Barriers and Walls and Nothing and Everything and Widows

“There was an old concrete barrier along the road that divided nothing from nothing. There was a new wall in my heart. It divided everything from everything.” — Paul Salopek, Out of Eden Walk

November 21, 15 years ago. A day that divided everything from everything. A new wall went up where the old wall had crumbled. And I was alone. The deepest kind of alone there is on earth. The alone that comes when the most important person in the world is no longer in the world.

Lancaster County, Ohio

Lancaster County, Ohio

So how do you cross that dividing line? How do you make a tunnel or a door through that new wall? How do you knock that wall down and find a new country?

Lancaster County, Ohio

Lancaster County, Ohio

For me, it was one stone at a time. 

Lancaster County, Ohio

Lancaster County, Ohio

First, the faith stone. I had to learn to trust God like I never had before. I have to really mean it when I say I trust him. I have to climb up and stand on the foundation of his Word. I have to re-trust him every morning of every day. 

Second, the love stone. Yes, I am still lovable. Yes, I still take the risk to love. Yes, I love God more than anyone or anything. Yes, there is room in my life for more love. Much more love.

Third, the courage stone. Some days, I’m shaking in the core of my being. Imagining the worst that could possibly happen. Terrified that I’ve made such huge mistakes that no one, not even God, can fix them. Rising in uncertainty to face the day God gives me to live. Knowing that no matter what happens, he goes before me, behind me, beside me. Every step of the way.

Fourth, the dream stone. Yes, I still have dreams. I still have new dreams. I’m still sad about some dreams that didn’t come true. And it’s okay for me to dream beyond the life I thought I would be living by the time I got to 2017. 

Fifth, the truth stone. No matter which of the enemy’s lies creep into my head and heart, I know that I know that I know the truth. I hold it in my hand and hide it in my heart every day. And as Jesus said, the truth sets me free.

Covered bridge, Lancaster County, Ohio

Covered bridge, Lancaster County, Ohio

Just like David preparing to challenge Goliath, I choose five stones. That’s how I have made an opening in my wall. But my stones are large and rough and at times heavy in my hand. They are the stones I choose to challenge the enemy. And God helps me carry them.

So when the enemy tells me I’m nothing, my life is nothing, I have nothing, I quietly break through that wall of lies and walk confidently into today. I’m a child of God. I have everything I need. I serve the God who holds everything in his hands.

“David picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight Goliath the Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:40-41).

Where are you today? Are you facing the barrier formed by grieving the losses in your life? Are you looking ahead and seeing nothing? Or are you standing firmly on the foundation of faith? Are you looking ahead into a bright vista and seeing the possibility of everything? 

Epic Art, street art in Elkhart, Indiana

Epic Art, street art in Elkhart, Indiana


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