As another year draws to a close, I can’t help but reflect on the brevity of a year and ponder what this year means for me. What lessons did I learn this year? How much did I accomplish? Have I grown in my walk with the Lord? Who did I meet? What did I do? Am I where I want to be? Am I where I’m supposed to be?

A year seems like a long time. How does it pass so quickly? A new year… a platform for a fresh start… is just hours away. We want to embrace the hope of better days and beautiful dreams. What lies ahead as we walk through the door?

What is hope? Hope is an optimistic mindset anchored on the confidence and trust that good outweighs the bad and ultimately love and courage triumph over pain and distress. Hope stimulates us to keep pressing forward with confidence it will get better than it is. Hope is the proper response to the promises of God. God promises He will take the brokenness and destruction we bare in this earthly life and skillfully transform it to bring forth His goodness and life. God assures us we have nothing to fear and nothing to lose when we follow Him and put Him first in our life.

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.
Romans 8: 28 TPT

Reading Psalm 90 is a great way to end this year and contemplate the endless opportunity open before us as we enter a new year. The Hebrew word for “year” (shena) is found seven times, more than any other Psalm. It opens reminding us God is our eternal home from generation to generation, or year after year. He existed long before any of His creation and time as we understand it doesn’t express His infinite existence… where there is no beginning and no end. A thousand years for Him are but a mere breath.

Lord, You have always been our eternal home, our hiding place from generation to generation.
Long before You gave birth to the earth and before the mountains were born, You have been from everlasting to everlasting, the one and only true God.
Psalm 90: 1-2

The older we get, the faster time seems to speed by. All my life people much older than I would tell me time accelerates and passes more and more quickly the longer they live. I find it to be true in my experience as well. This year went so fast I can hardly believe it.

We make a big deal about the new year and many of us take time to reflect on the status of our lives and consider how we want to adjust what we are doing to move more in line with our goals and plans. Verses three through ten of this Psalm acknowledge the brevity of our existence.

When You speak the words “Life, return to me!” man turns back to dust. One thousand years pass before Your eyes like yesterday that quickly faded away, like a night’s sleep soon forgotten.
One day we will each be swept away into the sleep of death. We glide along through the tides of time—so quickly gone, like a dream that fades at dawn, like glistening grass that springs up one day and is dry and withered the next, ready to be cut down!
Terrified by Your anger, confined beneath the curse, we live our lives knowing Your wrath.
For all our faults and flaws are in full view to You. Everything we want to hide, You search out and expose by the radiance of Your face.
We are banished to live in the shadow of Your anger. Our days soon become years until our lifetime comes to an end, finished with nothing but a sigh.
You limited our life span to a mere seventy years, yet some You give grace to live still longer. But even the best of years are marred by tears and toils and in the end are nothing more than a gravestone in a graveyard! We’re gone so quickly, so swiftly; we pass away and simply disappear.
Psalm 90: 3-10

As widows, we experienced all too painfully this truth. Our husbands’ lives reached their end and we now live with the absence of their presence in our lives for the rest of our days here.

Yet, we continue to contemplate the hope we have because God loves us. The next couple verses serve as a cry from our hearts right to the very heart of God. We acknowledge how brief the span of our own life is. We ask Him to lead us and guide us forward to make the most of each day and to fulfill the plans and purposes He created us to do. We need His wisdom and guidance to do this.

Lord, who fully knows the power of Your passion and the intensity of Your emotions?
Help us to remember our days are numbered, and help us to interpret our lives correctly. Set Your wisdom deeply in our hearts so we may accept your correction.
Psalm 90: 11-12

The next section is especially poignant for me, and I believe would be for many widows. No matter how long it’s been since we said goodbye to our beloved husband, or how much we’ve grown and adapted to this new life without him by our side, he remains a very important part of our hearts. We truly became one flesh when we entered the covenant of marriage with him. Our hearts were entwined in every way and even though he is no longer here physically he remains an integral part of our life going forward, just in a different way.

I love how this beautiful Psalm acknowledges our overwhelming grief. We cry to Him to express our pain and recognize He is our deliverer and only viable help to bring healing and restoration in our hearts and lives. He can bring us new satisfaction that breaks through the darkness and escorts us into gladness and joy.

Return to us again, O God! How much longer will it take until You show us Your abundant compassion?
Let the sunrise of Your love end our dark night. Break through our clouded dawn again! Only You can satisfy our hearts, filling us with songs of joy to the end of our days.
We’ve been overwhelmed with grief; come now and overwhelm us with gladness. Replace our years of trouble with decades of delight.
Let us see Your miracles again, and let the rising generation see the glorious wonders You’re famous for.
Psalm 90: 13-16 TPT

This incredible Psalm ends with the promise God gives us success! When we trust Him and work in unison with Him, we can embrace that glorious hope we all seek, especially as we enter a brand new year. With God on our side we can confidently face even an uncertain and intimidating future. He will give us success in all we do! What a pledge! We can trust Him.

O Lord our God, let Your sweet beauty rest upon us. Come work with us, and then our works will endure; You will give us success in all we do.
Psalm 90: 17 TPT

Psalm 90 emphasizes the fact fulfillment in life isn’t a matter of how much we have, accomplish, or feel. True purpose and meaning in life is found in a personal relationship with the living God. Each and every new day is a gift and a new opportunity to love God and glorify Him by loving and serving our fellow man.

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.
Jeremiah 29: 11-14

God has a plan and purpose for each one of us. It’s a GOOD plan. He doesn’t want us to be overwhelmed with grief or with the many troubles we may face here in this world. I know how impossible that may sound to those who may be in the very early stages of this journey through grief. Grief can cover us like a blanket and feel like it is choking the very life out of us. Emotional wounds can engulf our existence and make it difficult to grab hold of the hope that lies before us. It is my sincere prayer as we step into this new year that every widow who is struggling to take that next breath or that next step will have the strength and courage to see a light ahead from God and focus securely on His promises to bring them to a safe place of rest in Him.

Now may God, the fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in Him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with His super-abundance until you radiate with hope!
Romans 15: 13 TPT

I decree all emotional wounds we have are healed now by the power of God. Everything we do will spring forth out of wholeness and soundness of being. I speak internal healing and health in us in Jesus’ mighty name. I decree blessing and provision for every need. Lord, I ask You to surround each beautiful soul who reads this with Your tender mercy and Your loving touch to bring restoration and peace. Fill them with an insatiable desire to seek You and read Your Word so it penetrates deep inside to bring every form of healing they need.

Listen carefully, my dear child, to everything I teach you, and pay attention to all I say. Fill your thoughts with My words until they penetrate deep into your spirit. Then, as you unwrap My words, they will impart true life and radiant health into the very core of your being. So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.
Proverbs 4: 20-23 TPT

I can’t think of a better way to end the year and begin a new one than to give over every care and burden to the Lord and commit our lives to Him going forward. If we live each day in the satisfaction of God’s love, we will be empowered to live for Him, and love Him as we serve our neighbors and fulfill the plans and purposes He created us to do.

May the new year be filled with every grace and blessing for you and for your loved ones. Thank You Father for Your blessings, faithfulness, love, and constant presence in our lives. We lift up to You our loved ones, our communities, and the world. May Your peace reign in our hearts and in the hearts of all people.

Let’s begin 2024 with God’s peace and activate our faith to trust Him with everything that lies ahead. Father, illuminate our path with Your light so we can walk in Your ways and make choices that align with Your will. Help us to seek first Your kingdom and trust all other things will be added unto us. As we embark on this new year, may our family bonds grow stronger, our love deepen, and our moments together become cherished memories. May joy, unity, and happiness reign within our family circle throughout the year ahead. Thank You for new beginnings. Give us the courage to do all You ask of us, and help us be brave enough to not do what isn’t from You. We trust in You because we know Your mercies are new every morning, and nothing ahead of us will take You by surprise.  In Jesus’ mighty name we pray, Amen.



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,, 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.