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Overcoming Life’s Challenges | Chapter 4: Facing My New Normal
Three months before my husband died, I had resigned from a good job to do consultancy work. I had worked in that organization for ten years. My work took me to many countries in Africa, Europe and Asia.
My husband was a veterinary doctor operating his own business. When I resigned from my job, I knew all would be well since I had a husband and he could pay the bills.
Financial independence is extremely important for widows. In most cases when a husband is employed, the widow is paid his benefits. After burying my husband, I had no job to go to and there were no benefits from my husband’s work since he was self-employed.
I knelt in my bedroom and asked God to take over all my burdens. These are words we often tell God, but at this particular moment, I really cried to God to have mercy on me and my children.
I told Him I wouldn’t make it unless He granted me a financial miracle. My children were all in a private school and they needed food and shelter. There were debts and bills to be paid. I could identify with the widow in 2 Kings 4:1-7.
The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”
Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”
Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”
She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”
But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.
She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”2 Kings 4:1-7 NIV
I had to deal with both emotional and financial stress. These two issues have caused many widows to fall into sin. There are men who are quick to take advantage of needy widows. They pretend they want to help them but they are only interested in sex. The widow might think it is real love but only discover the person was fake when they don’t respond to their calls after he has gotten what he wanted.
I have listened to testimonies by widows telling me that rejection in widowhood is more painful than the death of their husbands. When your husband dies, it does not mean your body also dies. If you are not serious with God and living a holy life, it is very easy to start new relations because you are physically vulnerable.
In my case, I told God I don’t want anything to separate me from His love. I also thank God that I was a mature Christian and I knew the consequences of sin. God’s grace was sufficient for me.
1 Corinthians 6:18 NIV
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.
So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.Romans 7:3 NIV
Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.1 Corinthians 7:8-9 NIV
God is so faithful and He knows all our needs. His love and mercy endures forever.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV
A few months after my husband’s death, I got a call from a friend asking me if I was ready to do some consultancy work for an international organization where she worked. Afterwards, I went to my bedroom and thanked God. I told Him to grant me uncommon favour so that I could meet my financial obligations.
I later got a call to go for the interview. When I got there, I found two of my friends who were in the same profession waiting to be interviewed. We greeted each other but didn’t talk about the interview. None of us wanted to reveal we were looking for a job.
I knew my friends were highly qualified and they held top positions in the institutions where they worked. I quietly told God, “You know all my needs, please have mercy on me. I know my colleagues here are also looking for money and are also very qualified, but God please give me this job. You are my husband and my provider.”
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:19 NIV
I was the last one to be interviewed and when I got home, I requested my children to hold hands, pray and claim that job. I was very open with my children. I never hid from them the need to trust God for our survival. I taught them a song which says “Because He Lives I Can Face Tomorrow” by Bill Gaither.
And because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth living just because He livesBILL GAITHER
We sang this chorus many times. This song has continued to minister to me up to this day.
Three days after the interview, I got a call that I was selected for the role and we would discuss the contract the following day. With this work, I was able to meet most of my financial obligations. It was the first confirmation after my husband’s death that God is faithful and He will never leave me nor forsake me.
“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.”Isaiah 54:4-5 NIV
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