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Stand in the Gap for WidowsWidows

Protecting the Peace, Rest & Refreshment of Your Soul.

By June 19, 2024No Comments

Protecting the peace, rest and refreshment of your soul.

Summer is beginning and it typically means soaking up the rays of the sun between work and any activities that the kids might have or maybe even some sort of vacation. Yet, when you are a widow it can look and feel significantly different. It can feel empty and gray regardless of how sunny it might be outside. 

Lately I have been working on practicing silence and solitude and paying attention to when I feel stressed and in need of rest and refreshment. When it boils down to it, I am working on establishing a pace that I can live by and thrive in daily. You see in the early days after losing my husband I filled every extra moment. I did not want any downtime because those empty spaces were a harsh reminder that I was alone and the death of my high school sweetheart was not just a dream but an actual real life nightmare. I did not want to admit it then, but I was lonely. Not just when I was by myself, but really all the time. I remember being in a group of people talking and enjoying their company and at the same time feeling completely alone. I no longer knew who I was or what I was supposed to be doing. My whole world was flipped upside down and inside out. 

In the early days of widowhood as I was struggling with rest and refreshment, I struggled with being at peace in silence and not having a constantly filled calendar. Then I remembered two different things, the first was the peace that I experienced when my husband was fighting for his life in the hospital. I remembered it was because I was being intentional with my quiet time. I was seeking peace, comfort, rest and refreshment from the one who could provide it regardless of what was going on around me. The second was an example in Ruth. She was gleaning from the leftovers in the fields of Boaz. This was a common occurrence for widows and those less fortunate to do in that time period. However, it meant that the field owner had to allow for the extra to be left behind. Meaning, Boaz had to make space in the margin of his harvest to allow for not every single grain to be picked up. The same goes for our calendar and our lives. We should not fill every single moment. When we do, it keeps us from having the flexibility to appreciate the silence, sit in the quiet spaces, do the fun things that pop up and most importantly have the spontaneous conversations with people that God places in our path that arise in our day. My Heavenly Father was with me while I was in the hospital with my husband. My Heavenly Father was with me during the memorial service, but I also know that my Heavenly Father was with me everyday before those days and everyday since.  

Throughout this blog I have mentioned peace, rest and refreshment. Do you know what activities and/or hobbies bring you peace? Do you have space in your day to be intentional with rest and refreshment? I challenge you to pay attention to when you are doing certain things. If they bring you peace, rest and refreshment make sure to take notes. You might want to add this into your daily life on a cycle. For example, I know I need at least once a week to take a good windows down, music on drive. I also need a good amount of time walking around barefoot. I can tell if I haven’t had enough time out of my shoes. The feeling is very real and tangible and sometimes I can tell you I get agitated if I haven’t been barefoot. Once I kick off those shoes and walk around I am good…especially if the grass is soft and lush. It is relaxing and refreshing. As you finish reading this and reflect on your daily life I want to challenge you to make space for the quiet moments, the moments where God is leading you to talk to someone or go somewhere. He is in all the details of our lives, even the ones that are unexpected. 

As you reflect on what God is showing you in your silence and solitude, I want to leave you with some scriptures that have helped me on my journey. I pray that these scriptures resonate with you and encourage you to continue to find your peace, rest and refreshment with our Heavenly Father. 

Isaiah 26:3 – “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Psalm 23:1-6 – “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

John 16:33 – “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Psalm 91 – “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Samantha Stewart

Stand in the Gap for Widows, Program Manager

Samantha Stewart values her unique sense of humor and vulnerability in her role. She finds value in helping widows and other women connect with others in their communities through laughter and deep love for God. Her desire is to remind everyone that they have a purpose and that they can create a ripple effect of encouragement and support throughout our communities.