Author: Lori Apon
Evenings, Friday nights, weekends, and Sundays. Grocery shopping and dinner. Holidays, your birthday, his birthday, and numerous other holidays are the hard stuff. And most of these happen on a regular basis or at minimum yearly!
Without being proactive, intentional, and guarding your perspective these activities or special days can wipe you out emotionally, pulling you into a downward spiral.
There comes a point in the widow’s journey when the community as you knew it changes or disappears. At this crossroad, you must take up the baton in life and for life. The reins are in your hands to maneuver your direction and create a life that you love. Instead of hoping someone will extend an invitation or celebrate with you, you must be prepared when that does not happen. It is important that you almost anticipate that this won’t happen so that you will be pleasantly surprised if it does.
Widows silently experience moments where loneliness is heightened and seeks to mock and jeer at them in an unwanted season. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In these days that are so full of grief, it’s healthy to give yourself the gift of something to look forward to.
Suggestions of things to look forward to:
- Morning coffee or tea – prepare for this the night before so that when you wake it is waiting on you – just brew/steep and pour.
- Meeting with God – He anticipates time with you more than you do. He is always waiting to hear your cry, listen to your concerns, and speak from His word.
- Taking a bubble bath at the end of the day.
- Time with a friend – make a call or invite her over for a visit. Practice simple hospitality.
- Savor a hot bowl of homemade soup – make a list of your favorite comfort foods and spend time on meal prep for a stash in the freezer. You might even consider inviting a friend to join you in this endeavor. Be sure to put on praise music or an encouraging podcast while you cook.
- No more date nights? Plan an outing doing something you enjoy whether that be shopping or going to a movie with a friend.
- Sabbath – God instructs us to rest on a weekly basis for so many reasons. One is that this time allows for a perspective check. The key to feeling comfortable in the uncomfortable is our perspective. Solitude and loneliness are possible in the same space but completely different depending on your mindset and approach.
- Restructure your favorite traditions. For example, visit the pumpkin patch with your grandchildren or a group of other widows, while savoring the memories from years past.
- Create new memories – keep your camera handy to capture the new chapter God is writing in your life.
- Cleaning – it might be a stretch to look forward to cleaning but the outcome is always worth the investment. Ask a friend to come and help.
- Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers as a reminder of the beauty of God. He is working all things together in your life and His new creation will be beautiful.
- Pampering – it feels good to feel pretty, especially when no one is regularly telling you so. God sees you. You are of great value and worth. Depending on your budget, it’s okay to splurge here and there on a manicure or fresh haircut and color.
The list can go on and on! Of course, you must beware of falling into the trap of an entitled mentality or filling empty places in your heart with people, places, and things, instead of God. Balance is necessary for every area of our life, but it’s okay and even necessary to dream. Set a goal whether that be starting to exercise, redecorating a room in your home, or taking a vacation. Write out your dream, count the cost, and enjoy looking forward to the outcome. You will be glad you did!