The phrase “It is what it is” is one that neither my husband nor I liked. It was so overused and misused. But, today, I came across it twice in my readings and thought maybe I should take another look, a different look. 

The first time I read it was in C.S. Lewis’s book Mere Christianity. He was said it is nonsensical to ask, when talking about God Himself, if things could have been otherwise. He said, “It is what it is and there is an end to the matter.”  I think that applies so well to widowhood. There is no changing, no going back in this journey I find myself in. All I can do is go forward. I don’t know why He took my husband so early, but I am not angry at God. 

A bit later,  the phrase popped up again while reading a few pages in A Widow’s Journey by Gayle Roper (for the second time).  After a particularly hard day, she wrote, “I wish there was a time when the pain went away for good. But it is what it is, and I am where I am. Thank God that on days like today He is there to give balance, provide comfort, and offer hope.”

God has given me hope over and over through His Word. He has also used people to give me comfort. Through many various means He has brought other widows into my life to walk along this path together with me. He has stirred the hearts of old friends and knitted us closer together. He has put me in a church full of godly compassion and leadership.

So, as I enter 2022, I want to say it is what it is, I am where I am, He is who He is, and life can still be beautiful.


Angie Bell was born in Georgia but raised in Florida to where she recently returned after six years in Birmingham, Alabama. She is a former teacher who loves hiking, photography, and writing, often combining all three.

After planning for several years, working on a way to live on a shoestring budget, Angie’s husband of 41 years put in for early retirement so they could move back home. They put their house on the market and had a contract within four days. Less than two weeks later her husband was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. They decided to transfer his care and move back to Jacksonville, Florida, renting a furnished apartment and hoping for a miracle. One month later he was gone. After her third move in less than a year, Angie is now in Tampa where her grandchildren live, trying to find her way in her new life. God, in His mercy, has put numerous other widows in her life and a new empathy for this sisterhood she never would have chosen.