting comfort in Christ. Cornish, who lost her husband of 38 years to lung cancer, encourages widows to use their widowhood for God's glory. Ministry to widows needs to be a priority for Christian communities, and Cornish equips churches, families, and friends to come alongside those mourning the loss of a spouse.

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