Most widows undergo a dramatic change in their identity after the loss of their husband. Everything that was ordinary and comfortable in a life shared with the person they lived in covenant with is altered. Most of us wrapped our identity around being a wife and living life as a couple. This perspective is shattered when our other half is no longer here at our side to share everything from the utter mundane to the most intimate. The longer we were married, the deeper the relationship… the more devastating the impact.
Crisis: a dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person’s life.
There’s a beautiful old song you may have heard titled The Touch of the Master’s Hand. It is based on the poem The Master’s Hand, written in 1921, by Myra Brooks Welch. It opens with this…
Well it was battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer felt it was hardly worth his while,
To waste much time on the old violin but he held it up with a smile,
Well it sure ain’t much but its all we got left I guess we aught to sell it to,
Oh, now who’ll start the bid on this old violin?
Just one more and we’ll be through.
And then he cried one give me one dollar,
Who’ll make it two only two dollars who’ll make it three,
Three dollars twice now that’s a good price,
Now who’s gonna bid for me?
Raise up your hand now don’t wait any longer the auctions about to end,
Who’s got four Just one dollar more to bid on this old violin?
My husband went to heaven after suffering for more than five years with a malicious degenerative neurological disorder that steadily stole his health, vigor, strength and even sometimes his mind. As his constant caregiver, over time as the disease made him ever increasingly dependent on me, my own health and well being were impacted. My identity added the role of caregiver and I found myself so wrapped up in fighting for his life, I lost sight of mine.
Since he’s been gone, my shattered identity left me feeling very lost and alone. It’s been a monumental struggle to… at first… just stay alive. Not knowing who I am now and feeling betrayed and misunderstood by the people I thought cared about me and would be there to help me find my way was unbearable.
My saving grace is my faith in a compassionate and real, living and loving God, the creator of all the earth. He see’s me in my brokenness and pain and He wraps me in His goodness and His faithfulness. He sends just the right help at just the right time. He puts people on my path to encourage and sustain me. He whispers His “I love you” in my ear when fear or despair try to take me down.
I identify with the old violin. I feel battered and scarred. I may look useless and people around me may consider me just not worth their while anymore. It seems like people think I sure ain’t much, so why bother. Life on this earth gives all of us battle scars and some wounds need longer to heal. Sometimes a decisive change occurs in our life, and it can lead either to recovery or to death. It depends on our faith, our attitude, and our support system which way it will go.
From the back of the crowd a gray haired man,
Came forward and picked up the bow,
He wiped the dust from the old violin then he tightened up the strings,
Then he played out a melody pure and sweet, sweeter than the Angels sing,
And then the music stopped and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low he said now what am I bid,
For this old violin and he held it up with a bow.
When God steps in and picks us up everything changes. Like the story of the Good Samaritan who comes along and has compassion on the traveler who was beaten, robbed and left for dead, God reaches down to heal and restore us. All we need to do is turn to Him and surrender to Him. We ask Him to heal us and lead us in the path He prepared for us so we fulfill the destiny He created us for.
Our value is not determined by how we see ourselves… most of us are our worst critic. It’s not measured by the world’s standards or the people judging us from their own thoughts and opinions. We need to learn to look and see ourselves through our Heavenly Father’s eyes. We do that by reading the Bible and studying His Word. We ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes and show us who we are in God’s eyes and to reveal our purpose so we can pursue it.
Widows need people around them to encourage them and support them. We need to be reminded of our value as independent women. This value is found in seeing ourselves through Jesus’ and the Father’s eyes. When we can wrap our identity around this truth, we find a firm foundation we can stand on to move forward, heal, and fulfill our purpose and destiny.
And then he cried out one give me one thousand,
Who’ll make it two only two thousand who’ll make it three,
Three thousand twice you know that’s a good price,
Common who’s gonna bid for me?
And the people cried out what made the change we don’t understand,
Then the auctioneer stopped and he said with a smile,
It was the touch of the Master’s hand.
You know there’s many a man with his life out of tune,
Battered and scarred with sin and he’s auctioned cheap,
To a thankless world much like that old violin,
Oh, but then the Master comes,
And that old foolish crowd they never understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is rought,
Just by one touch of the Masters hand.
If you’re feeling like your life is out of tune today, being auctioned cheap to a thankless and uncaring world, I encourage you to turn to your loving Heavenly Father. He wants to do amazing things in you, for you, and through you. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how many times you failed before, how broken or battered you feel, or even how inexperienced you think you are. God placed endless potential within you when He created you in His image and called you good. Choose today to see yourself through His eyes. There is nothing you can’t accomplish with God’s help. Never give up. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep fighting for YOU! You are loved and there is a hope filled future awaiting you. God bless you.
In Jeremiah 29: 10-14 God promises,
This is God’s Word on the subject: I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.
Click HERE to hear the song.