Words matter. The power of words affect what we hear, speak and think. God created the world with His words. We are made in God’s image. What we speak creates our world. The words we hear and think impact our emotions, health, and how we exist in our world. The words we speak matter. The words we listen to matter.

The words people speak when they attempt to comfort the griever can either bring the comfort and support needed or rip open the wound even deeper. About four months after my dear husband went home to heaven, well-meaning people told me to stop being selfish and embrace my new life and put the past behind me. Another told me not to make people around me uncomfortable because I refused to move on.

Unfortunately, nearly every widow I know has a similar experience. Maybe it doesn’t come in the form of accusation. Some are told:

  • at least you had 36 (or whatever number) years together
  • at least you got to have real love
  • you’re young… you’ll find someone else
  • time heals all wounds – just give it time

I think we can all relate. We really wish people would think before they speak. We feel hurt, angry, unheard, unloved, misunderstood, or some combination of these and other emotions as a result of these words.

Self Talk Matters

What are the words you tell yourself? We all talk to ourselves. If the truth be told, I talk to myself so much more since my love is gone. I really miss having my sounding board. He was wonderful at letting me express my emotions. He knew how to encourage me and bring things back into balance.

Have you thought about the impact of the words you tell yourself? Are you encouraging yourself… or putting yourself down. Are you speaking life into your future… or destroying it. I read this amazing poem from Jan Richardson and want to share it with you.

Let us agree
for now
that we will not say
the breaking
makes us stronger
or that it is better
to have this pain
than to have done
without this love.

Let us promise
we will not
tell ourselves
time will heal
the wound,
when every day
our waking
opens it anew.

Perhaps for now
it can be enough
to simply marvel
at the mystery
of how a heart
so broken
can go on beating,
as if it were made
for precisely this—

as if it knows
the only cure for love
is more of it,

as if it sees
the heart’s sole remedy
for breaking
is to love still,

as if it trusts
that its own
persistent pulse
is the rhythm
of a blessing
we cannot
begin to fathom
but will save us

—Jan Richardson

We Need a Lifeline

The grief we feel is working to overwhelm us with discouragement and hopelessness. We miss a very important person we never wanted to live without. Our union was a holy covenant and we were spiritually sealed together. We feel like we are missing a very real part of ourselves. He was part of our identity. It’s so difficult to now discover and describe ourselves separate and without him.

This is where faith in God and His love and divine plan for our lives brings hope that leads to healing. There are many Scriptures God gives us to speak life and hope into our souls. When we go through the seasons of grief, heartache, and trials we need a lifeline to hang onto. This passage in Proverbs 4: 21-23 is one I use daily to keep reminding myself whose I am and what I must do.

I fill my thoughts with God’s words
until they penetrate deep into my spirit.
Then, as I unwrap His words,
they will impart true life and radiant health
into the very core of my being.
So above all, I guard the affections of my heart,
for they affect all I am.
I pay attention to the welfare of my innermost being,
for from there flows the wellspring of life.

You Matter… You are Special…The World Needs You!

Look in a mirror today. See the you your husband loved. See the you the important people in your life who love you see. See the you God created you to be. Place encouraging words and statements where you will see them as you go through your day. Put them on the refrigerator, mirrors, computer, or wherever you spend time. Let them remind you of your worth, encourage your heart, and help you look forward.

When condemning and despairing words try to fill your mind… counter them. Tell yourself “my thoughts are focused on what is pure, lovely, just and virtuous.”

I will never let ugly or hateful words come from my mouth, but instead let my words become beautiful gifts to encourage others; speaking words of grace to help them. Ephesians 4: 29

l keep my thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. I fasten my thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising Him always. Philippians 4: 8

Take every distracting and deceitful thought captive and declare the goodness and faithfulness of God.

God, give me grace to guard my lips from speaking what is wrong. Psalm 141: 3

May the words of my mouth, my meditation-thoughts, and every movement of my heart be always pure and pleasing, acceptable before Your eyes, Yahweh, my only Redeemer, my Protector. Psalm 19: 14

Remind yourself and declare: condemnation is powerless. I send you back to the bottomless pit. Negative events of the past have no more power to harass, haunt, or take up residence in my thoughts. Divine inner peace and emotional wholeness is mine. Godly assurance, confidence, and faith replace all past brokenness. God’s great and miraculous hand is working for me in every situation. I have no reason to fear.

God stands with me. Who can be against me? Romans 8: 31

I won’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. I’m saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering my faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. I tell Him every detail of my life. Philippians 4: 6

God continually revitalizes me, implanting within me the passion to do what pleases Him. Philippians 2: 13

This is just a smattering of the many Scriptures available to give you a place to start. There are also so many encouraging quotes and stories we hear that touch our hearts and nourish the hope that lives inside us. We’re all on unique journeys and in different places on our path to healing. It is my sincere hope this will give you some ideas to help you keep pressing forward.

Keep Pressing Forward

Personally, I need to keep reminding myself to be deliberate about what I let myself say, hear, dwell on and read. I work hard to fight the negative influences coming at me to try to keep me down. I don’t plan to leave this world any time soon. I want to find my new place where I will continue to grow and flourish—to live my life with purpose.

I invite God to partner with me and give Him authority over me. I can’t control anything, but He can. I ask Him to lead me and show me what His plan for me is and how to carry out His plan. My life is ahead of me, not behind me. There are wonderful encounters, glorious experiences, and adventures to reveal and enjoy… if I choose to open my heart and just take the next right step.

I’ll wrap this up with a few more of my favorite Scriptures.

My future is bright and filled with a living hope that will never fade away. Proverbs 23: 18

I am His poetry, a re-created person who will fulfill the destiny He gave me, for I am joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before I was born, God planned in advance my destiny and the good works I would do to fulfill it! Ephesians 2: 10.

In mercy You have seen my troubles, and You cared for me; even during this crisis in my soul I will be radiant with joy, filled with praise for Your love and mercy. Psalm 31: 7


Teri’s dance with grief actually began over five years before she watched her beloved husband of almost 37 years take his last breath and enter Heaven’s door on October 6, 2019. A terminal degenerative neurological disease steadily and increasingly attacked nearly every major system of his body and transformed him from a vibrant, brilliant, strong and caring man to a bedfast invalid at the end. She was devoted to caring for him and doing her best to make the most of every minute they had left, to love him and pray for a miracle.

She thought she knew what her future held, but she had no idea. Losing him was the first time she experienced a close and personal loss. He was the love of her life. The onslaught of the pandemic with its reign of fear-mongering, forced isolation and separation entering the scene and disrupting or destroying whatever sense of “normal” that remained, just added insult to injury.

Her faith in God is the sustaining force keeping her fighting spirit to find and share hope in a bright future. Her heart’s desire is to walk beside her fellow widows toward a path of promise and healing. She wants to offer encouragement and hope so others can find the strength to take that next breath or next step. She recently started her own blog, https://widowwhispers.blogspot.com/, to share with other widows not only the struggles and hardships of widowhood, but the triumphs. Her hope is found in leaning on the Lord Jesus to enjoy a God inspired future anchored in expectation He will bring us to a fulfilling and meaningful life.