Friend, sister, widow,

I am so sorry for your great loss. I know what it is like to lie down at night with pillows piled on the other side of the bed so it won’t feel so big and empty without my husband by my side. I also know what it feels like to wake up in the morning hoping that I was just having a bad dream. I remember the many nightmares and sleepless nights…the endless phone calls and visits…the food that came pouring in and all the beautiful flowers…the people who helped with my children, who cleaned out my closets and drawers. I remember the myriad of unanswered questions that tore through my mind and the ache in my heart.

The days were dark, life was chaotic, and my circumstances were completely out of my control. But God comforted me, lavished His grace on me, and faithfully walked by my side through the valley of the shadow of death. Perspective Ministries is here to come alongside you in this journey with hope and God’s perspective to help meet your practical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Our prayer is that God would hold you close as you transition from wife to widow.

WidowLife Support Groups are groups formed by widows for widows! These gatherings give women an outlet to share their stories and support each other in their grief journeys. They currently meet in Woodstock and Douglasville, Georgia. For more information on support groups check out our WidowLife Facebook Page.

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Blogs For The Widow

I don’t know about you, but my whole life I thought I understood suffering, that was until it really came knocking on my door with the death of my husband. Then it became personal, and just like that the questions, doubts, and fears came rushing in all at once. Where was God in all of this? Would he be faithful to me? Could I make it without my husband? Did I have reason to hope like I had grown up believing?

These questions can be overwhelming and downright terrifying, but in my lowest moments, I found answers and hope in scripture, in Christ. When the tears were many and there was no place else to run, these words held me safe and gave the courage to take another step.

In the midst of your suffering, I urge you to turn to the only place you will find lasting hope and purpose in the pain. It won’t make all your problems disappear, but you will never be alone. God wants to meet you in your suffering—he promises to. Take the timeless words of scripture and write them on your heart, day by day repeat them to yourself, and watch how they renew your mind and bring you to a place of contentment and trust in God.

1.     God will be with you every step of the way!

Psalm 23:4: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

2.      You will feel like you can’t go on, but God WILL be your strength.

Psalm 73:26: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

3.      God brings us a comfort like no one else can.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

4.      God will bring the healing we desire!

1 Peter 5:10: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

5.      Our suffering isn’t meaningless.

2 Corinthians 4:17: “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”

6.      In the pain, Christ is gain! (Cheesy but true!)

Philippians 3:8: “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”

7.      His heart is for the widow and the fatherless.

Psalm 68:5: “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.”

8.      In the hardest moments of our lives, God is fighting for us.

Isaiah 43:2: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”

9.      There is purpose in our pain.

Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

10.  In the end, “all sad things come untrue.” (J.R.R Tolkien)

Revelation 21:4: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

God was a not silent about those who suffer, in fact scripture is full of his promises to meet you in the mourning. His Word makes it clear that he has not left us to make it alone. There is hope, respite, and even new joys to be found in Christ. Anchor yourself in His words and though your boat may rock, it will never be thrown off course. He is faithful.

At the time of my husband’s unexpected death, I had eight children under the age of ten. The first four months were filled with business meetings, phone calls, and visits from well-meaning friends, family, and even strangers…oh and chaos – complete grace-filled chaos! The normal rhythm of our daily life had been turned upside down.

There were days that I would focus on something I had planned to do, like teaching school, when suddenly, I found myself doing something completely unplanned! It was that “grief thing” of keeping busy so I wouldn’t feel the pain. Or, it could have been the “grief brain” that removed the ability to focus on anything at all. Can you can relate? In my flurry, I would often enter a room to put something away and before I walked out again, I was involved in something I hadn’t ever planned to do.

For example, one afternoon I had the idea to separate a set of bunk beds into twin beds. I zipped into the room to perform this simple task without any thought at all that it would be something beyond my physical capability. My husband built the kid’s furniture to withstand any storm, apparently except for my grief attack. As I pulled the top bed off, I quickly realized that this was not a task to accomplish by myself. I was stuck! I couldn’t get it down to the floor, and I couldn’t get the bed back on top, and I couldn’t leave it hanging in mid-air. Frantically, I looked around only to see my precious little ones staring up at me willing to assist in any way they could. With the help of my two sons (ages 4 and 5) and my determined six-year-old daughter we managed to get the bed to the floor without hurting the babies in the process. The only damage was a minor hole in the wall and a broken bed. That little fit of independence brought out so many emotions. My inability to complete a simple task brought about anger I has buried deep inside. What do I even do with all this unresolved anger? Who do I resolve it with? Is unresolved anger what leads to depression? Oh my, what an emotional price to pay for the new bedroom arrangement!

Taking care of 8 children was always a bit overwhelming, but now, without my husband, I felt shaken, pressed down to my wits end, and running over. Actually, I felt that I had been run over. Even though I knew God was working through it all, life was hard, oh so hard. Change was taking place – physical, emotional, and spiritual change. Many days by 5:00 p.m. I felt that I just couldn’t make it through the rest of the day. However, with a houseful of small children, stopping wasn’t an option, so I pushed through. Soon dinner would be over, children bathed, and we would be onto my favorite part of the day – devotions and listening to the hearts of my children. Often, I had to confess my own wrong attitudes, a poor choice of words, or an action I didn’t think fully though. I loved to hear my children share their hurts and struggles, as well. (Side note: this simple but planned time of communication brought more fruit to our family more than anything else we do.)

Even though I had help here and there with the whole single-parenting thing, I still felt that my yoke wasn’t easy, and my burden was not light! Didn’t the Bible offer that promise somewhere? I asked God to give order to each day and to the large task ahead. I worked hard to be brave and courageous, but honestly, I was overwhelmed and exhausted. As I evaluated where I was in the timeline of my life, there were some very difficult years still ahead of me. I didn’t have in-house babysitting, I had a bunch of toddlers that need lots of consistent training and encouragement, and the adjustment to doing all of this alone was still very new. If God’s yoke was easy and His burden light, then I must be wearing the wrong yoke, right? I felt confident that the old yoke would feel so much better than my new one! But, I couldn’t take this new yoke off! (Weren’t yokes made for two oxen? I’m sure if it was for one ox, the load behind was smaller than 8?!)

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light”  (Matthew 11:28-30 NASB).

Easy? This was anything but easy. Light? In my own strength my new load was heavy. Rest? I didn’t think that would be possible for decades. I found myself pulling into a shell. I wanted to hide, disappear, and pretend that this had not happened. God kept telling me this was not a shell but a cocoon. To get the easy-light-rest that the Bible talks about, I had to trust God and learn from Him in this season, so that I would come out a beautiful butterfly rather than a dead caterpillar. When I looked up the meaning of the word easy in this text, I learned that the Greek meaning was much different than one would think. Easy is not the opposite of hard, but rather means to be fit for use, virtuous, and good. The process in this spiritual cocoon would be worth it all, and it was. His faithfulness proved that His burden is light when received with humility from His hand. God was performing a work of grace with this yoke upon me.

His easy, purposed, fit-for-use yoke is always tailor made to fit just as He planned–for our good and His glory.

 

What Widows Are Saying

It was “Perspective” ministries that empowered me to get through the darkest time of my life with my eyes on Jesus. I learned that God was my Husband, and that He would literally care for me in a way that I had never seen. Perspective Ministries is much needed. This Ministry saved my life.”

Lori Salierno Maldonado
Widow, President and CEO of Celebrate Life International

I had and issue with my car insurance and had to use some of my Christmas money to go towards it. Don’t you know that Perspective Ministries’ check was for the exact amount that I needed!”

Rachel
Widow

Perspective Ministries give so much love to so many hurting people. Thank you for being that light in the world. Matthew 5:16 is my favorite verse and you really live it!”

Maggie
Widow