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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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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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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

 

Puerto Rico

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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CrossOnHeart-300x225Some behaviors in grief are unhealthy which can cause serious consequences. To replace our unhealthy behaviors with new behaviors we have to change our belief system.

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.

Faith has a starting point. Often it’s a wake-up call when we hit our bottom. For some it may be a D.U.I. or a trip to rehab. For others it may be a health issue over unhealthy eating habits. Or maybe what started out as a few dollars on a slot machine, turned into a larger gambling debt.

For me, I indulged in drinking, eating, and gambling until a serious consequence happened. It happened to my daughter because of my negligence. An accident that happened on the same day and time as my deceased husband’s death. On a Thursday evening at 8:00 pm. My wake-up call!

I reached a point where I had to surrender. God was waiting for me. I realized that I had to begin filling my void by trusting God. I had to begin to grow my faith. I gave up my destructive habits, surrendered all control over to God, and began to pray for peace and guidance.

What are some ways that you’re growing your faith?

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This was published for the Grief ToolBox

http://thegrieftoolbox.com/article/top-10-lessons-i-learned-grief

#10  I didn’t care what anyone thought about how I grieved:
Grief made me go crazy for a while. I was selfish and self-centered. Thankfully, my family and friends supported me through and took care of my children until I came to my senses.

#9  I prayed:

I soon realized that I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed God’s help. (Sounds like a 12 step program!)In my prayers, I not only talked to God, but I learned how to listen to Him and heed His advice.

#8 I had to rethink my priorities:

Grief taught me what was most important in my life. God became my number one priority. I then treasured my family and relationships that I still had here. My two daughters were my main concern.

#7 Time doesn’t heal all wounds:

It’s not about time. There are people who are still living in grief 17 yrs. later. Unless you do the grief work, with God’s help, you’ll continue to grieve. God is our healer who helps to heal our wounds.

#6  My loved one was only part of my life, not my whole life:

Traveling to visit family and friends brought me my first moments of joy. Many I knew before I even knew my loved one. I realized there was a lot more to my life than just my married life.

#5  Joy and pain coexist:

As I found myself feeling more joyful, a special day would bring back the pain. A birthday, a holiday, an anniversary day, my daughters’ dance recitals, my daughters’ graduations. It’s OK. The pain makes me remember the beautiful memories.

#4  God uses suffering for good to help us grow:

God has used me as a witness to bring others to Christ through my grief.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

#3  Life is temporary here:

Some day, I will lose another loved one. I will grieve again. But I have faith that my eternal home will be in Heaven. It will be a permanent place to reunite with my loved ones that have gone before.

#2  God is in control:

I’ve surrendered my life over. God’s in control of everything anyway. There’s no “What ifs…?” My life and everyone else’s life is in His hands. I trust He knows best. He’ll always have the last word!

And the #1 lesson I’ve learned from grief is:

# 1  It’s time to serve others and pass on the comfort that I received:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

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In the book, I Believe In Healing, there are stories not only from the Bible, but from people that are experiencing miracles today. These are stories that can’t be explained by natural means and it reminds us that God is the same yesterday, today and forever!

I was able to contribute to this book, one of my own true stories of healing, “A Serious Back Injury”. My testimony along with others can continue to strengthen our faith and trust God during times of sickness and injuries. The book is being sold on amazon as a hard copy or kindle version. A great gift for anyone needing more proof that miracles still happen! Click here to order.

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