Do you ever question who God is? Is God really good? Why does the unthinkable happen? Why do terrible things happen even if we are following God and doing our best to live the way we believe He wants us to? Do you ever wonder if you did something to make God mad at you? Do you believe God causes suffering? Do you think God makes bad things happen to make a point so it will make some people turn to Him for help? Are you mad at God for taking your husband home to heaven and leaving you alone?
These are very common thoughts and natural questions widows all over the world wrestle with to some degree or another. Even when we have a firm grasp on the goodness of God, life altering circumstances like the death of our husband can ignite a grief inside us that is so sharp it shatters our reality. Literally everything changes. Our reactions and responses can easily become as chaotic and unpredictable as the tumultuous myriad of emotions that rage inside us. Our effort to find answers and make sense of the situation naturally stirs up questions.
Some widows manage better than others because they have a good support system around them to pick up the slack and give them the time they need to begin the healing process. Others are thrust into situations that feel very overwhelming and frightening. There may be children that require care, drastic changes in income, medical situations that need to be addressed, housing changes, or many other challenges. These things can pile on top of stress in an already precarious situation.
The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in Him. Nahum 1: 7
God created us to be His family. He desires to show His love to us and pour joy and blessing on all His creation. By His very nature, God is only good.
This is the life-giving message we heard Him share and it’s still ringing in our ears. We now repeat His words to you: God is pure light. You will never find even a trace of darkness in Him. 1 John 1: 5
There is no way to separate God’s goodness and light from Him because it is literally who He is. When we choose to receive His gift of life by giving our hearts to Him and choosing to accept Jesus in our hearts to forgive us for our sins, we become His children and reap the benefits of His lavish goodness.
God blends His tender love in everything He does because God is love. It is no wonder He is good. The love He pours out for us seeks to bring the greatest good for us. Think about that! God desires the greatest good for each of us. Paul teaches:
So we are convinced every detail of our lives is continually woven together for good, for we are His lovers who have been called to fulfill His designed purpose.
If we could grasp the depth of the goodness of God…
really believe He is good…
really believe He is love…
a pure and holy love that is perfect…
we truly wouldn’t hesitate to run to Him.
We would be able to let go of our fear.
Our hearts would open in response to Him.
We would readily embrace having a meaningful relationship with Him.
Sadly, most of us haven’t been taught the truth about our loving and gracious Father God. Our tendency is to place human limitations and our own human experience of the way we’ve been treated that was called love and goodness. We’ve all been hurt to some extent by people who say they love us. We’ve all been disappointed at some point when someone we thought we could trust fell short of our expectations. Our human vulnerability wants to dictate our definition from a perspective distorted by a world tainted by sin. If we ourselves can’t even measure up to the standard we wish love could be… it’s difficult to wrap our hope and trust anyone else can, and many place God in that same box.
This is why so many struggle to trust God’s infinite love. It’s why some people rationalize there’s no God or if there is, He can’t be good. It’s why we might get angry at God because we can’t see how a loving or good God would let bad things happen. It is how some people reach the conclusion if God didn’t answer their prayer to save the life of their husband, He can’t be good.
So it begs the question, why or how can bad things happen if God is perfectly good? There are a couple things to consider. The first is we need to acknowledge the fact God gave all of us free will. This gift of free will first gave Adam and Eve the choice to obey God or choose not to. They chose to disobey and ate the fruit from the tree of good and evil when God told them not to. This was the first sin. The result of this decision was getting thrown out of the Garden of Eden and putting the curse of sin on all the rest of humanity for all time. Free will is still available to each of us today. We can choose to serve God or reject Him.
God’s infinite goodness is evident in the fact He created a way out of the sin before He ever created Adam and gave Him free will. He loves us so much He wants us to have the choice to live for Him or reject Him. He planned to send His only Son to die for our sin before sin existed. He purposed a solution to every one of us so He could still have His family one day.
The sad reality is not everyone chooses to live for God. They choose to live for themselves and sin. This sin has consequences not only for the person who commits it, but for all of us. This is why bad things happen. God does not want bad things to happen anymore than we do. As long as we are still living on this earth, and as long as people choose to reject God’s loving call to accept His gift to free them from sin and live for Him, we will continue to face some difficult trials and tribulations. Jesus told us about this, and also told us how to handle it.
And everything I’ve taught you is so the peace which is in Me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in Me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I conquered the world!
John 16: 33
This is why we need to read the Bible. It has so many answers to our questions and wisdom we can use to help us through the trials we face in this life. God doesn’t want us to be anxious or troubled. He offers us a peace we can’t get from the world when we learn to give our cares to Him to handle.
The other thing I would like to highlight concerning our questions of why some things happen even when we pray and do all we know to do, is God knows more than we do about everything that happens. He has inside information from a much higher level than we can imagine. He sees every heart and knows the motives and intentions of every person. He knows what the future holds. When we can learn to trust He loves all of us, and believe the Bible when it says He will work everything together for good for us who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8: 28 as shown above), we can finally put to rest those pesky questions and thoughts.
Even though I’ve been walking with the Lord most of my life, it seems like I go through seasons when I am better at hearing and following what God tells me, and other seasons where I feel like I am learning my basic lessons all over again. This journey we walk here is tough. Building a relationship with God and learning His Word takes time and effort. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Our struggles as widows is not necessarily the only battle we are engaged in. We all face different circumstances and have histories of other challenges and/or traumas that may continue to impact our ability to fight. Our lives continue on and can bring on new obstacles, new people in our lives, and maybe even new solutions to ease part of the struggle. We are always growing and changing.
It’s been four years and I have been very deliberate in my efforts to heal from the grief and pain that swallowed me when my husband went home to heaven. First, I needed to work on the physical, mental, and emotional toll on my life because I chose to be my husband’s full-time caregiver. It was a role that lasted about five years but became especially difficult the last couple. I was so entrenched in my focus on his needs and wants I had no idea how much it was affecting me until it stopped. Losing him was the first real loss I experienced. I had no grid to understand what deep grief was, or how difficult it could be. I thought it was something that made you sad for a couple weeks and then life goes on.
What I’m discovering is, as each new year without him begins, the triggers are going to invade, and disrupt whatever rhythm I may find. There are so many facets to grief and loss. This loss of my beloved husband impacted so many aspects of my life… identity, relationships, dreams, plans, and so much more. In some ways it feels like I’m battling the same battles over and over again, but on different levels with each new wave that comes along. At least I can build on what I’ve already explored in more depth. The Lord helps me see things I couldn’t see before. He is helping me start to build a new identity in Him that is teaching me to define myself in a new light. The light He is shining is intended to let me see myself as He sees me.
Perhaps you are wondering like me how long it’s going to take to get to a place where you feel consistently stable again. I’ve read testimonies from and met some widows who were able to regroup and pivot into a new life relatively easily. Others are much father down the road in their journey timewise and seem to be almost stuck and unable to grasp the life they desire because they haven’t been able to make some important changes to help them proceed forward. It seems to me the majority of us are a work in process. We continue to adjust and heal in different ways and at various levels, stepping forward with determination. We may experience temporary setbacks at times, but we keep fighting and stay open to possibilities. As we gain strength and progress, we acknowledge our success and use it to fuel us to the next win.
There’s a song titled Beautifully Broken by Plumb. You can hear it and see the lyrics here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce6PT-3sQGg
Is the God that made your heart
And He’s holding you right now
He can heal the broken parts
And make beauty from the scars, the scars
You’re beautifully broken
And You can be whole again
Even a million scars doesn’t change whose you are
We’re all broken in some way or another. Life can bring events and circumstances that leave us scarred and changed. I especially like the verse that reminds us God made our hearts and He is holding us through our grief. He can heal everything and everywhere we are broken. He wants to create beauty from these scars. He says we are worthy… you are worthy. You are worthy of His love and care. He wants to shower you with His goodness.
I encourage you to look for and find three things that show you the love of God. Sometimes, we just need to stop and notice what’s around us so we can acknowledge His goodness. Maybe it’s in a glorious sunset, a field of flowers, or a child’s laughter. If we pay attention, we begin to see it everywhere. I pray you will bask in His goodness and live in His presence.
So now I live with the confidence there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I’m convinced His love will triumph over death, life’s troubles, fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken His love. There is no power above us or beneath us—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!
Romans 8: 38-39 TPT
God’s love for us and His goodness is truly beyond anything we can imagine. His love makes us more than conquerors in the battles and struggles we face. No matter what life throws at us it can’t defeat us or dilute God’s love for us. His love is the gift we need that puts His divine power to work all things we face into triumph. God’s deep love for us is manifested to show us personally how much we mean to Him and to draw us into the relationship He wants to share with us.
Peace is possible. Finding a path to a rewarding and fulfilling future is available to each of us. We just need to let go of our need to control, our fears, and perhaps some bad teaching we embraced. When we surrender to our loving and good God, He will take us by the hand and lead us in the way we need to go. We will still meet obstacles along the way. We may still encounter set backs and other troubling circumstances because we live in a sin stained world. If we can learn to genuinely pursue God with all our hearts and allow Him to lead us, we can build our trust He will always take what is broken and scarred in us and create something whole and beautiful.
Do you know someone ready to make a meaningful impact this holiday season? Join us in embracing the true spirit of giving by getting involved in the Hope for Widows Foundation’s ‘Bring Hope Holiday Assistance Program’ virtual initiative, now in its third year. This program directly supports widows who may be struggling to provide gifts and essentials for their children during the holiday season.
For many widows facing financial challenges, the choice between keeping the lights on, putting food on the table, and buying presents can be heart-wrenching. When you add the responsibilities of solo parenting, the weight of grief, and the toll it takes emotionally and physically, the burden becomes even greater.
To become a sponsor and access more information, and details visit the following link: https://bit.ly/3ZROBWo
For our widows/hope sisters in the community, please stay tuned as we’ll be sending out widow applications for sponsorship this holiday season very soon.
Let’s come together and make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.