My name is Suzanne and this is my story...
Twenty years. It seems like a long time doesn't it? And yet, it also seems like a short time. On the 29th of January I remembered the twentieth anniversary of my husband's death. Surprisingly, it was a day full of remembering him with joy and love, and then it turned into a celebration of God's very great goodness and faithfulness to me in all that time. We would have been married fifty years in April. I have never remarried or even thought about it. I guess you could say that the Lord became my husband. He's done a very good job!
When I needed a hug, He made sure I got one. Either from someone He sent to me, or by hugging my heart with His comfort and promises. I had always hated the word "widow". To me, it meant someone lonely and poor and cast aside. In all actuality, it can mean exactly that. We definitely live in a couple's world. Advertisements are geared to that. Movies are usually about the great love affair between two people. I had to learn to grow past that and past broken dreams and pain to discover who I really am underneath it all.
I was a wife and a mother and suddenly my biggest job was no longer there.
Our "together" dreams for the future seemed buried, and the "team" that I was on, had dwindled to one. I knew that I had to hear God differently, and see Him differently. He had some big shoes to fill.
Shortly after my husband died, I had decided to go to church. It was a cold, rainy, February morning. It was my first time back and my daughter and I had recently begun attending a new church, so I knew no one there. The church was always crowded and the parking lot was a mess. The attendants usually directed you to the "upper" lot where you had to stand until a shuttle came to pick you up. I observed the parking lot attendant pointing everyone to the shuttle lot. Discouraged and sad, I said, "Lord, You promised to be my husband. My husband would have dropped me off at the front door." As my eyes lifted, I realized that the parking attendant was right in front of me, with a smile on his face, and kindness in his eyes, and he directed me to the lot where the church entrance was. I was stunned. I was even more stunned when I realized that there was one parking place left-right next to the door. Needless to say, I cried throughout the whole service at the tender heart of God, and His commitment to be my Husband, and realizing that He knew what that meant. (Isaiah 54:5)
I can promise you that God is a wonderful provider, a wonderful counselor, a patient and loving husband. As I learned to rely on that truth, my life definitely changed for the better. One morning as I was praying, he took me farther into Isaiah 54. It said, "For the mountains depart and the hills may be removed, But My Kindness will not depart from You, Nor shall my covenant of peace be broken. I will have mercy on you."
It's easy to sing God's praises when the mountains stand strong and steady. It's a sacrifice at times when they're moving; when you can't find sturdy ground to stand on. Learning to know Him as He really wants to be for you, to understand that where you are is where He has a miracle waiting for you. That is the gift that you receive when you choose to trust Him anyway, even though...
Twenty years. Twenty years of kindness without exception. Twenty years of growing in knowing how magnificent my heavenly Husband really is.
Some of us pray and think like widows. We pray from a point of lack, of need, or problem after problem. We seem to forget that we have a heavenly Husband. Isn't it time to stop that? Isn't it time to pray like the Bride of Christ, whose husband is the God of the whole earth, the Lord of Hosts?
Well, isn't it?
Marriage is a wonderful covenant. God thought it up so He knows exactly how to be a husband to the widow, or a father to the fatherless. Trust Him. He's magnificent.
Suzanne, Marietta GA, 2017
Check out Suzanne's blog, http://httpsuzannerobertsblogblogspotcob.blogspot.com and book, "It's Time to Power Up!"
My name is Jan and this is my story...
My husband, Dan and I were married March 8, 2008. Dan was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer right after we were married. We were told by doctors that the cancer was very slow moving and that he would live a full life. But that wasn’t the case. The cancer morphed into full blown leukemia. I watched this strong, vivacious man wither into a small skeleton of a person. As I watched him die, I began dying with him. He passed away on October 15, 2013.
After his death, I completely detached from life. I was a dead woman walking – completely numb. Feeling nothing. I was void of all emotions – no anger, sadness, frustration, loneliness, joy, or hope. No tears, no laughter. I was just going through the motions. I remember waking up each day and saying to myself, “if I can do at least one thing today… eat? Take a shower?... that would be a good thing. I felt completely alone.
I was sitting in Shabbat services one Saturday and the LORD spoke to me and said, “your life is not over.” That same day a woman came up behind me, tapped me on the shoulder, and said, “your life is not over. Dan died, but you did not. It’s not over.” It was God confirming that He had a plan, a purpose, and a calling on my life – which turned out to be Widows Cause.
It was Shari, the founder of this ministry that had tapped me on the shoulder. October 2014. I moved in with Shari and another widow and the first Beth Hannah home was born. Through the outpouring of love, prayer and ministry from these women, others and of course Holy Spirit, I began to come alive again.
The numbness started melting away. It began as just a tingling but eventually I could feel everything – good, and not so good. I could cry and laugh again. I was like Lazarus, only I had been dead much longer than 4 days!
Now, Widows Cause is my passion. I FEEL the pain and suffering of widows globally, in America, and right here in Colorado. My purpose and calling is to serve, pray for, and minister to the broken-hearted widow however the LORD leads. To help bring these women back to life!
Just like I have!!
Jan, Denver, CO, 2016
My name is Mae and this is my story…
I am a 52 year old widow who lost my husband to cancer in May of 2013. It has been one of the most devastating things I’ve ever endured in my whole life! When the Lord says “the two shall become one” He means it! My husband did everything for me including driving me around wherever I had to go, as I did not know how to drive. In the midst of it all I can say the LORD has truly been good to me. God has been so kind to me. He has given me the gift of worship! In the midst of my husband’s battle, worship was the thing that God used to sustain me, to put my feet one in front of the other to make it through each hour of every day! There were so many songs He used to minister to us and strengthen us. I can tell you if it had not been for the Lord I would not have made it this far!
After my husband passed I was completely shattered and I did not think I would make it! God has this really funny awesome way of bringing just what you need when you need it! So many deserted me and I was alone and afraid. I had no support, not even from the church.
God however is very clear about His heart toward the widows. I had a wonderful lady who I go to church with that I didn’t know very well at all come into my life at that time.
In 2011 God gave her a vision for a ministry for widows. She prayed through it and even shelved it for a while. In 2013 God brought it back to her even stronger. God told her He was calling her out for such a time as this! She asked of the LORD, “what do you want me to do? I don’t have the resources. Something like this will take so much!” He clearly told her, “don’t worry about what you can’t do, focus on what you can do.” The first thing God had her do was teach me how to drive. It was the beginning of Widows Cause International.
Since partnering with WCI, the LORD has continued to show me His faithfulness in both spiritual and practical ways. As I told you in the beginning, I had to learn to drive and there was a lot of fear surrounding that. God gave me the strength to do just that!
On January 2, 2016, just four days shy of my second year driving anniversary, I was in a car accident hit from behind. God made the damage minimal to me, but my car was totaled. Since I had an older car, you can imagine what my insurance covered for it. Through WCI God provided for me. This was an amazing God story the way it all unfolded and you could truly see God’s finger print all along the way.
He has sustained for me and provided for me all along the way. Truly His grace has been sufficient for me!
- Mae, Denver, CO 2016
VP, Widows Cause International