Might as Well Do Something

This would be my comfort; I would even exult in pain unsparing, for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.

Job 6:10 (ESV)

How does he do it? The enemy, I mean.

How does satan take a beautiful heart and twist it into his shape, convincing her to reject God and His promises?

He gives her a “fur-lined pity-pot”–that’s how. God-knows where that little phrase came from, but I’ve heard it kicked around in recovery circles. It’s that cozy spot where she curls up like a cat and licks her wounds.

He tells her it’s the safest spot to park herself.

But it’s not!

How many of us have spent at least a season of our time as widows spinning over our painful circumstances, wanting a better life for ourselves, but stuck in a pit of despondency.

There’s a better way. Kick the devil in the rear by rejecting self-pity.

Oh, the joy you will feel when you reject satan.

The impact you will make!  The reward – the everlasting reward to be secure in your place with God and in Heaven!

And while we know there are rewards in stopping the self-pity, we can’t just rid ourselves from it without replacing it with a new mindset.

Try this one: Remember this world–this life–these struggles that seem unending–are but a blink of an eye compared to eternity.

And what feels like a curse to have to suffer in this life has its rewards. Because with discomfort, you are never lulled into leaning on the luxuries of this world for security. Rather, you look to the eternal security of your precious loving Abba Father to walk you through every dark valley.

Job in the Old Testament saw this Truth, even in his misery.  After losing ten children, all his material possessions, and the support of his wife and friends, he sat alone, covered in painful boils. And in his misery he did something remarkable.  He praised God. Just listen to his words: “This would be my comfort; I would even exult in pain unsparing, for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.” (Job 6:10 ESV).

Job had it right. Sitting idle for too long doesn’t get you any further out of your misery. Do something. If you can’t seem to do anything, start like Job did by praising God.

And if you can’t seem to use words to praise God, try action.

Think of it this way: You are miserable anyway.  Might as well get something done while you’re at it! Take action! Here’s why:

  • Actions before feelings – Our culture screams for you to give in to feelings.  Don’t!  Move your body and use your mind as if you were hopeful and joyful, and your heart will resonate with those actions and feel joy again!
  • It honors your Maker – It screams to the enemy, I will not let my loss render me useless, and draws you closer to God and His purpose!
  • Results – You grieve whether you remain idle or start cleaning, but a week later, your house is uncluttered. Accomplishing a task puts a lift in your step.

Abba Father,

Give my sister that small nudge to step out of her fur-lined pity-party. Help her at least get up and begin tidying the world around her as a way of acknowledging You are there and she loves You and knows You love her. Embrace her as she takes small steps and please grow that security in her heart. Thank You, Jesus. 


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 home school mother to four teen boys–one of them launched in college. 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:

The Upward Kick

Just One Step

Stepping Outside the Boat

Christmas 2016

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. 

Luke 2:11 KJV

Christmas 2016 – six Christmases without Bill.  He loved Christmas! The lights, the family gatherings, the movies, the friends, celebrating, surprises…all of it!  Christmas with Bill brought belief and wonder into our home as early in the season as possible.  I loved Christmas with Bill and my daughter!

The first Christmas without Bill, I forced myself to do something different.  My daughter and I flew to the “happiest place on earth” in Florida.  As we checked into our beautiful hotel, I learned that my daughter didn’t really want to go on this trip. On Christmas Eve, I finally talked her into going to an Irish pub that featured clog dancing while eating. We enjoyed the dancers, my food was ok, but my daughter “liked” it – first compliment of the trip.

As we fell asleep Christmas Eve, it felt so good to not be home wandering around the sameness, yearning for what was missing.  At 4 am, I awoke to find I had food poisoning…violent food poisoning.   2011 was officially the WORST Christmas ever.  I knew it was going to be bad after my husband died, but this bad topped my most creative thoughts of what bad might look like.

Every Christmas that has followed has been better and better.  My daughter and I have charted a course through this grief journey and have managed to create a very special looking-back and living-forward Christmas tradition.

Christmas 2016 was, by far, the best since we started this journey.  It was filled with quiet moments of reflection and also wonderful moments of living and loving.  Bill’s life was honored, but wonderful new traditions were weaved around that.

We are moving forward and, instead of dragging our sorrow with us, we have lovingly tucked it into our everyday moments where memories can shine, allowing us to enjoy the moment. 

Each Christmas, I think about what Heaven is like versus the Christmas we celebrate here.  Both of us look to the Savior.  Bill is complete and gets to walk into the throne room, worshiping in the presence of the King freely.  He has seen our Savior’s beautiful face!  Perhaps he has met biblical “heroes” and reconnected with Saints gone before him. Looking forward to that, we make the best of our finite capabilities, stringing lights to represent the Heavenly host and the special star.  We look at the Baby born that night who held a beautiful promise.  We look to a Savior that our hearts know and accept His Salvation, awaiting the day we will see Him face-to-face. 

The thought that drifts through my brain so often since Bill’s death is the promise of salvation gives me hope and allows me to grieve in hope. Because of my Savior and the salvation He offers, I will see Bill again. I will someday join him and all my other loved ones who accepted that salvation.  I will get to see my Savior’s beautiful face!  I will get to talk to the Bible heroes.  There is hope and, while I am here, I have a purpose.  I am to point others to this promise of salvation.  I am to minister to others, helping them see the Hope. 

Christmas is the promise of a Savior fulfilled.  A Savior who made the perfect sacrifice so we might have eternal life.   We can deal with life’s difficulties with hope that only comes from the Savior. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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: A Christmas Butterfly by Linda Lint

We believe—WE WILL WIN

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

Do you have a battle cry?

Athletes understand a battle cry of confidence.

They also understand the struggles ahead, and if they are powerful competitors, they know what winning really means—it’s the joy of the battle, not merely a trophy.

Check out this battle cry from the 2014 World Cup:

ibelieve2014

Crowds of Americans chanted “I believe that we will win” over and over, even though all odds were against the US winning a World Cup.

All odds against winning, but we Americans shouted it anyway.

Were we ignoring the odds, or did we understand what winning really meant?  Once I got into the routine of life without my husband, I asked myself the same question…Do I understand what winning in my journey as a widow means?

They tell us widows, young and old, “you’ve got to move forward”.

That’s hard when you have layers of grief, pain, denial, anger and self-pity to overcome.

So it’s tears and stumbles. It’s waking up alone and pushing your way out of bed, only to be faced with reality again – he’s gone.

What does God say to that? Are we moving towards victory or survival?

We believe that we will win. Maybe it should be “we believe that we HAVE WON.”

Because we aren’t living to win.  We are living based on winning.  He’s already won.  You’re just living out His victory!

Not to say you won’t have trouble.  But when you do have it, God’s there to kick trouble in the shins! 2 Thessalonians 1:6 (NIV) says, “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you.”

In those moments when your struggles bring despair, take heart.  Everything will get better.

Those moments humble you and tear you open like a seed which must be broken open to germinate. Out of brokenness you grow into a new woman in a new season.

While you sit in your brokenness, don’t let anything replace real Truth. New romance, shopping with inheritance money, drugs, wine.  None of that will heal.  God’s Truth is the only thing that lasts in the end.

That Truth is we are not just broken because we experienced loss.  All in this world are broken and filled with the weight of our sins.  And it’s only through recognizing just how awful that sin is that we win. We take the weight of sin off and hand it over to Christ, who paid for it once and for all by shedding His blood on the cross so you can now walk free.  Is this new to you?

Don’t let Truth pass you by, sister, because it’s in that Truth that you will finally believe, from the heart that YOU WILL WIN!  Read more about His Truth and how you can be saved here, and if you need one of our writers to pray with you to accept Christ in your life, please contact us here.

Trust God on this–there will be an end to the sorrow.  Things will become new for you—that’s a promise straight from God’s Word:  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)

That new is here, and you can experience it in this life through the impact you make, and through God’s blessings of a new abundant life. Ultimately, God will make all things new in Heaven. You will be redeemed from this widowhood!

You will no longer awake in your bed alone.

You will no longer walk through life without your best friend.

You will no longer carry the burdens of your household alone.

You will have companionship, love and fellowship.

What He doesn’t heal in this life, He will completely redeem in the next!

We believe—WE WILL WIN!

Dear God, we’ve won. Already.  Help us remember that You’ve already brought victory to us by dying on the cross. You’ve defeated sin. All of our tears will be wiped away–here, or when we stand before You.  Please give all of my sisters here strength and knowledge of your Truth.  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 home school mother to four teen boys–one of them launched in college. 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:

Be the Ant…but What Kind of Ant?

Full Victory

Perhaps

Solitude vs Loneliness

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,

Matthew 14:22-23 (ESV)

This is solitude.

Choosing to be alone.

Choosing to have that time when it’s just you and the Father Almighty.

Choosing relationship at the most intimate level with the entity of the highest level.

 

Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”

Matthew 26:28 ESV

This is loneliness.

Grasping at friends to fill what they cannot fill—that chasm between the human soul and God’s love when relationship with Him is cut off.

Christ said those words in the Garden of Gethsemane just before his crucifixion. He knew that He was to take the sin of mankind upon him so that God could reject him and punish Him as a substitute for all the sin on earth. He knew that in order to accomplish redemption for all men, he had to experience God, His own Father, turning His back on Him.

Christ had to experience being truly separated from God.

That is what true loneliness comes from— a separation from God.

So when you are in that place of acute pain, reach out for the truth like a rescue line. Know it’s your flesh keeping you in that state of temporary separation. You’ve temporarily forgotten—you’re not alone.

As He draws you in, you’re still soaked with fear and trembling from the cold waters of desperation. Don’t be afraid of that. Those are feelings. We all have them.   And if you choose to go up on the mountain to be alone with God, you’ll take that loneliness with you, but you’ll leave it there with God and exchange it for solitude. Do that enough, and you will grow strong.

And growing strong allows you to see the world around you differently. You’re now more anchored in the Holy Spirit, because He is around you, with you, and in you at all times. You rest in Him. You radiate Him. And the world responds, because everyone wants to know the secret to what makes you radiate.

Lord God, Help my sister know she need not be afraid for You are with her, even to the ends of the earth. Amen.

017_HinkleKit Hinkle is the Founder and Ministry Lead for A New Season Ministries, Inc., and an author and speaker. She has lived through corporate careers as a chemical engineer and a management consultant, but now finds her finest career as a home school mother to four teen boys–one of them launched in college. She loves Pilates and her best friend’s Bosanova Christian yoga-style stretching, and craves more walks through the woods with her chocolate lab.  Her dream is to live on the beach–and Charleston is just calling her!  She knows what it means to be in a new season. She lost her first marriage to divorce when she was very young and lost her loving husband to a heart attack in 2007.  To sit with another who is walking through her tough road and show that woman Christ, brings joy and fulfillment to Kit. It’s such an honor to participate in His kingdom.
If you are interested in having her speak, please contact her via email at admin@anewseason.net. 
Other articles by this author: www.anewseason.net/author/khinkle

Would you like to read more about being vulnerable?  Here are some articles you might try:

Lonely?  Exchange it for Peace by Ami Adkins

Want to See God More Clearly? by Teri Cox

The Hope We Have

“And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?  My only hope is in YOU.”

Psalm 39:7 NLV

Do you ever wonder why we all sound so hopeful?  How we have such faith?  Why we can write such meaningful things?

Well sisters, it’s not us at all, but it’s Christ in us.  It comes out of our obedience to His leading and humbling ourselves before Him, trusting His plan for us.

Let us share….

Easter is around the corner.  The day all Christians no matter their denomination stand united saying “He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed.”

What does that mean?

God sent His Son Jesus to earth.  He was fully God and fully man.  He walked this earth and was tempted. He saw suffering. He saw hurt. He saw pain. He rejoiced and celebrated. He had friends. He had loved ones. He experienced and witnessed every human emotion and trial.

Except He was without sin!

Then He made the ultimate sacrifice… He humbly took on death and the consequences of sin at the cross.

He did this willingly!

Through His death, burial, and resurrection He paid the price once and for all for each of us.

The Bible is clear, if we believe with our whole heart and confess it with our mouths, we are immediately forgiven and we are saved, our name is then sealed in the book of life.  (Romans 10:9)

Jesus told them, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one can comes to the Father except through ME.” John 14:6 NLV

As Christian widows we speak of hope and faith because we know that Christ died on that cross for us.  We’ve professed our faith in His sacrifice.  We’ve invited Him into our hearts and lives.  We’ve vowed to not live perfect happy lives on our own strength, but to live imperfectly messy lives in Christ Jesus.

It’s not about religion sisters, but it is about a personal relationship with Jesus.

We know the hope we have comes from God.  We grieve not in a hopeless manner unsure of where our husbands are, or where we will end up.  We are not vessels floating around in a sea just haphazardly swaying here and there.  We have Christ at the helm of our lives, and we know for certain because of our faith, we will stand in glory someday before God, and we will be reunited with our beloved husbands.

That’s called hopeful grief! 

We’d like to ask you…

Do you have this same hope?

Can you stand with us arm in arm professing the same faith?

Do you have Christ in your heart?

If not, or you’re unsure, then this is what you can do.

Pray sisters. Invite God in.  Profess your faith in Christ’s sacrifice at the cross.  Accept the free gift of salvation.

If you’re not sure how to do that then pray this prayer:

Father God, I believe that you sent Jesus to this earth, and that He was the true son of God.  I believe that Jesus did die on the cross for my sins, but then rose again victoriously.  I ask that you come into my heart and mind and that you reveal all your truths to me.  Lord I commit my life to you, and I choose to live a life that will please you.  Lord I ask for your forgiveness for my sins.  I pray that as I move forward now that my eyes will be opened to all you want to teach me.  In your precious matchless name, Amen

Sisters, if you just asked Christ into your heart the Bible says there is rejoicing in Heaven (Luke 15:7).  How amazing!

Please let us know you have made this decision and have chosen to walk in faith.  Email us or comment here.  We would love to talk with you and pray for you.

Now, proclaim loudly with us, He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!!

 

 

 

 

An Ordinary Day

 

There were shepherds staying in the fields nearby guarding their flocks of sheep. Luke 2:8 ESV 

It was the end of an ordinary day here at the corner house. While I was at work, hubby did the laundry and after dinner we folded clothes and watched some TV. Nothing spectacular. We talked about the uncertain future with  his recent health issues,  but had peace knowing God would be with us through it all, because we had the reality of Christ in our lives. He headed off to bed a bit early and I headed outside with my cup of tea to have some quiet time before putting the day to rest.

It was late in the evening, so I was concerned and a bit irritated when I sensed the light from a car pulling into our driveway. Yet, when I turned to look, there was no car – just bright light that continued to expand until the entire area was as bright as noonday! My mind raced as I wondered if this was “it” and I started looking and listening for angels! Then I saw it – a meteor streaking through the sky far overhead. I eventually made it to bed, but it was the first thing I told my husband the following morning. The event made its way to the local news and was the topic of conversation for a few days at work. Everyone was eager to tell their experience of the event and those who had not seen it wanted to know! Then it faded into the distance – crowded out by the daily “ordinary” of life. I still remember it though, and will gladly describe it to anyone who didn’t see it.

That experience has given me a hint of how a certain group of shepherds must have felt that night in the fields near Bethlehem. They, too, were finishing up an ordinary day. I imagine they were tired – being a shepherd is hard work and the world of their time was worrisome to say the least. The promise of a Savior to free them from oppression rested within them – written through the years and shared faithfully. Yet, they waited still, wondering “when”. Then, on that one ordinary night, the sky filled with light and the angels announced what generations before them had longed to hear – “Today a Savior has been born to you. He is the Messiah, the Lord.!” And then the invitation “Come see Him!”.  And go see Him they did! After their visit they could not wait to share this news with everyone. It is a wonderful account in the second chapter of  Luke’s Gospel.

These ordinary folks, on an ordinary night had only a promise. There was neither tree nor wrapped presents that night. And the only lights twinkling were the stars above. They started their day just like any other – and went to sleep that night knowing the long-awaited promise had arrived.

Some of us had trees and presents this year. Some of us didn’t. The one thing we all have is the Promise fulfilled – We have a Savior. We have One to walk beside us as we travel through the oppression of grief and the worrisome world of living alone. We have received the invitation – “Come, see Him”. In other words, visit with Him, sit with Him, adore Him – let Him in and He will bring peace.

Father: It is easy for us to get lost in the mire of the grief and the loneliness, especially at this time of the year. As we gently go into another year we want to accept Your invitation to “Come and see”.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are the Kingdom of God

Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”

                                                                                                                                                Luke 17:20-21

 It has happened twice in my life. A pain so excruciating I could do nothing but pace in circles like a rabid animal. Once was a physical pain, the result of a serious side effect of a spinal tap. The second time, an emotional pain as the initial shock of my husband’s death started to subside and the reality started to sink in. I can remember pacing in circles for hours that night, a deeply embedded instinct to try and escape the pain. A pain, so horrific, I knew I would never survive.

And yet, I have survived. Not by my strength, but by His. He has captured every tear. More tears than I ever could have imagined. He has comforted me, He has provided for me, He has blessed me in so many ways. I live in His presence. I am His kingdom.

Often, when our husband passes away, we wonder, now that I am not a wife, what is my purpose? We lose sight of the bigger picture, of why we were created. We were created in the image of God, to glorify God. We were created to be the body of Christ with Christ as the head. We were created to be the kingdom of God. And once we believe, we are the kingdom of God.

I have been immersed in the gospels lately and I have been reminded that far too often we forget the full implications of the Good News. We tend to think of the Good News as being the promise that when we die we will go to heaven if we believe. But what we have been given is so much more than that. Christ lives in us and we are, right here, right now, the kingdom of God.

When Christ was on Earth in the flesh, his ministry was to preach and to heal people. Everywhere He went, He transformed lives. He ushered in the kingdom of God. Now He is on Earth inside of us and we are His kingdom in action. We are His hands and feet as He continues to minister and to share the Good News. He does it through us. What a privilege, what an amazing purpose for our lives.

But what about the days we sit and sob all day? Or, the days we snap at everyone we know because we are so angry about the circumstances we find ourselves in? Or, what about the days when we pace in circles because of the horrific pain we are in?

He tells us in Romans 8:28 He is working all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Three years have passed since the night I spent hours pacing in circles because of the pain. I have seen His faithfulness. I have seen how He has drawn others to Him as He ministered to them through the kingdom of God – using my hands and feet.

I still have sad days. I still miss the physical presence of my husband by my side. But each day, I find great joy because the kingdom of God is in me.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Father, please comfort and encourage my sisters who are grieving. Lord help them be reminded that You created them for your kingdom and that even now, you are working all things together for good for them. Lord please help each of us be your light to other widows. We pray that they would see Your Goodness in our lives and that they would be ushered into Your kingdom by believing Your Son died and rose again. Father, may Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

                                                                                                                In Your Son’s Holy and Precious Name. Amen

It Can

Most of my life I believed God was faithful through the bad times, the storms of life.  I believed in my head this was true, and I saw with my eyes, through others difficult circumstances, that it looked true.  But, without my own severe storm, without that first-hand knowledge, I’m not sure now my heart truly believed it.

Then, something terrible happened in our life, thrusting us into the deepest storm I’d ever known.  When my head didn’t understand and my eyes could see nothing, I had only my heart left.  That’s where God met me; broken, bewildered, blind, and on my knees pouring out my heart in a storm so severe, I wasn’t sure we could survive.

It’s been four years and four months since our catastrophic storm hit… The day my beloved husband journeyed to heaven by taking his own life.

Death is a kind of storm that no one can ever be fully prepared for, and suicide takes it to a dimension of intensity not many understand. It can easily create destruction and devastation for all. It can turn everything you believed and everything you thought inside out and upside down.  It can give Satan such a foothold, and it can thrust those left behind into such a shock there’s the potential for no return.

It can!

The “Suicide” Storm is brutal and it leaves a mess.  This storm of death did just that for us.  It left an ugly, scary mess, and far more questions than answers.

So, how have we survived?

What’s allowed us to move forward, to heal, and to even grow?

Who thwarted Satan’s plan of destruction?

God did!

Because of the Almighty Father, we moved from suicidal death being the “it can” storm of destruction, to the “God did” story of restoration.  My children and I are a walking breathing testimony to God’s faithfulness through a horrific storm!   His faithfulness came in His provisions for us, His love and care over us, and His healing power through us. He revealed Himself to us in such a deeper more meaningful way, by showing us that His perfect plan was played out in every moment leading up to that day and every day after.

Death is never outside of God’s plan, even suicidal death!  He allows really bad stuff to happen.  Not for our harm, but for our growth.  That’s tough!  And without deep faith and trust in Him it can be confusing and seem unfair, because our pain, sadness, and loss are so real, so raw. But, God doesn’t tell us life is fair or easy, that we won’t suffer or even die.  In fact, He warns us we will, so we better get prepared. Preparedness comes from knowing God intimately, hiding His words deep in our heart, and trusting that He is totally and completely in control during every single moment of every single day.

Then in the midst of any storm, it can becomes God did!

~It can be so tough, God did show us He’s stronger. Psalm 105:4

~It can be really sad, God did show us He understands deep sadness and He will be near the broken-hearted. Psalm 34:17

~It can be scary looking, God did show us He creates beauty. Ecclesiastes 3:11

~It can be overwhelming, God did show us with Him all things are possible. Matthew 19:26

~It can be long term, God did show us He has gone ahead to prepare for us. Deut. 31:8

~It can be a hard road, God did show us that He has us right where He wants us. Psalm 16:8

~It can be devastating, God did show us He will heal us and bind up our wounds. Psalm 147:3

~It can be ugly, God did show us that ugly stuff will grow us. 1 Peter 5:10

~It can be frustrating, God did show us that trusting Him is the only way. Proverbs 3:5

~It can be hopeless, God did show us hope is not found here, but in our eternal victory and sealed place in heaven with Him.  Jeremiah 29:11

Father God, thank you for being so faithful to me in the midst of such a tragic, horrific storm.  Thank you for your promises strewn throughout scripture.  Lord, your word has every answer I need.  I pray now for my widow sisters, those who might be struggling with the it cans.  Father help them to see your fingerprints everywhere.  Move them from the it can ugly stuff to the God did promises and assurances.  In Your precious and matchless name, Amen.

 

 

 

Why We Have Hope

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16 (NIV)

“That one online widows group was NOT for me. I’m deleting it,” Michelle declared. She thought it would be great to connect with other widows her age. Unfortunately, she found very little that was uplifting on its discussion board.

Before I go further, I want to be clear. There are many Christ-focused, online widow support groups. They give wonderful advice and support to widows looking for direction.

There are also some that promote negative venting, sometimes with cursing and vengeful thinking. And some which promote a quick reentry into dating without much support on how to guard your heart from the dangers of giving in to the world’s temptations.

Time and time again, our readers thank us for being uplifting and encouraging. Women can see in the writer and speaker teams at aNew Season a sense of healing and positivity, along with great empathy. And that’s something not always present in other widow ministries.

What Makes Us Different?

What makes A Widow’s Might and aNew Season different from many other widow support groups?

Christianity is about truly surrendering to Christ. If you already have salvation in Him, you can apply His grace not only to your eternity, but to your hurting heart and circumstances.

If You Haven’t Heard the Gospel

our-hope-1If Christianity is new to you, take a moment to read about our hope in Christ by clicking here. You’ll see why our ministry has a hope that’s so different from support groups trying to help grieving widows without Christ.

In a nutshell, God made us in His image, untarnished by sin. But when the first man and woman chose to sin, they brought it into the world. Since then we’ve been struggling with sin, which separates us from a perfect God.

But God is all good and sinless and allows each of us to decide whether we want to be reunited with Him. He provides a way. Because sin had to be paid for, Jesus came to this earth as a humble baby who grew into the perfect, sinless man. He was only able to do so because He is God. Jesus sacrificed Himself on a cross; His spotless life was payment for the debt of our sin, so we can be free from strongholds.

All we have to do is give God control of our lives and accept His forgiveness. To do so takes surrender. Since the dawn of time, the enemy has chased each and every one of us, using the lures of our world to trap us into selfish, sinful thinking. It’s only through admitting we’re sinners and surrendering our own wants and desires to God that we are reunited with Him.

What You Can Do: Three Cs

I hope this short version of the Gospel encourages you. If it’s new to you, I’d like you to do three things.

  1. Connect to the Our Hope page and read more of why we have hope in our circumstances.
  2. Consider whether God’s calling you to surrender your trust to Him, so that you can have confidence in an eternal hope. If you are ready, simply pray like this:.

Lord, I’m not perfect. I’ve made mistakes and I know that many of them are with selfishness and sin at the root. I don’t want to carry the burden of my past sins anymore. I want to give them all to You. I want to dedicate my life, my heart, my hopes, and my dreams to You, because I want to trust only You for my future. Would You please come into my heart and wash it clean? Thank You for Your precious gift of dying on the cross so that my sins can be erased. Welcome me as a sister in Christ to all of these other precious widows who stand with You as their Husband. Amen.

  1. Complete the form below to let us know you’ve accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and you are ready to let Him guide you through this grief process. You can decide which way you would like us to respond. A quiet prayer among our team for you, or for one of our team writers/speakers to contact you to pray over the phone with you.

We’d like to hear from you and where you are in your relationship with Christ.  You can let us know by answering these questions below, either anonymously, or providing your contact information if you’d like us to pray with you.  If you’re reading this post by email, feel free to click here to scroll down to the bottom of the post where the form is.

Let us know...

God bless you and may the Lord be with you in this journey you are on, protecting you and comforting you.

Kit

 

 

You Can’t Say This at a Funeral

And I’m not talking about the typical blundering comments people say—“God needed him in Heaven” or “I totally get how you feel, my dog just died”.  No, this is one, as a Christian, we tip-toe around, because not everyone is a believer.

It’s the subject of the salvation of someone’s loved-one.  While we’re all alive and in churches, we proclaim the saving Grace of our Savior’s blood- that through His death we, who believe and surrender to Him, are accepted into Heaven when we die, but if we reject the Father’s Son as who He is, the one and only true Savior,  we will not enter the kingdom no matter how sweet or kind we are through our own flesh and actions.

When you get how freeing this Truth is– in that it frees you from the hold satan has on you, you get excited and want others to have it too.

But what if you’re not sure your husband had that salvation? How do you deal with that?  Certainly, people at funerals won’t come up to you and mention it.

My husband was a seeker, or I should say the iconic seeker.  When the boys and I would pray before every meal, he would scoff-not because he didn’t believe there is a God and not because he didn’t want to see our family follow Christ.  It was because he didn’t understand our “Jesus Culture”.  He didn’t trust it.  He wanted salvation like the rest of us– but he didn’t want to jump into the church model and buy it hook, line, and sinker. He didn’t want to be duped.

He hung out with my circle of church friends- even went to their men’s bible fellowship on Mondays at lunch.  But he’d come home with a giggle, reporting how he had “stumped them now”.  That’s because the men at my church loved Tom so much they would each take a crack at helping him see the reality of Christ. They would later tell me, “I think I got to him this time– I think he gets it!”  I didn’t have the heart to say Tom would come home seeming as cynical as ever.

Little did I know these men’s words were working on Tom’s heart.

About a year before he died, I got exasperated with him. Out from my mouth slipped: “Why do you bother coming with us to church? Nothing seems to get through to you. Just leave us Christians alone and say you’re an atheiest and be done with it.  It feels like you’re toying with us!”

Tom’s reaction surprised me. He dropped his head and took a deep breath. Then looked me in the eye. With normally strong lips now quivering, he pointed an index finger at me, “Don’t joke about this. It’s important to me.”

Was he actually taking his faith seriously? I stilled myself and listened.

“Not a day goes by…” He paused to push back tears. “…that I don’t worry about where I’ll wake up when I die–Heaven or Hell.”

It was a beautiful moment because once I knew his soul was struggling with salvation, I knew it was only a matter of time. All I needed to do was get out of God’s way and let Him work on Tom’s heart.

Soon after, there were hints of a heart change… a tiny moment when he whispered, “I think I’m saved.”

“Really?” I couldn’t wait to hear the confession.

But he would change the subject.

Then there were comments from friends about deep conversations where Tom would start to confess his surrender to Christ.

I waited for a grand anouncement– a baptism or something!

Then came August 19.  A Sunday morning.

Tom and I shared breakfast with our four young boys.  Carter, the seven-year-old, told me he wanted to be baptized with other kids at church the next week.  Two of his brothers chimed in–they wanted to join him.

Tom then followed me into our bedroom as I got dressed.

“Honey, all this talk about baptism bothers me.” he said, shutting the door behind him. “You got baptized. Now they’re getting baptized, and you know how I don’t want people telling me what to do!” His eyes brimmed with tears. “You know that baptism is an outward sign of your salvation,” Tom said. So he HAS been listening! “You can be saved and not yet be baptized.”

I nodded. “I know.”

Then he said it.  “I just don’t want my boys to think I’m not saved just because I’m waiting to go in that water when I’m ready to make an outward statement!”

“You mean…?” I started.

And again, with a mischievous smile, Tom changed the subject and headed for the shower.

I later discovered how perfectly timed that conversation was. That very afternoon, while in the pool with our boys, Tom’s heart succumbed to a massive coronary. He slipped under the water and away from this world, and was lifted up by Jesus, free from sin and forever in His arms.  His oldest son later put the pieces together–“Dad had his baptism, right there in the pool,” he said.

But few people were aware of Tom’s transformation. At his funeral, everyone tip-toed around the salvation issue.  Everyone knew Tom was a seeker, but only the closest of us to him knew he actually got it.

I finally stood before the church and related his confessions–turning the funeral of loss into a call for celebration.

It’s a beautiful story.  One I wish every unequally yoked wife who becomes a widow would be able to speak.

But what about those of us whose husbands showed no evidence of getting it? How do you comfort these widows?  And how about those ladies who are struggling, like Tom did, with wanting to be sure this God thing is true?  What does it mean about her husband if she now declares the Truth that you must accept that Jesus died for your sins in order to enter into Heaven?

I’ve decided to tackle this head on, sisters, because I had to. My father showed no evidence of being a believer. For most of her life, my mother didn’t either. In fact, in her older years, as her health failed her, and she wore her widowhood like a fur lined pity coat, she would often explain her theology to me–“these years are miserable to me, and God is letting me suffer here on earth to pay for all the awful stuff I did, so that I won’t have to suffer in Purgetory, and I can go to Heaven.”

How wrong that thinking was.  She needed to be free from that guilt here and now, and she could be. I shared the Truth many times and she would listen, eager to find peace. She’d even get on her knees and surrender to Christ with her words, only to tell me she’s still not at peace.

And finally she spit it out–“I don’t want to accept that it’s true,” she said, “because if it is, that means your father is in Hell.”

Her doubts and questions about my father crawled out of her heart and laid on the floor between us like a naked crying baby, wanting to be soothed.

I picked it up and cuddled it– holding the question up to the light.  “How do you know he didn’t get it in the end?” I asked my mother.

She lifted her sad eyes to me with hope.

“Do you not think God is capable of anything?”  I asked.  “Just a few days before he died, Dad was talking about hearing a preacher on the radio.  You never know what one line that preacher said might have gotten to him, caused him to think, pray, turn things over in his heart to God.”

The bottom line is you don’t really know what miracle God might have done to call your husband to Him before your husband took that last breath.

And with that element of hope, my mother was able to step through the threshold between doubt and confusion to belief and salvation, and she lived out her years with the peace of knowing who she is in Christ.

Was your husband a seeker like my Tom?  Was he an independent soul like my father who didn’t show interest in a relationship with Christ to us?  Unpack it sister, and don’t let the doubts about where your husband is create a wall between you and the Father in Heaven Who wants you to hang out with Him daily!

You’re precious and real.  You can trust Him with EVERYTHING–even the fate of your beloved.

God bless you!