On Endurance When Widowed
Starting today and running through October 30th, She’s in the City is hosting a series called More Precious Than Gold – because all of us are just that! The series will encourage women of all ages on endurance in various seasons of depletion and disappointment and was inspired from the following passage in 1 Peter:
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
-1 Peter 1:6-7
Each week’s episode will focus on a different season of trial or weariness we face as women. Which begs the question: what if this week’s season doesn’t apply to me? My encouragement is LISTEN ANYWAY! If you haven’t yet experienced something, it’s likely a loved one or dear SHE around you has. We hope in those cases, our talks in the coming weeks can foster compassion in you and serve as a comfort to share with those in your life who are facing these specific seasons.
My new favorite motto, which is noted in this week’s episode, is this:
“We’d rather be with you in your mess than alone in ours.”
I hope y’all feel the same!
On this week’s episode, I play both host and guest. I’m joined by my dear family friend, Liz, who lost her young husband 26 years ago. The more we’re vocal about my story as a widow through NaSHEville, the more we meet and lock arms with young women who’ve endured the same tragedy. But regardless of age, when we lose a spouse, we grieve more than the loss of one life. We grieve a thousand little losses.
“There’s so much more sorrow than Ben not being here. When you lose your husband, you lose so much of your identity with him.”
Liz tells us, “It wasn’t what my life was supposed to look like. [With Davy] my future died too. I lost my dream.”
We talk about learning to be ourselves again and struggling to understand where we fit as a young widow, and if we’ll ever fit again. We talk about the miraculous paradox of pain and healing, and that sometimes the kindest and bravest thing we can do for ourselves is to let ourselves fall apart.
“Sometimes it’s good to hurt. On the backside of the tears, there is so much relief that comes with it.”
We get honest about being honest about how not okay we are, and we navigate the reality of being angry with and clinging to the Lord, all in the same breath. We talk about the difference in distracting and escaping. We celebrate how genuine joy can and does couple sorrow when we commit to celebrate and honor the ones we’ve lost while also mourning them.
Most importantly we speak truth to what has, thus far, been my biggest fear – losing the love we shared because we lost them. To which Liz so hopefully assures us, “That love isn’t really gone; it’s just different. Their role isn’t really gone; it just changes.”
But there is no shortcut. We can only outrun and avoid the truth of the loss and the depths of the hurt for so long. But when the running stops and surrender starts, healing really does begin.