The “W” Word
“The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and ask God for help.” I Timothy 5:5
As I have met widows and talked with them, the one theme that comes up in conversations is how much the word “widow” is despised. I always agree with them; the word is awful. The word to me sounds so lonely and cold. As a child, I had two great grandmothers that were widows. In my mind, they were the poster women for that word. But they fit the word widow to me, they were older and lived alone since their children were grown and had families of their own.
So how did that “W” word become a word associated with me?
I am neither as old as they were or alone in my household. I have a child living at home with me. I am not a “poster women” for this word. I hate filling out forms that ask your martial status. Checking the widow box on forms hurts my heart. In my mind I am too young to check that box. That “W” word brings up emotions of disgust and sadness. Some might think it’s silly for that to happen, but I say to them you must not be a widow. Only a widow(er) would understand that knife stick in the heart. It’s neither silly or ridiculous. It can be painful and bring up feelings of sadness.
As I think about that word and how it is attached to me, it doesn’t define me, but it is associated with me: I have sat and thought about the women through history that have been widows and not let that word keep them in the shadows. One such widow was Alexander Hamilton’s widow Eliza Hamilton. My daughter Emily is a huge history lover and she loves Hamilton The Musical. I learned that Eliza went on to do several extraordinary things in her life after the untimely death of Alexander. She helped found the Orphan Asylum Society which still exists today and is known as Graham Windham. She also helped raise money for the construction of the Washington Monument that stands proudly in Washington D.C. She lived 50 more years and never remarried. In an article on smithsonianmag.com it says that Eliza and Alexander’s son James once complimented his mother’s heroic work for poor orphans, and she replied pragmatically, “My Maker has pointed out this duty to me, and has given me the skill and inclination to perform it.” Wow!!! What a widow warrior she was!!
I think about the poor widows that endured so much in the past. History is full of stories of widows and how they went on to do so much good for others. A lot of them talk about their faith in Christ and how He brought them through their darkest times. Do you trust God in your darkest times?
I know the word widow is not fun to think about. I know none of us want that word attached to us. But did you know that God loves us and we are special to Him? Do you know that God loves and cares for our children? Psalm 146:9 NIV says to us, “The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.” He sees us and knows our hearts. Psalm 68:4-5 NIV states, “Sing to the God, sing in praise of His name, extol Him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before Him-His name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.” We are special to Him, please never forget that.
Even though we do not care for the word widow, God cares for us. He sees us for so much more than that word. We are His children and He loves us beyond measure. Psalm 34:18 NIV reminds us, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Just know and trust that He sees us, knows our pain, and lifts us up where we are. Not only is God for you and fighting for you, but there are so many of us widow warriors that are fighting right beside you also; you are NEVER alone!!
God please hear our hearts when we say we do not like the word widow or like being associated with it. God I pray for hearts to heal and for lives to be restored as we walk through some of the darkest days of our lives. Only You Lord can heal our hearts and set us on our paths of healing. Thank you Lord for being with us and for us. You are a Mighty and Loving God. In Your precious Name I pray Amen!!
Angela Key was born in Indianapolis and was raised in Mooresville. There she graduated from Mooresville High School and after secondary school and marriage, her and her late husband Kirk stayed in the area to raise their daughter Emily. In June of 2011, they tragically lost Kirk in an accident at his workplace. As time has passed, Angela began to take classes through Indiana Wesleyan for Biblical Studies and also took a class for Biblical Counseling through Rod and Staff Ministries. She always had a desire to help other women who find themselves in a similar situation being a widow and being left as the only caregiver. Angela experienced that through the love of Jesus and leaning on Him for strength, she could find a new normal and be able to reach back to help other women on their widow journey. She works full time as a Certified Professional Coder for Community Physician’s Network. In her spare time, she likes to read and enjoys watching Emily play travel and high school soccer.