Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2 Peter 1:4.
Sometimes thriving in life as a widow means listening to how God wants you to participate in His divine nature. It’s different for each of us because a widow’s walk is never carved in stone. The Lord asks some of us to weather it quietly—grieving and accepting the loss as your heart allows you to—one step at a time. The Lord sometimes asks us to move forward boldly, letting go of fear so that through our boldness, we protect the younger ones He has put in our care from the corruption in the world.
When the Lord leads you to step forward boldly, you might have fear over what the world thinks of you as you move forward and lead your own life into the future without leaning on an earthly husband. I think of the widow, Ruth, and her obedience to the Lord and how it led to bold steps on her part, choosing to remain with her mother-in-law, choosing to gather grain behind the harvesters in Boaz’s fields, and presenting herself to Boaz in a humble but brazen gesture to petition him to claim her as his wife.
Ruth was brave, and yet so loved by the Lord for her obedience that He blessed her by allowing the bloodline of His only Son to run through her.
Imagine how fear could grip a woman in her situation faced with deciding whom to align herself with, how to provide for herself, and whether to pursue a new marriage. As a widow, you might feel it too. Widowhood can be a life full of fear if you allow yourself to get overwhelmed.
I’m reminded today to stop fear in its tracks for it is not from the Lord. I consider what my pastor told me after he took three of my sons on a Gettysburg Father-son retreat. He reassured me that decisions I’ve made since Tom has died have been good ones, evidenced by a Christ awareness my kids displayed on that trip with him. He told me my children seem to have no trouble going against the grain of the world. In other words, under my leadership which came straight from the guidance of the Lord, for the time being, they have escaped “the corruption in the world caused by evil desires”.
The Lord sometimes speaks through the words of blessings from others, and my pastor’s words were well-timed at a moment when I felt overwhelmed. I marvel at their progress, because many times my decisions go against the grain of this world, to the point of coming under scrutiny of others who aren’t sure what to think when a widow steps out in boldness. Some don’t understand that my choices are not my own. I’ve allowed the Lord to lead.
Sometimes people of the world want to tell you how as a widow you’ve been beaten. You’ve suffered loss. You’re supposed to recoil, curl up in a ball and feel sorry for yourself.
There is that place where you need to be alone and recover. And sometimes that can take a while, but there was a point after Tom died where the Lord told me, grieve but don’t recoil. Break free. Burst forth in radiance because my four boys will watch and follow. They will be marked forever in their souls by the choices I make as a widow.
They will either see themselves as victims or see themselves as stepping forward by following and staying safely inside the Eye of the storm—accepting that what Satan doles out with the intention of evil, God takes and turns around for His Glory.
If you feel a prompting in your heart to follow a purpose the Lord has laid out for you, I encourage you to pray about it. Don’t let fear stop you. Let the peace that only comes from the Holy Spirit prevail over you. He will lead you. It’s His great and precious promise.