Being a New Widow this Christmas

2Mary

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.  Luke 2:19

συμβάλλω

symballō

“to throw together, confer,” etc., has the meaning “to ponder,” i.e., “to put one thing with another in considering circumstances,” as in Luke 2:19

Other definitions of the word, pondering, in other Bible verses are: to combine, i.e. (in speaking) to converse, consult, dispute, (mentally) to consider, (by implication) to aid, (personally) to join, attack:—confer, encounter, help, make, meet with, ponder.

Screenshot-2015-12-03-21.31.35

But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them.  CSB

…but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.  NLT

…and Mary was preserving all these things, pondering in her heart;… YLT

Aert_de_Gelder_-_Het_loflied_van_Simeon

As they listened to Simeon speak of their child…

And His father and His mother marveled at what was said about Him.  Luke 2:33

***

And seeing their 12 year old child sitting with three teachers, listening to them and asking question…

And He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And His mother treasured up all these things in her heart.  Luke 2:51

***

To be given these words would make one think about the future of this child:

And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”  Luke 2:34-35

***

Thirty-three years later, Mary stood near the Cross watching her son.  Before Jesus took His final breaths, He made sure Mary, His mother, would be cared for by John.  We do not know when nor how Joseph died, but he has not been written of in the Bible since Jesus was twelve and he is not around when Jesus is teaching.  So Mary is, most likely, a widow.

…but standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”  John 19:25-26

***

As I have walked through this Christmas as a widow, I have found my mind and heart wondering and pondering hard things.  I cannot imagine Mary watching her son hanging on the Cross.  Yet, I am making note of Mary’s ways when Jesus was born, when he was growing up, as well as when Jesus was 33 years old and Mary being a widow (in all probability).

There is a calmness about the way she ponders and treasures and listens.  I desire that calmness about me too.  Then God provided for Mary through John.  I must say that this season of my life has far more peace and tranquility than it does fear.  This first Christmas season without Kenneth has been very difficult…hard.  Yet the Lord has been with me all of the way, and has provided for me all the way.  It is in the arms of Jesus that I want to be for He comforts me and loves me and will until I am in His heavenly arms and then through eternity.  Hallelujah!!

Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
whoever is discerning, let him know them;
for the ways of the LORD are right,
and the upright walk in them,
but transgressors stumble in them.  Hosea 14:9

Father, I thank You from the deepest place in my heart for all You do for me each and every day.  I thank You for loving me.  Thank You for blessing me with a loving and kind husband in Kenneth.  I am so grateful for 25 years with him.  I am so in love with him and cannot help but cry tears of sorrow alongside tears of joy for being blessed by Kenneth himself and then by the beautiful marriage we shared.  I thank You, Abba, for walking with me through this difficult first Christmas season as a widow.  I believe you are going to walk with me for always.  You are such a loving God.  I want to honor You in who I am, how I behave, and the words coming from my mouth as well as the words of my heart.  I want You to be glorified in the way I represent You.  I desire to walk the steps that You have assigned for me.  You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip. Psalm 18:36 I praise You and pray in the Name of Jesus, Your Son, born so that He could die for me.  Amen.  

 

3b9ae73d6ff42ab012b0f127f80f203c

 

photo: origin unknown

graphic: https://southatlanticcoaching.com/a-treasured-pondering/

painting:  by Arent de Gelder, 1645 – 1727, (also: Aert de Gelder); Dutch painter.

YouTube: Voctave performs with original songwriter Mark Lowry “Mary, Did You Know;” arranged by Jamey Ray: https://youtu.be/uaRpeMT1tjQ

 

21 thoughts on “Being a New Widow this Christmas

  1. Linda, I have always enjoyed your word studies, and every year, I think about this word, “ponder.” I know the process comes during those quiet, still and even difficult, questioning times, but what waits on the other side never disappoints as God reveals more of himself through our pondering. I pray God is filling you with truths of him and his love for you in this season.

    Like

  2. I have found that grief and suffering cause us to ponder the things of life more regularly— the trials, the sadness, the brevity, the beauty.. In a way, it helps us to pause and take notice of our surroundings and our feelings. The small things that we might not otherwise notice. I am grateful for those gifts that I believe can only come by way of grief.
    Praying for you dear friend. May God’s presence be ever near. ((Hugs))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree, Rachel. It is in the quiet, the depth of sorrow, the time with God when I “see” and “hear” that which is so beautiful and important…that which God wants me to see and hear. Thanks for your insights which affirm this pondering which is so special. May God be with you this day. Caring through Christ, ~ linda

      Like

  3. Linda, I can’t even image what it must have been like for Mary to watch Jesus hang on the cross either and I love the song “Mary did you know” for this reason – it asks all the questions that as a mom, I would ponder and ask about…. I am sorry that this year you had to walk through Christmas without your spouse by your side. But pondering the things of the Lord is the best place to be in this season as you are learning to navigate life differently. Hugs and blessings to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I pray you knew even more the comfort and joy that He brought those many years ago. Blessings on your heart and life and are you feeling more at home in your new location?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the new church home is contributing immensely to that comfort level. I am making friends and getting to know a wonderful body of believers. I have fine neighbors as well. I love it in this beautiful little city as well.

      Like

  5. Linda, what a beautiful piece you’ve written here. I’m so sorry for your loss and I can imagine how much harder it must be during the holidays. I’m so glad you’re finding comfort in God’s promises. Blessings to you.
    Marva | SunSparkleShine

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Linda, I just prayed for you. Your writing about your first Christmas as a widow breaks my heart for you. But your faith brings comfort for us and we can in turn ponder your words as well as words that Mary did from the Bible. There we can hold them in our heart and hold you in prayer. Sending love to you and thank you for sharing with us.❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m glad to hear that the Lord is showing up for you in ways that you can sense his presence. I can’t imagine how difficult this first Christmas must have been. But I am encouraged that you don’t feel as much fear as you might have. Blessings to you, Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Linda,
    Your word study is so beautiful, looking at those words of pondering, and treasuring. Our Lord is such a beautiful marvel to us, the way that He loves us, isn’t He? I am so very thankful that He is so near and close to you through these very hard days. Your words are such an encouragement to me. I pray that you would feel His grace and mercy carrying you still.

    Like

  9. Dear Linda, I have thought of you often this season — wondering how you are faring there in the new home in Lufkin. I am just at peace after reading this blog post. Thank you for sharing these precious thoughts as I am sure the tears have rolled down your cheeks as it probably had for Mary as well. May the Lord go forward with you in this new year.
    Blessings upon blessings
    Gaye
    Email me sometime…the email is still the same. I miss our conversations we had when we studied under Catherine Martin. Much love to you this season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Gaye, thank you for being right there tonight as I posted this! You are FAST!!! Thanks for your words of encouragement and love. I am doing better these past few days and feel blessed to have Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I know this journey would be so much harder without Him. I miss you too. I think I still have your email. Is it still through Bible.org? May this new year find you and David drawn closer to the Lord as we walk our journeys. I love you, ~ linda

      Like

Leave a Reply to Rachel Lee Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s