Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Glance Behind, a Peek Ahead

Today's pics are from my daughter's graduation from college (right) and my trip to WV to visit friends (left).

I can hardly believe it's almost a year since Vinnie passed away, just shy three days. So much has happened in this year, and so much is changing. I find myself reflective and thinking about the best days of my whole life - when we were a young family. I still miss Saturday family days. Every Saturday was a special day to go somewhere and do something special as a family. The girls were sweet. We were a sweet family. As the years rolled on, life brought many challenges, and the girls got older and starting finding their own way in life, Vinnie and I thought about what the years ahead would hold for us. We had dreams of buying an RV and driving all over America and Canada sight seeing and doing some kind of ministry with kids on weekends at churches, bringing the Gospel to families through art and games and songs. We thought about bringing our grand children to Disney. We had many ideas. None will come to pass.

Now, I am considering school, working but praying for a better paying job, one that fulfills my passions, and trying to fit time in for visits with my kids and grand children. My evenings are no longer filled with old movies and dreaming with my hubbie. Now they are filled with conversations with girlfriends on FaceBook, Skype and emails. And there's the option of school. I didn't finish very much college when I was younger. Recently I was accepted at the college at Southeastern Theological Baptist Seminary but I can't afford to go without scholarships. I got accepted so late in the summer that I can't get scholarships now so I won't be able to go until next fall! So now I am looking into other college options. The bottom line is that I am not a wife and Mommy anymore. I'm single and support myself. There's no retirement, no Social Security (like there used to be for widows years ago). I've got to create some kind of work that will support me for the rest of my life. I won't survive on the income of a "second job" for much longer! Work was just a second job all these years. Now it is my sole source of income.

I believe God is directing my path and that I will be more and more involved in women's ministry, most specifically, widow ministry. I am hosting/leading a retreat for widows in October that I am calling, Widows Peek (thus part of the title of this blog post). The retreat is the result of asking God why He was bringing so many widows in my life - and so many of them feeling like me and asking, "How do you want to use me, Lord?" As I asked Him, I began also asking, "How do you want to use us?" I thought it would be helpful to provide a time and place where we could meet for prayer and reflection, sharing and rest. Such a provision became available! so far 9 widows from this area and as far west as TN and as far south as FL are coming!

So in October I hope that God will reveal the next step in His plan for my life. And I keep looking ahead hoping that there is purpose and fullfilment in each step. I just don't want to go on without making a difference in people's lives. I can't see any other reason to be alive. Yet, I also can't stop glancing back over my shoulder too - thanking God that He gave the first half of my adult life such purpose, fullfullment and joy. I am so blessed to have been married to a man so full of life with such a servant heart. I am so blessed to have sweet memories of my little girls and sweet times as a family. I am so blessed to know the Lord who lives in me and has used all things in my life for my good and His glory. And I am blessed that God will continue to use me, a wretched, good for nothing sinner, a loser without Him, to give Him glory in the days and years ahead. Only God of the Universe can do that through someone like me. It is my joy to be a vessel for His redemptive work on earth. I live on.

No comments: