Today, we join Sheryl as she shares her favorite post with us.
“Grief Renegades is one of my favorite posts because God clearly gave me a vision of hope for my future and a vision to share with other widows. It answers the question: What is my purpose now?”
We hope this post blesses you!
Grief Renegades by Sheryl Pepple
And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Luke 10:2 ESV
A few weeks ago marked the 4-year anniversary of the death of my husband. Just like many of you, I struggle with how to acknowledge those days. I finally settled upon a Facebook post describing our last day together:
Four years ago today I snuggled with my husband, giggled with him over lunch and then as he set off for his trip I sent my last text to him – “I love you more than you can imagine”. It is still true today. I am so grateful for Dave Pepple, the way he loved us and the wonderful lasting impact he had on our lives! Dave – I can’t wait to see you again one day!!!
My intention was to honor my husband and to let others know my grief has transitioned into healing. Anniversaries are now less about the sorrow and more about the wonderful memories of a great husband. Reading through the responses I was reminded how people have a tendency to focus on the sorrow. It is what our culture teaches.
If we aren’t careful, we can become enslaved by grief, sometimes because our thoughts get centered on the sorrow, and sometimes because other people’s thoughts get centered on their perception of our sorrow. While there is definitely a time to mourn, we must not get trapped into mourning as if we have no hope and no purpose. And we must educate others, so that they can move beyond seeing us as only someone who has experienced tremendous sorrow.
My purpose and yours is to tell the story of God’s grace in our lives. The grace He extended through His death on the cross. The grace which allows us to have Eternal Life. The grace that frees us from all of our sin. The grace that allows us to have a life of freedom so much larger than our sorrow for the temporary separation from our loved ones.
I want to be a Grief Renegade. Someone who rebels against society’s perception of what life looks like after the death of a spouse. I want them to see my mourning totally bathed in God’s grace. I want them to see the love, strength, and unflinching hope. I want them to see Him in me.
One of my greatest joys during this journey have been comments confirming that people do indeed see Him in me. And they see Him in my friends who are widows. At our first Widows conference in Myrtle Beach last year, we were so humbled when the praise band who lead worship for us, tried to describe the magnificent beauty they experienced in worshipping with widows. The band saw Him in us and they were forever changed. What a privilege and blessing!
My dear sisters, there is no doubt this is a difficult journey but we are in a unique position to let others see Him in us not, in spite of, but because of our circumstances. It is imperative we encourage and remind one another -we are the laborers sent out to harvest. Will you join me in becoming a “Grief Renegade” and let’s BRING IN THE HARVEST!