Grace for the Widow
A Journey Through the Fog of Loss
By Joyce Rogers
Fog. It doesn’t happen too often here in Socal, but I’ve been in thick fog before and I remember how it felt. There’s a mystery in its quietness. Sounds are muffled, and it’s hard to make out what’s ahead, OR behind. The view ranges from completely opaque to blurred vaguely familiar objects. It slows you down, the fog creates an awareness of being alone, and unsure. A year and a half in to my widowhood, I’ve heard “Fog” used as a metaphor for how things feel when grieving, and it’s an apt description.
A friend recently shared this little book with me. Joyce Rogers, (widow of Adrian Rogers), passed through the “fog of loss” and gifts us with simple truths, and practical steps. Joyce understands the unsettled feelings.
“If I only had someone to tell me what to do next!”
...shopping for one at the grocery store…
“What do I buy now?”
...after many years together...
"Who am I now that Adrian is gone?"
The book is only 110 pages and it’s divided into two parts, the Profound and the Practical.
Nothing is more PROFOUND than God’s love and care for widows.
"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:33-34
“Until the ‘fog’ lifts, don’t try to think about what your future holds. Get out of bed, take a bath, get dressed, spend time alone with God, eat breakfast, clean up the house, walk the dog, pay the bills that are due – just do the next thing.” p.2
Joyce emphasizes that God is the “husband” of widows.
“Your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.” Isaiah 54:5
From the book: “His name means ‘the Lord of hosts.’ He is the leader of all the hosts of heaven. He fights my battles for me.” p.8In one chapter she explains some of the names of God, and how the character trait of God applies to widows. i.e. our Refuge, Strong Redeemer, Provider, etc. In the Appendix there is a larger list.
Sprinkled throughout the book are encouraging thoughts about Heaven, scriptures categorized for specific needs, and comforting poetry.
The PRACTICAL section includes helpful To-Do lists, healthy lifestyle tips, importance of friendships and how to get back to ministry and regular activities. For example:
“SLEEP – Get at least eight hours of sleep. Kneel before the Lord before you go to bed. Turn your cares, heartaches, and fears over to Him. Ask Him to give His ‘beloved’ sleep. Remember: You are His beloved, and He neither slumbers nor sleeps.”p.61
“MAKE A BUDGET – Begin to make a budget that is now just for one person….”p.50
“MAINTAIN A BALANCED LIFE – Do the tasks that are ‘have tos’ but don’t feel like you have to do all these things on the to-do list right away. Ask your Chief Counselor to show you what needs to be done today. Of course, He is the Holy Spirit. He has promised to guide you and He will.”p.50
My personal "fog" is lifting, and I understand that it's a process finding my footing alone, after being Gary's wife for 40 years. Some days the path is clearer than others. I think the best part of the foggy weather in my life is that it forces me to slow down, walk carefully when unsure, and cling to the everlasting arms that are constantly holding and guiding me. Thank you, Mrs. Rogers, for helping me along with the process.
"Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth."