Red Rover, Red Rover,
Will Someone Come Over?
© Betty Sue Eaton
It's been a long time and you are ready to get on with your life after a storm of grief. You have
been in a time-warp and everyone else seems to have gone on by you. So now what do you
do? You want to get out and about, but where and how do you start?

Richard S. lost his wife of many years to cancer and its more than two years later. He decided
he would tour New Zealand and Australia with an Elder Hostel tour group. He was hoping to
cement some new friendships, but after six weeks, he had resorted to referring to the trip as
an Elder Hostile Tour! What he found was not right for him and he was very glad to get back
to his home and church. There he became prayer partners with another church member, a
lady named Lorna, who had recently lost her husband of a lifetime to cancer as Richard had
lost his wife. They shared a common bond and love for the Lord and faithfulness to prayer.

Richard and I were mentoring at the Shivwits Indian Reservation Community Center when one
day, he came in all excited telling me that he was planning to be married when school ended
in May. It seems that he and Lorna suddenly realized that they were looking forward to each
other's company for more than just prayer. They have been married for more than four years
now and are very happy in their new relationship made stronger by God and their church.

Thelma P. lost her husband, Al, to a heart attack, and two years later she is trying to move
forward. She is a devout Christian living in a typical Latter Day Saints- Mormon community;
and though she found surface cordiality, she found no deep satisfying friendships. Not until
she was invited to attend a grief recovery group where I and three other ladies met her.
Eighty-three years old at the time, she had no illusions of finding or wanting another mate, but
she sorely missed companionship of women friends and a deeper bond with her church. Time
passed quickly for her as she volunteered at a local retirement home where she fulfilled a
mission to contribute something of value to her new home community as she had done in her
former longtime home in Wisconsin.

During our group meetings over two years, I watched her grow from a very quiet lady to a
bubbly person who reached out for life with great gusto and joy! She and three other members
of the now disbanded grief recovery group regularly drive to Las Vegas where they shop,
attend shows, go to up-scale restaurants for lunches and an occasional dinner out, and
always thank God for the newly found friends and sisters they have become.

Shirley T. owned a Chinese restaurant for several years when for the third time she went
through a dreadful divorce. She also was a devout Christian, but had fallen away from the
church in recent years because of her difficulty with the men she had married. Work was her
form of worship and fatigue was her sleep medication. She also was invited to the grief
recovery group where I met her as well.

Over the two-year span of the meetings I attended before relocating, I watched Shirley grow in
her spiritual development from a severely overweight withdrawn bitter recluse to a confident
outgoing wonderful woman. She loves attending Christian retreats several times a year and
along with Thelma and Virginia, the founder of the group, enrolled in a very intense
Evangelism Explosion witnessing program for which they all earned certificates of completion.
They since have completed another level of the program. Shirley sings in the choir at their
church and literally glows with self-confidence since attending a weight loss gym and putting
aside her dependence of being heavy to protect her from being anywhere near attractive to
the opposite sex. She wanted to sell the restaurant but was afraid to take a step that might
leave her with nothing to fill her time alone. With prayers and encouragement to rely on Him
for her answers, she did, in fact, sell the business and now devotes her time to her church and
serving the Lord in whatever capacity she can.

Mafalda C. lost her Toni after forty-five years of marriage immediately following the death of
her mother to a lingering illness which kept Mafalda house-bound for months. I also met her at
the grief recovery group and was instantly taken by her outpouring of love for the Lord. She
owns an SUV and is quite capable of driving herself to visit the hospice where she reads,
prayers, and comforts the patients there. One day she was laughing about the bus driver
telling her that he was a Mormon to which she answered, "God loves all people who will
confess Him and accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior!" She told him the next day she
visited the hospice, she would bring him some tracts to study so he could learn about HER
Lord!

When I asked her why she rode the bus around town when she could drive wherever she
wanted, she responded, "I love to take the bus because I never know who I can get to witness
to, and every day is different and I get to meet new people I can tell about Jesus!" There is
absolutely no guile in Mafalda's love for Christ. For her, these bus trips are social outings as
well as witnessing testaments.

Each of these wonderful women sought out others who could empathize with and share their
common grief. They came to love each other for the encouragement each received from the
group to cope with and move past their period of grieving. Without exception, they all have
grown spiritually and have chosen to share their wonderful experience with others they meet
on a daily basis. As an added result, each of their lives has grown fuller and more fulfilling and
satisfying as well.

Sometimes we get ahead of the Lord when we are insisting, rather than asking and waiting on
His help to get us beyond this very dark period of our lives. Sometimes, He just has to say,
"Now sit down, and wait on Me! I will tell you when the time is right for you to move forward
and I will reward you faithfully as you do!" Human nature makes us all impatient for the things
we want, but in the choosing of the direction our lives, it is imperative that we ask ... ASK, then
wait for an answer from the One who created us and knows best where we should be going
and what we should be doing in our lives.

Often the answer is so much more beautiful and fulfilling than we ever could have imagined on
our own!


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