It has been one year here, blogging under Widow’s Manna. How much has changed and how much I have seen the hand of God move.
In the process of grief and learning to be widowed, I have seen great miracles. The biggest one being his provision of dear ones to walk with. I have learned that walking with others through this journey makes the difference.
God has sent people into my life that have introduced me to the God who is my husband. They remind me often of my need to lean in and that my story will touch lives for His kingdom one day.
“The Lord their God will save them on that day as the flock of his people. They will sparkle in his hand like jewels in a crown. How attractive and beautiful they will be.
I will strengthen them in the Lord and in his name they will walk, declares the Lord.”
Zechariah 9:16-17, 10:12
He is my husband. Husband’s protect, provide, love unconditionally, offer wisdom, provide logical and practical solutions, they honor us, they walk beside us, they lead, allowing us to lean in, they shelter us and they listen to our hearts. My beloved Chris in heaven did all this, as he grew into the role God gave him as my husband, soul mate and best friend. But now God is my husband and He is Father to my children. He loves me in the same aspects, yet as God, it is perfect and fully everything I could ever need.
As a widow, I am sheltered under the robe of His loving provision. Much like my beloved Bible character, Ruth was as she surrendered to her kinsman redeemer Boaz, his answer to her surrender was to cover her in the protection and provision of his robe and all that symbolized. God has done this for me. I rest under His beautiful robe. And have been shown the full extent of His love towards me. This is not to say, I have a perfect life and everything I could ever want. But rather I am saying, in all this world’s ugliness, He has my best in mind. Yes, the pain touches my heart, yes the adversity challenges my soul, yes my heart aches and I hate that I am without Chris. But in all that, God has still allowed the great cloak of his role as my Husband to fall across my shoulders. Even when they shake in mourning tears and even when I turn away from His love in my pain, anger and frustration. The cloak remains, even on the hardest of days, as a comfort and a reminder of His deep love.
I’d like to share the beauty of His care. I am not going to name names, but I want to acknowledge the provision of God’s love as a husband.
As a young girl I’d prayed girlish prayers, I’d prayed for friends and for a husband. God gave me those. When I lost Chris to cancer I was a new kind of alone. Those dear ones that God gave me, we’re just as dear, but I was missing a piece of my heart and the sunshine of my soul. Though Chris was gone and at Jesus side, the needs and hopes and dreams were not gone. The expectations that I remain myself and perform as mother and friend and family, remained… but I didn’t have the energy to as I did before. I needed to be loved and nurtured and cared for, those things changed when Chris went to heaven. It may seem strange if you haven’t experienced this kind of loss. God knew it all, and used the friends I had to bolster me up, to shine a light on the dark corners and to walk as far as they could understand. But by no fault of their own, but by mere circumstances their steps no longer fell as close to my side, fathoming my state was difficult to understand. This is the way of losses and grief. Life goes on for others and mine still stood still.
It became evident as a few months went by, that there was a lonely patch, one that no one could fill. So, God in His wisdom provided. God had seen the loneliness, I just know it. By an elaborate and beautiful maze of events, He set into my path dear ones who knew the loss of a soul mate. Widows who walked behind and before me. And one, in particular, who walked the widows path just a little bit longer then me. It is not a coincidence or luck, God knew us both, He knew we’d need each other and He knew our similar path, would require something more then a mere acquaintance.
So He tended our soil and He planted seeds to grow in a barren garden of devastation, deep loss and sadness. One day he sent a sister. Inexperienced as I was to widowhood, I recognized this lovely person as one who’d get it. We shared this garden of widowhood and now met in the midst of it. One never knowing another had walked the same place all this time, as well.. As time went by, and we’d meet at similar places in this garden, we’d sit and talk. God poured His grace out like a fountain in a desert. We saw the need to walk beside each other and pray for one another and check one one another. More often then not, we were walking in the same part of the garden, and met there in our grief and tears. It was uncanny the times we shared exact patch of emotions. My God who loves me, loved her too, He made this special place of healing as widow sisters. No one quite gets that place that we are, but it is a comfort to know He does. Just as Naomi and Ruth shared their widows journey, and supported each other, God saw fit to allow us to meet in the midst of our deep grief.
As my Husband, God has also promised me he’d be my children’s Father. This is hard to fathom. But as a child I was fatherless too. I look back and see his hand in my upbringing and rejoice that my children will have God as their father too. As a child there are many things we need. We need the embrace and protection and the knowledge we have healthy boundaries. We need to know we are loved. God has provided all of this for my girls. I hope one day they will look back and see the hand of their Heavenly Father.
God sent healthy men to hold them when they needed a hug, he had sent men to make boundaries evident to them when they needed it. He has sent father figures to speak truth into their hearts. I am in awe of this gift. I have seen His promises come alive each day.
As a widow I am learning that I am precious and valuable in his hands. He breaths life into me as his beloved Bride and child. And sends dear ones to remind me to shine. I am so thankful for the reminders that I am not alone. I pray you know Him, that you desire to seek his face and know Him. He loves you dearly, and promises to never leave or forsake His beloved ones.