I was 18 years old when my mom became a widow. My sister was 16. My mom was 44. It was something we never expected or planned for. The emotions were overwhelming. Finding a “new normal” seemed impossible. There were times when laughter seemed impossible. Then there were the bills and the questions about what to do next. My mom had been a stay-at-home-mom my entire life. She had worked various jobs before that, but there was no college degree or specialized field to fall back on.
Through it all, God was gracious. He brought a “new normal.” He carried us through the grief. He brought us laughter. And He continues to carry us through the painful days and memories. They are fewer now, almost sixteen years later, but they still come. He provided for the bills that needed paid in a variety of ways–through the generosity of friends and even strangers, through doctors who waived their fees, and through other ways too numerous to count. And in time, He provided the jobs my family needed. First a hodgepodge of part-time jobs, then a full-time job that lasted a short time, then the full-time job my mom works to this day. I am unspeakably grateful for all He has done and provided for us, and most of all for the everlasting promise that my family will be reunited again one day in His kingdom.
But so many widows around the world face a much darker reality. The emotions are the same; the loss is the same. But the “new normal” doesn’t include forgiven debts or support from family and friends. Did you know that in some cultures in Asia the widow is shunned, blamed for her situation? For many, there are no jobs to be found. For others, the only “job” available is degrading and brings more shame and heartache. And many of these widows live without any eternal hope. They have never heard of Jesus Christ. They do not know that EVERY sin can be forgiven and that there is a loving Father anxiously waiting for them to simply ask Him to do so.
Please pray for these widows today, that they will see the love of Christ and trust Him to hold and heal their broken hearts. Pray for their children to grow up in a safe and loving home, free from fear and disease. Pray for them to be surrounded by women of God who understand their pain and are willing to help them walk through it. And please pray for those seeking to reach out to them, that they would be filled with love for these women and for God.
I very rarely mention financial donations on this website. The needs are many, and I believe God lays on our hearts the ways and methods He wants us to support those in need. But if you feel so led and would like to help meet the needs of widows today, please consider being a part of Gospel for Asia’s International Widows’ Day outreach. Thank you.