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Many women see their widowhood through a lens of despair, as a journey where challenges daunt the soul and loneliness haunts the heart.
In Where Hope Blooms Virginia Jelinek presents another lens, encouraging women to see widowhood as a hope-filled journey full of God-invitations. Embracing the invitations will illuminate the widow’s spirit and gently transform her heart, leading her to live whole—to feel joy flowing through her spouse-less life.
Widows will relate to the stories the author tells, narratives based on her twice-widowed life. Along with each chapter’s narrative, explorative opportunities are presented, inviting the reader to consider select Scriptures and respond to questions designed to apply the truths gleaned. The book’s exploration feature makes it an excellent book to study in community with other widows, offering them a safe place to share their own stories and to grow together.
Number of Pages: 151
Vendor: Crosslink Publishing
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)|
Getting to the Other Side of Grief: Overcoming the Loss of a SpouseSusan J. Zonnebelt-Smeenge, Robert C. DeVriesBaker Books / 1999 / Trade Paperback$13.49 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 4 Reviews
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Author: Virginia Jelinek
Located in: Waynesboro, PA
Submitted: September 11, 2018
Tell us a little about yourself. I am a writer, twice-widowed, and a mother of four grown married daughters; their marriages have blessed me with eleven grandchildren. For years, I studied the art of writing but it wasn’t until early in my retirement years that I seriously applied myself to submitting my work to publications. Of course, I received rejection letters but mostly, acceptance notices. That helped me to turn a corner and to consider writing as my God-given vocation. The genre I feel most comfortable with is non-fiction writing. My focus remains, “to encourage and invite spiritual exploration that motivates and cultivates ever-deeper union with God, keeping us living joyfully with a living-awareness of being loved unconditionally and extravagantly by the Divine”. After the loss of my last husband, knowing well the pain of loss, I set about to author my first book, "Where Hope Blooms", a book written for widows and published in 2017. Currently, I am working on my second book, this one centered around the Song of Solomon—that has much to say to those desiring to fall deeply in love with the Divine.
What was your motivation behind this project? The fact that I am twice-widowed motivated my writing "Where Hope Blooms". Losing one husband, then another, in a sense marries you to widowhood; you come to know it intimately. The depth of my learning from those two losses altered my life, shaping me into who I am today. Much of my initial “learning” after the loss of my first husband, came through my abhorrence and rejection of grief—which I viewed as an enemy out to destroy me. That thinking caused me to make a mess of my life. Ultimately, when I faced losing my last husband to cancer, the desire “do grief” right rather than to miserably fail again lived as my objective, leading me to explore, find and see God in a new light—as the widow’s Companion, a Presence of hope that is with her continuously.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? Every widow will experience widowhood differently, but a commonality exists and connects all widows, presenting itself in our need of hope. Grief and loneliness play havoc with emotions, consequently, at times when hope is most needed, it can appear elusive, here one minute, gone the next. It’s my prayer that my book will feed the widow’s soul, allowing her to perceive that widowhood is not a curse or a dead-end, but an opportunity to find new life and promise in its days, instilling within the widow’s heart, life-giving hope. It’s that hope that one day, she will pass onto another mourner who is new to grief and its pain.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? It took me at least two years to write “Where Hope Blooms” largely because I started writing it about a year after my last husband’s death. So, in that sense, grief was still very much a part of my life. However, early in my grieving, I had made up my mind that, for me—in order to do grief right this time—I was to view my grief, loss, and widowhood experiences as a spiritual journey. That proved a life-giving concept leading me to explore, and to find new (or to resurrect old) spiritual practices that helped me cope with whatever I was experiencing or feeling. This impacted me profoundly, slowly introducing me to an intimacy with God that I never dreamed possible, enabling me to visualize God as my ever-present Companion, my Provision for every need I will ever face.