Let’s be praying for widows and widowers on National Prayer Day. And every day.
I know some of you do pray. I know some of you question, is there a God? Heck, my husband was agnostic until he knew he was going to die.
But May seems to be an excellent month for those of us grieving, for however long that lasts and to whatever degree of pain, our husband or wife.
Here are just some of the days May blesses us with:
National Prayer Day, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day. Why doesn’t anyone mention World Laughter Day? I missed that one!
All weekend I was getting ideas of what topics to write. I prayed to God to help me since the last post. But this morning, I heard without question: “write about your prayer experience today.”
I didn’t always focus on prayer and scripture. I pray you’ll find my journey encouraging in where you are with any pain or challenges you’re experiencing in your life without your best friend, lover, confident, partner in crime.
I left my church for several years.
I visited 27 churches in my local area yet could not find one that called me in. Oh sure, I felt welcome in 99%of them with people greeting me in the lobby, the free coffee, and home-baked goodies in others. But my heart’s knowing never told me, “this” is the one. So, I stopped going to church for years.
Then God, I suppose, had enough of my silliness.
A genuinely close friend of my family confided in my husband and me that they about a false accusation of rape. As the details spilled out, it all left me in shock and fear. Without thinking, I immediately went to our local Catholic church to start a prayer marathon. Every day, I would drive to and from the church.
But then I was afraid as the trial date was approaching and just decided to get back in a church community.
Things come in threes. With the first two hearings postponed, it turned out my husband, and I were home together the day of the trial. I felt calmer than in previous weeks. So quiet, when I got down on my knees, it felt as if the trial would reveal the truth. That the verdict would be “not guilty and dismissed.”
When I got the text which said “Victory!” it confirmed my feelings, and I did a happy dance around my husband. He was smiling and maybe did a few steps with me.
But God was still calling me to drawer closer to him.
About three months later, another close family member was accused falsely of child endangerment. This most loving, giving, a big-hearted person in no way would put any child in danger.
I opened to tell them about my previous experience of praying and being faithful to get back to a church family. Every day I would get updates as to the progress.
Finally, prayers answered again! The government agency dismissed the case because the findings just did not support the accusations.
And you’ve heard things come in threes.
Later on that year, it became apparent to my husband and me that our poodle, who was 16 years old, was at the end of her life. I do wish God would have given our furry friends a voice so we could understand them. Well, no, maybe that is not a good idea.
But in the end, God did let Chanel speak to us. I just wasn’t always paying attention. Chanel lost half her weight, and she was now incontinent. Always a sassy miniature poodle, she looked at me one morning, and in her eyes, looking like she never had before, I felt she was saying to me, “Help me. I’m only living, not being alive.”
She was the most intelligent and spunkiest dog we ever had the privilege of knowing. She knew about 30 words or more. One word we ended end having to spell backward so she would not jump up and down like a powerful spring when she heard, b-a-l-l.
But, it was time. My husband and I drove together with her to the vet to say our final goodbye.
It happened. I found a furry friend group online that, at the time, did weekly prayer over the rainbow bridge session for those whose dog or cat died. Unbelievably my agnostic husband was interested in participating!
Thank you, God.
My point is, prayer helps. I don’t know why my prayers didn’t get answered for my husband. Geez, he had pretty close to 500 people praying for him every day.
I’ll likely never know the answer to that. And probably when my time here is over, I won’t remember I want to know this.
Still, when Marty died, just after my dad and only 2 weeks before my mother, I never stopped going to church. Often a little embarrassed because I was angry with God every single day.
Then one Sunday morning, a church member said some encouraging words to me, with a hug (of course, this was before COVID.) She told me, “You are such an inspiration. After all your losses, you still are faithful every Sunday by coming to church.”
For me, it was the pastor’s bible focused message and the strength I drew from listening to his interpretation every Sunday.
So today, let’s be praying for Widows and Widowers on National Prayer Day
I pray for each of us, where ever we are in our widowhood, to know that we are still living, and we can be grateful to be alive. That our spouse would want us to feel alive and not just live.
I pray we hold the memories of our best friend in our hearts and keep moving forward every day.
And I pray we contemplate a bible verse in part; my husband prewrote for his funeral service. Of course, since he was agnostic, you can see the power God instilled in him through the song of the Byrds
“A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:4).