Life is made up of rhythms. We experience this on a daily basis with the rising and setting of the sun. Days flow into weeks into months, and into years. And like it or not, we operate under a cosmic order that Almighty God created. Some of us like the consistencies in life more than others.
Over time, we learn that not only are there physical seasons but also life seasons, some of which we long for, while others appear like an unwelcome guest at our door. The season of widowhood often fits this description. During this season, chaos not only enters the rooms of our home but also every nook and cranny of our soul, while at the same time, a silence rings out even in a room filled with noise.
Can you relate?
The news that your loved one has died, shouts like a megaphone blasting into your existence and echoes this painful truth over and over again. Friends, family, and even strangers join the chaotic melody of this new season and even though your home is filled with people, a call to a quiet life is whispered.
What do I mean by a call to a quiet life? And is widowhood a calling? Let me answer the second question before the first. Yes, I do believe widowhood is a calling even if it is for a brief period of time. The Bible teaches that God is over both life and death, therefore, even though “calling” may feel like a strange word to use, God is indeed in control of the beginning and end of our lives on earth:
- “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them” (Psalm 139:13-16 NASB, emphasis added).
- “Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with You; and his limits You have set so that he cannot pass” (Job 14:5 NASB, emphasis added).
- “See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, and there is no one who can deliver from My hand” (Deuteronomy 32:39 NASB, emphasis added).
What do I mean by a call to a quiet life?
A widow is any woman bereft of a husband or any woman left alone. The undercurrent of life is quiet when you have been left alone. Alone in making decisions, daily interaction, eating meals, and maintaining the home, car, and lawn. Alone is alone. Well, except if she has been left to raise fatherless children. But even in that situation, she is physically alone as a single parent.
Loneliness taunts many, especially after the loss of a husband due to death, divorce, or desertion. However, God offers a positive perspective on this quiet life: “God places the solitary in families and gives the desolate a home in which to dwell” (Psalm 68:6).
If you have been called to widowhood, 1 Thessalonians 5:24 is of great encouragement. You can look at this season as God is calling you to Himself. “Faithful is He Who is calling you [to Himself] and utterly trustworthy, and He will also do it [fulfill His call by hallowing and keeping you]” (AMPC).
Hallowing means to consecrate, make holy, and set apart.
When I initially became a widow, I felt set aside and even “kicked to the curb.” I desperately wanted to be married, raising my children with both a mom and a dad. I wondered if my days of usefulness in the Kingdom were over. Rejection and betrayal attempted to leave a lasting mark on me. Over time, I came to understand that God had a plan and would use what was meant for evil for good, even during the quiet season of widowhood.
I had not been set aside but rather set apart. For me (and I want to emphasize that this is not for everyone), the call to widowhood was not just for a season but for the rest of my life. Paul’s word on the single life confirmed this for me early on:
“But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I…The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:8, 32-35).
I knew early on that was my call, undistracted devotion to the Lord! I would embrace what God had for me, learn contentment, and grow in appreciation of the call to a quiet life.
7 Considerations for your call to a quiet life or season:
- You have not been set aside but set apart.
- Settle into the silence in the deep place of your soul for it is there that God will share His secrets. “I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, Who calls you by your name” (Isaiah 45:3, AMPC).
- Purpose to live free of the distractions that will rob you of the gift of time with God in the valley and contentment in the quiet season. “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands” (1 Thessalonians 4:11).
- Believe God’s truth about your identity, circumstances, and calling instead of the lies of the enemy. “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32 NASB).
- Trust God.
- Submit to the silence rather than resisting it. God speaks in a quiet voice, “And He said, Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord. And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire [a sound of gentle stillness and] a still, small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-12, AMPC, emphasis added).
- Seek God in the silence. “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13, NASB).
- Be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10, ESV).
Again, my calling may not be yours. Perhaps widowhood is just a season for you, but during that time, embrace the quiet and embrace God. You will not regret that you did. He is there to embrace you. God is calling you to Himself. I pray that you will feel and cherish His embrace.