“But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
Running has been a kind of therapy for me!
Yet, I would still say, three years later, I’m not a runner, but I do run. Because when I run I’m in a battle, my heart, verse my mind and body. My heart wants to do this, but the others want to quit with each step. One time when a friend saw me running, she said I looked so intense. I explained that I’m talking myself down from stopping the entire time.
I started small and completed my first 5k, a few months after beginning this journey. I became more confident and began to participate in other area 5k’s. I also found the fun world of mud runs, which are crazy muddy races with obstacles of all kinds thrown in. On the second anniversary of my husband’s passing, I did a FIVE mile mud run. I was really getting ambitious. So, I went all in and signed up to run the NJ half marathon, 13.1 whopping miles.
I don’t think I ever truly could’ve predicted how grueling that race was going to be physically on me. I couldn’t walk very well for days. But, the biggest surprise was the experiences I had as I ran. The highlights included; a man who was leading his blind wife as she held his arm and they weaved in and out of the sea of runners, a man, who to honor the men and women who serve our country in the military, was in full fatigues with boots and a filled ruck sack in tow, and my most favorite, a 70 something woman who bore the same burden I did, widowhood.
As I approached her I could see that her shirt, like mine, was a tribute to her late husband. I got up next to her, and as she saw my shirt we exchanged a knowing look. I slowed down and we shared our sad stories. She wasn’t a runner either. Her husband passed away just four years earlier. After which time, she took up running for many of the same reasons I had. As we ran, talked, and encouraged each other,
I realized we were in a sisterhood, a sisterhood of widowhood. It was such a blessing to meet her.
In the bible we see wonderful sisterhoods, but my most favorite now, is the story of Ruth and Naomi. Naomi had lost her husband and both her sons, and Ruth was her widowed daughter-in-law. As the story unfolds, they become a sisterhood of widowhood, loyal to one another, devoted, and loving.
We later see God honor them and their commitment to one another, as well as their deep faith in him, when Christ is born from the Ruth’s line. All out of a sisterhood of widowhood!
As I reflect on this amazing story from God’s word and my life as a widow, I realize God used that race and the widow I met, to speak to me and remind of how he can bless my journey. It’s going to be grueling and overwhelming at times, and wonderfully exhilarating and inspiring too.
If I commit to take it all in, finish the race, and look to God each step of the way, He will heal and bless me, he will provide for me, and he will see me through.
He can do the same for you! Pray for it and anticipate it. We may not like this journey, yet God’s provisions for it are perfect, real, and a blessing. But, also know you’re not in this alone. He will help you find comfort in this sisterhood of widowhood.