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Posts Tagged ‘faith’

New GriefShare groups usually start up in August or September: Click on the picture below and if you have facebook, it will bring you to my facebook page to hear the video. If you don’t have facebook, go to griefshare’s website: www.griefshare.org to get all the information about the organization and find a location near you!
Now is the perfect time to connect with a GriefShare group meeting near you. Many groups are gearing up to start new 13-week cycles. If you are grieving the loss of a friend or loved one, find the nearest group at www.griefshare.orgGriefShare is a weekly seminar/support group. The seminar is video-based, and features leading experts on dealing with your grief. This video will give you a small sample of the kind of help you will find by attending a GriefShare group. On this short clip, you will hear from Susan Lutz, one of 46 grief grief experts featured in the GriefShare program.

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The Godly Widow Confiding in the Widow's GodIn my widowhood, over the years, I can now look back and see how much I listened to God’s voice by the way my life turned out. My transformation began after my spouse’s death by surrendering my trust over to God. Proverbs 3: 5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not  lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him. And He will make your paths straight”.

Living in this world can be very confusing when a loved one has passed. There’s a lot we don’t understand. We don’t know what the after life will really be like. We only know that we have to trust God that He knows best and has our best interests at heart. I craved to be closer to God knowing only He could get me through grief.

The first thing I did to hear from God was to pray. I prayed for direction in my life. I prayed for my children without a father. I prayed for God to watch over and protect my children because I couldn’t always be with them. Rarely did a day go by without having a prayer to start my day. Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”.

The second thing I did to hear God’s voice was to be obedient. This began at a time when I was desperate and God was all I had. It seemed the more obedient I was to God’s Word, the more the channels were open to hear from God. I rested every Sabbath (Sunday) and kept it holy. Though I dated, I reserved ever having sex again unless I got remarried. You got the picture. It was really a simple equation for me: Prayer + Obedience = Hearing God’s Voice.

The third thing I did to hear God’s voice was to listen and watch for signs. Sometimes it was a feeling of peace that washed over me when I was doing what I felt He wanted me to do….

Two years into widowhood as I prayed for direction in my life, I considered a move to Puerto Rico to live with my in-laws for a year. I felt my two daughters, 8 and 9 years old at the time, would benefit from having the love of their father’s family ingrained in their hearts forever. I just happened to cross paths with an individual that had moved to Puerto Rico for a year and he stressed how beneficial it worked out for him. I considered it a sign and began working towards that goal for the following summer. It wasn’t easy and it was a huge sacrifice for me. I had to rent out our home in Florida then pack our belongings and car in storage for a year. But everything fell into place PERFECTLY. That’s when I felt God’s peace and knew I had heard His voice!

Sometimes there were signs after I prayed that seemed so obvious….

Five years into widowhood, I had journaled 450 pages of my grief journey. That summer, at a friend’s home, I was typing them up on my vacation. Each day I’d spend a few hours every evening typing up a chapter. On the third day, I was wondering if this was worth it. I prayed to God that day for a sign to continue this laborious project on my vacation. As I was typing up my third chapter that evening (being obedient), my friend came rushing into the family room. “Cindy, you have to watch this program that is on!”. It was titled “Mere Coincidences” about spiritual occurrences that happened after loved ones passed and signs that they were still around. My mouth dropped, I said, “Carol! Look at the title of the chapter I’m typing up tonight!” I flipped it over to the title page and it revealed, “Mere Coincidences- or signs from above?”.

And so I completed my book, “A Widow’s Pursuit, Finding Out There’s More to Life Than Grief”.

And not only did I hear God’s voice through the years, God also heard my prayers. My daughters had God as their father growing up and are now 2 beautiful young ladies pursuing their own goals and dreams in which I am so proud of!

 

 

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MP900049868[1]I wrote this article a couple years ago that was published on my birthday this year, May 10, 2014, on an on-line loss website:

Open to Hope Foundation

So it was just over a year that I became a widow. I was doing ok. I had my good days and my not so good days. But over all, life was tolerable. I was getting used to being a single mom and accepting the fact that this was my new and permanent life.

“Are you dating anyone?” a family member innocently asked me. I CAN’T BELIEVE HE ASKED ME THAT!

“No, and I don’t plan to,” I said. “Nobody will ever take Nelson’s place, and I’ll never marry again.” He looked at me doubtfully.

I didn’t understand why people would ask me that question. Couldn’t they understand if you love someone with all your heart you won’t desire anyone else. I already felt the Lord would always take care of my family. I clung to the Scripture verse that stated it was better to stay unmarried:

1 Corinthians 7: 8-9 “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say; It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am, But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

If I could continue to have self-control, this is what the Lord would prefer. I had to understand that everyone had their own opinion. It didn’t make sense to argue. I knew in my heart that I would remain single to probably the day I died.

Well, I did remain single for many years — until seven years into my widowhood, when I met someone that I couldn’t live without. As much as I had enjoyed my single life and independence, there still wasn’t anything that beats having someone to love and to be loved in return.

I’ve been remarried now for three wonderful years. One lesson I’ve learned is to treasure every relationship every day because we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Nothing is permanent, it’s just temporarily beautiful!

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Our New Life in Georgia

Our New Life in Georgia

In a family shouldn’t your spouse be first and children second? But what happens when your spouse dies? Should the children become first priority?

The way I prioritize, is that God comes first. In my marriage, my spouse came second and our children came third. When my spouse died, my children stepped into second place until they became adults. It was an enormous sacrifice. They were 6 and 7 years old when their father passed. I was only 34 years old.

Keeping God first meant He was the only Father to my children. Yes, they had a huge void in their hearts from a human father, but they had some very supportive uncles and grandfathers who filled in. They were happy children for the most part. It was very challenging however to be the only parent.

Now human nature calls, and some years down the road, I’m lonely. I begin to date and find someone that makes me happy. My girls express to me that they are not fond of this new man in their mother’s life. I first feel that they have no business in my business. Luckily, they were still in second place and not first place. It was really what God’s plan was for my new life.

Keeping God in first place, I wanted to keep my lines of communication open with Him. Through my years of dating throughout my widowhood, I had made a promise with God that I wouldn’t sleep with any man unless I was remarried. My choices of men were not your men that had “God first” in their hearts, if you know what I mean. So most of the time, any dating relationships usually ended quite quickly.

All this to tell you that I remained a single parent until my daughters were adults. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The sacrifices were enormous. It was not easy but so well worth it! Both of my daughters have blossomed into caring, responsible adults that are giving purpose into this world. Isn’t this the whole point of sacrificing for our children?

And me? Once my children were independent adults, I then married a guy worth waiting for!

How many of you can relate????

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This past year, September 19, 2013, I had the opportunity to speak to a H.U.G.S. (Healing Under God’s Sovereignty) Grief support group in Deltona, FL. My dear friend, Carol Keefer, who facilitates this ministry for grieving parents, arranged a weekly meeting where I shared a message about FILLING THE VOID.

Losing a child is quite different than losing a spouse, however, any void that results from a loss of a loved one, has to be filled with something. The following youtube video is the message I shared with these grieving parents and I’d also like to share it with anyone that has a void to fill during his or her grief.

A Widow’s Pursuit: Filling the Void

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=SHE7ilbwuzs

A special “Thank You” to my friend, Lisa Dolce, for helping me put this together.

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My Article Publications in Print from 2012 through 2013 were:

1) “A Passionate Choice”

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 1 of 13 Winners in a Short Story Contest in the Southern Writers, Short Stories from the South Summer 2012

2) “Hand of an Angel”

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Article Published in Angel Digest, Volume III  July 2012 (Amazon.com)

3) “A Serious Back Injury”

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Article Published in I Believe in HEALING: Real Stories from the Bible and Today April 2013 (Amazon.com)

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A_Widow's_Pursuit_Cover_for_KindlePurchase, “A Widow’s Pursuit”, here.

When Cindy suddenly became a 34 year old widow, with two young children, she was thrown into shock. Due to her Christian upbringing, she immediately found peace by clinging to her faith.  Once reality surfaced, she was overwhelmed with responsibilities and unfamiliar feelings. She had to figure out a way not to feel the pain. She overindulged in unhealthy and risky behaviors. Due to her negligence, a terrible accident happened to her daughter.  Embarrassed of how out of control she had been, she realized she needed God’s help. By no longer dodging her grief, she’d cry every night and trusted God to take away her pain and heal her broken heart.  She found herself moving forward and finding comforting moments. Then there were days she’d collapse in despair. Old memories could trigger panic attacks. Childhood memories revealed that her deceased husband was only part of her past. She then reached a point where she accepted her loss. Being a single mom brought about a lot of confusion with new relationships. She struggled with males over being just friends, going on dates, as well as getting in vulnerable situations.  Going through grief wasn’t easy, but Cindy realized that as long as she pursued God’s will for her life, she would reap more peace and comfort.  Once through her grief, she understood the meaning of her journey. She became more compassionate to others that had experienced losses. She was able to make new goals as she went back to school and obtained a LMSW degree in social work.  A WIDOW’S PURSUIT: Finding Out There’s More to Life Than Grief, is not only written from Cindy’s grief years, but beyond. Grief had become only a small part of her life. This book is a complete journey through Cindy’s grief and finding an amazing life after her loss.

REVIEWS:

 

By   Lori T   on September 21, 2013

  Not only is Cindy Adam’s one of my best friends, but she is an inspirational mentor in my life. Cindy’s journey through grief is a true testament of the faith and love that she has in her heavenly Father. Cindy has helped me in my life’s journey more times than she’ll ever know!  I highly recommend that you read Cindy Adam’s book:  A Widow’s Pursuit: Finding Out There’s More To Life Than Grief.

By  Carol K   on September 21, 2013

  This book is special to me because of my personal friendship with the author, but I truly believe this would be an encouraging and uplifting read for anyone who is/has gone through the painful, unimaginable loss of someone they love ~ whether through death or divorce. One thing that has stayed with me after reading this book is that while we will ALWAYS love the person we lost, we can also learn to remember that they were not the only part of who we were/are. We have a past and a future and God will be with us every baby step of the way. Enjoy this easy-to-read, don’t-want-to-put-it-down, wonderful book.”

By  Lynn   on August 13, 2013

  I really felt as though I were going along with Cindy and her family during the experience.  She expressed all the emotion as the reality set in, and didn’t spare any details regarding her grief process- which is one of the reasons I think this book will be such a help to people going through losses.  The honesty comes through, as does her walk towards recovering and dealing with what her life had been handed. It is an excellent example of encouragement and healing, and inspiration to those who need to find their own peace.
  Although the story is about Cindy’s personal journey as a young widow with two young children, her story is an inspiration for anyone who has gone through a loss.  Her faith in God shines throughout the book, and it is a must read for anyone dealing with grief. The message is clear – that there is hope and “more to life than grief”
  Not only do I want to share with you that Cindy is a remarkable writer, but she has taught me about life and how you never know what tomorrow will bring you. She is a mentor and friend to me and I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing mother! I thank God every night for the life I have. I give it all to him and thank him for blessing me with such a kind, compassionate mother.

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This is my Gallery of Pictures of our Family:

Fam Photo

Casual Day Hanging Out- Some still in Pajamas! : Nelson, Cindy, Jessica & Nicole

 

Fam Photo 2

Dressed Up to go Somewhere- Visiting Family in Puerto Rico

 

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Dad and his Girls at home, with Shiba our Doberman

 

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Dad and Girls with Shades On

 

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Loving Our Daddy- All set to go!

 

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Beach Day with Daddy

 

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Celebrating Mom’s Birthday in Puerto Rico (the year we lived there)

 

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Mom and Daughters on Mission Trip in Costa Rica

 

Mission Trip

Jessica and Nicole Making Friends with Children in Costa Rica on their Mission Trip

 

Cruise

Carribean Cruise: Cindy, Jessica, Nicole & our Friend April

 

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Jessica is going to be a Mommy

 

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Easter with Cindy, Joseph, Jessica & Nicole

 

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Jessica, Brandon and my Grandson, Caleb, in Puerto Rico

 

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Our Present Family in 2013 on a Vacation to Puerto Rico

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025Hi friends! I was born Cynthia Ann Abramovitch and go by “Cindy”. I grew up in New Jersey and at 21 yrs old, I had to spread my wings and moved to California. There I pursued a hairdressing career and got married, becoming Cynthia Acevedo. Soon we were a family of four and decided to move back east, closer to our families. We settled in Florida and 3 years later, at 34 years of age, I became a widow. My husband, Nelson, went into the hospital with pneumonia, and 3 weeks later he died. We had been married for 11 years, and our two daughters, Jessica and Nicole were 6 and 7 years old at the time. I guess one never knows what tomorrow will bring, when dreams of happily ever after are shattered!

I began to work through grief. I tried doing it my way…but that didn’t go so well. There were many foolish things I did while I wasn’t in my right mind. So I pursued my faith and surrendered to God’s new plan for my life. As he led me through grief, my heart healed, and I was able to let go of the past. I then awakened to a new life of being a single mom with new dreams and goals.

I did some more traveling and moved a few more times before settling in Georgia. Then, after 14 years of single life, I fell in love again, and married Joseph in 2009. I’m now Cynthia Adams. So I went from “Abramovitch” to “Acevedo” to “Adams” …AB…AC…AD. I don’t know why, but I find that fascinating. LOL!  And… I’ve always been able to keep my initials of CAA!

Living in Georgia, I pursued and completed a master’s degree in social work and obtained my LMSW in 2010. I presently work as a medical social worker for a home health agency. Through my writing and social work career, I continue to reach out to others that are grieving and looking for hope.

In 2012 I published my book, “A Widow’s Pursuit: Finding Out There’s More to Life Than Grief“.  I spoke this past September (2013) at a grief support group “H.U.G.S” (Healing Under God’s Sovereignty) about Filling the Void in Grief. I’ll continue to spread the Word, that it is only with God’s Grace, that he is able to fill our void with his PEACE.

10 Fun and/or Interesting Facts About Cindy:

1) I love motorcycle riding (especially in the fall in the Georgia mountains!)

Motorcycle ride

2) I’ve lived in New Jersey, California, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Georgia

3) I have to visit a Beach with Palm Trees at least once a year for tranquility

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Puerto Rico 2013

4) I’ll keep my daughters now that they’re grown 🙂 (I was willing at one time to give them away!)

Our New Life in Georgia

5)  You can’t go wrong with a fine dinner, glass of wine, and good company

6) I believe taking vacations is one of life’s greatest pleasures (and also when I get to visit family & friends)

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7) I’ve been sky diving (A Christmas present from my daughter!)

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8) I’m a Nana to my 4 year old grandson

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9) I met my present husband, Joseph, the night he was playing guitar at a Christmas party

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10) Jesus is my Savior and he helps make my life Peaceful and FUN!

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And by Grace you’ll receive God’s PEACE!

god-brings-peace[1]For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9 ESV)
There wasn’t anything I wanted more in my grief than feeling God’s PEACE. If I didn’t feel His peace, that meant I would feel the pain of loss.
The empty void I initially felt in my heart from losing my husband was very painful. I began to fill the void with the “flesh” by trying to get my needs met apart from God. When that didn’t work, I came to the point of surrendering to God. I had to learn to trust Him to take away the pain. As my prayer life increased, so did my faith in God. It’s rather a simple theory…it’s never going to work our way…so we might as well surrender to God’s plan.
Unfortunately, we have a hard time letting go of the flesh and abiding in the Holy Spirit. But by growing our faith in God, we begin to learn of His grace. No matter what we’ve done in our past it doesn’t matter. He’ll still fill our void with His grace and provide us with peace and forgiveness.
ONLY THROUGH FAITH, BY EMBRACING GRACE, WILL BRING PEACE!

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