As a writer, of sorts, it’s probably not appropriate to make up silly words like I just did for this title. But, it popped into my head, so there you go!
This week marked the one-year anniversary of my first blog post on this site. As with the commemoration of so many key dates, we often are torn between how quickly the time goes, on one hand, and how it has painfully crawled along on the other.
I have some of those same emotions over this date. In some ways, it seems like a lifetime ago when I clearly felt God directing me to work through this deep sorrow by writing about it. And yet, I’m surprised by the realization that a year has passed.
I just reread the original post and it brought back many of the feelings I had then – excitement, but a bit of trepidation stepping into a world I knew very little about. Blogging OR widowhood!
While wedding anniversaries are a time of reminiscing over all that a couple has shared together, so this anniversary will be one where I reminisce about all that has transpired from a ministry perspective.
The timing is appropriate because just a few days ago, I gave my newly “retooled” videotaped presentation to a group of friends at my church. It felt like a new beginning – and one clearly led by God.
Maybe more than anything this past year, that’s what I take away from this. Even though I’ve been a believer since I was 14-years-old, I have never so clearly seen God open up doors, drop people into my life when I most needed their expertise AND their kindnesses, and time after time give me words to express ideas and concepts that seemed to land in my mind out of “nowhere.”
It’s an incredible, humbling experience to be used by the Almighty God! And I’m so grateful that He can take this pain of widowhood and use it to help others learn how to bless their hurting friends. It is so like God to not waste an ounce of our pain, but to use it for good in this fallen world.
I’ve written about how the second year of widowhood is so much harder than the first, and as I was living that reality and struggling with extra difficult weeks recently, I tried to develop the infamous “attitude of gratitude.” It might be a silly, secular idea, but there is also much biblical support for embracing this. (See my closing scripture.)
So, I decided one of the best ways to escape the daily heartache of this season (widowhood AND this nasty winter!) would be to look for blessings in Every. Single. Day. It really isn’t that hard. Every day does have good things and one of the blessings that rose to the top of the list was this ministry.
For the first time in almost 20 years, I don’t have any (human) family members whose care is my sole responsibility. For the first time since I started working at the Pella Super Valu in 1971, I don’t have a job to fill up my days. This ministry is now my life’s calling – and I take it seriously!
And the purpose and joy and excitement and insights and spiritual growth it brings to my life cannot be understated. I’m grateful beyond measure. If you haven’t been to the ministry website, I’d love for you to visit!
For those who have prayed with me, cried with me, laughed with me, challenged me, and simply hung in there with me through this last year – THANK YOU from the bottom of this grateful heart. YOU are a blessing that rose to the top as well.
I look forward to the year ahead, not knowing often from day to day what that looks like. Quite a change for this Type A planner! But a more sovereign Planner is now in charge and I yield to His vision.
So, whether you spend your days in the workplace rat race, at home with children, in school, volunteering, or occupied by any other busy-ness that the world can throw at you, I pray that you too can put your trust in that same all-powerful and all-knowing Planner!
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18