Belief and Faith…
Belief is defined as accepting (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of. Faith is defined as complete trust or confidence in someone or something. If you are anything like me, when you experienced the loss of your spouse, your belief and faith were rocked and for some of us it was altered and changed forever.
I had the blessing of growing up in a home where faith was at the center. We lived our lives praying and trusting God in each decision we made. When my parents (who were in the ministry my whole life) were faced with decisions about moving across the country to a new church, they sought God first and prayed for His wisdom. They did this in the big decisions (like big moves) and in the little, daily things as well. There was never a moment that I doubted that my parents had faith and belief in God and His ways.
As an adult, I grew in my own faith and belief that God has a bigger plan for my life. When I was in college, I wanted to transfer schools and be close to where I grew up. I shared this idea with my parents and my Dad asked me to pray about it. He told me that if I felt God’s direction for this move, he would support me in this move. I found a place by a lake in the college town that I was living in and I prayed. I felt silly (even though I watched my parents do this my whole life), but as an 18 year old college student, I didn’t think God really cared where I went to school. In those moments of prayer, I felt God give me clear directions to stay where I was even though I didn’t want to. That seemingly small prayer changed the direction of my life. A few months later, I met my late husband and a few years later, I became his wife and we started a beautiful life together.
Even though I had seen God show up again and again in my life, when my husband passed away suddenly, I didn’t understand or believe that God was working in my life. I couldn’t understand why a God that loved me, my daughter and our family, would allow Darren to pass away. I didn’t understand why other people were healed from all kinds of illnesses and yet Darren wasn’t healed. I didn’t understand why my daughter, at 12 years old, had to face a loss that is supposed to be reserved for much later in life. I had well-meaning people tell me that God had a plan and to have faith in Him and His plans, however I couldn’t see any plan or goodness in His plan. I still cried out to God, but my cries were lacking faith and belief and mostly lacking understanding of why and how this could be His plan.
I wish I could say that through the darkest days of my grief journey, I never lost faith or belief in God and His plans, but I definitely struggled to see Him through it all. There was a song that I listened to at that time and it talks about not even knowing if I believe. Unfortunately, I understood those words and struggled to know if I truly believed. I made decisions without seeking God first and did things that I regretted during my journey, but somehow with God’s strength he brought me through it all and He had a plan for my journey.
As I slowly started to see the light again, I started seeking His ways and His plan in this journey. It wasn’t easy and there were days I was still angry and scared, but I went back to that 18 year old college student who prayed over the little things and trusted His answers. The answers He provided included a move to a new place for my daughter and myself. His plans included us returning to the church we attended with my late husband. His plans included me starting a business and starting to date the right person who became my husband. His plans included a call into the ministry for our family and the doors opening for me to work with widows at an incredible place called Stand In The Gap Ministries.
I share my story today with you, to let you know that no matter what part of your journey you are in, you have a God who loves and cares for you deeply. He cares about you and when your faith and belief are shaken and even shattered, He is still there working. He does have a plan to work in you and through you. If you are struggling today, please know that you’re not alone. There are people that God will put in your path to help you on this journey. If you need someone to talk to, seek Him first and then reach out to a community of those of us that love you and understand what you are going through. I love connecting with others in this journey and can always be reached via email at Amyw@sitgm.org if you need someone to talk with, I am here. I also love connecting widows to support groups and churches who are helping reach widows, so reach out at any time. Please know that you are loved and God has not and will never forget about you. You are seen and you are loved!
Amy Woody brings her personal experience and passion for helping others to her work with widows. She wants you to never forget you have a purpose and a God-given calling placed on your life, no matter what you've been through! Use your hurt to help others!