Sometimes, because we’re human, we are tempted to focus on the negatives in our current situation. We feel like we’re drowning, and each day is a struggle just to keep going. Especially when being a single mom is so unexpected, it’s hard to think about the uncertainty of the future and actually see anything positive. We have hope (maybe), but often, our fears about our future shout at us while the hope only whispers. Kids also shout at us, and it can make it difficult to think about much else. Hope of meeting someone else and our kids turning out OK and life settling into a good (albeit different) normal seem like small possibilities, and after experiencing the worst case scenario, we have a difficult time hoping for good things in our future. The fears of our kids walking away from the Lord and being single forever and running out of money and not being able to handle it all can overwhelm us. Fear is often much stronger than hope.
Scripture says that perfect love drives out fear, but how do you reconcile perfect love with a love that would allow so much pain and suffering? How do you continue to hope and not lose heart? We look to the unchanging promises and truths of Scripture. Job, Joseph, David, Hannah, Paul. They all kept going even when life was uncertain. It doesn’t mean their life was without pain or doubt or questions, but it does mean that they remained faithful and they were rewarded in the end. I’m not promising you that things will get better soon. I’m not promising you that everything will work out in this life, but I do know that God has a plan for you and that things will someday work out perfectly. If not in this world, in the next.
Yesterday marked a year-and-a-half since I suddenly lost my husband of 15 years. I thanked God for how far out of the pit God has brought me. It still hurts, and it’s still hard. My life is still a mess more often than not, but I’m doing this life that God has called me to, and God has richly blessed me. I’m not saying that everything has worked out yet, because it hasn’t. However, God has helped me to learn to choose joy even when I don’t know what the future holds. He has helped me to be grateful for what I have today and to trust him with my future.
Let me ask you a few questions; think about these. Really think about them for a moment. What if God wants to pour out his grace and mercy on you? What if he wants to teach you to trust him more and make you more like Christ? What if it took losing your dearest, closest person in this whole world to do that? What if he knew that you could see him more clearly and feel him closer if he was all you had? What if God knew that through this storm, you would develop a deeper, stronger faith that would be a testimony for others for years to come? What if he gave you a story – not the one you wanted but one nonetheless – that would be a comfort to others in your situation. Let’s face it – young widows are a lot more common than I realized at first. Since losing my husband, I have had several friends of mine mention to me a friend or family member that was widowed young and left with children. You’re not alone. We’re not alone. God won’t leave you. Trust that he’s doing something, and that if not today, then someday, you will be able to look back and tell others how faithful your God has been to you. Remember this – the view is a lot different from the top of a mountain than it is at the bottom. If you don’t start at the bottom though, you’ll never be able to see it from the top.