Dating 101

How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord?  Forever?  How long wilt thou hide thy face from me?  How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily?  How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?  Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; lighten mine eyes lest I sleep the sleep of death.  Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed again him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.  But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.  I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. 

Psalm 13 KJV

When my husband died, I spent the first three years healing and asking God for direction for my life.  About three and a half years into my journey, I felt that God was opening my heart to search for another love.   So I dipped my toe into the dating pool.  I found very quickly that the pool is filled some sharks that are hungry, and you have to be very careful.

I have had a serious relationship that lasted about fifteen months, and because I lost my way in the thick of it, it lasted about six months longer than it should have.  The end was dramatic.  I was very defeated as I walked out of that relationship.  Then, I went on a series of texts and dates that all ended with no love or even friend connection.

I keep asking God if He wants me to continue this part of the journey.  I keep asking Him to close my heart and take away the desire of sharing my earthly life with another.  The more I pray, the more my heart remains open.  So I continue to pray and be open to meet people God brings into my life.

I don’t want this search to sound like it has overtaken my life.  I continue to work full time; own a home and maintain it; parent a college-age child; attend and volunteer in a local church; write for A Widow’s Might; fellowship with friends and family; and support the care for my parents.

There is a certain vulnerability in sharing this part of my life in an article, especially one that will be circulated among Christian readers.  Dating, especially for adult women, is really a quiet activity.  But, as I sit here tonight at my computer, I feel called to share that I have not yet been successful in finding someone to share my life and my love of Christ with.  In fact, I have met a lot of people who are fraudulent in who they really are.

I share this because I want you to know that this search for another life-mate is part of my widow journey.

I am whole in who I am right now.  I am complete and God can use me in a mighty way, right now.

But, for the moment, God is tending to my heart in a way that makes it open for love and for a life companion.

This article is not going to end with a nice, tidy ribbon tied to it.  I am still searching and I am walking out of another failed “friendship” after talking and sharing meals with someone for two months.  I am seeing how God is, with the people who have crossed my path so far, sparing me from lifelong pain in that they will not be a permanent part of my future.   My heart is intact and I can still love.  I am not bitter– but open to what God’s plan is for my life.

So, I encourage you to discern God’s call for your life.

  • If it is to have an open heart to share your life with someone, do so cautiously and safely. Glorify God in your search.  Keep your standards high and don’t compromise.
  • If you feel called to remain single, do so with joy, knowing you are complete and whole and God can use you in a mighty way. 

I’ll keep you posted on my journey.  God isn’t finished with me yet – there is still more to come!

Dear Lord, Thank You for being steady and constant and unfailing.  I remain obedient to You as I walk this part of the journey and Your call to me to share this part of the journey with others in a public way.  I know You will use this for good.  I love You and I am so excited to watch You work in my life.  Amen


Sherry Look

Sherry Rickard is a writer/speaker with A Widow’s Might/aNew Season Ministries, Inc.  Sherry lives in the Washington DC area of Virginia.  She works in the professional community management industry and is active in her local church.  She has one daughter who is 19 years old and has just started her second year of college.  She also has a dog, Sophie, and a cat, Brandon.  Sherry lost her husband on February 14, 2011 to cancer after a bone marrow transplant did not engraft.  God has called her to this ministry to share the Hope that only comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  It is Sherry’s hope that Christ can shine through her and that Christ can minister to those who have a similar journey.  She is still here, so God has a wonderful purpose to fulfill with her life. 

Want to read more articles by Sherry? Sherry’s posts 

If you are interested in having Sherry or any of our team come visit your church or group please email us: admin@anewseason.net

If you liked this article, you might like: Dating a Widow by Kit Hinkle

 

I Shall Not Want

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want… He restoreth my soul… Psalm 23:1, 3 KJV

I was sitting in my Easter Service this year listening to a beautiful message from my pastor.  As he was talking, he referenced Psalm 23.  Immediately, I thought of when my husband died.  Psalm 23 is the “go to” verse for funerals.  Then, my pastor continued to add that in order for us to experience an Easter Sunday, we must first go through a Good Friday.  He reminded us that all of the Bible heroes have this story, so why would we, modern believers, think that our testimony would be different.  It is the tension between our Good Friday and Easter Sunday that draws us to Christ and allows us to lean on Him for restoration and resolution.

As I sat there, I inventoried all the decisions I have made lately.  I thought about how, for the last several years, I have had the terrible tension of wanting and waiting for my Easter Sunday in the area of love relationships.  I have had relief, here and there; but for the most part, I have wanted more than I have received these last several years.

Why is that?  Scripture says if the Lord is my shepherd, “I shall not want”.  I call the Lord my shepherd and I live a life of submission to Him for the most part.  So, why do I wrestle with the tension of “want” in that area of my life?

When my husband passed away, I was so lonely for him.  As time went by, I prayed that the Lord would change my heart so it did not remember being married and then I wouldn’t miss that part of my loss so much.  For the first three years, I did okay.  As I ended my third year of mourning, I realized that my heart was open to share with another.  So, I dipped my toe into the dating pool, the shallow end.  As time passed, I met someone that seemed to be a good match.  We set about trying to build a relationship – a life – together.  After about a year and a half, I realized that this gentleman was not the one and in early December 2015 we parted ways.  I didn’t have sorrow over the loss of this relationship.  I didn’t have want for this relationship to continue.  My heart remained open to share my life with someone.

I am so tired of waiting.  I am tired of seeing the sorrow on my dear friends faces when they hear the news that I’m still single…single again.  I’m tired of the “wanting” and “waiting”.

So, as I sat in church and listened to this message, I was thankful God sent someone to remind me I am experiencing my Good Friday.  I am experiencing the tension of waiting for my Easter Sunday.

God wants this time – the time in between – as His time.  He wants to sharpen me, prune me, love me and sustain me, all for His purpose.

My pastor reminded me that God’s plan may include pain and suffering, but the pain and suffering is not without purpose.

So as I wait for my Easter Sunday, I am in scripture and in prayer and pulling as close to the Savior as I can.  The tension of the waiting is painful at times.  I am reminded God has a purpose for me and I just have to push through this waiting period and then I will be celebrating my restoration, my Easter Sunday.

Dear Lord, It is in the waiting that I call out to you and ask for relief.  It is during these times that I realize I must rely on you.  As I walk through this valley, Lord, please stay with me and join me as I celebrate on the next mountaintop my very own Easter Sunday.  Amen


 

sherrySherry Rickard is a writer/speaker with A Widow’s Might/aNew Season Ministries, Inc.  Sherry lives in the Washington DC area of Virginia.  She works in the professional community management industry and is very active in her local church.  She has one daughter who is 19 years old and a college freshman.  She also has a dog, Sophie, and a cat, Brandon.  Sherry lost her husband on February 14, 2011 to cancer after a bone marrow transplant did not engraft.  God has called her to this ministry to share the Hope that only comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  It is Sherry’s hope that Christ can shine through her and that Christ can minister to those who have a similar journey.  She is still here, so God has a wonderful purpose to fulfill with her life. 

Want to read more articles by Sherry? Sherry’s posts 

If you are interested in having Sherry or any of our team come visit your church or group please email us: admin@anewseason.net

If you liked this article, you might like:

Is Your Heart Broken – Tell It To Beat Again by Karen Emberlin.

Dancing Through Tears by Teri Cox

Life Is Not A Fairy Tale

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.  John 16:33 KJV

Remember the point in the story of Cinderella when the stepsisters are trying to get their feet into the glass slipper, but the slipper is too small.  The sisters are desperate to make the slipper fit so they can get a happy ending and their lives will become carefree and peaceful; they think.

I have been experiencing a lot of messiness the past few months.  I’ve written about it, and shared how God wants us to fight the messiness of this life with His love.  As each messy situation presented itself, I have tried very hard to show love – His love.

Through one situation in my life, I have come to see (after much prayer and work) that I have been like the stepsister in Cinderella trying to get the slipper onto a foot that is too big, in an effort to have a happy ending.  I worked within the timeframe and wishes of my Father; however, this particular slipper was not a good fit for me and I had to give it back and free my hands of this “ill fitting” slipper, so they are empty enough to be filled with new blessings.

All of this happened at the most imperfect time, as most messes do… the holidays.   On top of that, I had a small health issue that required recuperation time.  So, these last two weeks have been the messiest I’ve had in a long while.

I’m pleased to say that this didn’t send me into a tailspin back to my early grief days.  I’m sad to say that I’ve become good at starting over.  So, as I sat in my family room, looking at my tree and the two gifts under it for me and then, seven days later, sat amidst a large group of happy people counting down to the new year, I was feeling really down…empty…depressed.

As I reflected on this emptiness and feelings of depression, I started praying.  It was a pitiful, woe as me, prayer at first.  Then, I started reflecting on what my Savior has to say to me in times like these.  This world is not my home.  I am a stranger in a strange land, just passing through.  Jesus tells me that I am going to have tribulation and that only in Him can I find peace.

So, I am doing what James 4:8 says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”  I am pushing out thoughts that don’t meet the definition of Philippians 4:8.  And I am, from the Savior’s lap, filling myself (the empty spot) with my Savior.

I may not have the fairy tale ending yet and my Savior has not promised me that my life in this world will be easy.  He has promised me so much more.  Peace.  Rest in Him.  Eternal Life.  Sustaining Love.  Renewed Strength in Him.

I don’t need a glass slipper that never fit right anyway.  I have a Savior.  I am made in His image with a hole in me that only He can fill.  I need to focus on filling myself with Him, the Master Designer.  And the blessings will come.  If my hands are empty and I’m looking to the Savior, I will see them and be able to accept them.

God is so good and His ending is better than any fairy tale.  In fact, it’s actually a beginning – the end is eternity in His presence and eternal peace.  I like that eternal ending better than any fairy tale ending.

Dear Lord, Thank you for loving me, for picking me up when I fall, and for filling me.  Thank you for letting me crawl up onto your lap when I need to and for the promise of eternity with You.  Amen

sherrySherry Rickard is a writer/speaker with A Widow’s Might/aNew Season Ministries, Inc.  Sherry lives in the Washington DC area of Virginia.  She works in the professional community management industry and is very active in her local church.  She has one daughter who is 18 years old and a college freshman.  She also has a dog, Sophie, and a cat, Brandon.  Sherry lost her husband on February 14, 2011 to cancer after a bone marrow transplant did not engraft.  God has called her to this ministry to share the Hope that only comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  It is Sherry’s hope that Christ can shine through her and that Christ can minister to those who have a similar journey.  She is still here, so God has a wonderful purpose to fulfill with her life. 

Want to read more articles by Sherry? Sherry’s posts 

If you are interested in having Sherry or any of our team come visit your church or group please email us: admin@anewseason.net

Want to read more on this subject, click here to read an article by Erika Graham, I Said Yes

One

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:8-9

The Power of – One –  is such a lonely number.

This phrase has been dancing through my head for a while now.

The Power of One…the One…Jesus Christ.

One is such a lonely number.  Me…alone…by myself.

As I type this article, it has been thirty-one days since I dropped my only daughter off for her freshman year of college.  She is a four hour drive from our home.  I have shared with you her Senior year of high school, my preparation for the big drop off at college and even the events of the drop off day.

Now, I’ve had thirty-one days on my own, for the first time since 1993 when I was married to her father.  Just me.

I’m happy and settling into this new phase of my life.  I am going room by room and cleaning out.  I have started to intentionally eat healthier and have convenience food delivered to me that will help me with weight loss too.  I am going to the gym and working out with a friend.

Cristina, my daughter, has settled in so beautifully at college.  I know, in her heart, she is making a home there and she’s happy and making great friends and doing well!

I share all of this to point out that I have intentionally changed my mindset from one of loss to one of new opportunities.  If I look back on where I’ve been and who has been in my life and focus on what I’ve lost, that is a dark, lonely corridor that I don’t want to be in, and is devoid of Hope.  Instead, I look to the One and ask Him what opportunities He has for me in this new phase.

I don’t label myself as a widow or single mother.  I am a child of God.  I am not broken or “less-than”, just waiting for anything.  God has something for me right now.  I am still a work in progress that calls on His Grace and Mercy every moment of every day; and I struggle with a myriad of things that He and I are working on together for His Glory.  I am still here, so I still have a purpose.

As I look back over my life and all of the growth that God has allowed in my life in the past 20+ years, it is amazing.  I have endured things that I would never have asked for had I been able to see as I was going into the storm, and I would never have thought I would survive.  But by clinging to the Power of One – the One, I have not only survived, but I have thrived.  I laugh more than cry; I am filled with joy, contentment, and gratitude.

So, even though one is such a lonely number, the Power of One always wins.  I encourage you to focus on the Power of One – the One – and keep your mind from thinking that one is a lonely number.  God can do a lot with one when you are surrendered and looking to the One.

Dear Lord, Please help me to continue looking to You – the One – for my hope and contentment.  Thank You for loving me and growing me.  Amen

 

Sherry bioSherry Rickard is a writer/speaker with A Widow’s Might/aNew Season Ministries, Inc.  Sherry lives in the Washington DC area of Virginia.  She works in the professional community management industry and is very active in her local church.  She has one daughter who is 18 years old and a college freshman.  She also has a dog, Sophie, and a cat, Brandon.  Sherry lost her husband on February 14, 2011 to cancer after a bone marrow transplant did not engraft.  God has called her to this ministry to share the Hope that only comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  It is Sherry’s hope that Christ can shine through her and that Christ can minister to those who have a similar journey.  She is still here, so God has a wonderful purpose to fulfill with her life. 

Another article on being alone, but not lonely? click here

Want to read more articles by Sherry? Sherry’s posts 

If you are interested in having Sherry or any of our team come visit your church or group please email us: admin@anewseason.net

People Are Messy

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (NIV)

This is my first article since I took a break in May from writing. A LOT has happened in my life during that break! Some things I saw coming and others were a total surprise. My only daughter graduated high school and went off to college. I had to put one of my dogs down. My dad had some serious health issues and had to be hospitalized. I made the difficult decision to take a break from a very special relationship. All the while, I was still running my home, working a full time job, and continuing in my volunteer roles.

During this time of major change and struggles, I had to step back and reflect, and I realized people are messy! This world is messy! I am messy! My world is messy!

So, as I faced this new unknown I asked: Who am I? Whose am I? I was led to the passage of scripture above. I am an adopted child of the King of Kings. My Savior is my advocate. I am in Christ and therefore a new creation. The old is gone and the new is here! God doesn’t count my sins against me.

People are messy! The world is messy! What do I do with that? People don’t act the way I want them to or react the way I want them to. How do I react to this messiness?

If I am I being honest here, my reactions sometimes are anger and resentment, resulting in broken relationships. This isn’t the picture of a new creation. It’s a picture of I…me…mine…! That’s old and it does not have love in it, so Christ is not there.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.
1 John 4:12-17 NIV

Scripture clearly states that we are to have love for the messy people of this world. We are to respond with love and in love. Love evaporates anger, resentment and repairs relationships. When we love, Christ is in us and people see the Savior, the One who made us a new creation.

I am a work in progress and this is the big area of my life that God is working on. It is very easy when people let us down or don’t react the way we want them to, to walk away and just move on. There is hurt for a time, but eventually you get out of the habit of having that person in your life. Jesus loves us when we are our messiest and that’s where He meets us. Can’t we try to meet others there too?

That’s what I’m working on…responding in love with the author of LOVE and then showing this messy world that Christ is in me. I don’t always hit the mark, but Christ always responds in love to my pleas for forgiveness and I start again. I encourage you to respond in love too!

Dear Lord, Thank You for forgiving me and meeting me where I am in my mess. Thank You for loving me in spite of my messiness and, Lord, please help me to remember how You deal with me when I encounter others in their messiness and may I respond with Your Love. Amen

Friendships

“A friend loves at ALL times..”   Proverbs 17:17a (NIV)

“My friends’ rock.”

“I’ve got the greatest friends.”

“My friends fill me up.” “Meet my needs.” “Help me.”

Can you hear your old self saying one or more of these things before you became a widow?

Or maybe you’re blessed and still say these things now?

I’ve heard 75% of widows can lose up to 75% of their friends.

That’s staggering!  And sad!

Why?

Why do so many widows lose so many friends?

We love our friends, our friends love us. They cry with us, mourn with us, and support us and vice versa. We’ve done “life” together, with some, for many years.

In the beginning. It’s easy. Those first few weeks and months. Everyone rallies.  Everyone loves.  Everyone is there.

BUT.

That wanes.

Because, they go back to their life.  They go back to their normal.

And we are left.  Left to deal. Left to find new. Left, no longer a couple. Left searching. Left alone.  Left lonely.

The truth is our friends typically don’t know how to help us beyond a certain point.  They might not know what to say.  Some find it awkward.  They don’t know how to fit us in now.  They’re not even sure what we need.

Then, there’s some who might think they do and they tell us. In some of the harshest, most insensitive ways.

Really though, why would they have a clue? This has never happened to them!

And the truth is we don’t want to tell them, and when/if we try, they don’t “hear” or understand.  And many times we don’t even know what to tell them anyway.

Reality!

We aren’t a couple anymore, yet we live in a couple’s world. Some of us have been relinquished to the daytime outings, lunch dates, shopping, play dates (if you still have little ones).  Sometimes an invite out, when it’s actually dark, if their husband is away or busy.

Honestly, this is murky water, with no real right or wrong.  It’s just some of the reality of widowhood.

Some friends remain, others are lost.

So, how do we do this process with grace?  How do we honor God in the midst of this additional loss?

How do we, the offended, show Christ to those who abandon us or hurt us or fall short?

How do we learn and grow?  How do we even recognize our own shortcomings or sinfulness in our friendships?

Well, first we must remember that God is the ONLY ONE who will fill us up.  Make us whole.  HE is all we need.  No friend will meet every need or be our husband, our Christ, or our Holy Spirit.

But, I want friendships. I want to have a “life”, you’re thinking. I need the help, the support.

We all do!  And we certainly can find ways to cultivate a new life and maintain some friendships.

How?

Make the first move if a friend means that much to you.  Don’t wait for your friends to know or to ask. Be open, honest, and loving.  Accept and embrace the different ways you might maintain important friendships.

Or cultivate new friends by joining clubs or groups, reaching out to acquaintances who you’ve never thought to reach out to, volunteering, attending church functions, or even finding a new church.

Sherry and I have experienced so much of this on our widowhood journey.  Please join us in Dallas as we tackle this extremely important and yet tough topic.  We will learn and grow from God’s word on friendship and gain new insight and understanding from each other’s experiences.

Hope to see you in few weeks!

~ Erika

Learn more and register by clicking right here.

register here

 

For more information watch this video.

confvid2

It’s Ok, Heart…Beat Again

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.   Matthew 11:28 KJV

Several weeks ago, Karen Emberlin posted an article called, “Is Your Heart Broken – Tell It To Beat Again.” As I read it, I gasped, realizing God was using my dear sister, Karen, to minister to me.  I was married in 2006 to a wonderful man named Bill Rickard.  He made my heart flutter every time I thought of him.   As I walked him Home, I grew to love him more than I have ever loved any other human(except my daughter of course).  I grew to understand the love Christ has for me in that He was willing to die for me.  That’s the kind of love I felt for Bill.  I felt his heart beating in my chest and he felt mine in his.

When Bill died, my heart was not merely broken, I felt it was removed from me.  I was a walking zombie with no feeling.  In time, God allowed me to grow a renewed heart.  One that feels the beats and breaths of my Savior.  I was in tune with my Maker, in love with Him.

For three years, I completely shut down the woman side of me. I concentrated on just healing and growing a renewed heart, one that loves my friends, family and daughter,  growing closer every day to my Savior.  At the three-year anniversary of Bill’s death – Valentine’s Day 2014 – I began to feel that this renewed heart was no longer closed off.  It could possibly love a man again.  I began  praying to my Savior, asking  if these feelings were from Him.  His answer, I felt, was yes.  So, in May 2014, I decided to enter the dating pool again.

I hadn’t been on a date since 2003. A lot has changed in eleven years.  I went on several  dates with a lot of Mr. “Wrong-for-me’s”.  I cut players often, filling my dance card with new names.  Lots of dinners and movies filled my life.  I was getting tired, becoming very lonely in the process.  The more people I met – the wrong people -the more I missed Bill.  At each “interview” I found myself comparing to my “gold standard”…and all came up lacking.

I began deleting my online profile from sites I was on, ending my subscriptions.  I needed to take a break to see if God still wanted me out and dating.  During this time frame, I met someone with whom I accepted a date invitation.  Venturing into the dating pool with the full intention of sharing your life with, and, more importantly, your heart with, brought up an issue that I didn’t realize existed.  All along, I was growing this renewed heart, but I had forgotten the most important thing: to tell it to beat again.  It is ok for me to consider loving someone again.  My heart doesn’t have to move Bill out, to make room for a new person.  I now realize I have mourned the loss of my marriage and that special relationship.  When I see Bill again in Heaven, it will be as a brother/sister relationship. Our friendship will be rekindled.  So, here in this world, this side of heaven, it’s ok to love again…to tell my heart to beat again.  What a wonderful freedom to know that I don’t love Bill less; my heart is just growing bigger.  This new person will get a woman with a bigger heart because I was loved so well by Bill.  I can remember fun times with Bill.  This does not diminish the love I may have for someone else.  It simply enhances it.

It’s scary to think about loving again.

What if I give my heart and God takes him home before me?

What if I get hurt?

What if I finally lean back and he’s not there?

God lovingly whispers to me, “I’m here and I will never leave you, nor forsake you.  Are you willing to forego one day of joy in a loving, God-glorifying relationship because you are not promised tomorrow?  Do you want to live with a heart open to love; but refusing to love because you might not have it for more than one day?  Tell your heart to beat again…tell your heart it’s ok…tell your heart I created it for more than this…love again.   Put down this last weight.  While you grasp it, your hands are not open to the blessings I have for you.  Put it down; open your arms wide and walk with your face up looking into the sunshine.  Tell your heart to beat again.”

So, I am doing just that…sweet, renewed heart…it’s time…please beat again.

I feel it…slow beats at first and, with each breath, picking up speed.

Heart, beat again, be open to love.  Lord, fill my heart as only You can.

We are not promised tomorrow.  We are not promised an easy life in Him.  We are promised a place of rest in Him.  Heart…beat again.

Dear Lord, I am so humbled by You and how You work in my life.  I am putting down this weight and I am trusting in You to keep my heart beating in You.  I love You, Lord, and I thank you for never leaving me.  I thank you for renewing my heart and for making it possible for me to love again.  Thank you, Lord, for my beating, renewed heart.  Amen

Get Up – Stay In The Game

And when the fowls came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away.  Genesis 15:17 KJV  [Please read Genesis 15:1-17]

This article came out of a great conversation with another writer on this team.  We were talking about how easy it is to be sad.  I hasten to add that it is necessary and expected that you should feel sadness during your grief journey, especially early on in the journey.  However, as you walk this path, the unbearable sadness should wane and you should choose to live well.  [Author’s Note:  There are times when medication is needed to help people get through because of a clinical condition and, in those times, one should seek medical advice and adhere to that advice.]

My daughter has played field hockey for the last four years.  This game is the perfect combination of feminism and strength.  In my experience, these female athletes are girlie girls.  Before the warm ups and games, everyone is getting their hair braided with pink ribbons.  Even their uniforms are kilts.  Then the game begins and to play correctly, you have to have strength and endurance and you have to fight for the ball.

During the game, sometimes the sticks of the opposing players hit each other which causes their knuckles to “clang” against the opponents sticks.  This feels, from your hand to your elbow, like a tuning fork after it is hit…a numbing throb…it hurts.  Field hockey game clocks don’t stop, so you have to play on.  You will see these girls continue running and flinging their hand in the air to make the throbbing stop until they have full control of their fingers again.  The player keeps going and just shakes it off and the game continues.

As I think about this particular injury, it is much like the grief walk.  You are hurt and it throbs through your body.  You can just let the throb go on and on and do nothing, or you can push through and shake yourself and tell yourself to go on.   It’s hard and you get tired; but you have to push through that…have endurance.  You have to make yourself stay in the game.   You have to keep on, keepin’ on.  You can’t wallow in this.  You have to shake yourself and get back up and keep going.  God has this; but you are called to do some of the work.  Just like in the verses of Genesis 15:1-17.  God wanted to bless Abrahm; but Abrahm had to drive away the birds.  God could have done it Himself; but he called Abrahm to do his part.

So, what are you called to do.  You are asked to get up each day; eat healthy; exercise; and keep on going.  If you are doing well; everything else falls into place.  If you have children; they will follow your lead.  You have to do your part.  That is different for each person.  It feels good sometimes to be the saddest person in the room; but that is not healthy, nor does it Glorify Christ.

What if you haven’t been doing that?  What if you have fallen into the habit of being sad, and it is not a clinical condition or early in your grief journey?  Do better – starting now!  Pledge to yourself and your Savior that tomorrow will be a better day…and DO IT!  Get up and meditate on God’s word; make yourself smile; brush your teeth; make a doctor’s appointment; wear clothes that make you feel pretty; fix your hair (or get a haircut); get a manicure; listen to music that makes you smile; pick one area of your life and make it orderly.    Every day, add another thing and before you know it; you will feel better.

You have to stay in the game and you are called to do your part.  You want your life to honor Christ and to honor the life of your husband.  Would he want you to lay in bed and cry all day?  Would he want you to withdraw from life?  The answer is NO!  Smile and shine your husband’s testimony – honor the life he lived by living well.  Honor the life Christ has given you by living well for Him.

This all sounds easy, but it’s not.  You have to start with your head and your thoughts and then you have to take action.  You can do this!  Shake it off!  Stay in the game!

Dear Lord, Thank You for placing people in my life to remind me to stay in the game.  Thank You for loving me through this.  I will do better and I will purpose to glorify You in my life.  Amen.