When Things Aren’t What They Seemed

Secrets.

What do we do with hurtful information we find out about our late husbands?

Recently we received a private message from one of our readers about a very difficult subject. She had discovered some damaging information about her husband after his death. How should she handle this situation?

I had a similar discussion with a friend a while back. She had discovered some information about her late husband that was quite disturbing. It colored everything. Totally shocking.

Her children were young adults when their father passed away after a lengthy illness. The couple had fallen in love in college and had weathered the storms of church disappointments, addiction, job loss, raising children, and moving across country. But now that he was gone, one of her children shared some information about Dad. Her stomach felt sick thinking her husband could have been so horrible to their child, thinking about her child living with the secret pain for many years. She asked me what she should do.

Praying fervently in my heart before proceeding, I said,  “Lord, I don’t even know what to say. Guide my words, please.” 

As widows, what do we do with information about our husbands after they are gone? Mysterious credit card receipts. Suspicious or even pornographic websites on his computer. Surprise allegations he physically abused one of the grandchildren or other children. Could he have been involved in something illegal? Life insurance never purchased after years of pestering, and now bankruptcy? Some of our widows were separated from their husbands at the time of their sudden deaths. 

We can’t confront them now, so what do we do with the information?

Forgiving might be hardest when the recipient isn’t alive.

You have probably heard many quotes about forgiveness -like holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. We are killing ourselves when we don’t extend forgiveness to someone.

If we look at Scripture, we can start with a well-known passage like the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6.  Here in the Amplified Version, we find these words in verse 12.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our debtors.

In my experience, I have more joy in my life when I release the other person from the debt I have placed on them. The past is the past, and we can’t change what happened. We can change how we go forward from this point. We are all sinners. And extending the same forgiveness to a spouse, even after his death, opens up the pathway for God’s forgiveness toward us. (Colossians 3:13)

And since RELEASE is my word for 2017, I keep my eyes open for ways to use it in every situation.

Is there a debt you are carrying that needs to be released? Let’s not wait another day to release someone from the chains of unforgiveness. It ISN’T easy – sometimes we need to meet with a trained counselor, pastor, or even an attorney. But it IS possible.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  Matthew 6 :11-12 ESV

When you are praying, if you are angry with someone, forgive him so that your Father in heaven will also forgive your sins. Mark 11:25 NCV

Forgiveness isn’t something we do for someone else, especially when they aren’t around any more. Forgiveness is something we do for OURSELVES.

Father God, help us be quick to forgive. Release us from the bondage of grudges and unforgiveness. Thank You for Your example of forgiveness in our lives. Help us to be aware of Your Holy Spirit moving in our hearts to forgive someone. Amen


Elizabeth kay Dyer, Elizabeth Sleeper Dyer, Dyer, Sleeper

Elizabeth Dyer lives in Oklahoma with her six children named after Bible characters, a large dog named after a grandfather, and a noisy cat named after a German race car driver!  Elizabeth lost her husband in 2012 and is learning she only THOUGHT she knew what trusting God was–widowhood has taken that “faith walk” to a whole new level for her. Psalm 94:19 has become a special verse for her family – “Lord, when doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer.”

Our team at A Widow’s Might would love to send a speaker to your next event. Email us at admin@anewseason.net to get information about our speakers.

Do you want to read more articles by Elizabeth? Read them here. 

Here’s another article from Kit and a guest blogger about betrayal and forgiveness. 

 

 

 

 

With This Ring I Thee Wed…

It’s not often that you find a woman of God’s strength who is able to overcome huge obstacles to start aNew life so beautiful that you could never know by looking from the outside the tragedy she has overcome.

Our guest blogger today is Steph F, a single mom who had to overcome two gut-wrenching divorces and financial devastation to finally begin aNew, recognizing Father God as her one and only true Husband.

And wow, has that realization and surrender brought joy and promise to her family.  Steph now a martial arts student and self-defense instructor. She is also training to become a Christian counselor.

Her children are blessed because she didn’t stay down—she looked up to her Heavenly Father and began aNew!

 

With this ring, I thee wed…

By Steph F

 

With this ring, I thee wed…to honor, cherish, in sickness and health.  One of the most amazing days of your entire life is when you recite those words as you look into his eyes.  It is truly a moment frozen in time.

But life happens and things change as you grow together.  Tragedy strikes whether it is divorce or if your spouse has been called HOME unexpectantly.

You can’t think.  You can’t breathe.  What will I do?  How will I survive?  How will I support my children?  They no longer have a dad, they were robbed.  It’s not fair!  These questions and statements run rampant through your brain.

The worst part is, you believe them.

The answer is…

You don’t need to have an earthly husband, you already have One.  HE loves you.  HE provides a job.  HE provides a home.  HE provides food.  HE provides nourishment.  HE holds you in HIS hands.  HE carries you when you cannot take another step.  HE holds you tight in his arms.  HE watches over you as you sleep and when you wake.  ‘And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ (Matthew 28:20)

But what about the children, right?

What about them, I ask.  HE provides for them.  HE loves them.  He watches over them.  HE carries them when they are weak.  HE wipes their tears. HE has provided loving people to train them up in HIS ways.

I am Steph—a single mom of a teenage girl and a pre-teen boy, the greatest blessings the Lord has given me next to my salvation.

I was married for 15 years, only to have my marriage end due to his addiction to pornography and an intimate relationship with my mother.  Several years later, I married again and my new husband adopted my children at my ex-husbands request.

Within a few months, the floodgates opened and I find myself not having a clue as to the man I married. Ten wives, multiple bank accounts, homes, children—all information that I was unaware of prior to saying ‘I do’.

So I left!  Never to see a dime out of him, having to provide for us on my own, trying to pay rent and keep a normal life for my children.  How was it all possible?

To make matters worse, this man then sued me for custody of my own children whom he had only adopted a few months before.

I hit my knees and prayed.  I told the Lord that this was not my battle, it was HIS battle and I trusted HIM to provide, to protect and to bring this situation glory for HIM.  It was a rough road, I won’t deny that at all, but it was the greatest most humbling experience of my life. ‘I can do all things through HIM who strengthens me.’ (Philippians 4:13)

Everything that I have is because of my Lord, my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Christ is my bridegroom.  Christ is my all in all.  HE is yours too, only if you let HIM be.  Trust in HIM.  Love HIM as HE loves you.  ‘And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 4:7) Accept HIS love and take the step to wear HIS ring as a symbol of your faith, love and trust in HIM. …with this ring, I thee wed…

Forgiveness and New Life

a guest blog submission from Yvonne

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” 

Matthew 6:14-15

My pastor has always said to me, “you know the quality of a person’s faith and character by how they respond when the bad stuff in life hits them at full force.”

That truth hit me as I read this guest blogger’s submission.

It’s a struggle enough for me to just deal with raising my boys alone after losing my husband to heart disease. Those typical issues widows with children struggle with–loneliness, anxiety over the children, trying to figure out how to do life without my rock of a husband by my side—those troubles already fill my plate.

But I know good and well that there are women out there who have had an atypical loss–something traumatic or something involving betrayal.  Shock adds a unique dimension to grief unlike what I’m capable of explaining, because it takes someone who has walked in those shoes to minister to those who have also experienced trauma or betrayal.

Enter Yvonne.

When this precious woman submitted her story as a guest blogger, it touched my heart, not only because I feel so much compassion and heart tugs for her ordeal, but because the way Yvonne responded to it all teaches me to respond with love in my less overwhelming ordeal.

Yvonne’s story starts in mid-December as she and her little boys sang Christmas carols, waiting for their daddy to come home.  I had started to help her edit her story in polished journalistic form, but found that at least in her case, taking away her original voice pulled the emotion out of her story, and I didn’t want you to miss that.

“Justin my 7yr old with his long list to Santa and Jaden 1 yr old was dancing to the Christmas carols I loved to play. Excited as can be about the holidays little did I know my life will change dramatically & for 16 days the story of betrayal lies and deceit that unfolded were by far never what I expected.

My phone rings around 4:30am Carlos was a professional DJ for a hip hop radio station in NY named power 105.1 I answer my phone and I hear a woman’s voice “hop in the car Carl got shot, he’s gonna be alright” My husbands mistress (which I didn’t know he was cheating) called me to tell me he was shot in front of her doorstep. He was wearing an expensive chain when he was robbed.

I couldn’t believe it. How could this be happening, my boys! What do I tell them.

We rushed to hospital when I find out Carlos was shot 16x. the chances of him surviving were minimal.

I was by his side for 16 days I would go home shower & take Justin to school and go back to the hospital to be by his side. I would kneel down by his bedside and pray out loud feverishly to the Lord “please father help him live through this.” Drs recommended I’d read to him, so I would open my bible and read scriptures of healing hoping maybe he’d hear my voice and come out of coma.

On the 13th day of being out of consciousness, he woke up he was very remorseful for what he had done I could see the fear in his eyes and how much he regretted what he had done to me and the boys he cried and said he was sorry numerous of time and asked for my forgiveness. I didn’t care at that moment about the infidelity all I wanted was for him to get better and come home and be with us.

On Dec 20th he said to me with a very faint voice, “look at the sky” it was really beautiful out the clouds were really white & fluffy and the sky was a perfect blue. “The angels are coming to get me.” I immediately became angry and told him not to talk like that you cant leave me and the boys!!

On Dec 23rd Carlos lost his life. The gun shot wounds perforated several organs, he was trying to hold on for the boys. He just couldn’t fight anymore.

At this point Yvonne found hers with two fatherless boys, a pain inside her, and a question. How could she forgive a man who claimed he loved her, yet was killed while visiting his mistress?

So what did she do?  She prayed.

“I asked the lord to help me forgive Carlos I looked up scriptures on forgiveness & meditated on them. Matthew 6:14-15 says, ‘For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.’

forgivenessyv“I also mediated on Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

“Looking back, I felt soo weak, vulnerable & abandoned, Jesus became my friend my confidant.

“There are times when I think about what would it be like if Carlos were here. Psalm 121: 1-2 says, ‘I lift my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come? My help comes from the lord, who made heaven & earth. It took a while for my healing to take place only through Christ I was able to forgive, he gave me the strength and courage to do so, one thing I do know if it weren’t for my lord Jesus Christ I would not feel like there is hope or a future for me and the boys. In spite of what he had done I didn’t want to harbor any unforgiveness inside me, I Know eventually I had to forgive him so through God’s help I did.   I can say the lord has completely healed me.

Thank you Father, for allowing me to see a brighter future for me and my boys. Thank you for making me valiant in such a time where everything was dark and cloudy. Thank you for shining Your light upon me and the boys for giving us hope where there was none. I love you Father!!!”

I lift my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come? My help comes from the lord, who made heaven and earth

Psalm 121: 1-2