Here’s a list I’ve never made before. Maybe you can relate. Or maybe you’re already making a list of your own.
None of us asks to be a widow. It just happens. Then we have to deal with the fallout for an undisclosed period of time. And along with all that, we have weird things that challenge and bug us. Here are some of mine.
5. Dead animals. Enough said. Just use your imagination.
4. Driving for hours and hours alone. And all the crazy, weird, strange, creative things I do to keep myself awake and alert. Here are a few examples from my repertoire. Chewing bubble gum and blowing bubbles. Singing along loudly with The Monkees. Stopping at Redmon’s Candy Factory (I-44, Oklahoma) and buying assorted pieces of my favorite candies and then eating them all the way to St. Louis. Pinching my face. Turning on the A/C in the winter. Drinking cherry chocolate Dr. Pepper from Sonic. I have to say that I’m glad I don’t know (and can’t calculate) the number of miles I’ve driven alone.
3. Hanging pictures. How is it possible for one person to arrange, space, calculate, measure, place and actually install framed pictures on her own wall? I don’t know, but I have done it. Many times. And we won’t talk about the plaster walls in my St. Louis apartment that refused to hold picture hangers! Can you say bump in the night? Here’s one of my favorite creations for my current living room. All photos taken by me, by the way.
2. Movies. I’ve gotten over going to the movie theater alone. Which still isn’t fun, but some movies must be seen on the gigantic screen in IMAX! But rehashing, replaying, discussing, analyzing, comparing and contrasting ― all the things you like to do after seeing a great movie ― alone? Doesn’t work. Neither does a monologue instead of a daily dialogue at the dinner table, like my family and I shared when I was growing up.
1. Credit cards. No one is watching. No one will see the statement. No one cares what I do. No one will ever know. No problem to increase the limit. Pay it off when you can. Or when you get that next bonus or raise. Those are all lies straight from the enemy, by the way. Just take those plastic shovels and start digging your own financial grave. Comfort spending carries a high interest rate. And debtors’ prison will be the reality you create. I know. I’ve been there.
The secret to dealing with all these and so many other dilemmas of life as a widow? Community. Self-care and self-forgiveness. Constant connection with God through prayer and study of his Word. Loving yourself through the best and worst of what is still to come.
“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken” (Psalm 62:5-6).
What pushes you to your limits as a widow? Share with us here or on Facebook or Twitter. We promise not to judge or laugh. Be assured you’re in good company.
Laura Warfel is a widow, writer, and follower of Jesus Christ. Her greatest joy is to bring others along with her on her faith journey. In 2015, because of the encouragement of the Launch Out Conference and Jon Acuff, she launched More Than A Widow on Facebook and Twitter. Today she blogs, tweets, and posts to help widows (and those who know them) find encouragement, hope, and resources for the journey. Her goal is to help all widows live beyond the label and live as more than a widow.
Copyright © 2017 by Laura Warfel