Sunday, August 20, 2017

Living Experiences from Living Examples

The eclipse is today, and here in South Carolina all the hotels are jammed and we're all watching the weather reports and hoping the clouds won't get in the way. I'll be working hard at my school library to have it ready for classroom visits next week, but I hope to peek out the doors this afternoon. No, I won't look at the sun, but I remember when I was young and there was an eclipse the landscape got full of shadows and dusk. It was eerie. I wonder if it'll be like that again.

Full of shadows and dusk---kind of like widowhood, isn't it? When our life is eclipsed by grief. Everything changes. But the sun doesn't go down, and neither do we. We're held by God. . . Today I have some special shares from Facebook widow friends that I know you will relate to and find hope in, even if the sun doesn't shine.

from Donna T.
I normally don't post anything that has to do with how I deal with being a widow. Felt like I needed to share this. A very special friend tells me life is an adventure to get out there and live it. Today I lived an adventure I thought one day I would like to do. I went to Elephant Rock State Park. I had gone by this right after my husband died and thought some day I would like to come back and see this place. That was 5 years ago. Today was the day that that adventure happened. This place was amazing!!!! Rock formations that are beyond anything I'd ever seen. Today I walked 2.5 miles around this park and climbing around and on these rocks like a kid. All my stresses and worries were left at the gate ( well except for getting "lost"). I got to see Gods beauty in a way I've never experienced it. Told my friend Linda Rich that today after climbing to the top of one of the highest formations that I felt like I was living the UP movie. Life really is an adventure and unless we get out there and make it happen we will miss out on so much that God has for us out there to experience and to share. For those interested google ELEPHANT ROCK STATE PARK it's in Bellview, Missouri. Thanks Linda R. for living the example and my prayer is that I can continue to do the same. (from Donna T.)   Click here to view some photos of this amazing place: Elephant Rocks State Park

from Lynda J.
Have you had your first wedding experience as a widow? Your first 'singles' table experience?

On the weekend, my friend married a man who'd been widowed 6 years. It was joyful and hope-filled... but the weeks leading up the event were tear filled. Choosing what to wear, while walking in alone, caused me so much anxiety. But God.... 

I'm not a shopper, but found a dress that was modest and I felt good in and on sale 70% off (Canadian dollars 😬😃)! 

I ended up being asked to sit at the Guestbook table with another woman on her own, and at the singles table I discovered another woman who was widowed in a similar way to me (sudden and unexpected).

After all those tears, I'm so thankful I went and experienced the joy. I think the tears were necessary in getting me there. More grieving, mourning in order to keep baby stepping forward. 

from Sharon V.
Have you noticed how the experiences of our lives change who we are as people-especially the difficult experiences? They can make us bitter or draw us closer to God. They can make us wrap ourselves in our own troubles or make us more sensitive to others.
I have noticed also the idea of closure to past grief and trials is really a false concept. I had the illusion when Wayne died that if I faced grief head-on, it would someday completely disappear. That is not how it works. One learns to adapt to the grief and it softens, but it is forever a part of one's life. It forever changes how one views life and eternity.
Yet this is a good thing. I think God wants to leave somewhat of an ache in our hearts, so we realize our need for Him and our dependence on Him. I think He does this to make us more sensitive to others. We would be less effective in His kingdom and less in love with Him, if He removed all the pain. God knows what He is doing.

from Missy F. 
😔tough couple of days.
It has been 4-1/2 years and at first going into the church office where Don would be sitting at his desk reading his Bible in preparation for the morning sermon was tough but the last year and a half has been pretty ok fine.
This morning I walked in as I did every Sunday morning to grab the sound room key and like a sneaker sneeze that rocks your body and blows your vanilla latte across the room, grief rocked me to the core 😢

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