I didn’t start the first week of February with this Widow Warrior series, so I am extending it one more week.
Meet Bobbi Lea. She became a widow in 2018. Bobbi Lea and Jeff were married August 20, 2011 and Jeff went onto glory December 23, 2018. It was another sudden death in our church body—a year and a half after my husband had passed. Needless to say, it hit close to home for our church family.
Bobbi Lea and Jeff had seven years of togetherness. Bobbi Lea also takes care of their daughter, Rose, full-time. Rose's main diagnoses is Quadriplegic Spastic Cerebral Palsy, with many underlying disorders, mainly seizure disorder, scoliosis & chronic lung disease.
Bobbi Lea has seen God come through in her life more times than she can count. This lady still sends seasonal holiday cards, like my grandmother use to do. My grandmother has now passed, as I have mentioned before, yet I still get cards like it’s from her. This is carrying forward, or eternal blessings as I like to call it. It’s the intentional touches that matter so much.
One year after her husband passed, Bobbi Lea decided to get away and stay at the Virginia Beach oceanfront area and she posted this picture. I was undone. 😭😭😭
What an anniversary gift!!! Folks, this is just a small glimpse of the Father’s love. I mean, I can barely write this without crying all over again. To look down from your room and see this big sign that says, “My name is Jeff!” I mean, what? Bobbi Lea was receiving a message, Bobbi Lea, I LOVE YOU!! I am near!! This brings a tear. 😢 This is a testimony of the running Father who comes after us, who finds us right where we are, who surprises us with the wonders of creation whenever we are present enough to see it.
I’m sitting on my porch for the first time this year on a 70-degree day listening to the birds, the cars, the smell of a lit candle, and my kids playing. All is well, even while writing about another widow.
“True spirituality that is pure in the eyes of our Father God is to make a difference in the lives of the orphans, and widows in their troubles, and to refuse to be corrupted by the world’s values.”
James (Jacob) 1:27 TPT
This verse found me this past week and it hit me in a renewed way. I believe this community is experiencing blessings like never before because our community is making a difference in the lives of orphans and widows daily. I have experienced it and witnessed the kindness extended to the ladies I’ve mentioned these past weeks and other widows as well.
Kindness never expires. Carrying forward and continuing some of the traditions of passed loved ones is a way to honor them. It’s legacy. It’s carrying on as though they are still here. We’re standing in the gap, as some may call it. After my husband passed, I told my church to be a Ben for someone else. Whatever you miss that he did intentionally for you, do that for someone else now!!! Carry it forward. Don’t just wallow in looking back on what you miss. Look ahead, not with dread, but with hope knowing you have been redeemed and you are on your own journey towards that final destination called eternal bliss. But, for now, it’s time to be about our Father’s business. The missing still happens, but I believe we can’t get stuck in the past and not live in the present for our family’s sake. At the least, we have to keep on living and loving.
I’m passionate about the after stories for His glory. Bobbi Lea has many stories she would tell from her life so far on this earth if asked. This is another amazing lady who has lived through different losses and, as you can see, still has the most beautiful smile on her face. This is the power of transforming grace. This is the power of love. Love lifts the emotional toll that grief gives.
I want to say in closing, thank you for everything you have prayed, texted, and dropped by. It’s been an honor to have had a few special moments with you, to hug each other, and to just be thankful for the stories of others that have gone before us to show us that the life after is possible. And, when dealing with grief, I have found that processing it with a mind and heart focused on eternity and a belief that God truly is a loving Father unlocks something deep inside that is ready and waiting to come fully alive.
I asked Bobbi Lea is she had any words to share, and this is what she said:
“It was a privilege to be Jeffery's wife, and Poppa God in His infinite mercy swept Jeff up and now Jeff knows total peace and love. People may see a tragedy from the outside, but the truth is this life is a blessing orchestrated by God Himself. Rose is my ministry, and people are lead right to our door to hear about Jesus and all He has done for us, and He can do the same for them. I read this scripture today and it spoke to my hear: ‘I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.’ (Job 42:2) Losing Jeffery was a shock and hard, but that loss cultivated a deeper love for and reliance on Jesus the Friend of the Sinner.”
I hope you have enjoyed this Widow Warrior series. I wish I would have named it that from the start. For, these widows are all warriors to me. I hope sharing a little bit of their testimony sparks your heart to continue checking on those you know who have lost loved ones. In this pandemic, it’s seems to be all of us in some form or fashion. But, as Bobbi Lea mentioned, loss cultivated a deeper love and reliance on Jesus. Amen and amen.
Until next time,
Connect to the Mender.
Be a sender.