Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The Scarlet Letter
Sometimes I feel like being a widow is a bit like wearing a scarlet "w". While I don't find myself thinking "I'm a widow" all too often, I do feel this pang of anxiety when I meet new people or when I see people from the past and I have to explain that I'm a widow. I get the same look every time I tell someone. It's a mix of shock, sadness, and a whole lot of sympathy. And it's always awkward.
I'm just going to say it plain and simple: I hate being a widow. I loved being married to Isaac, and though it was painful beyond words, I love what God is doing through Isaac's death. I just really, really hate the word widow. It sounds so negative to me.
Lately, I've been trying to view this widow thing differently. As I wrote about earlier, I've been listening non-stop to the Audrey Assad CD. My current favorite song is "Carry Me". The song talks about the burden of the crosses we all carry, and how God carries us through those things.
Being a widow is a cross I carry with me every day. Some moments it is so heavy it stops me from moving forward. Other days, I hardly feel it's weight, but it is always there. It always will be.
Paul tells us in Acts 5 of the imprisonment and terrible treatment of the apostles. After their release from prison, these men REJOICE. They rejoice because they were counted worthy of suffering. How many times do we stop in our suffering to say "Oh thank you God for giving me this trial, it makes me feel so joyful"? It's easy to get caught up in the pit of despair and negativity, and not look outside of our suffering and see that God is there carrying us every step of the way.
To me, that's what it means to carry my cross. It means looking at the suffering and the sad times and the trials and CHOOSING to praise God in them. Choosing to give Him the glory and be THANKFUL that He loves me enough to carry me through something so difficult, because it has taught me so much. It means joyfully taking up whatever cross it is we carry, and carrying it for His glory and in His strength.
What cross are you carrying today? If it's feeling especially heavy, take a moment to stop and lay it down at the feet of Jesus. Ask Him to help you carry your burden. I promise, it will feel lighter!
I'm sharing this at Women Living Well and Internet Cafe Devotions!