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Step Out of the Shadows

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR WIDOWS

Step Out of the Shadows provides a message of hope and encouragement for the suffering widow. Your grief ... your pain, although great, doesn't have to be debilitating. God wants to heal your pain and make you whole again.

I have first-hand experience of the healing power of God ... Because He healed me! I know what loss feels like, because my husband died of cancer at the age of 34, leaving me to deal with the grief surrounding his early death. I had no idea when I stood at the altar in the presence of our friends and family and promised to love and cherish my husband, "in sickness and in health, till death do we part", that death would actually come knocking at our door. But it did...

But the point of this story is not that death claimed another innocent victim... The point is about a God who stepped in to comfort me, immediately, once the grief and the despair had set in. God is indeed a Father to the fatherless, and a "Husband" to those who have no husband. 

Step Out of the Shadows is a book that encourages widows to break free of the grief and learn to live again after loss. There is hope after death. It is possible to break free of the often debilitating clutches of grief and rise again to experience pure joy. The joy I'm talking about is the kind of joy that only a loving God can provide. 

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WEEPING MAY ENDURE FOR A NIGHT ... BUT JOY...

You know the Scripture well ... "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." (Psalm 30:5 KJV)

There are many authors who have penned an answer to this refrain. One songwriter wrote: "Trouble don't last always."

Another songwriter wrote: "Trouble in my way, I have to cry sometimes. I lay awake at night ... but that's alright. I know Jesus will fix it after while."

It's natural for us to experience difficulties, loss, sadness, grief, etc. in this world. But a believing Christian knows that none of the things we experience here on earth will last, because we have a home in Heaven awaiting us. Therefore, these "light, momentary afflictions" are only temporary. And as the songwriter said, they won't last always.

God wants to fill us with Joy. He knows how to comfort us when we are sad, and strengthen us when we feel weak.

Step Out of the Shadows encourages widows to seek after joy. To allow God to fill you up with His great love. And to know that there is life again after death ... and to pursue it. God is the God of joy.

YOU CAN HAVE PEACE

What would you do to experience peace? Not the kind of peace that the world gives. This peace is predicated upon everything going well in your life. This kind of peace doesn't last ... because as soon as things begin to get turned upside down around you, there goes your peace. 

The Bible promises us a kind of supernatural peace. A peace that the world can't understand. A peace that the world can't offer. A peace that surpasses ALL human understanding. If I told you that you could have this peace - and it's free! - wouldn't you be first in line to receive it? Well, you CAN have this kind of peace...

My Experience With Peace

A few years ago, I was taking a class at a local Bible college, and, for whatever reason, the instructor just didn't like me. Now, he never came right out and admitted it, but based on his actions, I knew how he felt about me. Toward the end of the class, his feelings became blatantly obvious - he could no longer hide them.

This instructor decided he was going to direct the full force of his anger towards me. During one class assignment, he discovered that he and I had a different Biblical interpretation about a certain passage of Scripture - which I had respectfully kept to myself. But because of the nature of this class assignment, our differences were discovered. And because the class was heavily weighted toward the completion of this class assignment, this became a major point of contention.

Now, I successfully completed the class assignment, but, according to my interpretation of the Bible, and my strong spiritual belief. I believe this instructor was offended that I didn't see things exactly as he saw them. (Maybe this was his ego.) And because he never really liked me anyway, he decided he was going to use this to punish me - to give me a failing grade for the class. I was hurt and disappointed.

Long story short, I was asked by the Dean of students about my personal Biblical beliefs, and I explained how my beliefs differed from the instructor's. But I also showed the Dean how I had indeed completed the class assignment - according to my personal beliefs. Eventually, the failing grade was overturned and I received the passing grade that I had earned. I guess the Dean could also see that the instructor had overreacted, and that it was possibly done for personal reasons. This incident left me hurt and bitter. I was also angry toward the instructor ... who also happened to be a pastor. (Imagine that!)

I carried this anger around for a while, all the while telling God that I didn't understand why or how this instructor (pastor!) could treat me like this. Every time I thought of this incident, it made me mad...

God's Answer to Turmoil ... Peace!

But during one of my rants to God about this instructor, and how unfairly I had been treated, I remember feeling a wave of peace come over me. Now, God didn't say: Here daughter, I'm giving you peace over this situation. But somehow, I knew right away that it was God's peace. (I had never experienced anything like this before.)

But I was still angry and offended, and I wanted to hold on to this anger, so I would push God's peace away. But God kept coming back and pouring His peace over me. After we went back-and-forth like this for a while ... with God giving me His peace, and me rejecting it - because I still wanted to hold on to my anger - I eventually relented and received God's peace. I had to let the anger go. 

Now, God didn't care who was right and who was wrong in this situation. He just wanted me to have peace. But in order to experience His peace, I had to let go of the anger. 

Peace is something that is really hard to explain. But when God gives you His peace, you know instantly that it's peace. Peace is that thing that calms you when the storm is raging all around you - and in my case, inside me. You just can't be frantic, anxious, or angry when you have God's peace.

This is what God wants to do for you today. He wants to calm the raging of the storm around you, and give you His peace. Let go of the bitterness, the anger, and the fear and receive God's peace. It will change your life. 

GOD'S GREAT LOVE FOR THE WIDOW

"Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." (James 1:27 NASB)

God's heart is always for the widow - those who are without a covering, and are, therefore, vulnerable. God wants to be your covering today.

Step Out of the Shadows reminds us that even without our husband, we are not alone. We have a great God who is attentive to our prayers, and wants to take care of us.

BLESS A WIDOW

Purchase a copy of this book for the widows in your church or community. If you are a widow, purchase a copy for yourself. 

We bless God every time we bless a widow.

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