Widows: A Problem or A Calling?

 

My friend Ferree, from WidowsChristianPlace.com, posted One Widows Story: Widowhood Is Not A Mere Problem To Solve an article written by Lynda, one of Ferree’s Facebook friends.

The article tells the story about Lynda reading The Undistracted Widow, Living For God After Losing Your Husband by Carol W. Cornish. The book shed new light on being a widow – it is not a problem, but a calling. 

Wow! I understand that Joe’s timeline ended and mine did not, however I would have never used the word “calling” to describe being a widow. Calling is what happens to men and women who become pastors.

I was intrigued by the concept, and used my Amazon gift card from last Christmas to order the book. (Yes, it is mid-April and I still have an Amazon gift card from last Christmas.)

Appendix 2

Once it arrived I looked at the table of contents and was intrigued by Appendix 2 – The Local Church and Its Widows. Ms. Cornish nails the topic and opened my eyes to a different way of seeing churches (more on that later).

I’ve since started reading from the beginning and a full review of The Undistracted Widow will be published once I finish it.

A Nun Named Maria

Are you a nun named Maria?

Me neither.

Then we are not a problems to be solved.

For some reason we were called to be widows, called for such a time as this. Now how are we going to glorify God in this season of our lives?

And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Esther 4:14

(ESV)

 

 

 

Thoughts and a Story About Life – Finale – Lemons Into Lemonade

Lemons Into Lemonade

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

God is excellent at making lemonade out of lemons. There is nothing that happens that He will not turn into good because He is God and that is what He does.

StrengthsFinder 2.0

Several years ago I took the StrengthsFinder 2.0 quiz. One of my strengths is Connectedness:

Description: “People who are especially talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.”

“Fortifying the bonds between yourself, the people you know, or even those you will never meet gives your life special meaning.”

“You consider various ways to initiate, nurture, and sustain the linkages between individuals and groups. You bring people together. You help them discover reasons to cooperate and support one another.”

Had vs For

Did the particular bad event such as cancer, divorce or job loss have to happen – no.

Did the event happen for a reason – yes.

What Reason?

What good could possibly come out of brain cancer?  I do not know.  It is God’s job to know what good will come from such an evil diagnosis.

When

When will He make lemonade out of an illness, divorce, or unemployment? I do not know.

It is God’s job to know when something good will happen.

Not Permitted To Know

There are some things we are not permitted to know. We try to be God all the time, but we are not. He never designed us to know and understand everything that He does.

This is where faith comes in. It painful and frustrating waiting for Him take a bad situation and make something good out of it. I get that, been there done that (and not just with Joe’s passing).

We want it now but all things happen in His time.

Waiting

Faith is what gets us through the waiting period. It is painful and frustrating waiting for Him to take a bad situation and make something good out of it.

Sometimes we do not see the good or His presence until we look back over the past. Then we see God’s handiwork woven throughout the tough days, weeks, months or years.

We might not see His handiwork until we get to heaven.

I have faith we will know the answers to “what” and “when” but only when God decides to reveal them.

In the meantime He will give us the strength to persevere one day at a time and HIs strength is often times found when we are still before Him.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

thinbutterfly

10-10-2011_3by5Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She encourages widows and educates society about grief and life as a widow by sharing her widowhood adventures. A graduate of Kent State University with a degree in communications, she has used her skills in the banking, collections, outdoor products and social media industries. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer. You can view her photographs at OgleOhio.com.

Thoughts and Stories About Life – Part 3 – The Dash

The Dash

I believe God is with us in between the time of our birth and death – the “dash” phase of life. Only He knows the length of the “dash.”

During our life He lets us make choices because that is how we learn and grow. He is with us when we make the bad choices and when we do He lets us suffer the consequences of our actions.

He also celebrates with us in the good times and He is with us as we go through our day. Even doing the mundane tasks of laundry, dishes, and scrubbing the toilet bowl. Where do you think the reminder to get more toilet cleaner comes from?

We Are Not Puppets

He will not force us to do his will day in and day out as that would mean we are His puppets. If we were his puppets, life would be perfect because God would be pulling the strings.

His will for all of us is to become a person who shines His light into this dark, dreary and depressing world. A person whom other people want to emulate because they see us living like Jesus and serving others. God’s will for us is not tied to specific job, house or person.

He will grow us into the person He wants us to be no matter what decisions we make regarding our lives.

The Only Words I’ve Heard

I’ve only heard His voice once and that was the morning the Holy Spirit whispered “widow’s website” into my ear just as I was starting to wake up.

That’s it folks. That is the only time I heard directly from God via the Holy Spirit.

And don’t tell me to be still, listen and pray – because I did and still do.

I did not have to follow through on those words, that decision was up to me. It still took me awhile to create this site but I eventually did it. If I did not create JoyReturns, God would have that decision to grow me.

However, both He and I are glad I did create this blog.

Other Decisions

These are just 3 of the many, many decisions I’ve made in life.

  • I made the decision to move to Texas because Penney’s wanted nothing to do with me and only gave me 4 hours work for one week. Then they had the nerve to get mad because I decided not to come back to Ohio. If God was a puppet master, He would have forced them to hire me.
  • I made the decision to move back to Ohio because the Fed’s were closing savings and loans every Friday, EDS had a huge layoff and Frito Lay had a huge layoff all of which flooded the Texas job market. If God was a puppet master, I would have easily found a new job.
  • I made the decision to date and marry Joe. When  I did, God knew when I would become a widow. If he was a puppet master He would have stopped the wedding, or He would have prevented Joe from moving to heaven.

But He never interferred.

Was He with me during those times – yes. He was there to comfort me, to guide me but never to manipulate me.

You Too

He will be there for you as well no matter what circumstances are happening in your life. Make no mistake, He will not manipulate you or the people in your life.

The only thing that can grow when you are a puppet is your nose, your character can not.

God is in the character building business.

So make those decisions in this “dash” phase of life with all the confidence in knowing that God is with you and will use those decisions to make you more like Him.

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

Matthew 1:23

thinbutterfly

10-10-2011_3by5

Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She encourages widows and educates society about grief and life as a widow by sharing her widowhood adventures. A graduate of Kent State University with a degree in communications, she has used her skills in the banking, collections, outdoor products and social media industries. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer. You can view her photographs at OgleOhio.com.

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