“Teacher, what shall we do?”- Luke 3:12 (ESV)
What a great question! Countless times I have asked this very same question.
While my husband was alive, he and I made up a happy we. I know I have changed since my beloved died, and I wistfully recall the pre-widow me. Although fundamentally me, I am not the same. Some changes are probably permanent and others temporary, but during the waves of grief I now realize God was teaching me and answering that question.
Here are some examples.
- I treasure those I love more than ever.
- I see how fragile life is and how it can change in a heartbeat.
- I appreciate the eternal destination we have in Christ more than ever!.
- While I’m likely to isolate when my pain is high, I’ve learned to balance staying connected with others.
- I have felt the cradling of prayers and want others to experience this.
- I relate to God’s desire to have a relationship with us, because relational separation is painful and eternal separation I cannot conceive.
- I have seen great kindnesses and support from my Christian community and felt God’s love through them.
- Widow’s brain has required I extend grace to myself, which I extend also to those lost to know what to say or not say.
- I am less light-hearted but more tender-hearted.
- I protect my emotional reserves before it vaporizes.
- I have also known joy and learned new skills, and slayed giants as a widow. God has made new things possible I could not have imagined.
- Most assuredly, I know God as my Rock. More than ever.
Perhaps some of these points have struck a chord with you. What would be on your list?
The impact of the death of a spouse cannot help but to change us. Even so, with God on our side, He adds new facets to our understanding as He gently guides us. Most of the points I list were taught without even registering at the time. Yet, God knew the question, “What do I do God?” has been a constant refrain in my heart, even when my mind was in a widow’s fog. My tears were prayers and so are yours.
We have an amazingly good God, who is more perfectly diligent in attention for our best than we know how to be.
Please join me in prayer to Him now:
Precious God of the Universe, Our Creator, Our Savior, Our Lord, thank You that we are eternally Your’s through Christ. Thank you for every facet you add to us as you so lovingly guide and instruct us, especially at times of great sorrow and pain. Thank You forever, dear Jesus! Amen.
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.