Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Path

I am a member of the widow club.  I joined the club almost 17 months ago.  Many of you are members too.  Its not a prestigious group by any means.  Its not a status symbol, like a country club.  And my prayer for you is that if you aren't a member, that you never will be.  Being a widow is hard.  We face things unimaginable.  We carry with us baggage that most don't ever deal with.  The paths which brought us here are wide and varied.  And the paths we take after that unforgettable moment when time stopped, are just as different.

I have met many widows since joining.  A variety of women with a variety of stories.  Widows who lost their husbands unexpectedly, in their 40s, from a heart condition they didn't know he had.  Widows who lost their husband after 25 years of marriage from a sickness.  I've met widows who have been single now for many years, and widows who met and fell in love again in just a few years.  There is not a cookie cutter path which got us here, and there is not a cookie cutter path to lead us out.

I appreciate the sisterhood of women who stand by me, and whom God has brought along my path.  But as I talk with them I continually remind myself that my path is unique.  That's not to say its better, or worse, its just different because its mine.  Before time God knew this would happen to me.  Before time He put a plan in place.  Before time He wrote my happy ending.  And He wrote yours too.

While running a race this past weekend I met a widow, in her 50s, who had been widowed for 9 years.  What she said impacted me greatly.  "I have dark days.  I still hit bottom."  Bottom...Nine years later? I was in awe.  I know a part of me will always love Jonathan.  He will always be a part of my life, as he was a part of my past.  He made me who I am today, through the good and bad times, he helped shape me.  But I don't have dark days anymore.  I don't hit bottom anymore.  Why? Why don't I struggle 17 months later the way this woman continues to struggle? Is it because of our relationship and its problems? Is it because of the freedom I found from his addictions?  Why don't I struggle?  The answer is obvious.  Its simple. Its one word, one name, above every name... Jesus!

I don't hit bottom because of Jesus.  His name is above grief.  His name is above despair.  Jesus is on my widowhood path, and He holds my hand with each step I take.  If you are walking your widow's path alone, stop.  Take Jesus' hand.  Let Him walk it with you. Let Him heal your heart.  Let Him turn your mourning into dancing.  You may have experienced a tragedy, but it need not define you.  God has a plan for you!  He's not done with you.  There is a hope, there is a new life, there is a glorious future, and its in Jesus!

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