There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. – Luke 2:36-38
I have always been fascinated by Anna and her small, but pivotal, role in this unfolding drama that is our Lord’s start in life. How could she stay devoted to God, constantly in the temple, for all those years?
More recently, I have been touched by her widow status.
Anna had been a widow a long, long, long time.
And because she was, she was able to be there in the temple when the Lord was dedicated.
I have felt a lot of pressure to date again, from both family and friends, married and unmarried.
Recently, several of my widow sisters have stepped forward into love again…dating, getting engaged and re-marrying. I am over the moon in my excitement for them. They have found great guys, in line with God’s calling on their lives, and have not been afraid to plunge into the waters of loving again.
But…while I am thrilled for them, I am equally certain that this course is not for me. Not now…maybe not ever.
And that’s OK. I know it’s OK because of Anna.
Dedicated simply to the Lord’s service, no distractions in her path, she prayed and fasted and went about the Lord’s business. That, to me, sounds like Heaven on earth!
I bet she was the go-to gal for prayer concerns, and kept her friends, family, town, and nation bathed in prayer. I bet she could sit and listen to the Lord for hours, and knew His voice as clearly as her own. I bet she had sweet, solitary worship, hands raised above her head, as she told her Lord how much He meant to her.
Maybe it’s because my life is so crazy now that this sounds appealing. I know I often long for simplicity and more oneness with God, oneness that especially long for since I am without my sweet husband. Maybe it’s because I long to be able to be singularly focused on Kingdom things, not on the minutia of life on earth. Perhaps it’s simply that I am tired and long for the rest that only my Savior provides, and I long to listen more closely to His voice.
Whatever the reason, this is my season…God-ordained, just as much as my sisters who are again dating and married.
Sisters, I don’t know which part of this widow journey you are on, or which you are supposed to be on. I am not even sure I will stay the course of singleness forever. But I do know this: God has purpose and meaning in both paths, and by His grace, we can be fulfilled in both.
I pray that as you consider whether to date…or to remarry…you lean on our loving Lord to make those decisions. He has all the answers we need.
Father God, I pray that You guide us on our journeys of singleness, dating, and remarriage. I pray that You help us to know which path is best for us now and always, and I pray that we can walk boldly forward to serve You, single or married, just as You would have us do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.