Recently we had a lovely reader write us after reading one of our articles. She had such a transparent heart, we asked if we could share an excerpt from her letter and some of our response. You may find yourself in some of the thoughts she is sharing. We post this here as a reminder, you are not alone in your feelings! Do you have a question you would like to ask? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reading today’s message was a step in healing! I know I have to let go. My hurt, disappointment, and anger at people and family who have let me down… It hurts so deeply, on top of your widowhood, to be excluded because they are uncomfortable! … But I need to have family and friends. I have already had my biggest loss imaginable! I am growing weary and more lonely. Widowhood is trying enough. Scripture speaks of God being my husband now but He doesn’t physically eat with me, sleep beside me, hold me in His arms, go out with me, give me physical hugs, talk to me verbally, fix broken stuff, take the car to the garage, take out the garbage! … So when there is no one to love me, how does God help me? I just have to believe it. But it is so abstract! … I need to feel God in a solid, real way! It feels superficial. I thought God would show up concrete, in my friends to comfort me in the darkest night of my soul. I need God in a realistic way. I do lots of volunteering, and reach out to others hurting, go to a small group, counselling, and support group . But I feel like I’m chasing the wind.
Thank you so much for writing out your thoughts in such a way, and sharing them with us. Many of us have had similar thoughts go through our heads — we need a “husband” who takes out the trash and protects us in storms. I can relate to that! Unfortunately, it seems to be “normal” in many widows’ lives.
I personally struggle with wanting God to respond the way I want Him to respond in my timing. I find it helpful to read the Psalms. The authors let God know how frustrated they are. How unjust the world is. How wicked people succeed. But it seems the Psalmists always come back to what is true about God. That is where I have to land every time. I have to cling to truth, not feeling. I love my feelings and want to grasp them with all my might… That right there is my hardest struggle. My feelings get hurt, my feelings are not validated by others, my feelings say that I must not be loved. But God loves me so much He allowed His only Son to suffer, bleed, and die a horrible death FOR ME. For you. That is the truth.
If He does nothing else for me, that is more than I deserve right there.
I love it when I find little nuggets in Scripture. The story of Anna in Luke 2 amazes me. She was an old widow and had only been married for seven years. Now at eighty-four, she was known for her devotion to prayer and worship. That right there is what I want to be known for…
If she got married as a teen, like it may have been back then, then she lived maybe sixty years completely focused on worship and prayer. I have a long way to go in order to be known for that, for sure. She wasn’t known for anything else. That puts my life in perspective. All this other stuff is like icing on the cake. The most important stuff is right there.
So how do we live this journey with grace? I think we do it like Anna. It sounds so simple but I know it isn’t. We expect so much out of Christians, don’t we? We honestly believe they will want to support us but they fail us. We honestly want to believe God will take care of us, but bad things keep coming our way. So all I can do is keep trusting God when everything around makes no sense.
Thanks for putting your thoughts into words. Have you seen our devotionals
for sale on our website? It is one way we find to put our thoughts on Scripture as we go through our days.
If you want to read more on the widow Anna from Luke 2, click here.
More on friendships? Kit has written some great articles here