Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5 (ESV)
A letter to God after years of single motherhood.
It’s been years, Lord.
My soul is tired.
My arms and legs are tired.
My heart still yearns for what I lost.
I’m supposed to trust you, Lord.
And it’s not like I’ve never trusted You. When my kids were small, and I raised them alone, You took my hand, and led me through every turn.
But it’s been nine years of raising these children without Tom, Lord.
I try not to count, and when I pick up the count again, it means I’m tired, and I fail to trust and I fail to understand.
I fail to understand why You guided me away from marrying for all these years when I so long for companionship.
I fail to understand why no simple financial solution has made up for the sacrifices I made to stay home and homeschool my children after Tom passed away.
I can thank You for my support network, the gifts and abilities You gave me, and the opportunities I’ve had to meet potential suitors.
But really, none of that fixes the hole that keeps reopening every time I think “nine years–how much longer, Lord?”
And when that hole reopens, it’s like I’ve stepped out into the cold on purpose. And I just stand there, shivering with my lonely thoughts and my back towards You.
But You’re still there. Reaching out to me and handing me a coat.
And at times, I have to be honest, Lord, I simply won’t take it. I kid myself that I’d rather freeze than take help from You.
I know what that’s about.
I’ve trusted you before, and You never fail me. It’s just that every time I choose to trust You, it means giving something up–actually giving everything up! Trusting You means letting all else go.
I remember a time four years ago when I almost stepped away from You. The world told me I needed a husband. They told me You would bring me one. I thought I found one. The courtship was wonderful. I thought You had found a prince for me.
Until the engagement began, and suddenly I felt a frost come in. The one that was sweet and kind while we dated grew chilling as my children and I were presented with his stringent terms of a marriage in a joyless home.
You reached out with Your coat and told me to come on in. But trust You? Give up my fiancé? The one that would provide a home and a new identity–away from widowhood?
I was confused and scared–what would this unbelieving man do to the hearts and faith of my boys who were so focused on You? I shivered at the thought. Shivered, but still stood there in the cold, considering a godless future over what You had to offer.
Why would I even consider it? Thank you, Father, for allowing that situation to get colder and bleaker, until I finally reached for whatever You had to offer!
I stepped out of the cold and into Your arms.
And it’s still hard. But it’s real. You are real.
And when I’m tired and my heart hurts because I’m still without a husband and my finances are strained, I think with gratitude that it was worth it because I chose to follow You and raise my children in You and serve the widows for You instead of following a wealthy man and serving myself.
But still I’m cold, meaning I’ve taken my focus off You again.
Let’s be gut honest–I don’t always trust You, God. Your Word says to, but there are times I grow so weary I forget to open Your Word. I’ll instead get caught up in reading Facebook or emails when I know where Your Truth is. It’s like I’m choosing to go back out in the cold.
What’s wrong with me? I know Your Word says to trust You, but do I reach for it? Like this morning as I write this, I’m spinning in circles trying to figure my own way out of my pain while Your Word just sits there on the shelf.
And so I will end this prayer with this: I will stop spinning and grab hold of Your Word and trust.
It’s not like I feel like trusting You, but it isn’t always about me, is it, God?
And as I ended this prayer, I opened His Word to Proverbs 3:5. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (ESV)
A new understanding is exactly what I need, I thought, just before the phone rang.
It was my grown stepdaughter. I told her about the chill in my heart. About my questions. Could I trust God? Why this long without a husband?
“Don’t you see?” She began, her words draping over my shoulder like God’s warm coat, bringing me in from the cold. “If you had married that wealthy, difficult man, you would never have gotten that ministry going. Those four boys would never be the kind hearts that they are today. You would never have had the time or the heart to reunite my brother and me with our four little brothers, and you may never have had the time to show me how to walk with God. I love you.”
I love you too, God. Would you please put a coat on my widow sisters as well? 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.
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