Definition of a widow: A woman who has lost her husband by death and has not remarried.
I write this blog with a heavy heart this evening. Sadly, a couple of my friends have recently lost their husbands and I know the pain that their hearts are experiencing as they begin the journey to healing and rediscovering who they are.
The definition above seemed so matter-of-fact when I read it because personally it has taken me over two and half years to accept that title, a title that I felt carried so much pain and loneliness. I always felt there was some sort of stigma attached to it. But as time has passed and healing has begun to penetrate my heart, I realized that "label" is a chance to share a testimony of faith, hope and love.
Becoming a widow is something that doesn't have to be in vain in my life. I have the ability to turn into something that is good…something that is God.
It was difficult in the midst of the crippling pain to try and defeat that enemy who had come to defeat me and steal my joy. There was a stranger inside of me now, one that had no identity, yet was struggling to be known. I could stand in front of the mirror and see the same outer shell but could no longer identify with that person at the core. I did the only thing I had the strength to do and that was cling to what God had promised me: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” God wants us to have a rich and satisfying life.
I began to very slowly re-discover my new identity, but all the while my Heavenly Father would gently remind me that my "true" identity has always been and will always be found in Him and each time that confirmation would flood my soul I would sense more strength, a clearer perspective and feel a little more secure. God was pruning me and it was painful, but always so needed. Suddenly the title that once seemed so hard to even whisper was being spoken about often—and with a God filled story surrounding it.
Yes, I am a widow by the sense of the dictionary's definition, but I am so much more than just that definition in God's eyes and in the eyes of those who love me. What the past 2 ½ years have taught me about being a widow is that I am worthy of happiness again, that I am strong enough to survive the loss of someone so precious to me, and that being a widow doesn't have to be something I deny, but instead that I can embrace with a heart that is—praise God—healing more each and every day.
I am no longer afraid to say that word and accept that role. It is only by the grace and power of my Heavenly Father that I can testify to this healing which in itself is a miracle.
I pray for my friends and for all who are experiencing this pain. Please know there is hope and there will be happiness again, it will be different and your priorities will change...they should. But you will, by the loving grace of God, survive this time. Know that you are never alone and that your always loved and prayed for.
A Blessed Widow,