Who Could Imagine?

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (ESV)

I was settled comfortably in a waiting room chair when I heard sniffling and looked up.

“Oh, this is embarrassing,” the receptionist said, dabbing her eyes. “I’ve been doing this for days, and I can’t stop.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, putting down the magazine.

“No, it’s okay. But it’s weird. I’m that woman that never cries. But I can’t shake the thoughts of what just happened to a friend.” She grabbed a tissue and blew her nose. “She was going along with her life, just like I do. Then, out of nowhere, her husband just died.”

I took it in. Just the mention of that scenario and a wave of bad memories flooded in as though they were yesterday. “Heart attack?”

She nodded. “He was fifty-one! I can’t imagine what she’s going through!”

I can, I thought and then took a deep breath. “Kids?”

“Three of the sweetest you can imagine. Her thirteen-year-old plays baseball with my thirteen-year-old.” She clenched her fists, fighting more tears, and shook her head. “Just like that—her life is changed forever.”

“Yes,” I said, my eyes meeting hers. “Completely changed forever.”

She thought for a moment. “I don’t know what to say to her. I’ve always been a tough woman. Stubborn. In my zone. I only focus on my world—my husband, my kids, my job. I’ve lost touch with so many people over the years as though no one really mattered.”

We both sat quietly for a moment while we thought about what she just said.

Then she added, “but she matters.”

And here is where I break from the story to speak to each of you sisters on this widow journey.  I’m amazed at God’s goodness to bring my meeting with the receptionist in the waiting room together.  It wasn’t an accident—her being struck with sadness about seeing the exact same tragedy I had once experienced and me hearing her gut-wrenching story that was exactly like my loss.

Isn’t God’s purpose so clear in these moments?  Paul talks about this when he writes to the Corinthians.  He tells them that when God comforts us in our struggles, we are then able to turn around and comfort others. My conversation with this receptionist happened almost ten years since losing Tom—long enough for me to have so much of God’s healing and joy restored in my life, and long enough for me to be prepared to send that healing and restoration through this woman to help the new widow in her life.

All these thoughts ran through my head as I listened to her describe the impact of her friend’s loss on her heart.

“I’m just a baseball mom acquaintance,” she said. “She never really mattered to me before, but now she matters, and I’m thinking about people I’ve neglected and ignored over the years. I’m not close to anyone but my family.”

I nodded. “People matter. The older we get, the more important it is to recognize it before it’s too late.”

“I don’t know what to do for her. I can’t imagine what she’s going through.”

Silence for a moment. Should I tell her I’m a widow? Yes, I should. God brought this moment for a reason.

“I can imagine what she’s going through,” I finally said. “I lived it. I was her.”

She looked puzzled.

“I was her age with four little boys when my husband died with no warning whatsoever. I was exactly where she is right now.”

She stared in my eyes, seeming to try to connect her friend’s situation to me. “I would have never guessed. You seem happy.”

“I am. It hasn’t been easy, but my life is good.”

“I can’t imagine what she’s going through.”

“Parts of being a widow stinks, but she will need a friend who can show her she’s more than a widow. She’s going to need a good friend.”

And as she began to ask how to be a good friend, I found myself making a new friend.

That was something I couldn’t imagine. Who could imagine His infinite wisdom and power—how the Almighty Counselor knew that only someone who had walked in my shoes could counsel this woman.

Lord thank you for bringing me comfort so that I can be used to comfort others.

 


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.

If you are looking for more to read about comforting others, consider these posts from our team:

Inviting Others into Your Healing Journey

When the Shoe is on the Other Foot

The Other Side of Sob

 

 

Golly Gee!

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 15:1 (ESV)

Golly gee, can people just remember to say one standard line to a widow like, “This is hard. I’m here if you need me.”

And can we widows try to remember how hard it is to say the right thing? Maybe even coach people on what to say to a grieving widow.

With ten years since my loss, I look back with a lighter heart at the ways people fumbled, bumbled and stumbled over just what to say to a widow.

Here is my “Golly Gee, they didn’t just say that!” list of the botched approaches:

Good grief approach –
“You poor thing. Bless your heart! Let me take care of you!”

I’m not a poor thing. Give me some credit for not going over the cliff right now.

OMG approach –
“Oh my gosh! That’s so awful! I couldn’t handle that! You must be so strong!”

I gulped and thought, Guess what, sister, we don’t get a choice on what we have to handle, so excuse me for not accepting that compliment. How about God chooses you to be strong instead of me?

Lucky dog approach –
“Wow you’re so lucky. I’d far rather have the insurance payout than my husband sticking around.”

No kidding, this happened! I found myself quietly shunning the woman. I now regret that. She could have used a friend to help her see the good in her married life. She finally left her husband and has regretted her lonely walk ever since.

Lazy husband approach –
“I know exactly how you feel. My husband doesn’t lift a finger at home.”

I reacted, “at least you get to wake up next to the lazy jerk every morning!” Needless to say, the blunt retort didn’t do much to encourage this woman.

You’re young approach –
“don’t worry, you’re young. You’ll find somebody.”

I said nothing and fumed over the comment until I realized she only wanted to encourage and meant absolutely nothing ill by it, just needed a little coaching on what to say.

Get on with it approach –
“Get to work. Don’t sit around and feel sorry for yourself.”

I felt guilty for spinning my wheels in that first year and recalled the conversation every time we bumped into each other. What a mistake! She didn’t even remember it because what she really meant was she felt compassion for me.

Evading approach –
“ “

The person simply stays away. My reaction ranged from not registering their disappearance to being deeply hurt. I now know I wasted too much emotion here. Many AWOL friends either didn’t want to crowd me or had their own emotional issues about death.

Endlessly dedicated approach—
“There’s got to be something I can do. Anything. Just give me a task, now. You don’t have anything? Well, let me follow you around until I figure out a task.”

My reaction to this type of friend was to begin accommodating her need to help. It was sweet at first but soon became a burden for me as I ran out of things to give her and found her “help” to be an albatross around my neck.

Reacting offensively to an offense does nothing to repair the damage. And if you can learn to see the person through the eyes of Christ, you can have grace and respond to them gently as in Proverbs 15:1.

I now try to understand the heart behind the person’s comment and thank people for trying to help. If I’m ever in that place again, I’ll just let people know that it’s okay to just sit quietly with me or say a simple “I’m sorry for your loss.”

Because the truth is, we all can use grace with one another.

Golly gee, Lord,
I’ve learned something here—I will never judge another for trying to say the right thing because God knows I’ve missed the mark many times! I only pray that my lesson can be learned from someone going through these very conversations today. Amen

 


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:

Perhaps

Yes! I  Still Cry

Dating a Widow

The Other Side of the Sob

Today we welcome our sister and former team writer Ami Wickiser to our blog. At the end of Ami’s post is a link for more information if you would like to guest blog for us.


​I watched her greet person after person, carried along by evident grace. She wanted it to be a celebration instead of a funeral. And indeed, the atmosphere buzzed with the hum of conversation while folks enjoyed dinner and dessert. Pictures of a life well-lived filled the space.

From across the room her eye caught mine. And in the span of a heart beat, she was in my arms collapsing under the weight of her sobs. Without words, we stood that way for a long time. I held her tightly and cried with her.

“I know I can let it all out with you.”

Yes, dear one. It’s ok to weep and grieve even amid a celebration of life.

Three years earlier, the same lady was at the hospital when my life shattered, and I collapsed into her arms. We had been alone in the emergency room, Jon and I. But he went into cardiac arrest, and I needed someone to come. Looking down at my phone, there was her contact information. Mechanically, I touched the screen, not completely aware of who I was calling.

She was there when I finally gave a doctor permission to stop trying to save my husband’s life.It was in her arms that I silently prayed, “Yes Lord, He’s yours. I give him back to you.”

Two lives intertwined through the deepest of moments.

But now I was on the other side of the sob.

I can’t say I was fully prepared to dive down deep with her, or that her weeping didn’t recreate a dozen vivid images in my mind.And I can’t say I expected she would let her composure crack and the waves overtake her. But I’m glad she did. For there was grace for her to greet person after person.

And there was grace to weep.

I’m thankful she felt totally safe. And I’m thankful I could share the weeping with her.

On the other side of the sob I realize a few things:

  • I know suffering, that I may be able to suffer with others.
  • I know redemption in the midst and on the other side of the storm.
  • I have been deeply comforted.
  • Praise God for beauty out of ashes.
  • His plans and purposes are immensely beautiful.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so the we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 ESV

 

Comfort. It is the result of resting in God’s sovereignty and loving rule over my life.

Peace. I’m not free from troubles, but I possess a profound sense of well being because God is in control. The one who collapsed, could uphold another. I could look her in the eye and say:

It’s ok to weep. It’s ok to ask questions.

Cling to Christ. He carries.

“You won’t believe me now, but one day it will be better. It may be a long time, but one day you’ll want to live again.”

Jesus turns suffering into unspeakable joy.


If you are interested in guest blogging for us, please click the link here and get all the information.

Something More

We are blessed to introduce our newest ministry team member, Janene Gaynor.

Janene lives in the Dallas area, surrounded by her three 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.

Janene @ Myrtle Beach

Please join us today as Janene shares how God has added something more to her life.


 

“All of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you  is a separate and necessary part of it.”

1 Corinthians 12:27 NLT

It is a marvel how God unites two to become one in marriage. Oddly enough, I recognize and appreciate this mystery even more now that I am widowed.  In marriage each partner mutually commits strengths and abilities to benefit their shared life. With my beloved’s life amputated from my own, I felt incomplete. We had learned each other’s strengths and leaned into them as partners.  Over the years, oneness was a state of being, and once he was absent, I wondered how I was to take on as one person what had taken two?

Like many widows, I felt thrust into making important decisions when my brain was fuzzy and my heart was broken. I felt caught up short in all ways, except for the immense security I had in the love of Christ—His unchanging, all-knowing, consistent and extraordinary love.  I invited Him into all my struggles. He has walked with me since that life-altering day when Frank went to the joy of unbroken fellowship with His Lord and mine.

Since then I have made scores of difficult choices and adjustments, but I still miss my husband and the quietness of my home accentuates its emptiness.  Retired, days can lapse without a verbal conversation and the feeling of isolation encroach.

In the absence of daily verbal conversations, I recognized the legitimate need for healthy human interaction. Have you ever just wanted a hug? It turns out there is a good reason for that physiologically. Hugging increases a natural hormone which can offset the stress hormone, Cortisol. The Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory lists the death of a spouse as number one, so when we are hugged, the love expressed is the best part but there is stress relief as well.

Although widowed, we remain part of a larger union–the body of Christ.  The body builds itself up in love and takes God’s love to the world, our collective neighbors. Both activities represent vital human connections. For some it may mean participating in a book club, a quilting or crafting group, a bible study, or volunteering at a hospital or elsewhere.

God’s answer to my prayer has evolved over time but includes hosting groups in my home, mini-retreats, quilting bees, volunteering at a veteran’s resource center, serving as a Stephen Ministry leader and most recently, joining this team, A Widow’s Might.

In this way I reject the isolation. Too much “me” time is unhealthy for me. I can think myself into a pit in a gnat’s blink.  I recharge alone but to “love one another,” I must be in community–to spend time in good company.  This, too, is a way to take ownership of my grief.

I didn’t choose to be a widow but I can choose how I’m going to live as one.

For awhile it was survival or subsistence living but God’s love, fueled by His empowering grace, led me on. Christ made possible the will and the means to embrace life with His purpose and to honor His love in my heart.  He did it. I had to take the steps.

My encouragement to you, when you are ready, is to pray and seek trusted counsel on how best to honor the need to connect with others.  Your contribution is still needed in this troubled world, and you are God’s gal for meeting needs and touching lives in very specific and special ways. God knows what that “something more,” is for you.

Lord, refresh our lives through Your love.  There are places You have reached in our hearts that only devastating pain can access and it makes us so attuned to those who suffer. Show us where to give and where to receive, how to be fruitful and how to accept, or even ask, for help.  You are a good God, faithful and true.  Guide us in community and be more than our partner, our friend, but our Lord. In Jesus Name. Amen


Are you looking for a member of our team to speak at your church or next event? Contact us at admin@anewseason.net to tell us what you are looking for and how we could help you.

Would you like to read more about helping others during your grief?

Liz Anne wrote about starting your own group in your town here. It is called Anatomy of a Widow’s Group I and II

Another article about helping others is this one by Elizabeth called Turn Back and Strengthen 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Are Not Alone

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

                                                                                         Revelation 3:20 NIV

 

We. Are. Not. Alone. can be words that elicit terror or jubilation. Which is it for you?

God has created us in His image, which means we were created to be in community just like Him: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When we accept Him as Lord of our lives, we are given a seat at the table. It is a choice we can make that means we never have to dine alone again.

I hate eating alone. There’s no one to share the highs and lows of the day. No one to listen to, no one to laugh with. It doesn’t seem worth cooking a good meal just for me. My most common dinner companion is the television. Eating has become a task stripped of the beauty of companionship and community with others. I was not made to dine alone.

As widows, we can find ourselves feeling very cut off from others. Activities we once enjoyed becoming painful tasks, a mockery of the beautiful companionship that once was.

But we are not alone.

My heart is still so full from our conference a few weeks ago. Something so beautiful happens when we gather. I feel like God’s presence is magnified ten-fold when we are with others who are walking so closely with Him. An incredible joy bubbles up with seeing His faithfulness being demonstrated in each of the ladies’ lives. Every time we gather, I experience God’s love and provision in an intense way.

I am reminded of the difference between sharing a feast with others instead of dining on scraps alone.

It wasn’t easy for the women who came– choosing to go to the conference, working out many logistics including transportation, arranging childcare, etc. But for most, the biggest hurdle was overcoming the fear– “Do I have the emotional strength and energy to connect with new people?” They stepped out in faith, and God blessed them with everything they needed, plus so much more.

God’s word is clear from beginning to the end. We are not created to be alone. The world we live in sends the message the only way to fill the void in our lives is with a man. Having a spouse to share our lives with is just one of the ways God created for us to be with others. He created within us an intense need for being in community so that first and foremost, we would seek to satisfy our need with a relationship with Him. Nothing can or will ever fill the void, except being with Him. And as an extension of our relationship with Him, we are created to be in community with His church, the body of Christ.

Our call to action: 

So let us pray for one another to overcome our fears and the obstacles depriving us from gathering at the table. Let us pray for one another to first and foremost, fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. May our fears, our anger, and our sadness decrease as we are continually filled with His love. May each of us let His love flow through us to build up and encourage others. Let us say “I hear you knocking at the door, Lord. Please come in and I will dine with you and you will dine with me!”

We are not alone.


 

SherylPeppletb

Sheryl Pepple is an author and speaker for aNew Season/A Widow’s Might Ministries. She lives in Texas with her yellow lab, Super Duper Cooper, and spends time with her two daughters, her son-in-law, and her grandson. 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 her speak, please contact her via email at: admin@anewseason.net.

Want to read another great article by Sheryl?  Hello, my name is

Want to read another article about how to deal with loneliness?  Loneliness, Get Out!

Catch the Foxes!

Catch the foxes for us,
the little foxes that spoil the vineyards,
for our vineyards are in blossom.

Song of Solomon 2:15 (ESV)

I love my mother. She is nearly ninety years old and still loves to paint on canvas. She finds Bible verses to paint onto scenery.  She recently began talking about this little verse in the Song of Solomon. Honestly, as a widow, I avoid this book! I don’t want to read about lovers, I don’t want to watch romantic movies, I don’t want to hear about lovey-dovey couples.  But this little verse has application for all of us.

The foxes were the little destroyers coming into their new relationship. The vineyard was just beginning to take off in bloom and those pesky little foxes were tearing them up. The couple didn’t want anything to interrupt their new love.

We have an opportunity as widows to develop a relationship all over. This time with God. Afresh. Anew. Vibrant. Deep. Believers are the Bride of Christ and He is the Groom. We have the chance to dig into Scripture and get to know our Groom like never before. We have had such deep hurt in losing our spouses, but God can use our hurt to bring glory to Him in new and creative ways.

Except for the little foxes.

What are the little foxes that want to destroy your new, deeper relationship with Christ? I have “foxes” like anger or apathy. “Why would God let this awful thing happen to ME?” or “What good does it do to follow Christ when He takes away such a precious gift?” These little “foxes” can be joy stealers.  Think of the blossoming fruit as the Fruit of the Spirit or characteristics of a Believer in Christ. The “foxes” could be being too busy or apathetic, jealousy or pride. “What does SHE have that I don’t? Why would SHE get that honor?” “Why did her husband experience healing and mine didn’t? Could God actually love her MORE?” The foxes might be murmuring or complaining, impatience or ungratefulness. Those are just the “foxes” in my life! What about your life? What are your little “foxes”? Discouragement, selfishness, false doctrine, doubt, fear, gossip?

How do we fight these little “foxes” and keep them out of our growing relationship with Christ?

I researched the humane way to remove real foxes from a garden and this is what I found:

1)  Remove access to food: Get rid of the rotting food on the ground. In other words, “let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1 ESV Recognize the sin in your life and confess it to God.

2) Remove places of shelter: look for areas where the foxes could hide. Stay in Scripture so you recognize false teaching. Dig into Scripture so you can hear God speak to you personally through passages. John 15 explains about abiding in Christ. Matthew 5:6 shows us we can be filled when we hunger and thirst for righteousness. Little “foxes” can hide in our relationship with God when we don’t spend time in His Word, getting to know Him, not just about Him.

3)  Deter foxes from wanting to enter: put up a fence. You could do this by fellowshipping with other believers and bonding with Christian widows as encouragement. Hebrews 10:25 (ESV)  not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Extend grace to those church members who don’t know what to say. Worship is NOT what you get out of it; worship is what we put INTO it.

Have you recognized a little “fox” wanting to get in and destroy the “fruit” in your life today? I certainly have. I have almost made some of the “foxes” PETS!

I need to run…I just saw another little “fox” trying to dig into the garden.

Father God, Husband, Lover of my soul, I love you and want a deeper relationship with You. You know me inside and out, You know my every thought, so help me today to guard my heart and put a stop to the enemies trying to steal my joy. Amen

 

 

Elizabeth Dyer is a elizabeth 325x325writer/speaker with  A Widow’s Might/A New Season Ministries, Inc.. She resides in Oklahoma, amid earthquakes and tornadoes, giving her ample opportunities to trust God! Her six children, large dog, noisy cat, and guinea pigs keep her busy enough, but she still finds time to have coffee now and then with a friend.  Elizabeth lost her husband in 2012 and she loves to share how God is leading her on this new journey.

Want to read more about Battling Satan? How to Hold Thoughts Captive by Kit

 It Can by Erika

 

Troubled Church

Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety.

Proverbs 29:25

Have you ever visited a home where a certain room was off-limits and never entered? It feels a bit creepy to me. I believe every room needs to be enjoyed and lit up with noise and activity, or else it’s a house—not a home.

There was a specific church, that for a while, I felt my boys and I weren’t allowed to go. It had undergone a horrible rift. And though I wasn’t part of the rift—and I refused to choose sides—because my family loved and was mentored so sweetly by the pastor and his wife, we left our old church and joined them at their new church.

That left an awful hole in a part of our lives—we missed a whole community we loved that we only saw in passing now. Can you imagine how hard that is when raising your boys alone? Thankfully, my son and the pastor’s son were best friends. And all my kids had wonderful friendships in their new youth group.

So you can bet it was difficult when, two years later, circumstances changed once more. That pastor and his family got called away to another mission. I found myself looking, yet again, for a church home in which to get my boys settled.

I visited our former church, full of beautiful sisters and brothers who welcomed us back after being away two years. We received hug after genuine hug, some from ladies who came running and whooping toward us to clutch us in their arms.

“My son spotted you and I told him, ‘Stop her before she leaves. I’ve just got to hug her!!!’”

I was overwhelmed by our red carpet reception, but was at odds within my heart. How could people so loving and kind have hurt precious friends of our family? I keenly felt love for these brothers and sisters, but also anger over a compromised body of Christ. The painful memories of the struggle between them contrasted with my desire for my boys to rekindle old friendships.

The new pastor at the church spoke about forgiveness and taking your time to respond to people who have hurt you, rather than quickly retaliating. You can do the Christian thing and turn the other cheek, but still feel the anger stinging in your heart. “We have a responsibility to forgive,” he said.

 Forgive.  I think I’ve done that.

Love these people. There’s no doubt I do. I’ve known them for years, and I know they care a great deal for me.

Be loyal to friends. I’ve certainly stood by the pastor and his family through their difficult years.

So why was I unsettled about revisiting the old church and its congregation?

I took my concerns to the boys and laid them out. “Guys, I am fine with us going to this church, but you need to pray for me. I’m having a really hard time embracing this church after the tough battle I witnessed. I need peace about this.”

Late one night, way after my 12-year-old’s bedtime, he knocked on my door. “Mom, I found a Bible verse in my reading that might help you.”

Words from the mouths of babes. It was a bible verse about fear.  The bible is filled with God’s instruction not to fear.  Proverbs 29:25 says “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety”.

I had to ask myself, was the discomfort actually a fear of hurting the feelings of the former pastor and his wife? Was I fearful of jeopardizing our special friendship.

Once my son woke me up to what was gnawing at me—fear—I was able to tackle it and turn it over to the Lord. Then I had the freedom to choose a church based on our family’s needs, not the needs of another family.

In the end, we decided to attend a different church. I located an amazing youth program run by a pastor. He truly loves my boys and welcomed them into his fold instantly.

God brought me back to our old church to shine a light on and expose a fear. The people in that church love the Lord and they love me. I love them too. And I love our former pastor and his family.

But I don’t feel any obligation to attend or NOT attend that church based on my friends’ needs or expectations. The Lord freed me from the fear of hurting anyone’s feelings and placed my boys and me in just the right church community for this season of our lives.

Father God, if there are widows who have struggled with troubles in church communities, please comfort them and help them know that churches are filled with people who try to follow You, but sometimes trip up. Help them strive to stay connected to a church community, to choose one based on Your Word, and not to shy away from any body of Christ over fear. It’s You whom we worship at church, not the sense of belonging or the correctness of how a church is operating. In Christ’s name, Amen.

 

Would you like to share your thoughts?  Please join the conversation and contribute a comment to the conversation here.