For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me.
Proverbs 25:17 ESV
Are they singing fal-hoom four way or fah-hume foray?
Each Christmas season as a child I watched the one airing of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, anxiously waiting for the Hoo’s down in Hooville to sing their welcome Christmas song. Then the curious little writer in me would try to make out the words and get them on paper.
The one word in the opening line I settled on is foray. It seemed to fit with a story like the Grinch. To foray, according to Webster’s dictionary, means to make a raid or brief invasion. That’s exactly what the Grinch was doing, so I envisioned the song-writer secretly putting foray in the opening line just for curious children to unravel the song’s riddle.
It never occurred to me that versions of the Grinch invade our Christmas season each year. But Christmastime,when widows are particularly vulnerable, others who are suffering from the loss of your husband may come to you, as a symbol of their loss, for closure. Dealing with the resulting “foray” into your life can be a daunting task. I wrote about this in The Ornament Without a Hook. You can read it here.
Here are some steps I’ve taken. Perhaps they might help you as well.
G – Go to God for real truth
I try to rise above the fray of attack and simply turn to God’s truth. He’s in control, and He’s strong enough to heal hearts in this situation.
Scripture reference: “For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me“ (Psalm 31:3 ESV)
R – Rightly or wrongly, you will be judged. Accept it and don’t be afraid
My kids learned from a PBS cartoon called Lil Bill. His grandmother told him to say the meanest thing back to the kid who kept insulting him: “So?”. When a grinch insults you with something that’s true, answer him or her, “So? Are you going to forgive me or what?” Sometimes the accusation was put out there just to get a reaction. Use the most powerful response of all, silence.
Scripture reference: Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12 ESV)
I – Interrupt the Enemy – set the right boundaries
If someone tangles with you, find them resources to help what’s bothering them. For example, soon after my loss, while I struggled with helping myself and four boys through the grief, a beloved family member needed attention and guidance that I simply couldn’t give her. She needed a father-figure mentor like Tom. I set up a small account and placed the control of the account in this mentor’s hands, letting all involved know that she always needs to go to him for advice before using the funds. His mentorship was invaluable and allowed me space to focus on the minor children.
Scripture reference: Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house, lest he have his fill of you and hate you. (Proverbs 25:17 ESV)
N – No Pride – Look in the mirror and don’t let pride cloud what you see
It’s easy to assume it’s the other person—that a loved one is acting out inappropriately–not you. When a loved one takes our inventory for us and tells us how awful we are, we want to reject it all. Accept that you aren’t perfect. Shroud yourself in the love of Christ to allow yourself to look in the mirror and not be horribly shaken by what you see. Then separate the false accusations from what needs to be owned and handled.
Scripture reference: “Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone astray.” (Job 6:24 ESV)
C – Consider what you have on your plate
There are seasons in widowhood where you don’t need to tangle with someone who creates chaos. You’re going through loss in the worst way—he was your husband, your best friend. You may have children to raise alone now or elderly parents to care for alone, or you may have his business affairs to wrap up or take on. Just getting back on your feet is an ordeal!
When my loss was fresh, I had four little ones tugging at my feet. Older relatives who kept me on my phone had to learn not to overwhelm me. When someone’s dependency and emotional needs get too large for you to take on along with the responsibilities you’ve been left with, it’s time to recognize you can’t do it all.
Scripture reference: But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. (Job 6:24 ESV)
H – Hallelujah, you can consider it all joy
In the New Testament, James tells us to consider all your struggles joy. If you’re in a situation where your husband has died and others are mad about what you did with his car or his stocks or any other assets, you feel attacked. Turn in the Bible when you’ve been wrongly accused. When we are falsely accused, sometimes the best response is gentleness.
Scripture reference: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, (James 1:2 ESV)
Abba Father, would You give my sister enough gumption to kick satan out of her life and forgive those who don’t even realize they are spoiling her holiday season? Help her grow to know You better day by day. Amen.
Kit Hinkle is the Founder and Ministry Lead for A New Season Ministries, Inc., and an author and speaker. She has lived through corporate careers as a chemical engineer and a management consultant, but now finds her finest career as a home school mother to four teen boys–one of them launched in college. She loves Pilates and her best friend’s Bosanova Christian yoga-style stretching. Her longing for walks on the beach with her chocolate lab has led her to Charleston where she’s now starting her new season. To sit with another who is walking through her tough road and show that woman Christ, brings joy and fulfillment to Kit. It’s such an honor to participate in His kingdom.
If you are interested in having her speak, please contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other articles by this author: anewseason.net/author/khinkle
Entering the Holidays by Elizabeth Dyer
Gifts by Erika Graham
Friendship and Loss: Her Perspective by Kit Hinkle