Sunday, November 12, 2017

What Widowhood Has Taught Me

Widowhood was never a dream to me but at 32 years old, I became one.

Out of the countless words of sympathy and encouragement people gave to comfort me, there was one that provoked a war in my head. Someone once told me, “There is a gift behind your pain”

It was cold. 
It was heartless. 
It was cruel. 

I didn’t see any gift, any good thing, any lesson coming out of my pain. I was angry but decided to keep the painful words in my safety box and leave them for some years.

Six year has gone by. There were days when I felt like caving in. There were days when I felt like screaming because all I could see was pain and more pain. There were days when I felt like running away because life is just.too.hard. But surprisingly, little by little I discovered beauty along the journey of widowhood. The journey has changed me.

Widowhood has taught me several lessons.

1. Widowhood has taught me that even when a heart is broken into pieces, that same heart has the capability to be healed and made whole again. 

My heart was shattered into tiny pieces when I knew that I had to endure the journey as a widow and a single mom. As I have shared countless times in my writing, I didn’t even know how to survive a day. All I could feel, see, taste, smell and hear was pain and fear. My days were filled with tears and more tears. Sometimes I tried to hide it from the kids and ended up soaking my pillow at night. But again and again God rescued me. He comforted me with His love. He sang over my sorrow. And little by little my heart was mended back together again. I could smile again. I could sing again. I could dance again. I live again.

2. Widowhood has taught me to make a decision for myself. 

Growing up as an indecisive girl, I was always afraid to make mistakes. As a married woman, I relied so much on my husband whenever I needed to make a decision. When I became a widow, one of my greatest fear was making a decision for my children. For the first few months, I relied so much on other people’s help and opinion but then I realized that no one knew my children better than me. So, six months after the passing of my husband, when God asked me to move back to the country where I was born in, with all the courage I have left, I made one of the biggest and best decision of my life.

3. Widowhood has taught me not to fear being alone. 

How should I raise three children on my own? How should I make a decision for us? How should I defend myself and my children? How should I stand for them? How could I live on my own? Those are some of the battles in my head as a widow. Honestly, up to this day, I sometimes envy complete families, a couple who seems to be happy living together, moms who have her husbands to share the loads of life. But I no longer fear being alone. Since 2011, I have traveled many long roads alone, I have made countless decision on my own. I have stood up and voiced out for myself. I found that living life alone is actually not the loneliest place to be. God indeed sent kind and caring friends whom after while became our family, the village where I could raise my children.

4. Widowhood has taught me to let go of control and take life easy. 

As an idealist, when my world was shattered into pieces, I freaked out. Sometimes I wonder how did I survive being shaken to my core. Losing control was the worse thing that could ever happen to an idealist but (I think) the best way to help an idealist find the true meaning of life. I stepped into the greatest adventure right after the biggest hurricane of my life. Since then, I only asked myself two questions when challenged to dip my toe in the water:

What are the best things that could happen … 
What are the worst things that could happen ... 
If I say yes? 
If I go on that mission trip? 
If I try to run the business idea? 
If I take the opportunity to speak in front of hundreds of women? 
If I publish my story? 
If I reach out to the person I am a big fan of? 
If I leave unfinished works and take a break over the weekend? 
If I hold the microphone and start singing? 
If I decline the request? 

After all, I only live once, so mind as well to just do it. Taking life easy means trying my best to live in the moment and leave the worries of tomorrow at the door.

5. Widowhood has taught me that I am enough. 

After a season of doubting myself and blaming God, I came to a point where I could finally see myself through the eyes of a Father. I realized that God has created me in such a delicate way, He has wired me to be me, and He has prepared me to carry His purpose. I have what it takes to raise my three children. I can lead the family. I can dream dreams and see them being fulfilled. I have what it takes to walk through the journey. And I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am in God, Him in me and I am enough.

Someone once told me, “There is a gift behind your pain” 

Friends, some of you might be going through the valley right now and I don’t know what kind of pain you have to endure. Your heart might be broken because of hard relationship, abuse, the loss of a loved one, a long period time of waiting, injustice, financial hardship, watching yourself of someone you love getting physically challenged.

Friends, allow me to be a lender of hope to you. I need you to keep your hope up and believe that soon enough you will see gifts emerging from your pain. God longs to make your heart whole again and to show you the beauty of your journey.

“Sometimes your greatest message is the mess of your life”
-Priscilla Shirer

For His Glory,

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