Life Advice from Another Widow

First off, can you even BELIEVE I’m not the only widow out there? Doesn’t that make you sick? All the suffering? Death? Loss? Grief?

Can you believe that there even MORE women out there, more women than just me who have suffered the devastating loss of a spouse? That there are “also’s” out there, women out there who have also lost the second halves of their hearts? AGH.

(I remember thinking something similar that about BJ’s cancer. There are OTHER PEOPLE with cancer? Is it not bad enough that BJ had it? But other people have it too? Other people suffer and die from this disease? It’s not fair. It’s heart breaking. It’s sad.)

So yes, there are other widows. Others who suffer in my same way. And though I wish this could be just my story, that I could spare others from this deep grief, that’s not how this world works, this world thick with sickness and sin.

So all’s this to say I have a dear friend, a sister, who has faced a loss like mine- the loss of her husband (and best friend and lover and keeper of her hopes and dreams) and this dear Sister Friend has spoken such worth and light into my life. I like to think I’ve spoken a fraction of it back to her, though I’m not too sure. But she is so wise, so kind. She has been such a gift to me. And well, I’d like to share with you all two powerful words she’s given to me.

Are you guys ready? She’s a WISE woman. Here we go:

1. You don’t have to believe it for it to be true.

2. It’s okay to call a hard thing a hard thing.

Let’s unpack.

1. You don’t have to believe it for it to be true.

This is just the best. This word encouraged me so much. In the throes of grief your mind can wonder to both ends of the spectrum– extreme hope and extreme fear. But I needed to be reminded that God stays the same no matter where I am on that spectrum.

He is good, kind, faithful, loving NO MATTER WHAT.
He’s protecting me, guiding me, comforting me NO MATTER WHAT.

And guess what? God doesn’t need me to believe these things. He just IS it. He is it always and always and never NOT it. What comfort, what hope! God is unchanging, stable, steady, strong.

As Hebrews 13, verse 8 says:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

2. It’s okay to call a hard thing a hard thing.

This is big. My friend reminded me I don’t need to sugar coat my suffering. I don’t need to “put on a brave face” or pretend things are okay when they aren’t. My friend reminded me of that and then I was reminded of a passage of scripture where Jesus HIMSELF calls a hard thing a Hard Thing.

This is from Matthew 16, in The Message:

Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. Peter took him in hand, protesting, “Impossible, Master! That can never be!”

But Jesus didn’t swerve. “Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works.”

This is straight from the Gospels. Jesus himself didn’t shy away from calling hard things Hard Things. “I’m going to be killed, guys,” he says. Notice he doesn’t put on rose-colored glasses or soften the blow. He is STRAIGHT UP. He calls a hard thing a Hard Thing.

Now THAT’s the kind of guy I can get behind. A God who says “Life is going to be hard. I’m going to face it head on.” No niceties. No falsehood. Authentic. Free. Honest.

And then when Pete is like “NO!!!!!!” Jesus “didn’t swerve.” He didn’t give into Peter’s optimism. And he wasn’t afraid to call a hard thing a Hard Thing.

Thank you, Lord.


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