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Grief is often experienced in seasons. 

During the winter season, the initial shock of entering the valley of the shadow of death is barren and cold. Widows feel alone, and in so many ways, they are. Their person is no longer there to hold them as they process one of the most difficult trials of their life. Immediately, they are faced with a multitude of decisions and she carries the weight of her own grief, along with the grief of her children. And, each night she tucks herself into bed alone. Her greatest need is to understand that God is her covering and that He is with her.

And just as we never know if the groundhog will see his shadow, determining an early or late spring, grief operates with an individual timetable for all. Like the familiar toddler book, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, reminds us, you can’t go over it, you can’t go under it, you have to go through it, the valley, that is! During the springtime of grief, she begins to experience little signs of life that remind her that God will indeed restore her soul.

Summer grief can be deceiving. Just when she feels that she is starting to bloom again, another wave of emotions relentlessly crash in. At this time, anger, bitterness, and envy surface like unwanted weeds in the garden. To experience healing, she must work through these enemies of her soul. In the summer of grief, it is important for the widow to look to God as her Defender and cling to the promises in His Word, the necessary anchor as the storm rages.

When the woman who has been left alone crosses through the valley of the shadow of death, the color will start to come back into her world just like it does in the fall. She may start to smile again and begin to comfort others as she has been comforted (2 Corinthians 1:4). She will soon be able to declare to others, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6, KJV). 

A Prayer for the Widow Through the Seasons of Grief

Dear Lord,

During the wintertime of the widow’s grief journey, may she find comfort in knowing that you are with her.

In the springtime of her pain, remind her that you will make all things beautiful in your time. You will restore her soul.

When the emotional weeds start to rear their heads during the summer season of grief, please give her the courage to deal with the anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, and envy that have the potential to rob her of true healing.

Thank you that there is a season for everything, “A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:4). May she experience true joy in you and testify that “great is your faithfulness.”

In Jesus’ name. Amen

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