Sunday, September 6, 2020

"Hiking Through" for Widowers

When you put men in a circle of other men to talk about their feelings and grief what do you get? 

 A lot of SILENCE! And chances are it won't happen again because they won't come back.

But if they can go fishing together, drive to a football game, or happen to meet on the Appalachian Trail, things will happen. Not the intimate, nurturing comfort that we women give each other, but rather some times of significant understanding and healing without further obligations to talk again or even meet again.

After several years of battling breast cancer, Paul Stutzman's wife Mary died. Like most of us he was overwhelmed but kept on at his job, read up about grief, tried to pray and draw close to God, and went through the motions of life.

Like most of us, the first anniversary of the death was brutal.

Unlike most of us, shortly afterwards he quit his job and assigned himself to through-hike the 2176 mile Appalachian Trail. 

He almost quit at some points but I'm glad he kept going. Not only did he receive deep healing and transformation from the Lord but he also gives us an account of it and a message to make our own.

Would you believe I had dreams of hiking the Trail when I was first widowed? I thought it'd be great to outfit and guide widows groups for hikes too! In fact, I still do, but instead I've just read books about it. LOL One can dream, right? HIKING THROUGH is the third book I've read, and the best in so many ways. 

Also, I was pleased to see that he's continued to write! He now has a website and has authored several other books!  One is about bicycling across America; another is hiking Israel! He's also written some books that bring to light his Amish heritage and finding his path to more mainstream evangelical Christianity. Visit his website if you've ever wanted to walk away from life.

On a personal note, thanks to those who emailed or commented last week about my future with this blog. I really cannot leave you all in the dust. lt's obvious I need to upgrade something, somehow. Each week brings new techie struggles but just pray as you are led that I can connect with the good solution that I know is out there. 

Thank you for spending some time with me today. These "holiday" weekends can be hard to spend alone. You are in my thoughts and prayers. God loves you and He will see you through... ❤ ferree


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