Until Death Do We Part?

We are so excited to welcome Becky Steiger as our guest blogger! Becky was suddenly widowed in 2015 after an unexpected heart event took her husband home to heaven. She is raising three children (16, 14, 8) while working as a teacher’s aid with preschoolers at her children’s school. She clings to Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (ESV). 

 

 


Words spoken as a wide-eyed bride while facing the one who took my breath away. I vowed to “have, hold, better, worse, richer, poorer, sickness, health, until….

Death Do We Part.”

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.

Matthew 19:5-6 ESV

God joined together, yet I find myself alone, parted by death. My heart has been shattered. The breath taken from the man who took my breath away.

In the first few months people tried to encourage me: “He’s watching over you. He’s by your side.” and I would silently respond “I wouldn’t want him watching over me now. He is with Jesus.” What was with me now was all “the stuff”. I was in a state of manic urgency to sort, organize, and donate because I knew I would screech to a halt soon and become mired in the memories, confused by the value of “the stuff”.

What makes the man?

Is it the accumulation of stuff? The task I’ve struggled with lately is attempting to sell items that were important to him, but unnecessary to me. I believe a man’s life is not reflected by possessions, and yet I have resisted placing a monetary value on the things that gave him joy. The fly reel and rod bring back his voice and “the one that got away”. An acoustic guitar leans against the wall; a gift to himself for following through on a difficult decision that changed his life forever.

These things do not make the man. They are souvenirs of a life lived the way he wanted to live it.

So perhaps he’s defined by his accomplishments. Triathlon numbers hang from the ceiling in his office. T-shirts, medals, and hats are stored in plastic tubs. The Ironman bag is with him still. Business cards, framed college degrees, and an Eagle Scout award collect dust. Reflections of a man who met his goals, but they don’t make the man.

I sit at the desk he worked at and listen to the gallop of our eight-year-old running through the house. My cell phone announces the sixteen-year-old is on her way home, while another text pops up from our son, sharing his adventures of the day.

And that’s it.

The stuff around me will never come close to the value of the man. His accomplishments give a glimpse of who he was, but his children are his legacy. A life of one, multiplied by three. I see the determination of our eldest to meet her goals, the twinkle of his eyes in our son when he runs in dad’s shoes, and his smile ripple across the face of our youngest, his little “sack of potatoes”.

We were parted by death. I check the “Widow” box on forms, but can’t bring myself to change the relationship status of social media. I wear the ring on my right hand, but still sleep on the left side of the bed. Pictures throughout the house are barely glanced at, but I’m caught off guard by images on an old camera of his broad grin. Another land mine detonates and my heart is pierced again by loss. I want to touch that face again.

It has been eighteen months, twenty-six days, three hours, and twenty-four minutes since we parted.

We were physically separated by death, but not emotionally. I still feel we are “joined together”, as the Scripture stated. This is what makes it very difficult to move forward.

Jesus, we know You joined us together in marriage. Being separated by death is so hard! Give us the strength today to make the difficult decisions with the earthly stuff and help us process the accomplishments of our loved ones. Wrap Your loving arms around us as we grieve our losses. Amen


Would you like to submit a guest blog for consideration? Click the link here to find all the details.

Clothe Yourselves With Compassion

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

                                                                                                        Colossians 3:12  NIV

I have had so many of those moments during this journey. You know those moments – when you just get so irritated with people.  You can’t believe what they said or didn’t say.  You can’t believe what they did or didn’t do.  You want to scream…Don’t you understand how much pain I’m in????  One of the many things God has spoken to me through my Stephen’s minister was the answer to that very question…No, they don’t get it, and they are not supposed to.

Fortunately, probably most of the people we know or come in contact with have not experienced the depth of pain that you go through when you lose your spouse.  But then most have also never experienced the depth of God’s love, compassion and provision that we are experiencing either.

It is so important that we give ourselves grace during this time. There are days, weeks, months when we walk around in a fog.  There are many, many times when we are irritable and every day we struggle to deal with our loss.  But more important than giving ourselves grace, we need to remember God has given us grace.  Grace when we didn’t deserve it.  Grace that covers absolutely everything we could possibly think, say or do.  Grace because He loves us more than we can begin to comprehend.  I am so grateful none of things I have thought or said on this journey stand between me and my God whom I so desperately need.  His Son has already paid for every one of our sins on the Cross, and we can call out to our God with confidence.  Our sin is as far away from us as the east is from the west (Psalms 103:12 NIV).

It is because of His Grace, that the Holy Spirit lives in us once we believe. And it is through the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  It is why when someone does or says the wrong thing, we are, if we choose, able to respond with kindness and extend grace to them.  It isn’t always our natural response, but through Him it is possible.  And each time we clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, we have the privilege of letting others see Christ living in us!

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You so much for loving us and covering us with Your grace! Thank You for the sacrifice of Your Son who died on the Cross for us.  Thank You for the Holy Spirit who guides us and comforts us!  Please help us to remember every day the gift of Your grace and help us to clothe ourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Father, let others see You living in us that You may be glorified!   Amen


 

SherylPeppletb

Sheryl Pepple is President, and an author and speaker for aNew Season/A Widow’s Might Ministries. She lives in Texas with her two daughters, her son-in-law, and her grandchildren. She is a seasoned traveler and loves to visit great snorkeling and diving areas. Her husband was killed by a drunk driver in September 2011 and she lost her brother, the victim of an unsolved murder, years ago. Sheryl feels blessed to be able to share how evident God’s grace and faithfulness is in her life.

If you are interested in having Sheryl or another team member speak please contact us via email at: admin@anewseason.net

Want to read another article by this author? I Have a Purpose

Want to read another article? I am not Equipped

 

Sunday ReCap for the Week of September 10

Since we had day of prayer last Sunday, I will include the last TWO weeks in our recap. Make sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for email articles each week. 



Our prayer over you this coming week is that you fully grasp the confidence that is ours as daughters of our marvelous God. He promises to complete the work He had begun in us. 

Lord, help us to trust the work You are doing in our lives. In the good and the bad, You are ever present. In the easy and the hard, Your hand sustains us. May our lives glorify Your work. Help us to walk confidently in the knowledge that You will finish what You have started in us. Amen.


Sometimes my problems seem to keep me from praising God. My friend Liz Anne calls this the “yet praise” – I can list all the things going on in my life but then close it with “Yet I will praise God”. This is based in Psalm 42.

Join me on the blog today as I examine several Scripture passages in light of our problems and give practical suggestions on finding our hope again! Elizabeth Kay Dyer

https://anewseason.net/widows-might/blocking-out-the-sunson/


Hope this makes you smile. If you haven’t gotten lost in a good book lately, maybe it is time to head to the library or the used book store. You might find some treasures! 


“The Psalmist is holding up a quarter in front of his eye and saying, “I can’t see You, God! You must not be there!” But as he dialogues with himself, he lands on this phrase and repeats it several times in this chapter and the next-Put your hope in God!”

If you missed yesterday’s blog or want to read it again, click here. You can read what God is teaching me about my problems. ~Elizabeth Kay Dyer
https://anewseason.net/widows-might/blocking-out-the-sunson/


Labor Day is the “unofficial” end of summer for most people so let’s take a moment to dream about One. More. Day.

What would you do with one more summer day, without responsibilities, and money to burn?

 ~Elizabeth 


In the post this week were a few suggestions for dealing with issues that seem to be magnified after widowhood. Sometimes these can block our worship or our prayer time. 

Do you ever experience that? 

What can we do to get our perspective back? 

Here are five suggestions:
-Get a 3×5 index card, tape a quarter on it, write “my afflictions can block the Son” –carry it with you
-Choose a verse from Psalm 42 to memorize – write it on a post-it note, stick it on your steering wheel or other place your see often
-Get on a Bible website (Biblegateway or YouVersion or others) and look up the word HOPE. Jot down in your journal some of the verses and review them often.
-Don’t feel any shame in seeing a Biblical counselor who can help you talk through your “afflictions”.
-Start keeping a journal – write down prayers, thoughts, concerns, requests, verses, and anything else you want.

So today, type your acknowledgement with me: MY HOPE IS IN YOU! An eternal perspective is our goal. ~Elizabeth Kay Dyer


This is a wonderful reminder for our minds. Feed it faith, truth, and love today. 


 

Grief is a fickle friend and doesn’t just go away when we hit the one-year mark, two-year or 10-year marks. We never “get over it.” Grief shows up whenever she feels like it – at work, with a client, the grocery store, your child’s sporting event and so on. And, whether it’s been five weeks or five years since the loss of your beloved, it still happens, and that is our reality. But with the Lord’s’ strength and comfort, it gets better. Join me today as I share more on the waves of grief and how Jesus is always there to walk beside us and uphold us. ~Jennifer
https://anewseason.net/widows-mig…/grief-is-a-fickle-friend/

 


Tonight we want to remind you that faith isn’t about answered questions or prayers being fulfilled exactly the way we pray them. Faith is choosing God anyway, Sisters! God knows, He sees, and we can thank Him for who He is and what He has done and IS doing for us.


God never promised life without trials and tribulation, but he did promise to walk with us every step of the way. So thankful for His faithfulness.


It’s Grateful Friday, sisters. Please share your grateful with us tonight. Big or small it still reminds us God is here and working, and we are loved by HIM.


The grief and sadness we have for the loss of our husbands will never go away, but that all-consuming sorrow will, if we let Jesus in. The Lord has brought joy I never thought possible after the loss of my husband Michael. I’ve learned to find joy in the little things. He’s also brought joy through my family and friends, and especially through my husband Keith and our three boys. In the big and little, I’d love to hear the joy the Lord has brought into your life after loss. ~Jennifer


As you close your eyes this evening, take this verse with you.


On this journey we need God now more than ever. We need His presence and we need His guidance. Our prayer over this week is this Psalm. 


 

Embrace was my word for 2016. I appreciate what this says – Embrace the life you HAVE. Not the life you THOUGHT you would have. Not the life you think you DESERVE. Not the life you WISH you had.

Let’s all focus on embracing the life we have today. I hope this encourages you today as it did me. ~Elizabeth

 


I carried so much hard stuff when my husband committed suicide. One of the toughest things was a mentality that his life was cut short. And I got stuck there, believing we had been robbed of him and he was robbed of us. I dug my feet in before the Lord too, and let Him know I thought that his life had undoubtedly been cut short and I didn’t like it! Then, I was shown some amazing truth by simply opening a devotional email one morning awhile back. 
Please join me as I share more: http://anewseason.net/widows-might/cut-short/
~Erika


God’s love is so amazing and divine that we WANT to follow Him. This is from the hymn When I Survey the Wondrous Cross. Many of you will hum the tune as you see these words.


One last funny to end on….


 

Let’s Come Together in Prayer Today

We are taking a day away from our regular Sunday ReCap to pray for our widow sisters who are in the path of all the recent disasters.

Join us in prayer:


Father God,

We humbly come to You today, praising You for Your creation and mighty power. These magnificent storms, earthquakes, and fires have a way of shaking us to our very core. We lift up our sisters and their families in the fire damaged areas of our northern United States, in the flooded areas in and around Texas, the hurricane damaged areas in the islands and coastal areas, and the sisters in the earthquake area of Mexico and Central America.

Please send the funds into the organizations that will use them wisely. Please send volunteers to assist in the recovery and repair of the damaged areas. We pray for protection for the groups bringing the gospel to the hurting people in these areas. We pray for safety for the families still fleeing the storms. Provide gas for their cars and warm beds for them to sleep in.

Help these widow sisters to know God in a truer way than ever before as You wrap Your arms of love around them. Give them the assurance they are not forgotten but are loved by You.

We ask this in Your precious holy name,

Amen

 

Grief is a Fickle Friend

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

It happened again, on a Tuesday, about a week ago. I was driving to work, dressed and ready, makeup on, prepared to conquer the day. Being a freelance writer, I usually only go into the office on Tuesdays. I was stopped at a red light, and my late husband Michael’s favorite song played on the radio – Whom Shall I Fear by Chris Tomlin.

The first several months after his death, I would break down every time I heard the song. Now, usually, I can listen to it with a thankful heart. But that day, that Tuesday, it hit me – the extreme wave of grief – catching me off guard.

I sat at the light, tears pouring down, trying to pull myself together. I was just five minutes away from the office. “Of all days,” I thought, “I do not want to be late, and I can’t go in there in tears. It’s been more than two-and-a-half years. I can’t be this upset; no one will understand.”

But the truth is, we can be. Grief is a fickle friend and doesn’t just go away when we hit the one-year mark, or two-year or 10-year marks. We never “get over it.” Grief shows up whenever she feels like it – at work, with a client, the grocery store,  your child’s sporting event and so on. And, whether it’s been five weeks or five years since the loss of your beloved, it still happens, and that is our reality.

Though this journey is long and treacherous, with unexpected twists and turns, with the Lord’s’ strength and comfort, it gets better, and joy can still be found. The grief and sadness we have from the loss of our husbands will never go away, but that all-consuming sorrow will, if we let Jesus in.



“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” Psalm 30:11-12 (NKJV)

Today, though I miss Michael every day, that all-consuming, paralyzing grief comes on days and moments that are fewer and farther between. And when they do come, I know that the Lord will be there, arms wide open, to comfort, and give peace and strength. He is the reason I’ve come this far, and though circumstances can be difficult to understand, I KNOW He will uphold me and never let me down.

The Lord never promised a life without pain, but He did promise to be by our side every step of the way.

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2 (NLV)

Lord, Remind us to rely on your strength, not our own. It is the only way we can step forward in this life ‘after’. Guide us through the valleys, and help us be at peace when joy comes our way. Thank you for your faithfulness through it all. Amen.

________________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer was widowed by suicide in January 2015. She is recently remarried and lives with her husband Keith in north central Texas. She is now the mom and step mom of three sons.  When she’s not running after three energetic boys, Jennifer loves running outdoors, enjoying nature. As her grief journey continues, she is sharing her story to help others know that it is only in the Lord that hopeful healing and walking forward are possible.

Another article by Jennifer: When the Days Pile Up

An article with a similar theme: Unexpected Moments

 

Blocking Out the Sun/Son

Take a second right now and go look out your window. Is the sun shining?

If the sun is shining, grab a quarter from between your sofa cushions and hold it up to your eye.

Where did the sun go? The enormous blazing fire-ball was blocked by a tiny coin!

 

Sometimes in my life I look at my problems like quarters. These are the problems that seem so much larger since becoming a widow. Maybe widowhood magnifies certain things in my life. They block my view of God’s Son–I can’t praise Him or pray or spend any time in reading Scripture because my problems seem so large. I sit in worship service, distracted by the issues affecting my emotions. Life loses any enjoyment because my brain is wrapped up in my problems. 

Those unmet financial obligations …

A grown child running away from God…

Inabililty to sleep soundly…

Loneliness, even while surrounded by people…

Unending sadness and grief …

Overwhelming care for ailing parents …

 

Each of these can be like a quarter we hold up to block the sun.

Reality is, though, that the quarter doesn’t really block the sun from shining.

It is just a matter of perspective.

Perspective…

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us

an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison

2 Corinthians 4:17 ESV

I do not like the eternal perspective of “light momentary affliction” sometimes. Especially when I am in the middle of one of those “afflictions”. My perspective is that it is completely clouding out my view of Christ. It blocks my praise. It prevents me from laying my burdens at His throne. Do you ever feel this way?

So now that we have established that we can block the Son with our afflictions, what can we do to remove the blocks? I know it isn’t as easy as taking the quarter away from our eyes, so let’s dig into some Scripture verses and see what He says.

Psalm 42.  This Psalm is like a page out of the psalmist’s journal. The author asks questions I am very familiar with. Click on the link if you have a few minutes to read the entire Psalm, Here are some of the questions he asked:

  • Why am I downcast? 
  • Why have You forgotten me?  
  • Why is my soul disturbed within me?

The Psalmist is holding up a quarter in front of his eye and saying, “I can’t see You, God! You must not be there!” But as he dialogues with himself, he lands on this phrase and repeats it several times in this chapter and the next:

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him. (Psalm 42:5 niv) 

Is that the same place I land when I remove the blinders? In the middle of my grief or my afflictions, can I stand there and solidly declare, “My hope is in God. I WILL praise Him!”

As we put these two different passages together, one from the Old and one from the New Testament, we can see how the struggles we have here on earth can definitely block our view of eternity. We need to remove the blinders and say with the Psalmist, “My hope is in You.”

Would you repeat that with me right now – maybe even out loud –

MY HOPE IS IN YOU.

Lord God,  my problems so easily block my view of You. Help me to declare my hope in You and take the blinders from my eyes. I want to see my afflictions from an eternal perspective today. Amen

 

Practical suggestions:

  1. Get a 3×5 index card, tape a quarter on it, write “my afflictions can block the Son” –carry it in your purse or tape it to your bathroom mirror
  2. Choose a verse from Psalm 42 to memorize – write it on a post-it note, stick it on your steering wheel or other place your see often
  3. Get on a Bible website (Biblegateway or YouVersion or others) and look up the word HOPE. Jot down in your journal some of the verses and review them often. 
  4. Don’t feel any shame in seeing a Biblical counselor who can help you talk through your “afflictions”.
  5. Start keeping a journal – write down prayers, thoughts, concerns, requests, verses, and anything else you want.

 

 


 

 

Elizabeth kay Dyer, Elizabeth Sleeper Dyer, Dyer, Sleeper

Elizabeth Dyer lives in Oklahoma with her six children named after Bible characters, a large dog named after a grandfather, and a noisy cat named after a German race car driver!  Elizabeth lost her husband in 2012 and is learning she only THOUGHT she knew what trusting God was–widowhood has taken that “faith walk” to a whole new level for her. Psalm 94:19 has become a special verse for her family – “Lord, when doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our team at A Widow’s Might would love to send a speaker to your next event. Email us at admin@anewseason.net to get information about our speakers.

Do you want to read more articles by Elizabeth? Read them here. 

Here is an article by Lori about HOPE.

Liz Anne wrote a great article about Psalm 42 here.

 

 

Sunday ReCap for the Week of August 27

Enjoy this reCap of the week’s social media posts. Remember, you can always follow us on Facebook or Instagram.


Our prayer over you this week is that you remember you do have a Father that knows your name. A Father who cares deeply for you and knows you more intimately than any human ever could. Trust Him, HE KNOWS YOU!


 

Park benches make me sad—not burst into tears sad, but let me explain.

My husband and I enjoyed travel, visiting parks, and historic places where we stopped to enjoy the view on a strategically placed bench. I cherish those times. However, when I see a park bench now, and think of using it, it is all wrong. My husband should be next to me. Sitting alone, without his company and conversation—it is just wrong. I acknowledge park benches are an unusual trigger but it reminds me afresh of what we had. I miss him.

Please join me as we all have unique grief triggers and it’s no wonder…https://anewseason.net/widows-might/sudden-tears/


The day of the funeral we wore that dress we wish we could forget about. Some of us wore stylish dresses, as though our husbands would be comforted in Heaven if we tried our best to not look as awful as we felt. Some of us wore the simplest of black dresses—after all, the occasion wasn’t happy—why attract attention to ourselves? Some of us hate black and purposely chose navy blue. Some of us borrowed dresses from our sisters and then asked them to take it back and never show it to us again. Why use our own dress, which would sit in the closet as a constant reminder?

All of us cried. We cried heavy, even howled—never holding back—drowning in wet tissues for hours on our sisters’ laps. We cried soft whimpers when no one was looking. We cried silent tears—staring blankly at the empty world we faced without them. We didn’t cry at all at first and even wondered if everyone thought we didn’t love our husbands. Of course, we did—more than life itself—it’s just that we’re not criers—or so we thought. In private, it all came loose. We drowned our tears in wine until a friend plucked us up and sat with us so we wouldn’t drink alone. We cried in waves, like a roller coaster—fine one minute,…

Read more at https://anewseason.net/…/…/our-stories-so-uniquely-the-same/

 


Enjoy some silliness with us tonight. 

 


 

“When I joined the sisterhood of widowhood, I loved the encouragement and strength that these ladies on the team at AWM gave me. But I have to admit the comments they made, with a sly wink at the others, about the second year kind of unnerved me. They suggested I wouldn’t have experienced the hardest year of my life during the first year of grief.

“I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you!” I plugged my ears and shouted to no one in particular.

I am now in the middle of year two. And I get it now…”


 

Some sweet reminders of God’s perfect care. We pray you’re blessed by Him, even if it’s in the midst of grief and pain.

 


 

Grief is ever changing and evolving. There really is no set schedule. There may be many factors involved. But one thing we know for sure — we must walk through it! There is no bypass or overpass. And as we travel the road of grief, we will catch ourselves laughing again, smiling for no reason, or even feeling momentarily like a “regular” person again. I found this verse in Proverbs that was right on target.

Even in laughter, we may still grieve. And that’s okay. ~Elizabeth

https://anewseason.net/widows-might/singing-the-second-year-blues/

 


If your journey right now seems dark and bleak. Cling to HOPE. Hope is believing in the things we cannot see. Hope is knowing God is here. Hope is knowing GOD is our light.


God is more. In all this really hard and painful stuff remember that well, and trust even when you don’t understand that He has got this and you. He is working and someday we will witness His perfect plans in their matchless and full glory.

 


You and I may have good emotional control under normal circumstances but grieving the death of a spouse is not normal circumstances.It is like nothing else. Sudden tears are not uncommonly triggered even before a thought, smell, sound, or memory has time to fully register. Yet these grief triggers mirror our unique marriages and why we grieve. I explore grief triggers further here: https://anewseason.net/widows-might/sudden-tears/


 


The story of Lazarus is amazing and shows the power of God, but more than that His compassion. When he received word that Lazarus was sick, he wasn’t far away but he didn’t immediately leave. When he did join Mary and Martha, they expressed how different Lazarus’ outcome would have been had Jesus been present. Lazarus’ outcome was all the more glorious for Jesus not having been present earlier when He called Lazarus from his tomb. But prior to that, we cannot miss the fact that Jesus wept with Mary and Martha. He shared in the sorrow of the loss of his friend and their brother. He was fully present and expressed the same heart God has for us today. To see this, join me by readinghttps://anewseason.net/widows-might/sudden-tears/

 
Meditate on this tonight. Lord reveal to us the things You need us to know and learn, in the places You have ordained for us.

Sudden Tears

“JESUS WEPT.”

John 11:35 (ESV)

Park benches make me sad—not burst-into-tears sad, but let me explain.

My husband and I enjoyed travel, visiting parks, and historic places where we stopped to enjoy the view on a strategically placed bench. I cherish those times. However, when I see a park bench now, and think of using it, it is all wrong. My husband should be next to me. Sitting alone, without his company and conversation—it is just wrong. I acknowledge park benches are an unusual trigger, but it reminds me afresh of what we had. I miss him.

We all have unique grief triggers and it’s no wonder.

Our husbands were part of our daily lives and remain part of our hearts. Our memories captured so many details about them; were it all to appear on a screen we’d undoubtedly be amazed. The vast reservoir of knowing and loving our husbands explains why we have triggers. Many things can strike a grief chord suddenly. A song he liked can evoke tears. A food item at the grocery store can require a dash for the door to avoid sobbing in the aisle. I’m sure you have examples too. These experiences are normal.

A grief trigger occurs when a powerful reminder arises of what made my husband so special.  Love and grief overflow from there.

I wonder how many of us apologize if we burst into tears?  It’s uncomfortable when I dissolve in sudden tears. I’m sure none of us want others to feel awkward either, but we have a good reason to cry and no apology is needed. Caring people often feel helpless when my tears erupt, but instead of apologizing, surely there is something better I could say?

One dear friend apologized for saying something that brought tears. I responded, “The tears are always there and ready to come out. Please don’t worry.”  I could also have thanked her for being a safe person with whom I could cry. There are no magic words. The gift of being a loving presence is huge.

It isn’t easy to walk beside a widow in the first adjustment period of amputation from her husband.  Not everyone can handle it. However, they may be praying, just not know what to say, or be afraid of saying the wrong thing. No one wants to cause more pain to one of us.

I am grateful it is knowing and loving my husband behind my grief triggers. I am grateful that even if no one else understands the association which triggered my grief reaction, God who was there understands. It is an opportunity to talk to Him about it and send my love heavenward.

Christ wept with Mary and Martha over Lazarus’ death but later called Lazarus forth from the grave. Christ demonstrated Romans 12:15: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (ESV) We are here for one another for this reason, and we honor God and one another through it.

Lord, thank You for our memories and love for our husbands, even as evidenced by our grief triggers. We know as we cherish them in our hearts, You cherish each of us and bridge the divide we feel. We love You, Lord!  In Jesus Name. Amen.


Janene @ Myrtle Beach

Janene lives in the Dallas area, surrounded by her children, their sweethearts, two grandchildren, and a host of wonderful friends.  Janene married her beloved Frank in 1972 and enjoyed 40 precious years with him. Four months after celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary, Frank lost his rigorous battle against bladder cancer. Frank left a void so vast, it was like a black hole which threatened to swallow Janene whole. However, God’s faithfulness has been exceptional. As a retired minister at a local church, she spends her time painting, mentoring, serving in Stephen Ministry leadership, and seeks to trust Christ in this new season of life.

Our Stories so Uniquely the Same- Part One

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28 ESV

I encourage you, sisters, to join me in a three part series I wrote years ago as I started this ministry.  I was struck by how unique and compelling each woman’s story was, and yet how similarly the threads of love, loss, and healing weave through all of our stories–creating one message: Hope in Christ.  The original writing was three times the length of our current articles, so I have split these into three parts which we will publish today and over the coming months. Today’s part focuses on those early days of loss.  Look for part two on the second year and part three on a new season in the coming months. Bless you sisters– our stories share God’s love for us!           ~Kit

***

The day of the funeral we wore that dress we wish we could forget about. Some of us wore stylish dresses, as though our husbands would be comforted in Heaven if we tried our best to not look as awful as we felt. Some of us wore the simplest of black dresses—after all, the occasion wasn’t happy—why attract attention to ourselves? Some of us hate black and purposely chose navy blue. Some of us borrowed dresses from our sisters and then asked them to take it back and never show it to us again. Why use our own dress, which would sit in the closet as a constant reminder?

All of us cried. We cried heavy, even howled—never holding back—drowning in wet tissues for hours on our sisters’ laps. We cried soft whimpers when no one was looking. We cried silent tears—staring blankly at the empty world we faced without them. We didn’t cry at all at first and even wondered if everyone thought we didn’t love our husbands. Of course, we did—more than life itself—it’s just that we’re not criers—or so we thought. In private, it all came loose. We drowned our tears in wine until a friend plucked us up and sat with us so we wouldn’t drink alone. We cried in waves, like a roller coaster—fine one minute, calm, even kind of detached about it as we sorted through things in the house—wondering why on earth we’ve been given this strange peace, until the wave crashed and then boom—we dissolved into inconsolable tears.

We got through that first month. Some of us were thrust into crisis mode—”He had a business with customers banging at the door—who else but the widow would be expected to close up shop?” Some of us fought with the insurance company—”what do you mean investigation? I thought our life insurance was secure!” Some of us couldn’t stay in our homes—without him, the rent couldn’t be paid. Many of us refused to think about it. The kids were so confused—how could we even have a moment to think about ourselves with our kids asking so many questions? Some of us got busy—cleaning, trying to make order somewhere even with the chaos in our hearts.

Then we had to deal with his belongings unless we expected to live with the constant evidence someone should still be there. We had friends sort through his belongings for us—bagging up his clothes and taking them to Goodwill right away. We wouldn’t let anyone touch his belongings. Their closets became unbearable to touch, a sort of shrine to their existence in our lives. We organized his belongings into nice little boxes and moved them into the attic. Hopefully, we can eventually have the courage to reopen them and decide what to do with it all. We left certain belongings untouched. That receipt from Blockbuster he taped onto the side of the refrigerator stayed there for years. Even visitors seemed to know it would be sacrilegious to remove it.

***

But all of us do… live life more. Whether it’s through grieving more deeply or actively starting life more quickly, we live life more. Our tragedies are parallel and the ripples from our tragedies go in all different directions. And somehow, always lead to redemption.

Father God,  I thank You for these sisters who continue to share their stories with us. I marvel at how strong each of them is, and how You have taken the horrible losses in their lives to transform them and glorify You.


Kit Hinkle is an author and speaker. She was an original writer of A Widow’s Might in 2008, and after four years with that ministry, expanded it and founded A New Season Ministries, Inc. Once the ministry became established, she turned the leadership over, yet continues to contribute articles while she focuses on her finest career as a mother to two high school boys, two boys in college, and a grown son and daughter whom she helped her husband raise before he passed away. She has lived through corporate careers as a chemical engineer and a management consultant, but now enjoys walks on the beach with her chocolate lab.  She loves to sit with another who is walking through her tough road and show that woman Christ. It’s an honor to participate in His kingdom.

If you are interested in having our team speak, please contact us via email at: admin@anewseason.net

Check out more posts by this author at- Kit Hinkle.

You might also like these posts by our team:

Inlaws- not Outlaws

Something Else to be Afraid of

A Widow’s Walk is Never Carved in Stone

Sunday ReCap for the Week of August 20

Hope you enjoy the social media posts for this past week. You can always join us on Facebook or Instagram.  

 


 

Dear Heavenly Father, Do a work in us, be the work in us. Help us realize the power of your outstretched hand as it covers us and our journey. Lord, we pray in advance for the people who need to hear about our experience, about our testimony of Your great provision. In Your Mighty Name, amen.

 


We can walk this journey, because of our amazing God. Let’s start the week with this verse. He’s got this!



YES! LOL. Enjoy some fun with us tonight.

 


So many decisions.
So many choices.
So many questions.

Isn’t it normal to doubt what we do or why we do it, on the crazy winding road of grief?
Read more at, http://anewseason.net/widows-might/the-gift-giver/

 


Grief brings so many feelings and emotions, and often times it can be difficult to deal. I’ve learned that when I try to take care of things on my own I fall short and lack fulfillment, but when I turn my emotions over to the Lord, He begins to heal what is broken. ~Jennifer


devotional books for widows a new season a widows might kit hinkle

Our Fall devotional book is on sale now. If you don’t have your copy you can click the link below to buy one today. If you have a fall book, but are missing one of the others you can click the link and look at the three other related books listed. We thank you so much for your love, support, and encouragement through this endeavor.

https://www.amazon.com/Love-HER-Life-Devotion…/…/ref=sr_1_6…

 


Whatever you call it – the valley, desert, wilderness, fire – God knows and cares. He IS taking care of you in the desert. Trust that truth today. Whether your desert today is financial, spiritual, health, or emotional, you can learn more about His character while walking in the difficult time. Trust Him, especially when it doesn’t make earthly sense.


Losing my husband rocked my world. My view of the future changed in an instant, but God did not change. Let me tell you how He walked with me through the valley of the shadow of death. ~Terri

https://anewseason.net/widows-might/the-valley-of-the-shadow/

 


What you need, God is! As we end this day stand strong in HIM.


After my husband’s death I could easily have given in to fear. It coursed through my veins. Listening to the frightened child within that wanted to curl up and shut out the world would have been easy. But faith in God and the example set by other believers would not let me dwell in a world of fear.

Are you dwelling in fear? Follow David’s example in Psalm 23.

https://anewseason.net/widows-might/the-valley-of-the-shadow/

 


 

it’s Grateful Friday, sisters. We pray this has been a blessed week in some ways. We know at times in this journey it’s not easy to see anything in a positive light, but hang in.. God is working and He is here. Please share your grateful with us tonight.


Over five years have passed since I began my journey through the valley of the shadow of death. God has helped me overcome fear of the unknown and fear of failure in many areas. But fear still tries to raise its ugly head in unexpected ways that I attribute to that shadow.

God continues to lead me to overcome fear through Scripture. He will lead you, too!

https://anewseason.net/widows-might/the-valley-of-the-shadow/

 


Yes, remember this in every moment of this.