Throughout my journey, whenever a smidgen of doubt trickled in, Shelley's faith in the midst of her personal struggles strengthened my own belief that God is in control and that Jesus walks with us through every trial.
Please realize deeply that here is hope for the hopeless. There is help from others who have had similar experiences. When you are passionate about caring for other people, it is one small step to changing more than just your own world, but also the world outside yours.
A good place to start connecting as a widow is at church, possibly a women's Bible study or prayer group. If the group doesn't go out for coffee once in a while, suggest it. I found it's not a good idea to rush in a social whirlwind to start with. However, if a woman friend tries to connect be open to it. Take her phone number and call her. It's easy does it, but do it!
In time, Gary and I set aside our fears and anxiety and self-pity, and learned - instead of counting all that would never be the same - to count all that remained.
I realized, in that moment, the day my ex-husband left me was not the worst day of my life, as I had thought for the past several decades. It was the best day of my life. All those years, I had blamed myself for the failed marriage. Now I knew Tim never would have been faithful to me. He had left the woman he'd had an affair with while married to me for another woman half his age. As Dr. Mendenhall said, "He has a hole in his heart."
Yes, so much had been right and good about our family, but then Joshua's death overshadowed it. If I would have stayed in this state of seeing more dark than light, I would have become spiritually blind. As sightless as the living creatures which live in a cave and have never see the sun.
Now I say, "The world has yet to see what God can do through the woman who is fully surrendered to him. I will fight this battle under one condition. You must organize prayer teams back home and pray for me daily." Inwardly I added, "And if I perish, I perish."