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Widow Warriors 2023



Happy week 5 of 2023.

For the past two years, I have called on my fellow Widow Warriors to write what God has been doing in their lives. I’m excited they have agreed to do it again. So, I will take this opportunity to gosh on them a little bit.

Holly

Holly and I met when we were five, as far as we can remember. We just hit it off. She is a fun person and always up for an adventure. Our birthdays are six months apart to the day, and that felt special to us for some reason. We went to the same church for most of our lives and we were also home schooled for a season as well. We did more life together than apart. I started dating years before her, but no matter what, our friendship stayed intact. Even when college hit and we went our separate ways, we still talked and stayed in touch with our life happenings. I would drive to see her in Lynchburg, and her friends became my friends too. I have learned this is called a secure friend. She was never nervous about someone else taking her place and neither was I. College drew us even closer together. Once she graduated, she actually worked with my husband for a year, and then moved on to what I believe has been her place of employment for the past 15 years. We were in each other’s wedding and even had our daughters three months apart. But, one thing I never hoped to have in common with her was our status of widowhood. It’s unbelievable. It’s almost been two years since her husband passed and almost six years for my own story.

I am here to tell you Holly Ledbetter is a woman of great faith. She has had a relationship with the Father for most of her life, and for that I am eternally grateful. In some of our first conversations after her husband’s funeral, I could tell the Holy Spirit was speaking to her about things, and an ease came over me that she was going to be okay. She took a year off the worship team, and I got the honor of leading the Sunday she came back. It was an emotional time in worship with your best friend who lost her husband too.

I will launch out with a new song that has been ministering to me called Evidence by John Baldwin:

All throughout my history

Your faithfulness has walked beside me

The winter storms made way for spring

In every season, from where I'm standing

I see the evidence of Your goodness

All over my life, all over my life

I see Your promises in fulfillment

All over my life, all over my life

Help me remember when I'm weak

Fear may come, but fear will leave

You lead my heart to victory

You are my strength and You always will be

I see the evidence of Your goodness

All over my life, all over my life

I see Your promises in fulfillment

All over my life, all over my life

See the cross, the empty grave

The evidence is endless

All my sin rolled away

Because of You, oh, Jesus

See the cross, the empty grave

The evidence is endless

All my sin rolled away

Because of You, oh, Jesus

I see the evidence of Your goodness

All over my life, all over my life

I see Your promises in fulfillment

All over my life, all over my life, yeah

I see the evidence of Your goodness (when I wake up in the morning)

All over my life (I see Your mercies are new)

All over my life (yeah, You're all around us)

I see Your promises in fulfillment

All over my life, all over my life (yeah, You're all around us)

So why should I fear?

The evidence is here

Why should I fear?

Oh, the evidence is here

(Source: LyricFind, Songwriters: Ed Cash / Ethan Hulse / Josh Baldwin

Evidence lyrics © Bethel Music Publishing, Capitol Christian Music Group, Capitol CMG Publishing, Essential Music Publishing)


Holly and I have experienced His evidence, and when a song connects us to our own story about His faithfulness and we get to sing that corporately unto the Father, it’s a feeling like none other. Yes, it brings emotions to the surface, but I’m learning that that’s a very good thing, for we can learn how to regulate those deep emotions and not press them down by actually allowing them to move through us. Even when it feels uncomfortable and vulnerable, it will not make us crumble unless we let it. This is the way to becoming Resilient. And that’s not all. Strength, courage, and power all come along with it too.

Howie

I think Howie and I met while volunteering on the United Way Board in Franklin. We connect on many different levels, but the main three are words/writing, volunteering, and our love for Jesus. He is one of the smartest people I know, for he knows a lot about a lot of different things. His life has become a life of service, and for the past few years, we have had many talks about how to better serve the needs in our community. So many are hurting and we feel compelled to help. His acts of kindness have always felt like a nudge from the Holy Spirit moving through him. He will be one of the writers in the resources that will be available in the months to come—Widows Trusting Widows. I trust him with expressing an eternal caregiving perspective as a widower.

Peggy

We go way back, but our closeness came after my husband passed. She made sure to check on me, and when her husband got sick, I made sure to check on her. We had a similar interest of getting massages and reflexology. So, we would take some day trips and enjoy these self-care treats together. Low and behold, she would become a widow too. The day her husband passed was the day I surprised my family with my first book. She was the first widow I got to give my book to, and it impacted her so much that she bought 100 more to give away. And she has. We have walked closely for the past three years, and she has had some amazing things happen, so I can’t wait for you to hear her updated story. God brings the right people at the right time in your life. She has been one of my boldest encouragers. She coined the name, Micah D. She says, Micah Declare! And so, I have and will continue to. She gives the best hugs and her laugh makes you feel like all is right in the world. She prays for me often, and when I’m really on her heart, she leaves me a voicemail singing. You are my sunshine my only sunshine. ☀️It’s good to have friends like that.


Lastly, Bobbi

We met at church, and she has been an encouragement to me throughout the years by sending texts, cards, and giving me hugs at church. Her and her husband came to our church for many years before he passed suddenly. God has shown up so many times and places in her life that you can’t help but feel encouraged when you talk to her. She is a caregiver to her daughter Rose full-time, and there is something she understands about unconditional love that many never get to experience. Her heart is big and that’s a beautiful thing to witness.

There is so much more I could say about all four of my friends, but I will leave it up to them now to take it to the next level, for I can’t wait to hear from my fellow Widow Warriors. Stay expectant. They are amazing and I’m honored to know them. Amen.

Until next time,

Stay Tender

Connect to the Mender

Be a Sender




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The list has grown since you initially wrote this.

The Joy of the Lord is my strength.

LesaMarie

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Jan 31, 2023
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Your right and their will be space for you to share very soon.

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