10 Years A Widow: #1 Lesson I Learned

While I’ve learned a lot of lessons and had a multitude of experiences over the past 10 years, one lesson stands out as the most important. The one that I thought I would rank as number one was God being the one in charge, but it comes in at number two.

My number one lesson learned is:


Unemployment is worse than grief.


While I knew I would get through grief, I did not know that I would get through rebuilding a career.

At first, I had all the hope in the world, and then it started to fade like a rainbow after a summer storm.


I keep doing what I need to do to help restore my soul and hope that God will do His part.



I had high hopes when I started blogging that besides helping my readers, whether they were my fellow widows, people grieving other losses or non-grieving people, JoyReturns would have an impact on my career.

It has not.

What I found is taking the initiative to learn new technology means nothing to most career counselors and prospective employers. I say most because JoyReturns would not exist without the help of J.T. O’Donnell of WorkItDaily.com. She was my mentor, guide, and encourager through the startup process.

There is one counselor, an older gentleman, who does not give a hoot about me having a blog. It is no big deal. He has one too. I really wanted to reply “Well, for a man of  your advanced age, I think it is wonderful you learned new technology and use it to help people.” 

But I kept my mouth shut.

I was not sure how God would use JoyReturns to impact my career but was so full of joy at the prospect of HIm using it.

Your Greatest Lesson 

The greatest lesson you will learn if / when you become a widow will most likely be different from mine as we are different individuals living completely different lives. I pray your greatest lesson will be different because I would not wish unemployment/underemployment on my worst enemy.

Even if you become unemployed after being widowed, your job search may be shorter and more successful than mine – just depending on your skill set.

My Prayer of Hope

Just like grief, hope never leaves. I still cling to a thread of hope for a better life and keep coming back to these verses, from Numbers 6:24-26, from time to time.

May they speak to you as they speak to me. The video is the words set to music. If you attended church growing up you will probably recognize the song.

The Lord bless you and keep you;
 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.



Coming Monday, April 23rd, 10 Years A Widow: It’s A Wrap!


red-rose_signatureBio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while managing call center teams, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of chocolate, red roses and golden retrievers and is an amateur photographer.