Sometime this week, I plan to spend the first night in my new home. There has been some confusion about this because of the Facebook post showing me standing on my front porch. That was actually the day I signed the papers to purchase my new place. Since December 29th, I have been living with my dad which has turned out to be a sweet time of togetherness. Our family celebrated his 86th birthday last night. He stills gets up and goes to his place of business every day. He’s been doing that for almost 61 years! He is some daddy. Going our separate ways this week is turning out to be quite bittersweet.
My new neighbors have welcomed me with open arms and gifts of brownies and cake, with upcoming social times on tap to meet one another. Everyone has been so kind and encouraging and excited that I will soon be a full time resident. I am really looking forward to getting to know them, seeing just what it is God has planned for this new phase in my life and what role this new neighborhood plays in it.
These past 6 weeks or so, I have had a lot of different folks helping me with this remodel. Some of the guys have spent so much time with me until I feel like they are family! Plans have stayed on track and things have gone together almost flawlessly. Of course, there have been a few times we’ve had to resort to Plan B, but even that was without much of a hiccup. I am managing to find homes for my things which is harder than I thought. After 23 years in the same place, it’s hard to rearrange your spices and dishes and linens, etc. in a way that seems comfortable. And I’ve had to give up some furniture pieces I was sure would work, but didn’t. But I guess if everything was the same, it wouldn’t really be much of a move!!!!
Stacey asked me just yesterday if I miss the old house at all. No, I really don’t. And I thank God for that peace to walk away knowing He has a good plan for me in this new place. It didn’t happen overnight, by no means. But I am happy with the changes and my heart is full of joy because of God’s assurance of His presence with me at all times and in every circumstance, good or bad.
Widowhood does rear its head of pain occasionally still, but not very often. It seems when I am extra tired and weary, it is easy to slip into that pool of tears and ache. Today has been one of those. Plus a missionary widowed just a little over 5 years ago spoke briefly at church this morning. Jason asked her about her life now and how missions is helping her as she moves forward. (Or something like that!) That is when she mentioned being widowed, which perked up my ears even more. Immediately we were kindred spirits. Then she shared how she struggles with loneliness, feeling invisible, and how people forget to remember to invite her to join them for dinner or other things. So many old feelings came rushing in!
THAT’S WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE A WIDOW!
After church, I spoke briefly with her about that. She teared up and I was shocked when she said it had been a little over 5 years and that she was having a hard time right now. She seemed vulnerable which led me to think she was recently widowed.
Grief gets better, but it never goes away!
I am as guilty as the next person of getting too wrapped up in my own life and busyness to notice that person who needs someone to reach out to them. As a widow, I’ve experienced both sides of the coin. Yes, there are lots of people other than widows who need us, but God specifically called out in His Word for us to aid the widows and the orphans. There’s probably a widow on your street, at your place of work, in your church, or in your family that would be so appreciative of a tiny bit of your time.
Since Les died, I have made a point of reaching out to widows. With all my uprooting and remodeling, I have fallen terribly behind. But soon, very soon, I plan to rectify that. Our community is full of widows and widowers, so it’s not hard to find someone with whom you can share some compassion. My new neighborhood is teeming with widows, so I will have no excuse!!!
Let’s make a deal to reach out to at least one widow or widower this week. You’ll be glad you did.
Lots of love, Sharon