Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Loneliness (as featured on A Widow's Might)

Widows experience a loneliness indescribable to those living outside of our bubble.

It’s a simple reality of being the one left to continue living when the other half of us has gone.

The knowing of someone else so deeply and the being known; ahhhh, I miss it so.

Whether we are standing in a crowd or sitting in the privacy of our bedroom; the attacks of loneliness feel just the same.  We didn’t just lose our spouses.  We lost dreams of our future and the comradery of joint memories from our past.  It is such a unique aloneness to experience.

What I find as the days progress is that the loneliness doesn’t seem to care about the boundaries I’ve tried to place on it.  It creeps around barriers and seeps its way into all the crevices of my shattered heart.

As the months continue, the loneliness morphs; sometimes it is still acute and breath-stealing, others it is a dull ache pulsing behind the backdrop of my life, and there are now, finally, moments I am completely free from its powerful grip.

So how do we cope with this pain?  How do we choose to live victoriously amidst the ruins of a lonely life?  Because ladies, I believe whole heartedly that God intends for us to live fulfilling lives.  He desires for us to serve Him with gladness and live well this life we have been gifted with.

Once I truly identified loneliness for what it is, embraced the difficulty of the emotions and allowed the salty tears to roll unashamedly down my cheeks; that is when my healing began.  I cried out to God and He answered me with the truths found in His Scriptures.
Psalm 147:3  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Matthew 28:20  And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
And here is where I’ve landed, soaking in His grace and love for me.
Romans 8:35, 39  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 Deuteronomy 31:6  Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
Sisters, while it is true that we have lost the physical presence of our earthly love, we can never lose the affection of our Father God.  Do you hear that?  We can NEVER lose the love of God.  Nor can we shake His presence.  {Deep sigh of relief.}  Our feelings of loneliness are very real, but they cannot always be trusted.  God’s holy Word is where we must place our trust. 

We are never alone in our loneliness.

Will you open yourself up for Him to minister to your heart today?  He is a God of limitless creativity.  He loves you extravagantly and individually.  Commit your mind to Him this morning.  Hand Him the depths of your heart for safe keeping.

Give Him your all and watch Him transform the overbearing loneliness into something to be used for His glory. 

Friends, we are here for a season and for a reason.  Let's dig deep into His Word and find comfort right where we are.

Oh, how He loves you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Birthday Reflections October 3, 2015

Forty-four years ago today I was born.
Twenty-two years ago today I celebrated this day with a new boyfriend who would turn out to be my husband.
Fifteen years ago today I was freshly home from the hospital and now a mother of two.  One 16-month old toddler and one 6-day old preemie.
Four years ago today was my last passionate kiss with my husband, as his sore throat continued to worsen and the cancer ran rampant.
Three years ago today I sat surrounded by friends and family as Tim underwent a gruesome 23 hour surgery as our last tiny chance at chasing the healing that would not be ours.
One year ago today I celebrated my first birthday in over two decades without him by my side.
Today, the kids and I went to our new home and wrote Scripture on the foundation and framing. We prayed over it and dedicated it to the Lord with extremely grateful hearts for the ability to have a safe place to lay our heads at night and make new family memories.
Today has been bittersweet for me. Lots of joyful memories, fun new laughter, and lots of tears. Lots and lots of tears. I didn't expect this intense grief wave today, but as Tim would say, "It is what it is."
Thank you for the birthday wishes. I am blessed by a God who loves me deeply, provides friends to walk alongside of me in this life, and carries me on the rough days. I am covered by His feathers; tucked safely under the refuge of His wings.
Love is a gift that transcends time and location. I know to the marrow of my bones that I am loved by Tim Streller. Today, I just found myself wishing I could experience that love in the flesh again for a long hug.
Tonight, I rest my head on my pillow and have happy thoughts. I am excited for the future of our family. I am grateful. Tears will leak and grief will overtake me at times, but the laughter always returns and joy fills me up again.
God is good. Here is to whatever God has in store for me in this next year of life. May I live it well and glorify Him!

I used Tim's Bible to copy Scripture onto the foundation.