by Earlyne Stephens
Many of you ladies live alone. Your husband has already gone to Heaven, or perhaps he left home and left you alone. You can survive. My husband left home after 27 years of marriage. Our daughters were already grown and married. I didn’t think I would live. I thought life was completely over for me. But, I found it wasn’t. I have had a wonderful life, but it was not the number one life for a lady. I have lived the number one life for a survivor.
My brother, Dr. Hyles, came to Texas where I lived at the time, and we stayed in our mother’s front lawn until 3:00 a.m. planning my life. He planned my tomorrows with me. At that time, I couldn’t look at tomorrow, so he gave me something to which I could look forward. We planned for me to take some courses at a Bible college in the evening. I took the classes; it was just what I needed. We planned a very busy schedule so that I would not have time to mope around saying, “Nobody loves me,” and I had been doing just that.
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My pastor gave me a ladies’ Sunday school class to teach. This was wonderful. Again, it was just what I needed. I found my burdens were not so bad when I started seeing my ladies with their burdens. It also gave me more social life when I would plan a social for them. What a joy those ladies were to me.
We have all suffered some type of loss in our lives. To survive, we must fill that loss with something good. That was what my brother was telling me as he helped me arrange my life. He recently preached a sermon, “Do Not Let Tomorrow Die.” I thought that my tomorrows were all dead, but they weren’t.
So I found my life became very busy, which was wonderful for me because I had less time for little pity parties. I found that I just couldn’t bear to be with our old friends and feel comfortable. The ladies had husbands, and I didn’t. I also found that I was never more lonesome than when I was in a crowd of people. So I found ladies who needed me, and I found I needed them more than they needed me. They probably helped me more than I helped them.
I had a friend who helped me with my finances. We have enough problems without getting into debt. That is just adding fuel to the fire. I went to a friend who had about the same income as I had and who had about the same responsibilities as I had. I said, “Virginia, I want to know how you handle your finances. You seem to accomplish more with your salary than I do. How do you do it?” She gave me a simple bit of advice: “When I get my paycheck, I pay my bills. If I have anything left, it is mine. If I don’t, it is a wonderful feeling to know my bills are paid.”
Don’t be afraid or timid to ask advice. That one little piece of advice has certainly helped me through the years. Before I talked with her, I would spend some money and not have enough left to pay my bills. That would put me behind with paying my bills, and the next payday I found myself paying last payday’s bills and leaving the present month’s bills unpaid. Virginia told me to make a budget, and let the budget be my boss. When I received my check, I took out my budget, and paid the bills I needed to pay with that check. What a lesson! I always had a clean feeling of keeping my finances in good order, whereas before I was always burdened with bills, bills, bills.
One day I was reading Isaiah 54:5a which says, “For thy Maker is thine husband.” I almost shouted. I told the Lord then I would try to take care of His business, and He could take care of me.
Do you miss going to your husband with your problems and heartaches? I did. But God says we can come to Him, and His grace is sufficient. Do you miss talking over the day with him? God listens! It hasn’t always been easy, but it has been sweet. If you still have your husband, praise the Lord.
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I write my brother a love note sometimes and thank him for the wonderful life he has given me. However, you might not have a brother, but I promise you, God has someone for you. Perhaps, it is your pastor; perhaps, it is a friend. Don’t be afraid to ask advice about your finances or whatever you need. Look for someone who has succeeded in what you need or in what you are lacking. You can take that advice, and it will be a help to you. Quite possibly, you can help someone else later.
Stay in the Word of God. God has verses that seem to be just for you. One such verse for me was Philippians 4:6, 7 which says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
I found that getting busy with my Sunday school class, keeping my finances in good shape, going to God as my friend, and staying in the Bible were wonderful for me. If you are alone, I know the same will be true for you!