Chapter 3

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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11

Widow for a Season: Finding Your Identity in Christ

Chapter Three: Lost to be Found


   Having a God-centered perspective requires us to look down from the mind of God instead of up from human experience.  God has given us the tools to do this through His Word.  In this chapter we will examine Isaiah 54:5 as well as many directives from the Old and New Testament concerning Godís heart for the widow.  A widow must begin to define herself as God defines her.  We will consider the relationship that God has personally established with her as Husband to the widow, and Father to her fatherless children.  We will look at related Biblical Jewish traditions, the responsibilities of extended family, directives given to the early church, and responsibility of the church today.  We will learn what it means to believe God beyond believing in Him.



Chapter Three - Lost to Be Found 


     You are where you are by Godís permission and even though He had the ability to prevent this from happening to you, He didnít.                           

     When my husband died, I remember thinking, ďI am a strong woman of God. I will eventually get over this. Someday this will be my past and not my present.Ē But that just isnít so. Like everything else we encounter in life, our experiences will always remain with us to some degree because they are a marker of change and new identity that is forged by the Potter as He works at the clay.

     God is faithful to His purposes and finishes all that He begins. Jeremiah 29:11-14 in the King James Version has become the guiding Scripture for my life. ďFor I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord.Ē

Trusting Godís Promises


     In the initial stages of my widowhood I began to realize that I was desperately ignorant of the promises of God. How would I know what to trust God with if I didnít know His promises?  Itís not that I didnít read my Bible, but I didnít know the importance of identifying and committing the promises to heart and mind.  Without knowing what God had promised, I was taking responsibility for what He had identified as His.  Itís clear that God was busy at work. His intention to provide had been set in motion years before. Now that I know them, the precious promises of God bring hope to my day.

     In my breastfeeding illustration I said that the truth had empowered me. That is true, but initially it knocked me off my feet. The Lord began almost immediately to use certain people in my life. One of my good friends lost her husband about nine months after I lost mine, and our lives tragically collided. Then the Lord brought me into a circle of several other widows who were a bit further along in their recovery. I was driven to know their journey and how long it would take for me to be whole again. I was looking for a magical and quick formula to recovery.

     My friend and I sat down with one woman who had been widowed for ten years. I will never forget hearing her say that she finally began living after the eighth year. Another widow told us that in the four years she had been a widow the fourth was the worst. These were crushing blows to my belief that I could easily get back on track. I just wanted everything to be normal again! I have always been an overcomer. I take whatís wrong and make it right. Iím the one who makes lemonade out of the lemons in life. For the first time, though, I was beginning to think that maybe I couldnít pull it off.  That is exactly what God wanted.  He wanted me to realize that I could never do it by myself. The faith that had always worked for me was crumbling for the sake of a greater, more perfect one.