Transformational change occurs when a person or family makes a fundamental change in how they live. It’s often triggered by a dramatic change of surroundings, conditions, or influences. The loss of a significant person from your life can bring transformational change. This is the kind of life altering change that closes the previous season of your life and ushers you into a new one. This can be quite challenging, but it can also lead to new opportunities, personal growth, and trigger a more empathetic view for others encountering life changing circumstances.
Every year about 800,000 women become widows. Becoming a widow is an unparalleled kind of displacement that can lead to transformational change. While each situation is unique, the common result is widowhood forcefully thrusts us into a brand new season of our life. It is nearly always very chaotic and filled with countless unknowns. No matter how strong and capable we are, most of us are also thrown into an emotional whirlwind on top of the sudden avalanche of endless paperwork and questions. A profound change in identity and unexpected turbulence in relationships fuels additional stress. It is so easy to get buried in the rubble of this life changing turn of events.
There is almost always tension in transition. We can find ourselves caught off guard when the life we knew in union with our beloved husband ends. Perhaps we can find a better perspective if we can realize we fulfilled our commitment and marriage covenant. We made it to the finish line. This is an amazing accomplishment if we really think about it.
There are a few other things we can do to ease out of our last season so we can embrace our future. God gives us the courage and ability to do this when we turn our cares over to Him. Then we can choose to take our thoughts captive and be deliberate about what we let our mind dwell on.
For although we live in the natural realm, we don’t wage a military campaign employing human weapons, using manipulation to achieve our aims. Instead, our spiritual weapons are energized with divine power to effectively dismantle the defenses behind which people hide. We can demolish every deceptive fantasy that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist it bow in obedience to the Anointed One. Since we are armed with such dynamic weaponry, we stand ready to punish any trace of rebellion, as soon as you choose complete obedience.
2 Corinthians 10: 3-6
What does this mean? When we are in distress, we are much more likely to fall into discouragement and stinking thinking. The enemy comes in to steal, kill and destroy. He wants to capitalize on our heartache, steal our peace, and push us into worry and fear. When we put God in control by turning our anxious thoughts over to Him and giving Him our cares, He steps in and brings the peace we need to think clearly and make good choices. We remember God is good and He loves us. We stand on His promise to take our situations and turn them so good comes from them and we are blessed.
We need to remember God loves us. He promises to be the husband of the widows and watch over us and care for us.
Do not fear, for your shame is no more. Do not be embarrassed, for you will not be disgraced. You will forget the inadequacy you felt in your youth and will no longer remember the shame of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband; His name is Yahweh, Commander of Angel Armies! Your Kinsman-Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel! He has the title Mighty God of All the Earth!
Isaiah 54:4-5 TPT
Since God loves us, He wants us to love ourselves too. He wants us to have compassion for ourselves and take care of ourselves. He knows how widows suffer, so He put instructions in the Bible to care for widows more than eighty times. He wants to shower His kindness on us. He simply asks us to receive it and turn our worries over to Him.
Finally, it is good to remember God’s faithfulness is found in each season of our lives. Be careful we don’t look back on what is over and not believe there are plenty of good things ahead. Our new season is before us. When we trust God and believe He has a good purpose for us, it fuels hope. Hope lets us cherish our desires with anticipation. One of the greatest gifts God gives us is hope. All God’s promises are designed to inspire hope. It gives us the ability to look at any situation and know no matter how it may appear, God will come through for us.
So in the same way, God wanted to end all doubt and confirm it even more forcefully to those who would inherit His promises. His purpose was unchangeable, so God added His vow to the promise. So it is impossible for God to lie for we know His promise and His vow will never change! And now we run into His heart to hide ourselves in His faithfulness. This is where we find His strength and comfort, for He empowers us to seize what has already been established ahead of time—an unshakable hope!
Hebrews 6: 17-18
Sometimes it’s hard to see where we are headed at the beginning or even in the middle of a new season. Sometimes God calls us into places that don’t reveal the end in the beginning. This is where faith in God comes in. God wants to be our place of safety, refuge, and defense. He champions us and protects us. In Him… when we know we are accepted, loved, and truly belong… there is no risk of failure. He longs for us to get to that unhurried place where we can receive from Him, become vulnerable before Him and pour out our heart longings to Him.
Yahweh, what a perfect God You are!
All Yahweh’s promises have proven true.
What a secure shelter for all those
who turn to hide themselves in You,
the wraparound God.
Psalm 18: 2
For He alone is my safe place.
His wraparound presence always protects me
as my champion defender.
There’s no risk of failure with God!
So why would I let worry paralyze me,
even when troubles multiply around me?
God’s glory is all around me!
His wraparound presence is all I need,
for the Lord is my Savior, my hero, and my life-giving strength.
Psalm 62: 6-7
Isn’t it a glorious thought to think of God wrapping us in His presence? Our love story with our beloved husband being with us in this life is over. It’s the hardest thing I’ve had to face here. God is showing me He also has a love story. He is inviting us to be a part and love Him back. The story of how He so loved the world He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life (John 3:16). God’s love story is how His only son gave His life for ours and took the weight of our sin upon His shoulders. The story of how He descended into hell and took back the keys of hell and death to rise into the fullness of life and is seated in heavenly places, forever interceding before the Father on our behalf. God’s love story is sharing how His life becomes our life as we accept His free gift of grace through repentance, and we are restored to our rightful place as daughters who rule and reign with Christ in heavenly places. He did all this just for us, so we can have the hope of eternal life with Him. He did this so one day we will be able to be with our husband again in Heaven, and there won’t be any more tears or sorrow.
Armed under the blood of Jesus and with the Holy Spirit by our side, we can discover and pursue our purpose with renewed strength. We can lean on Jesus to walk alongside us through this change of seasons to show us our path forward. We can find joy in living again. We can embrace the call to live, love and laugh again. We can explore new horizons, try new things, and make the most of our time here. Will it all go perfectly? No. It never did before either. But that doesn’t need to stop us. Success is obedience to God. Measure your success by how willing you are to step out in obedience to the call God has on your life. Remember the old saying, life is about the journey… not the destination.
Whenever you can, and as you are able to, begin to pour your love and encouragement into the people coming up behind you. Offer your shoulder to let another shed healing tears. Be generous with hugs and a listening ear when sister widows need someone who really understands their pain. I think you’ll find at least as much healing touching your heart as you give that gift away.
In closing I share this prayer for you out of Colossians. God bless you.
I am contending for you that your hearts will be wrapped in the comfort of heaven and woven together into love’s fabric. This will give you access to all the riches of God as you experience the revelation of God’s great mystery—Christ.
Colossians 2: 2