B&H Publishing Group/2009
Two months after Adrian Rogers retired from fifty-four years in the pastorate he received a diagnosis of colon cancer. Six months later he went to meet the Lord. Joyce had loved him for more than sixty years and had been a pastor’s wife since she was eighteen years old. To have his life end so suddenly threw her life into a place she had never dreamed that she would be.
The purpose of Joyce’s book is to introduce widows to her guide, the Lord Jesus Christ.
“He knows the way. In fact, He is the way. If you will lean hard upon Him, He will see you through. His written Word, the Bible, has been my guide book. It has brought encouragement and strength, help, and hope. He has a plan for your life. He wants to use you, and yes, even your grief to bring hope to others who have also begun this journey.”
Before Adrian’s death, Joyce had been wonderful at multi-tasking. But she found that after his death she wished that someone would just tell her what to do. She encourages the widow until the fog lifts to do simple things such as getting out of bed, taking a bath, getting dressed, spending time alone with God, eating breakfast, cleaning up the house, walking the dog, paying the bills. Do not try to think about what the future holds.
Joyce introduces the reader to her new husband – Jehovah Sabaoth (the Lord of hosts) from Isaiah 54:5 which says that because you are a widow, “Your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is His name.” She shares that He fights the widow’s battles. He is her protector and her strong redeemer.
She writes one whole chapter on healthy habits and what an adjustment it is to cook for just one. Hints for healthy eating are given as well as breakfast, lunch, and supper ideas along with some healthy desserts if you must have something sweet. Joyce also talks about sleep, exercise and maintaining a positive attitude.
Widows are encouraged by Joyce to reach out to others in their grief and problems because God doesn’t want them to waste their sorrows.
“When I went through my third Valentine’s Day without Adrian, I began to think that it was time to do a little more for someone else. The Lord put on my heart the idea to have a nice Valentine’s luncheon for some widows that I knew personally. I got out my good china, crystal, and silver and set up a beautiful table. After lunch we went into the living room and I shared how God had ministered to my life through His wonderful Word. Then I asked them all to share about their sweet hearts. As I reached out to others, God reached back to me.”
There are two appendixes at the end of Joyce’s book. The first one is a list of some of the promises that she found in the Bible after the death of her Adrian. The second appendix is her study and understanding of the names of God.
We thank you, Joyce, for sharing with us what you learned through those first years of “widow fog”.