Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Widow's Might

While researching for a book that I'm writing I came across the most wonderfully insightful article with the same intended title, A Widow's Might, by Miriam Neff, which appeared sometime ago in Christianity Today.  In it her lead-in stated, "My husband's death forced me to change in ways I never wanted to."

With the addendum of the statement, "... or in ways I never imagined," I think that this very well sums up not only my experience with widowhood but those of many others that I've come across while on this journey.

I really don't even think that it's possible to stay the same after an event such as this touches your life. Regardless of the status of your relationship at the time of your husband's passing, the fact remains the same, that you built a life and a home together, and now half of you has been stripped away.

Everything must change, and to be honest, from a human standpoint, it couldn't come at a more inconvenient time.  Money, friends, status, family, your self identity, all are touched by the finger of your loss to some degree.

One of the most notable changes that you will probably experience is that of your people radar becoming more fine tuned.  Now more than at any other time in your life you'll begin to learn by trial and error how to read people, their motives, thoughts, and actions, to a greater degree. In some ways, you might even become a little harder.  The rose-colored glasses come off and bifocals take their place.

You'll have the opportunity to see people at their best and to see them at their worst.  Kindness will come from places that you didn't expect and callousness from quarters you didn't anticipate.  Some friends and family will become strangers;  some strangers will become friends.  All in all, you'll find that so much during this season is not what you would have foreseen.

I'm of the opinion that widowhood will do either one of two things:  It will make or it will break you. I chose in my experience to be made.

A theme that you will hear me revisit over and over again as I share my experience with you is that refuge and safety can be found in the Word of God.  I'll probably sound like a broken record by the time we finish our association together, but it's something that I really want you to grasp early on because it truly works.

If in the midst of all of the upheaval you can grab hold to the Word of God -- and hang on -- you'll make it through all of this like a diamond forged in the fire.  When you come through on the other side you won't recognize yourself. It's not that you'll necessarily be better;  more accurately, you'll be stronger and you'll be different

So embrace the change.  Don't fight it.  Think of yourself right now as a caterpillar struggling to break free from the cocoon who one day will suddenly discover herself to be a beautiful butterfly taking wing to new horizons, new experiences, a new life.

Be blessed.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." Isaiah 26:3, KJV

*Photo via stock.xchng user oOlemon. 

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