linda lint a new season kit hinkle a widows might

Piece by Piece

 

…….and a time to rebuild. Ecclesiastes 3:3 (TLB)

Thoughts were whirring around in my mind like the contents of a blender on high speed: how to get the monster hedge trimmed; when was that particular bill due; what was that strange noise the car made, etc., etc. And in the midst of it all -what would I find to say this month to you dear sisters when my mind was so muddled with so very much.

I needed to just be still before the Lord and listen for Him to speak. One of my favorite techniques to “settle” my mind is working on a jigsaw puzzle online.  There is something very calming in sorting the pieces, putting the frame together, and hearing the “click” of pieces going into place. Sometimes I challenge myself by not looking at the reference picture; and then there are times when I must refer to that picture frequently. Occasionally I do a puzzle with no picture – only a title. Those are the really hard ones!

As I worked through the process this time, I began to think about the new puzzle I was given four years ago with only a title “Linda without Ken”. I had been perfectly content with the “Ken and Linda” project, but everything changed when the last piece of that picture was put in place as my beloved was called to Heaven.

Now I had a whole new set of “pieces” to put together alone. For a while I ignored it because I really didn’t know what to do with it. I had no real picture of “Linda the widow” in my frame of reference. So many things were the same: the house, the car, my clothes, my friends – yet absolutely everything was different.

Yet, God is faithful, and eventually I found myself sorting and  putting together the frame – finding some familiar pieces that gave me comfort – the corner house that he picked for us, the shelves and tables he made, the roses and flowers he planted. These pieces have fit very nicely into this new puzzle and give it strength.

I also found pieces that were alien – loneliness, sorrow,  and yes, some pieces named “anger” and “why”. But these pieces are part of the whole and must be incorporated into this “Linda without Ken” picture. These are the pieces that are the hardest to fit into place.

Four years later I am still working on the puzzle – some days I just get tired of it all and put it aside – but those days don’t come as often now as they once did. I am also discovering some wonderful new pieces – a deeper relationship with God than I ever could have imagined – a quiet peace in knowing that “God’s got this” – the depth and beauty of each of God’s promises to us in His Word – especially this one: “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:8 – the words Moses spoke to Joshua preparing him to move forward into the land that was promised.

Moses was able to speak this to Joshua because in his own life Moses had seen the faithfulness of God to be real. And now I speak it to you, dear sisters, because I too know the faithfulness of God to be real.

Father, Thank you for going before us each day as we move forward putting together these pieces of our lives now.

 

22 replies
  1. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    I shared this post a year ago, telling people “this is what my life looks like now.” Today, a year later, as I come upon the 2 year “rememberversary” of Denny’s home going, it still resonates with me. I’m having a hard time. Though the frame has come together, many pieces are still upside down, many old pieces absolutely do not fit, and with many of the new ones I can’t seem to figure out if they really go with this puzzle. It struck me yesterday that I am not “happy.” I am busy, I love my daughters, their husbands, my granddaughter and soon to be new grandchild, but… I know my salvation is in the LORD, I believe Him, I trust Him, but happy seems to have gone by the wayside. Sorry for the venting here…just really feeling it today. Thank you for your post a year ago.

    • Sheryl Pepple
      Sheryl Pepple says:

      Hi Lisa,

      I am so glad that God has used Linda’s words to give you some comfort in trying to “piece” this new stage of our life together. It’s been four years for me and Linda’s words deeply resonate with me also. It is a long process but over time more pieces start to fill in some of the gaps. I will miss my husband until we are reunited but over time my focus has shifted from the life I imagined with him to the life God is leading me through. Keep seeking Him! He is always faithful! Praying for you!

      Blessings, Sheryl

      P.S. Linda is on a break right now but we will forward your comments to her.

  2. Nora Davenport
    Nora Davenport says:

    Hi Linda! Thanks so much for this………I am at my 9th month without my beloved husband of 36 years…….but, it’s so incredible…….I am in the process of purchasing all four of the seasonal devotionals from here and they are helping me soooooo much……..it’s really something but I AM feeling some healing from Him, and I have also been able to help a couple of friends who’ve recently lost loved ones and am sharing ALL that I’ve learned and what has really helped me the most…….I’ve decided to write a book, as we lived life to the fullest and crammed “tons” of wonderful things into our 36 years of marriage. I didn’t realize it until I made a memory scrapbook of his life for his birthday June 1st…..it took me 2 months to do 25 pages (both sides)…….I’ve shared it with many people, and they told me it was the most incredible scrapbook they’d ever seen…….that I had put my whole “heart and soul” into it…….I even typed up a “love letter to him!!!!! God is really leading/moving me……..and I can “feel” the power He’s giving me……..I’ve even made the major move of going to a lawyer, something I’ve dreaded for 9 months……..life IS getting better, I know hubby’s spirit is with me ALL the time and I know I will see him again…….in the meantime, I want both God and my hubby to be proud of me………I can almost hear them both saying, “Way to go woman!” Thanks so much, Linda, and may God richly bless you!!!

    • Linda Lint
      Linda Lint says:

      Nora – so glad to hear of all you are doing! May God richly bless you as well dear sister! Linda

  3. Teresa M.
    Teresa M. says:

    How I wish I could have found this blog a little over a year ago! That’s when I had to make the hardest decision of my life and have my beloved removed from life support. I had lost my mom in January and then my beloved in April of last year and somewhere along the line I most definitely lost myself. Praise God, slowly, sometimes painfully I struggle to fit the pieces together to form this new picture puzzle without Robert. Thank God I am longer trying to force the pieces where I think they belong! But waking every morning and asking my Abba to fit His pieces together in my life according to His will not mine and resting in the fact that He knows the end from the beginning. Thank you for this post it spoke so profoundly to my heart. Blessings.

    • Linda Lint
      Linda Lint says:

      Teresa I am so glad you have found us! You might have lost yourself – but God never lost you! I did not have to make a life support decision, however, I did have to make several hard decisions regarding active medical intervention in the last weeks of my husband’s life. Those decisions are draining and leave us numb. Blessings dear sister. Linda

  4. annette
    annette says:

    Thank u for this post. I love puzzles. My daughter and I were looking at puzzles yesterday trying to find one with a scene or picture we liked so it is ironic this is what your post is about today. We didn’t buy one because we didn’t like any of them. Tomorrow it will be 3 months since my husband died and everything is so jumbled up. All these puzzle pieces have been dumped out and I am turning all of them over trying to see where they fit or if they fit. The ones u named and more guilt, frustration, resentement, confusion.These r pieces of my puzzle in me a part of me yet they weren’t there before my husband died. I don’t like these pieces and I don’t want them to fit or be a part of my puzzle but they r. God says He will give us beauty for ashes. Leaning and depending on the Lord to help me fit these pieces together.

    • Linda Lint
      Linda Lint says:

      Dearest Annette – “jumbled” is a very appropriate word for the feeling of loss you have. There are still days when I see only a “jumble” of pieces before be – but like you I continue to rely on God as I sort it all out – one piece at a time. Blessings to you dear one as you continue your journey. Linda

  5. Colleen
    Colleen says:

    Linda, thanks so much for this beautiful picture of what life is like as a widow, it really resonated with me today. I’ve had some of those harder pieces lately and have been struggling with looking at other peoples lives and wondering why my puzzle is so difficult and also wondering if it will ever be finished! Thanks for helping me to remember that there are also some beautiful pieces too and God is putting it all together for His glory!

    • Linda Lint
      Linda Lint says:

      Thank you Colleen – I had one of “those” pieces today myself – strong storms passing through my area. But God is faithful in His love for us – they have passed and the sun is out again. Blessings to you dear sister. Hold onto the promise of God’s glory in all of it! Linda

  6. Shirley
    Shirley says:

    What a fitting topic today. I am working on a 500 piece puzzle in my living room while I go through the puzzle of my life as a widow! Your writing is very encouraging and gives me hope for better days. I have been on this hard path since Nov 2013.

    • Linda Lint
      Linda Lint says:

      Thank you Shirley – yes dear sister there will definitely be better days. Hold tight to Jesus and the Hope He gives us each day! Linda

  7. Linda Josephson
    Linda Josephson says:

    Enjoyed your blog today, “Piece by Piece” it is what I needed to read and be reminded of today. I thank you for that.

    • Linda Lint
      Linda Lint says:

      Thank you for letting me know you were blessed by this message today Linda. Blessings to you dear one. Linda

  8. Kathy
    Kathy says:

    This is such a good analogy of how life feels right now. Like the pieces have all been dumped out and are scattered everywhere! Will the right pieces for the new scene. be there and be recognized? Which pieces do I keep from the old scene?
    God will definitely enlighten the way!
    Am thankful for these posts and the people that post them.

    • Linda Lint
      Linda Lint says:

      Yes Kathy “all the pieces dumped out and scattered” pretty much describes it. And, yes, God will enlighten the way for you and all of us! Thank you for you encouraging words!

  9. Vickie
    Vickie says:

    This post so mirrors my life right now and I am only 8 months out from losing my husband. I know God has good things ahead, but half of me is gone, so I am left to figure out what my life looks like, who I am without the George & Vickie and how to lead my family. So true that some things are the same, but as many others are different.
    It’s a process and I know the Lord is in it with me and can see the complete and beautiful picture He is building, even though I cannot see it yet. Thank you Linda, I needed to see this today.

    • Linda Lint
      Linda Lint says:

      Dearest Vickie how well I understand the “half of me is gone” feeling. I am so glad to know you are trusting God with the guidance needed as you journey through the days ahead. Keep trusting Him and hold fast to His promises dear sister. He will always be with you. Linda

    • Linda Lint
      Linda Lint says:

      Dear sister, I am always so humbled when I see the words “just what I needed today”. I am so grateful these words have blessed you. Linda

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