Monday, March 7, 2011

The Undistracted Widow

When I read the title of this book, The Undistracted Widow, by Carol Cornish, I assumed I thought what it meant and then I spoke with my daughter's piano teacher.  She shared with me a story which gave me more insight.  Her mother had been a widow for many years.  After 15 years, she and her brother spoke to her mother about starting to live again.  When her husband died, her mother stayed focused on the past rather than living in the present.  She was distracted, so to speak.  

I wanted to read this book because someone I care about deeply became a widow a few years ago.  I don't always know what to say or do and often I feel as if I don't understand her response to me.  But, I want to love her better.  I hoped that reading this book would give me some insight. 

I read through the book and reached one of the final chapters which is written for family and friends of a newly widowed woman or man.  In the chapter is a chart of what to say and what not to say.  This chapter was quite helpful to me--because many of the times when I would be prone to say something, the author's advice was to simply say nothing.  As I found myself at the end of the book, I realized that I didn't know if I could say this was an especially good book or not about widowhood.  I thought it had some sound and biblical advice.  I thought it would be encouraging to a widow, but I didn't know for certain because I am not a widow.  I am learning that it is wise not to speak into someone else's shoes if I haven't been there myself.  So, I asked my daughter's piano teacher, who has been a widow herself for 8 years, if she would read the book and share with me what she thought of it.

Last Friday morning, we had a few minutes to talk about it.  She said that it was encouraging and refreshing to her.  She identified with the first few chapters and she explained to me that these are the things you aren't sure how to talk to anyone about when you become a widow.  For her, reading the book reinforced what she has learned over the past few years.  I asked her if it would be a good read for someone who had been widowed a short time.  She felt very certainly that it would.  As she explained to me, life completely changes when you become a widow.  You are no longer two, but one.  You have lost part of yourself when your spouse passes away.  You have to find a way to get up and focus on God--to focus on what He has for you to do that day.  You have to become--undistracted and focused on the Lord, not your circumstances. 

My pastor cautioned our church a few weeks ago about just handing people books because we think they will help them.  In writing this review, I am remembering that advice.  I would recommend this book to you if you are a widow.  My hope is that this book will encourage you.  You many not find that all of her advice fits your situation (and that is okay), but I think that is true of all books.  We are to sift through and find the nuggets of encouragement that God has for us through the words of others.  If you feel that you would like to give this book to someone, I would encourage you to pray about it and give it to the person if you feel that it is what the Lord would have you do. 
That is what I am going to do.  I am going to pray about giving it to my friend and ask if she is interested in reading it before I send it her way.

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway Publishing for review.

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