My Tribe

“A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”  C.S. Lewis

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12

I’ve heard it countless times as a widow from some wonderful and well meaning people.  Early on, it was my married friends or some other person who thought they were helping.  One time a pastor even said it to me, when I mentioned how tough it was to not be part of a couple or have the friendships I had anymore.

“God is your husband now. He is all you need.”

With every ounce of my being I know each person meant well and was trying to comfort me, even if there was no deeper true understanding of what I was going through.

Frankly though, they were wrong.

In the garden of Eden God was with Adam.  Scripture says He was present, and He walked and talked with Adam.  Yet, in Genesis God says “it’s not good for man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18)  So He created a help mate, a partner!

From that union forward we see many rich and beautiful relationships and marriages throughout God’s Word. To name just a few: Abraham and Sarah, Jacob and Rachel, Isaac and Rebeckah, and even Mary and Joseph.

We also see the need for a friend too, a go to person; Jesus had Peter, David had Jonathan, Naomi had Ruth, Abraham had Lot, Job had his close friends.

Please understand me.  I believe God is good.  He is Sovereign.  I love Him and He loves me.  He’s certainly provided, protected and loved me throughout. He’s set me apart as a widow. He has been there for me.  He has become my husband in some tangible ways and no human will ever come before Him in my life again.

But I still need more!  I need people. A tribe! Real live huggable, lovable people.  And to be told otherwise goes against God’s word.

I need people who’ll show empathy and give me the freedom and encouragement needed to walk this path, even if they don’t get this at a deeper level because they haven’t experienced it.  I need those who’ll spend time with me.  Who’ll let me pour into them, and they into me.  I need confidants and supporters. I need to be needed too.

We all need a group or tribe of people in our life.

Of course my “before” tribe looked very different than my “now” tribe, and I may lack the intimacy of marriage; but God Himself and my tribe have perfectly filled some of the more important voids.

My tribe consists of married, widowed, single, and divorced. My tribe blesses me every day.  And I pray I bless them every day too.

Sisters, don’t settle.  Don’t be fed the lies that we don’t need more because God is our husband now.

God will fill you up.  He will heal you and move you forward.  No one can be Him.  But He shows us from Genesis on, we need a tribe!

Maybe it’s a tribe of one or two.  Or it’s a tribe of ten or more.  It doesn’t matter.

Just find your tribe!  And let God bless you richly through them.  Let Him use you too, to comfort and love them from the deeper places this journey has given you.

I encourage you to seek a tribe who can stand together with you united in faith, love, and friendship.

Father God, I thank You for my friendships and the way You use each of them in my life.  I thank You that You’ve called me to be the kind of friend I seek in others.  I thank You for Your constant presence in my life, and for being my husband.  Yet, giving me so much more than I ever deserve in the tribe You’ve gifted to me.  May I never forget how much You have loved me and provided for me in the absence of my earthly husband.  In Your Matchless Name, Amen.

2013-11-09 03.40.34-4Erika Graham is Director of Operations, and an author and speaker for aNew Season/A Widow’s Might Ministries. She resides in New Jersey with her daughter, twin boys, and her little fluffy puppy. She loves summers at the beach and all things chocolate. She lost her husband to suicide in June 2010. Erika has been called to share the victory she’s experiencing through Christ Jesus over the life God has ordained for her.


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Related articles on this topic: Falling into Friendship God’s Way and What is Friendship?

5 replies
  1. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    I finally had some extra time to read my past emails and here you are…just what I needed to hear this afternoon. Missing my best friend is the hardest path I have ever walked! We met at 11, married at 23 and he went to heaven unexpectedly at 55. We were blessed with so many wonderful years together! I now miss so many things, His touch , a hug , his smile, his confidence, his willing ear. I miss facing things together…joint decisions from financial to playing. I miss playing too. My love language is touch and sometimes I feel so alone. I have two wonderful young men as sons, but they try and rescue me if I talk with them. I am working on creating a new tribe, because many have gone. I just wanted to write and thank you for your email and perspective. God is so good!

  2. Annette
    Annette says:

    I want what I can’t have. Nobody that I associate with can understand that because they haven’t experienced what I have. I read that scripture and think about it often that God is my husband. I try to embrace its truth sometimes I can and sometimes I just can’t. 13 months into being a widow and I long to go back to a different time and redo things. What did I do wrong? What did we do wrong? If I could just get some answers. If I could just understand and know that this was God’s will. I am so very very sorry to drag things down to be a spoiler. I don’t know who to or where to go to express my true feelings. Everyone thinks its been over a year now so things should be ok I should be okay but guess what I’m not. I put on a good front but deep down inside I cry. Yes I need help. I read this site and a A Widow’s Might and they encourage me a lot. Maybe I am just having one of those days. I hope that u will continue to be an encourager of the brethren(widows). I really do try not to murmur and complain I know it’s not good. Please forgive me. I know I’m saying the wrong thing this isn’t what u r writing about.

    • Erika Graham
      Erika Graham says:

      Hi Annette, thank you for sharing your honest feelings… please don’t ever apologize to us for having them. We have certainly all been there and totally get it. This is such deep tough stuff and sometimes the answers, either aren’t there or aren’t what we want. I am so sorry you are having to walk this journey. At 13 months I was a huge ugly mess. Life was so hard, the pain so deep, the missing so intense. I can stand now victorious in Christ, almost 6 years out and tell you to keep trudging forward. God is good, He is sovereign and He does love you more than anyone else can. He will provide for you and heal you. Choose Him. Cling to Him now more than ever, even if you’re just wanting to flee. The enemy wants nothing more than for you to blame God for this. He wants to feed you lies that if God really loved you He would only do good to you. That’s not true. We see in His word so many reasons God is so much more than our circumstances. We see through His Son’s death that He loves us deeply, and ultimately we will receive the greatest good in eternity with Christ. We just have endure this broken world for a time, then we will receive our eternal home and live there forever with our Lord and Savior. Cling to His truth and His promises found is His word. We love you sister and we are lifting you up in prayer.

  3. Danyell Shaw
    Danyell Shaw says:

    God is so amazing! The way you ladies allow God to use you to speak to ME is incredible. I’ve been feeling this way lately, alone and by myself and no one understands. But when I saw this email this morning, it lets me know that God is truly concerned about me. Thank you.

    • Erika Graham
      Erika Graham says:

      He certainly is sister! He is good and sovereign and He will provide for your needs in His perfect timing. Sometimes, I forget that and long for what I don’t have, rather than just embracing where He has me. Praying for you now, that He will provide a tribe that fully fills the voids you have.

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