One Promise From Scripture

One promise from Scripture, found in Isaiah 54:4-8.

 

 

Three widows, encouraged by the promise of the One.

 

Only six months after my husband’s death I learned that a former classmate’s daughter lost her husband of three months. She asked if I would meet with her daughter to counsel her; so I agreed. Because I had been in her situation, I was anxious to comfort rather than cause her more distress. God’s words would comfort better than my words.

First, as I drove to meet them that Saturday afternoon I prayed the Lord would give me just the right words to say and the right time to say them.

Second, I prayed she would both receive and retain whatever He chose to have me say.

Because we lived an hour apart, we met outside of Starbucks in a town between our homes. Sadly, I recognized the dazed look in her young eyes; I saw the same hollowness when I looked in the mirror the day my husband died.

Although fragile, the new widow recounted the story of her husband’s death. Rather than ask questions, I listened. She asked how she was supposed to go on with life?

Once again I prayed for help. Suddenly, the words I had been waiting for became clear to me.

“Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth He is called.” Isaiah 54:4-5 (ESV)

Tenderly I reminded her that though she lost her earthly husband, there could be no greater Husband and Provider than the One who gave her life. Confidently I promised her He would be faithful and never leave her. Finally, I hugged her and also promised to continue to pray for her.

The young widow was encouraged by this promise from God.

 

After church the following day I drove to a beautiful mountaintop wedding. The bride was the daughter of a dear friend whose husband died the year before mine.

Because it was the first wedding I attended where the father was deceased and therefore not present to give the bride away, I visualized that same future for my two unmarried daughters. I was understandably emotional. While I allowed myself a moment to experience pre-grieving of events that were not even on our calendar, I also recognized the need to focus on the present event. I needed to pray for my friend as she watched her daughter walk alone to meet her groom.

Before the wedding began, my former classmate called. Excitedly she gave confirmation to the Scripture I shared with her daughter the day before. She shared that when they arrived at church that morning their pastor announced that he would be preaching from Isaiah 54.

Her daughter leaned over and whispered to her, “Your friend was telling the truth. God will be my Husband and my Provider.

Hearing words of confirmation encouraged my heart.

 

The wedding was beautiful, yet so hard to watch as the bride walked toward her husband without her father. During the reception I shared with her mother the events of the day before and the confirmation phone call.

Consequently, the mother of the bride was comforted and encouraged to hear that Scripture as well.

 

 

God’s Word does not return void.

I could not help but praise God for His timing and His care to put that particular passage on my heart as I talked with the young widow. As a result, one promise from Scripture had now blessed three of us.

Even saying the word “widow” was hard for me in the first days after it became my reality.

But the more I studied God’s Word the more I realized that to Him, a widow holds a special place of tenderness and concern. Therefore, I learned to lean into His care! Now I embrace the word for what it embodies about God’s character.

Widows are a priority with God!

Due to your circumstances, perhaps you are struggling to believe that you matter to Him.

Never doubt that He will be your Husband and Provider. In the same way, remember He keeps His promises!

 

Father, widowhood can be scary and lonely. There are decisions to be made and work to be done and sometimes it seems that no one cares. Thank You for reminding us through Your Holy Word that You are our Husband and Provider. And no one could care for us more than You do. Help us remember that and to cling to your promise. Amen.


Terri Oxner Sharp is a wife, mother, grandmother, homeschool teacher, and a writer for aNew Season/A Widow’s Might Ministries. Her first husband passed away suddenly in 2012. She gives God all the glory for how He has grown her spiritually on her widow journey, in preparation for her new journey into a blended family. Terri and her second husband live in Arkansas with the final child still living at home from their combined family of seven children, two son-in-loves, and two grandsons. She loves to be with people who love to laugh, enjoys spending time with their grandchildren, who know her as “GiGi”, and feels called to minister to other women who find themselves bewildered to be on a widow’s path as well.

 If you are interested in having Terri or any of our writing team speak, please contact us via email at: admin@anewseason.net.

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Sunday ReCap for the week of July 17, 2017

We are sending you are Sunday recap in a different form this week. We hope you enjoy all the great things that went on, on the facebook page.


 

I live with thehope and the understanding that I am holy and set apart, a part of a royal priesthood. Christ died on the cross for me. He loves me, even when it’s hard. Really, really hard.

There isn’t a day I don’t miss my husband’s sweet presence in my life. But I am grateful for God and His Presence in my life. I love to tell God’s story, because I have seen His faithfulness. I want others to know Him. My heart craves for Him to be glorified through my life. My prayer is for my thoughts, actions and deeds to be worthy of this royal position, as His daughter, for such a time as this.
https://anewseason.net/widows-might/this-time/  

 


 

Tonight’s Might!
Thank you Father, that we can hide in the shadow of Your wings. Rest with us tonight in this wonderful imagery of how God cares for each of us.

 


You have a story.
We want to help you share it!
You have been comforted through Scripture so now it is time to share that comfort with others!

Submit your application and post to admin@anewseason.net

Remember to keep it to 600 words, include a Scripture verse, and keep it forcused on one idea or topic.

You can share about a time when a familiar verse made more sense to you than ever before, or about a time when you were struck with the joy of serving Christ through your grief, or maybe when you didn’t think you could go on another day and someone came along side and spoke truth into your life. Pray about it, asking God what gift He wants you to share with our readers.

We look forward to hearing from you! ~Elizabeth

Applications can be found here: https://anewseason.net/widows-might/can-guest-post-us/

 

 


Tonight’s Might!He is awesome. Cling to that tonight and share with us why you agree with this statement whole-heartedly. If you are struggling tonight, share with us so we can lift you up.

 


 

Today, I will lay it all at the Cross! Because He did indeed finish it there. My life, my solo mom success and fails, my journey, my loss can all be layed before Him.. and I can trust that He will take it all and make a glory-filled masterpiece.
~Erika


 

It’s the Him in us that others see.

We aren’t perfect, yet HE is.

We keep it real. We are authentic. We show people it’s ok to be a messy unorthodox family. It’s ok to have grief as a family member. It’s ok to not be totally ok. And yes I am even showing others solo parenting is possible by God’s amazing grace, provision, and mercy.

I need daily love, forgiveness, and grace. And I receive that and so much more when I go to the Cross and lay it all before Him.

As a solo mom, I want to own this scripture. This is now my home and I want my kids to know well, that we will always choose faith, we will always choose to serve the Lord, no matter what may come!
~Erika


Tonight’s Might!
We didn’t choose this part of our life. Simply becoming a member of this widow journey can easily and subconciously ignite fear within us, but God isn’t in the fear, He is in the hope. Hope lives in the light that is revealed when fears are brought out of their darkness and surrendered.


Tonight’s Might!
Our Monday funny. Laughter is good… even when it’s in the midst of tears. Enjoy this with us tonight.

 


 

As a solo mom I fail every day. I mess up and make mistakes. I yell. I lose my patience. I say things I shouldn’t. I wonder often if my kids’ poor behavior or attitudes are totally due to my lack luster parenting. I have made many bad decisions. In fact, my teenage daughter just the other day reminded me in a “most helpful” way, I don’t follow through with my threats sometimes.

I’m pretty mediocre at best.

I am certainly no one to be watched!

Honestly, solo parenting is the single hardest thing I’ve ever done!
Please join me as I share more: http://anewseason.net/widows-might/solo-mom/
~Erika

 


 

This Time

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?  

                                                                                    Esther 4:14 (NIV)

July is full of sweet memories of vacations and holidays of years gone by. Being with family, having cookouts and picnics, swimming and fireworks. And of course, the monumental year we went camping in Estes Park.

It started peacefully as we headed to the mountains with our extended family and friends. After a ten hour drive, we arrived at our campsite and began setting up. It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm with a gentle breeze. It wasn’t long before we noticed the gentle breeze began getting stronger and stronger. Just a half hour after we got the tent up we heard, snap – snap – Snap, the lovely sound of the tent poles snapping into  pieces. We were ten hours from home, on a holiday weekend in a National Park, with no place to sleep.

After a three hour trip up and down the mountain to buy a new tent, we began the setup process again. As we fought the wind which was continually getting stronger – we noticed it was also rapidly getting much cooler. That day ended up being the most dramatic weather change in the area in over one hundred years. The wind gusts were incredible, the temperature dropped sixty degrees (from 80 to 20 degrees) and we ended up spending the night in the van scraping the ice off the inside of the windows. By the time morning finally arrived, we were surrounded by several inches of snow.

Our family loves to tell the story of our adventure and we chuckle about it to this day. The lesson we learned: how rapidly things can change.

As a widow it seems like my whole life changed just as rapidly. But through this journey I have learned that when life changes to look for how God can be glorified. In the midst of chaos and turmoil, even loss, I try to remember that just like Esther, “I may have come to a royal position for such a time as this.”

I live with the hope and the understanding that I am holy and set apart, a part of a royal priesthood. Christ died on the cross for me. He loves me, even when it’s hard. Really, really hard.

There isn’t a day I don’t miss my husband’s sweet presence in my life. But I am grateful for God and His Presence in my life. I love to tell God’s story, because I have seen His faithfulness. I want others to know Him. My heart craves for Him to be glorified through my life. My prayer is for my thoughts, actions and deeds to be worthy of this royal position, as His daughter, for such a time as this.

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for your grace and your mercy. Help us to share Your story for Your Glory. Amen.


SherylPeppletb

Sheryl Pepple is President, and an author and speaker for aNew Season/A Widow’s Might Ministries. She lives in Texas with her two daughters, her son-in-law, and her grandchildren. She is a seasoned traveler and loves to visit great snorkeling and diving areas. Her husband was killed by a drunk driver in September 2011 and she lost her brother, the victim of an unsolved murder, years ago. Sheryl feels blessed to be able to share how evident God’s grace and faithfulness is in her life.

If you are interested in having Sheryl or another team member speak please contact us via email at: admin@anewseason.net

Want to read another article by this author? I Have a Purpose

Want to read another article? The Prescription for Peace

Caring What Others Think

Losing your husband and everything that comes with that loss is horrific enough, but when others pass judgment on our lives and decisions it can be extremely difficult. As human beings, it’s tough to ignore what others think of us because no matter how much we say we don’t, we care.

Because my husband died of Depression and suicide, the judgment began immediately. No one understood that it was a shock to me, too. No one understood that he was the last person on this earth I ever thought this could happen to. No one understood, including me, that many people who are suffering from Depression try to protect the ones they love by only showing what they want them to see, even to their spouse and best friend.

In the beginning, I paid little attention to that judgment. I was just trying to survive. But as time passed, the thoughts about my family, especially my husband, began to really impact me. And, as the months went on and I unexpectedly found love again – many could not understand, passed judgment and made comments of what they would do in the same situation.

However, here’s the thing and one of the many things I have learned – you have absolutely no idea what you will do until you face that situation and, even then, specific circumstances could be different.

From the beginning of this journey of widowhood to today, I remind myself that I cannot make life decisions for my son and myself only to make others comfortable. I have to follow where the Lord is leading. His grace is sufficient for any problem, struggle or judgment we may face.

I prayed for the Lord’s guidance and tried to turn my defensive thoughts over to Him. He knows my heart, and I knew those who loved me and really knew me would eventually come to a place of understanding. And, most of them have.

When worry of what others think and my own defensive mindset attempt to consume me, I cling to this verse.

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 (NIV)

Caring too much about what others think can stop us from doing God’s will. When we base our lives on the thoughts of others, we could miss out on all He has in store for us. Lean into Christ. If we are confident in Him, we can be confident in every area of our lives.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid: do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

Lord, You know our hearts. As we walk this journey of widowhood, we can sometimes care too much of what others think. Help remind us that what you know about our hearts is more important than what others think they know. Guide us through, and open our hearts to Your calling for our lives. Amen.

__________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer was widowed by suicide in January 2015. She is recently remarried and lives with her husband Keith in north central Texas. She is now the mom and step mom of three sons.  When she’s not running after three energetic boys, Jennifer loves running outdoors, enjoying nature. As her grief journey continues, she is sharing her story to help others know that it is only in the Lord that hopeful healing and walking forward are possible.

 

 

Want to read another article by Jennifer? This Isn’t What I had Planned

Want to read another article on judgment? Get Over It by Erika

 

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Sexual Purity, Even More as a Widow

I did a little internet search of widows and sexual purity.

Wow!

What an eye-opening and shocking experience.

Let me start by saying our ministry is set apart from many other widow support groups, mainly because we want to point you FIRST to God’s Word as Truth. We are not going to give you what our culture expresses as truth. We aren’t going to sugar-coat it. Scripture has some absolutes on this subject that we support.

Some in our culture have decided to change the meaning in Scripture so it makes things “easier” for them during the dating days. If we are in a “committed” relationship, they say, then we can justify sex outside of marriage. Some bloggers even suggest to widows that having a purely sexual relationship is an acceptable way to satisfy that part of our need.

I’m going to propose that during widowhood, we need to stand even more firm on the foundation of sexual purity, even though we are no longer virgins. We do not have a “free pass” to sleep with whomever we want, just because it “doesn’t make a difference” this time around. It does make a difference, even as non-virgins, because it affects others when we live an impure life – not just ourselves.

We can apply Scripture to help us remember how important purity is before the Lord, by using them. 

T.H.E.M.

Who is the them?

It could be the community of believers,  a future husband,  friends, children, or unbelievers.

  1. TEMPLE: Our bodies are a temple so we should keep it holy and unblemished. I Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
  2. HUSBAND: God is your husband. You would be unfaithful to Him as your husband if you are sexually involved with men before marriage. Isaiah 54;5 ESV For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.
  3. EXAMPLE: Especially when there are children in the home, we must set a moral example to them. You are an example to other widows who are new on their widowhood journey also.   I Timothy 4:12 ESV but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
  4. MARRY: In the New Testament references I looked up, sex was condoned and even encouraged within the context of marriage, never outside of those boundaries.  I Corinthians 7:2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. Also  I Timothy 5:3-15   

Sexual purity does matter, sisters. It matters to God and should matter to us.

When I think there are things in life that are just too hard to handle or just too difficult to keep up with, I always remember Hebrews 12. Words like endurance, weary, struggle, discipline jump out at me. The widow-life is never a time to give up, and the moral high-road can be challenging.  Yet we can do it in God’s strength!

But what if I have made some poor decisions due to my extreme loneliness? I haven’t stayed pure. Is it too late to start over? NO! It is never too late for a new start. God is in the forgiveness business! I John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, He is FAITHFUL and TRUE to His nature to FORGIVE us, CLEANSE us, and make us whole again. 

This doesn’t really pertain to me. I’m not at ALL interested in remarriage for the remainder of my life. Why is this topic important to me? Glad you asked! Titus 2 is a wonderful passage that instructs the “older” women to lead the “younger” women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled and pure so that the Word of God can’t be criticized by outsiders. You can play a role in encouraging others to stay pure!

Let’s accept the challenge!

Lord God, we believe we are a temple in which Your Spirit lives. You have given us all we need to accept the challenge. Help us endure, even while weary, the discipline of living a life of purity. Guide us through the pitfalls our culture throws at us everyday through advertisements, TV shows, and all that comes our way. And thank You for the forgiveness we need each day. Amen


Elizabeth kay Dyer, Elizabeth Sleeper Dyer, Dyer, Sleeper

Elizabeth finds humor in the daily grind of six children, a large dog, a noisy cat, and all the school and church activities they can fit in. Their house is full of instruments including flutes, piccolo, piano, oboe, saxophones, clarinets, guitars, and a trumpet. 2013 began with Elizabeth losing her husband then her father, sending one child to college and another to kindergarten. Through that tearful year, the family has learned to laugh together again. She loves Psalm 1 and historical fiction, dreams of traveling by train around Europe, and has already planned her mid-life crisis (should the opportunity ever present itself).

 

 

Other articles on purity:

The Physical Loss  by Lori

Marital Bed by Erika

Dating by Kit

Other articles by Elizabeth 

 

 

Out of Control

I dislike when things feel they are reeling out of control. How about you?

My husband’s death, and the months of multiple medical crises leading up to it, definitely created that feeling.  Life after his death brought out insecurities as I viewed the landscape of my life. Every area was altered and I did not feel prepared for so much change. The question I faced, and we all face, is how to respond when life feels out of control. We can choose humility or pride based on this verse from James 4:6 (ESV):

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Humility is the path to grace but pride is obstructive and interferes. I don’t doubt we’d all like to have God on our side and have His grace!  Yet, pride can be pretty subtle.

Since the time of Adam and Eve, pride has proposed our limited perspective is more trustworthy than God’s.  The serpent challenged God’s will and perspective was best for Adam and Eve. He dangled a forbidden “something more,” before them and they bit the proverbial apple of the knowledge of good and evil.

Pride asserts it knows what is best, but humility defers to the One who actually does know.  Pride puts a hand up to God and humility invites Him to show Himself strong in His love. 

The apostle Paul didn’t say he could do all things in himself but, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13 (ESV). So the very things that feel out of control can work for us, if we respond like Paul.

As widows, our opportunities to experience God’s grace are daily–when we feel vulnerable, cannot fully trust our memory and ability to focus, or our  emotions, and as we face the many “firsts,” that come our way.  The many decisions that were shared and are now just us, are all “firsts.”

Humility says, “God make possible this very difficult decision.” Pride says, “I can do it myself. I don’t need to trouble God.” Humility recognizes God with honor. Pride magnifies self, problems, and pain, while minimizing God, His stature and love. Self-interest increases and God-interests and trusting Him decreases.

Grace follows when we recognize our weaknesses are assets, if given to God for His strength.

As I recognize my need, I can reach out and accept God’s loving provision for me. He understands our journeys and it is okay if we don’t have it all together.  It’s better for God to have us and our lives in His arms. This is the opposite response of Adam and Eve.

Like Paul we can say, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Cor. 12:10 (ESV)

Please join me in a closing prayer:

Most Worthy God, thank You for Your everlasting love. We love ourselves enough to admit we need You more than ever.  Help us to recognize quickly when we need to invite Your grace into the many hard things we face, so like Paul we find Your strength in our weakness. We are forever Yours and grateful, dear Lord! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


Janene @ Myrtle Beach

Janene lives in the Dallas area, surrounded by her children, their sweethearts, two grandchildren, and a host of wonderful friends.  Janene married her beloved Frank in 1972 and enjoyed 40 precious years with him. Four months after celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary, Frank lost his rigorous battle against bladder cancer. Frank left a void so vast, it was like a black hole which threatened to swallow Janene whole. However, God’s faithfulness has been exceptional. As a retired minister at a local church, she spends her time painting, mentoring, serving in Stephen Ministry leadership, and seeks to trust Christ in this new season of life.

The Widow Painting

…we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:18

When you see this painting, what do you see?

A widow?

A busy mom?

A hard life with purpose?

Or, perhaps a silly woman who took on too much?

This painting hung in my home since the 1990’s when it was handed down to me from my uncle’s collection. It always seemed to bring me thoughts of my grandmother, or of life’s sometimes difficult journey.

Until I lost my husband.

Then suddenly I only saw a widow. That lonely woman among the tall trees burdened with that pile of sticks on her back. I saw her bent over, no longer upright and proud like she must have been in her marriage.

Funny how I never thought of the woman as a widow until I became one. And then the painting became “the widow painting” in my mind. I found it more beautiful than ever because I identified with her quite more robustly than ever before.

It’s been years since I lost Tom, and I still find myself seeing “widow” in the painting. It’s like the illusionist sketch of the old lady and the young woman—once you see it one way, your brain wants to return to that image.

So I got curious. What if I asked four married women what they see in this painting? Their reactions helped me to begin seeing the woman without automatically thinking loss.

Reaction 1: The Beautiful Heart of a Mother

I LOVE this picture. What clever imagery it offers! God doesn’t want us to carry our burdens alone. She looks like a Russian woman going home through the beautiful birch woods after gathering the fuel needed to make her home warm and fix the meals to provide for her family. God never promised it would be easy, but He does promise to share the load and walk beside us!

Reaction 2: The Overly Busy Mother

She’s alone. I think of all the times women are faced with so much to do—kids, carpools, teenagers gone prodigal, bills that can’t get paid, stressful jobs, husbands we love but let us down. Where are the other women in the picture? Why aren’t they stepping in to help her? Did she push them away? Did they never help? Funny thing, I don’t imagine men coming in to help her, but sisters.

Reaction 3: The Hard Life is Worth it

Oh, that is so me!!! I work grueling hours, and I’m tired all the time! After putting everything into raising kids, we have no retirement savings and even share one car! This painting reminds me­ we aren’t promised ease, but we are promised joy. I wouldn’t trade my life nor the decisions I’ve made when they honored God, for anything! Thank you, Jesus!

Reaction 4: Silly Woman Works too Hard!

I see the woman and wonder why she would take so much on by herself. I simply don’t do that. I remarried after being widowed, and maybe I just recognized I needed a partner in life. I was fortunate enough to meet a godly Christian guy who does well with me. But if I hadn’t married, I would make sure I didn’t take on more than I could. This woman is taking on too much.

Why are their responses of interest to us? Because I want readers here to remember there is a whole world beyond widowhood, and while grief is a journey we must fully experience, eventually we must see ourselves outside the lens of widowhood.

These women aren’t widows, but they have their own life challenges like job loss, marital tension, a grown child who has completely gone prodigal, waning health or physical exhaustion.

Can you begin to imagine that woman in the woods representing these burdens rather than widowhood? When I began to look around me at so many burdens that so many carry, my heart went out to others. I felt a community of fellow Christians carrying each other’s burdens. And that’s a community that grows us all stronger!

Lord God,

You ask us to see our lives through Your eyes, not through the lens of our own limitations. Help us walk this journey honorably, knowing that others walk equally difficult journeys. Encourage us to hold our heads up with our gazes upon Christ and no longer feel the shame of our widowhood.  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 mother to two high school boys, two boys in college, and a grown son and daughter whom she helped her husband raise before he passed away. 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.

If you are interested in having our team speak, please contact us via email at: admin@anewseason.net

Check out more posts by this author at- Kit Hinkle.

You might also like these posts by our team:

The Widow Card

When the Shoe is on the Other Foot

Fake it Till You Make it–No!

 

What We Know To Be True

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

                                                   2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV

Have you ever been really, really, sure of something …only to find out you were completely wrong?

My funniest example happened when I was twelve. I lived in Okinawa, Japan and getting to go to the one movie theater on base was a Big deal. Here’s how the conversation with my Dad went:

Me: Daddy, can we go see this movie (rated X).

Dad : Why do you want to see that one?

Me:  Because it is rated X.

Dad: Why do you want to see an X rated movie?

Me:  Because it is excellent.

Dad:  Why do you think that?

Me:  Because it says so, X is for eXcellent, R is for Really Good, PG is for Pretty Good and G is for Good.

At which point my Dad broke into laughter and explained the ratings system to me. A funny little exchange but what I remember most was how sure I was that I was right. And I learned that just because I feel certain something is right does not mean that it is right.

It has turned out to be a very valuable lesson in my life. Something I have reflected on often as a widow; particularly when I am feeling depressed, discouraged, or overwhelmed. I have learned to “test” my feelings to see if they line up with God’s truth. Here are a few examples:

 

My Feeling: God’s truth:
My life is over. Ps 139:16  your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
I have no purpose anymore. Acts 20:24  However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.
God doesn’t love me / no one loves me. 1 John 2:5  But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him.
I am not “good” enough. Titus 3:4-7  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
God doesn’t care about this… Matt 6:31-33  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
I have nothing more to give. Phil 1:3-6  I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
I will never be happy again. James 1:2-4  Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

 

These are just some of the feelings that I have experienced on this journey. I am so thankful for His word, His truth that is so useful in correcting my thinking and feelings.

Dear sisters, I pray that you will be immersed in Him, in His truth so that you may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. You are precious, because you are His. And nothing can ever change that truth. Much love to each of you!

SherylPeppletbSheryl Pepple is President, and an author and speaker for aNew Season/A Widow’s Might Ministries. She lives in Texas with her two daughters, her son-in-law, and her grandchildren. She is a seasoned traveler and loves to visit great snorkeling and diving areas. Her husband was killed by a drunk driver in September 2011 and she lost her brother, the victim of an unsolved murder, years ago. Sheryl feels blessed to be able to share how evident God’s grace and faithfulness is in her life.

If you are interested in having Sheryl or another team member speak please contact us via email at: admin@anewseason.net

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All the Pieces of My Life

Please join us today as we welcome guest blogger Julia Wasson.  

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

I entered my boss’s office at the elementary school, no longer wanting to be the music teacher.  I quit! The principal listened as I explained the changes that have taken place in the past twenty-five months. Becoming a widow has altered my life and thought processes, even my trust in God at the beginning.   My ability to happily manage seven music classes a day has been challenged.  

A new season.  I was thrown into a new season twenty-five months ago.

In those first twelve months after his passing, I was surprised at the physical toll his death took on my fifty-six year old body.  My body felt beaten. Every move, every action, took double the thought and focus. The blow of his sudden death shook me to my core while knocking the wind out of me.  

Within three months of his passing I didn’t see how I could return to teaching music.  That “creative flow,” that we musicians count on, had dried up inside of me.  I was functioning in rote.  As a professional singer and musician, my husband had been my greatest fan for over thirty-eight years. Whenever I sang a special in church, or lead worship on Sunday mornings…he was there.  Not having him present at the school children’s concerts  felt like a knife was inserted in my heart.  He had always sat on the front row, loving the experience of watching children perform.  He was there to catch my eye between songs and give me a big hug after a concert. There.  Simply there. 

Since his passing I have taught music for two additional years.  Teaching those music classes has somehow helped me stay connected with him…keeping one more memory alive…of us.    

But sometimes a person must say goodbye. As of yesterday, I’ve added yet one more goodbye.  Necessary goodbyes because of unrequested life circumstances.

I’m blessed that I don’t have to say goodbye to the ranch and the home he and I had built together. But I have had to say goodbye to the expectations, those projects that he and I did together on our fifty acres, for I am just now facing my limitations.  Recognizing what is reasonable for me to physically accomplish by myself and what is not.

I’m blessed I’ll still have a job in the school district.  My new placement is still unknown. My income will drop some.  But I am caring for myself.  Now that I no longer live in the daily tumultuous storm of grief it is time to rejuvenate my physical body while focusing on my spiritual growth. It’s time to focus more attention on my four children and six grandchildren.

I’m no longer frozen in grief and can once again sing words of hope, trust and faith.

Through the pieces of my life without my husband, through the goodbyes I may continue to face, and throughout the new season I am starting to walk in…..God, I know I can trust You.

 


If you are interested in guest blogging for us please email us admin@anewseason.net or visit our website www.awidowsmight.org