Welcome to Christian Widow's Walk

Dear Readers,

Thank you so much for visiting. If you care to follow my story from the beginning, I encourage you to click on the oldest post first and make your way to newer entries. In so doing, hopefully, you will see the hand of God in my healing journey that started in April, 2009.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

He Walks With You And Me

Posted Jul 28, 2009 ~ (Three months into widowhood)

I was blessed to get an email from my dear friend Ed G. this morning and I feel compelled to share. I thought it was profound in its' simplicity. If we could only comprehend a fraction of the truth it shares, such Love, Joy and Peace could be ours every day! I know we all need to understand this so we can live the abundant life that God intended for all of us. I too, need the reminder, as too often I let the stresses of daily living overwhelm and consume me and I'm guilty of forgetting that the Lord is always with me. He promised to carry my burdens, when I give them to Him and His Word commands us to cast our burdens unto Him, because He cares for us, and He has promised: He will never leave or forsake us. His Word is true and He is faithful to provide that Peace, whenever I do my part of surrendering whatever is weighing me down. I have experienced it so many times since New Year's Day! How I wish it was automatic, but it needs to be a deliberate decision each time, to fully, "Let go, and let God". It's the only true path to Peace in our hearts.

Just like many of us learned as children: Why did God make you? God made me to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him in this world and the next. He created us to have a relationship with Him! Can you fathom it? The God who created the universe wants to know us and be our best friend; mind boggling! I pray this will awaken a fresh revelation of God's love for each of us and that it will come to mind when we need it the most!!!

While watching a little TV on Sunday instead of going to church, I
watched a church in Atlanta honoring one of its senior pastors who had
been retired many years. He was 92 at that time and I wondered why the
church even bothered to ask the old gentleman to preach at that age.
After a warm welcome, introduction of this speaker, and as the applause
quieted down, he rose from his high back chair and walked slowly, with
great effort and a sliding gait to the podium. Without a note or written
paper of any kind he placed both hands on the pulpit to steady himself
and then quietly and slowly he began to speak....

"When I was asked to come here today and talk to you, your pastor asked
me to tell you what was the greatest lesson ever learned in my 50-odd
years of preaching. I thought about it for a few days and boiled it down
to just one thing that made the most difference in my life and sustained
me through all my trials. The one thing that I could always rely on when
tears and heartbreak and pain and fear and sorrow paralyzed me... the
only thing that would comfort was this verse........ ....

"Jesus loves me this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong we are weak but He is strong.....
Yes, Jesus loves me....
The Bible tells me so."

When he finished, the church was quiet. You actually could hear his
footsteps as he shuffled back to his chair. I don't believe I will ever
forget it. A pastor once stated, "I always noticed that it was the adults
who chose the children's hymn 'Jesus Loves Me' (for the children of
course) during a hymn sing, and it was the adults who sang the loudest
because I could see they knew it the best."

"Senior version of Jesus Loves Me"
Here is a new version just for us who have white hair or no hair at all..
For us over middle age (or even those almost there) and all you others,
check out this newest version of Jesus Loves Me.


Jesus loves me, this I know,
Though my hair is white as snow
Though my sight is growing dim,
Still He bids me trust in Him.


Though my steps are oh, so slow,
With my hand in His I'll go
On through life, let come what may,
He'll be there to lead the way.

When the nights are dark and long,
In my heart He puts a song..
Telling me in words so clear,
"Have no fear, for I am near."

When my work on earth is done,
And life's victories have been won.
He will take me home above,
Then I'll understand His love.

I love Jesus, does He know?
Have I ever told Him so?
Jesus loves to hear me say,
That I love Him every day.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Missing My Bofren!

Posted Jul 17, 2009 ~ (Three months into widowhood)
Hello Loved Ones,
I have not been very faithful in keeping up with my journal lately, but you already know that. Since Buck's memorial, the reality of my Sweetheart's absence is more obvious and more difficult to deal with emotionally. I suppose I got an extended grace period in preparation for the memorial.
Before the celebration of Buck's life, I was able to say that I had more good days than sad ones. Since the end of June, the sad days outnumber the good ones, and usually parallel the degree of distraction from being surrounded by family and friends. Also, a productive day usually coincides with a pleasant day, but unfortunately, I have not felt very motivated; and I find it hard to get started, when there is certainly no shortage of projects I could be doing.
I have been spending a lot of time away from home, and I have decided that I really need to stay home more and get my life in order.
Thankfully, it's not that I am broken and weeping all the time; but rather, there is just a prevailing feeling of sadness that is difficult to override; and it makes it challenging to accomplish even simple tasks. Often, I find myself walking from room to room, trying to decide what to do next. Prioritizing is not part of my vocabulary, because I can’t decide what is most important. I aimlessly do whatever I feel like doing, with no sense of rhyme or reason and get easily distracted and start something else; bouncing pointlessly, without finishing what I started. Frustration is a constant companion.
I have grown increasingly forgetful and unable to concentrate. I constantly embarrass myself by forgetting what I'm talking about, until my friends or family members bail me out, by trying to restore the conversation to where I left off. Sometimes, it doesn't help, and I have to admit I have no recollection of where I was going. I hope I can learn to just laugh at myself, as I would much prefer a good dose of laughter, over the embarrassment I feel each time it happens!
It was greatly concerning me until recently, when I got some information about bereavement from York Hospital in my mail. It was comforting to learn that I am experiencing normal grieving symptoms. I was relieved to know that forgetfulness, lack of motivation, concentration challenges and indecisiveness are very common when you lose a loved one. It's nice to know, what is happening to me isn't so abnormal after all!
I am happy to share that I am continuing to enjoy the Lord’s presence, especially since I have been beginning my day with devotional time. Spending time with the Lord encourages and comforts me. I never feel alone or lonely. I am so thankful for that wonderful gift. I am however, missing my Bofren more and more as time goes by, and realizing increasingly, what a precious gift I had in him!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Memorial Miracle And Memories ~ Part 2

Posted Jul 7, 2009 ~ (2 1/2 months into widowhood)

I slept well, but woke early on Saturday morning. After weeks of preparation and anticipation, the day of Buck’s memorial had finally arrived. I had my quiet time with the Lord before I jumped into my day. I was amazed by the way I was feeling emotionally. All of my anxiety was gone. My fear was transformed into sheer excitement. I had total PEACE and knew that today was going to be a wonderful day. As we pulled into the church parking lot, I realized that I was experiencing the same kind of excitement I felt on our wedding day!

I greeted many people as they arrived, until it was time for the memorial to begin. The worship team played Amazing Grace and Great Is Thy Faithfulness and our pastor welcomed everyone and led us in prayer before the speakers started taking turns coming to the podium. I had invited six friends and family members to speak and another ten stood and shared personal remembrances. After several of the speakers shared their hearts with us, the worship team played a Ray Boltz song titled: Thank You For Giving To The Lord.

The speakers included immediate family, extended family, church family, caretaker family, in-laws and close friends. Each heartwarming testimony, whether spontaneous or prepared ahead of time was delivered with love, friendship and respect and touched my family and I deeply! Thank you to all of you who honored Buck in such a wonderful way!

When it was my turn to share my tribute to my Bofren, I was amazed by my confidence and calmness. To those of you who were able to join us at the memorial, I want to let you know that you witnessed a miracle as I stood before you! There was no evidence of fear or anxiety because those emotions were not present. I purposed to trust God like I never have before, and He blessed me with Peace, Strength and Courage that was not my own! There are two scriptures that now mean a lot more to me personally, after experiencing God’s power in that amazing tangible way! I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 But [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

It was my desire to honor my husband and to describe Buck’s life, in order to set the stage for the slideshow that would immediately follow. I wanted to summarize in words what Buck’s life was all about, so that the pictorial presentation would be even more meaningful. Although I was not fearful, the emotions were strong and affected my voice several times, making it necessary to stop and breathe deeply until I could go on. I appreciated everyone’s patience as God helped me to regroup and continue. Thank You Lord, for what You did for me: My weakness, Your POWER! What a gift!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Memorial Miracle And Memories ~ Part 1

Posted July, 3, 2009 ~ (Two months into widowhood)

The week prior to Buck’s memorial was very busy for me; finalizing details, making phone calls and planning and writing my tribute to my Bofren. Wanting to honor my Sweetheart was my primary focus as the days counted down. I asked several close friends to pray for me because this was a task that I knew I could not accomplish in my own strength.

When I was in grade school, had I been given the option, I would have chosen to write a book in place of doing a three-minute oral book report. Somehow I got through high school only having to stand before my classmates on one occasion, to do an oral presentation. In anticipation of the memorial, just the thought of standing before my friends and loved ones made my heart pound with anxiety. I added a new word to my vocabulary last week, as I learned that what I was experiencing is known as glossophobia. It was not comforting to know that, as much as 75% of the population are affected by this common phobia. Fear of public speaking is ranked even above that of death! Yes… that pretty much described how I felt!

When I sensed the Lord speaking to my heart and asking me to step way out of my comfort zone, I thought to myself: “Lord, You have got to be kidding… You know I can’t do that!” He spoke to my heart again and I sensed He was telling me, “You’re right, you can’t… but I can. Just trust Me and I will empower you!” My response: "All right Lord, You're giving me another opportunity to trust You."

I have learned so much throughout this journey and my relationship with the Lord has grown in a way I never dreamed was possible! I confess, I dealt with lots of anxiety right up until the evening before the memorial. Thursday evening was the worst part as I was feeling physically ill and didn’t sleep well. Friday was much better as I spent some quality quiet time, one on one with the Lord before I headed to Sarah and Bob’s house in the early afternoon. It was just what I needed and I came away feeling much calmer and comforted but still somewhat anxious.

On Friday evening, Sarah’s family and I had a great time sharing a meal at one of their favorite restaurants in North East, Md. When we returned to their home, I got to preview the slide show that would be such an important part of the memorial. They had invested countless hours into this precious gift. What an amazing visual tribute it was, sharing Buck’s life in such a powerful manner! My heart was overwhelmed as I watched Buck go from infancy to school age…then from his teenage years to manhood. They captured the essence of who Buck was in a creative compilation of photos and moving music. I was quickly reduced to a torrent of tears as I was so powerfully impacted by the beautiful testimony of a life so well lived.

I am so thankful for the photos that witnessed his love and devotion for his children and grandchildren as they grew and all his family in addition to all his many passions captured on film, clearly sharing the many sides of Buck: tough and tender, handsome and athletic, strong and gentle, serious and fun-loving , capable and adventurous, handy and helpful, manly and godly. What a feast for my healing heart, as I watched his obvious love for me and the visual memories of our courtship, wedding day and honeymoon unfolding before my eyes. I have such mixed feelings as I relive the precious moments we spent together as a couple. The pictures represent so many of the very best, joy filled days of my life! I had forgotten about many of those pictures, so I liken seeing them again to finding buried treasure. How thankful I am for the gift of photography, that helps us recreate those memories in our hearts that we would lose otherwise.

We made the decision to include Buck’s hospital days in the slide show because they were such a significant part of his story. In spite of his lengthy, life threatening illness; his sweetness, courage, character and faith came shining through. There was never any doubt that this was a man who loved God “with all his heart”.

This fine collection of memories simultaneously brings me great joy and breaks my heart as they intensify the reality of my Bofren’s absence! It is often painful and difficult , but more often I continue to have a greater number of good and joyful days than sad ones as I depend on the Lord to move me forward. Every day, He goes before me and shows me His faithfulness through the love of my family and friends!

I will forever cherish this wonderful gift that Sarah and Bob created for Kevin, Jessi and I!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Buck's Memorial ~ A Day To Remember!

Posted Jun 30, 2009 ~ (Two months into widowhood)

When I was first inspired to have a memorial for my Bofren, soon after his passing, the thought came to mind to celebrate Buck's life on the 4th of July. Independence Day seemed fitting to also celebrate my sweetheart's being set free from all his "earthly life support" to begin his enjoyment of the new life that his Lord had planned for him. Sweet Freedom for him at last! I wanted his memorial to coordinate with the traditional celebrating with an outdoor picnic after the memorial and culminating with watching the fireworks, which we both loved to share. My pastor wisely recommended that we choose another date, as my original plan would probably mean that a lot of people would not be able to attend because of other commitments and vacations.

I settled on the week before the 4th in conjunction with the annual fireworks display in Darlington Md. In trying to begin the planning process, I very quickly became totally overwhelmed with trying to figure out all the details if I tried to maintain my outdoor picnic plan. I knew Buck would not want me to be burdened, so I made the decision to hold the luncheon in our church fellowship hall instead. My wonderful church family took care of all the details, set up, clean up; all of it! My sweet friend Bobbie helped me reserve the date on the church calendar and told me, "you don't worry about a thing, you just show up". What a gift my church family gave me with the help of all those who supplied a delicious array of food to bless all of us. Thank you to all who participated in any way!

I will forever treasure the celebration of Buck's life. God was so faithful as we looked to Him for inspiration in the planning of the music, inviting speakers, and determining how everything would come together.

The week prior to the memorial was a stressful week for my daughter, Sarah, and her husband, Bob, as they both worked diligently to finalize the slide show presentation, that would tell the story of Buck's life. It was a labor of love and a masterpiece that had an amazing impact on all that were present.
I will share more in my next entry.
My love to all of you.