“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:2-3
My first thought as I woke up this morning; “Oh how I wish I had my grandmother’s wisdom; TODAY!”
My grandmother, Agnes, was widowed in her early 50’s. As a new widow with two grown children in their mid to late twenties, she was alone for the first time. Mind you, she had known grief before; her first child was a stillborn son. Yet, this death was a new kind of grief, another hard road to travel, with its own lessons and hurdles to overcome.
At 54, she learned to drive for the first time, in her life. Apparently it did not work out well for neighbors or mailboxes during those initial months, but my grandmother was a determined, hard working woman. She had always worked; picking cotton as a sharecropper alongside her husband, as a supervising “linemen” at a furniture factory-during the war, as a manager of a laundromat, and a missionary to anyone who would listen about her passion for Christ and His power in her life.
TODAY, I wish I could sit across the breakfast table with a cup of coffee and a bowl of grits and sausage (because that’s what Southern women eat) and ask her questions about how she loved, how she grieved, and how she learned to live with heartache and joy simultaneously. TODAY, I would give anything to have her wisdom and love for Jesus poured over my life and my grief journey.
She lived well into her early 90’s and never remarried. We talked about it one day, as I sat at the foot of her rocking chair, and she said, “Teri, I was dumb once, what makes you think I would do that again?” Then she just LAUGHED, before turning serious and with a wistful gaze, she looked past me and said, “No, I just never found anyone else. Opal was a good man and I never found another one who loved me like he did.” I get it now.
I recently ventured into the dating world. It’s hard! It’s hard to allow yourself to be vulnerable again, hard to know what to do when you are, hard to allow love without walls and comparisons, hard to be whole and healthy enough (in middle age) to completely love again. I understand the wistful gaze now, the meaning behind it, and the truth of finding good men who can love well, because they love Jesus well. My grandmother spent forty years with just her and Jesus every day. TODAY, I long to know what she learned.
THE POINT IS NOT ABOUT DATING OR NOT DATING, staying single or remarrying, it’s about the wisdom of those who have traveled this journey of widowhood and what they learned from Jesus along the way. It’s about finding peace and the joy of the Lord-no matter the choice you make regarding men in the future. It’s about not merely surviving as widows, but thriving as DAUGHTERS OF THE ONE TRUE KING.
Perhaps, if we look at sharing, we can redefine the word, “generation” for our purposes. Perhaps it’s not just age, but years on this journey of widowhood, which defines “generation”. Perhaps those who are three to five years into their journey share with those who are new on the road, and those who are five to ten years in share with those who are three to five, and so on….all I know is that wisdom abounds from those who have gone before us and TODAY I could use some wisdom.
Father-grant us wisdom and discernment to know when to share our stories and help us to be brave enough to be obedient when the opportunities arise. Put others in our path who need to hear You in us; in Jesus name, Amen.