Young Widowhood (MUMDAD) is Pathetic, Overwhelming and Frustrating –Lydia Ekuma
Lydia Omonigho Ekuma is a young widow; she lost her loving husband barely two years after their marriage. The mother of two children and business woman is also a Christian certified professional counselor. She finds fulfillment in helping others to put smile on their faces and believes, she is nothing without God Who is something to her. Her driven force is, “the best way for God to be at the center of all situations is to extraordinarily love and worship Him”. She recalls her widowhood experience and how she overcame the situation with PROVIDENCE News.
How would you describe your late husband?
(Sigh) my late husband was one of God choicest men, a man of many parts. He was a lover of God, a prayer warrior, the way he fast and pray every week made me asked him if he has received a vision to start a church. He was dependable, trustworthy, hard working, accountable, intelligent and reliable. He stands for what is right and always interested in the welfare of others. He was a wonderful father to his children and others. For him the role of godly father cannot be over emphasized, he was working towards starting a TV program titled “Fatherhood” before death snatched him away. God know the best. There is so much to write about my late husband. Though he was a young man, but full of life and dreams. He was an epitome of a father. His early departure was a big blow I’m yet to recover from and a big loss to his extended family, friends and the world at large. His proposed television program would have been of immense blessing to many and contribute to Nigerian society. He will always say, “Fatherhood is not a child’s play; it will take deliberate effort with the help of God to get it right. Lack of real father’s in the family and society is worrisome”.
How old was your marriage when your husband passed on?
Two years, nine months and we were already blessed with two children, a boy and a girl.
How did you handle the situation and what has been your motivation?
Sincerely it was not easy but thank God for His grace. I was on depression drug for seven months, I almost lost my life but God did not allow it to happen. At nights, I will wake up and cry. God used a brother to tell me, “Sister, whatever you are thinking just remember, should anything happen to you, I will not be able to take care any of your children the way you will”, I looked at him and said in me, really?! It was a wakeup call and I decided from that day, I will not die but live. Our son was one year and eleven months old and our daughter was five months two weeks old when their father passed on. After taking decision to live by the help of the Holy Spirit, God helped me to remember His promises and I started taking steps.
My first motivation is the Word of God word, His words are great pillar. Second are my children, they kept me on my toes. With time I started finding my balance and become a source of encouragement to others and that kept me going.
As a young widow, what were the challenges and how did you handle them?
Some of the challenges I faced are loneliness, depression, coping with the bills, fear of the unknown, what if and how will the children adjust as they grow; just to mention few. To be candid, widowhood can be overwhelming, frustrating and filled with mood swings but thank God for His grace that kept me going.
What are things that help you and can be of good use to other young widows?
First of all you need God; just in case you have not given your life to Christ please do so. You need God all the way on this journey. The place of prayers and meditation on the word of God cannot be over emphasized. Positive confession and believing God’s word to the latter is a key. Also, you need your family and friends. These people are support system God will use to encourage you on this path. Please don’t be ashamed to ask them for help when the need arises. In my early months on the journey I had friends that I call at odd hours and they are just there to listen to my cry and complain, may God reward them all. You will also have to learn to encourage yourself in the Lord just like David in the Bible when he was faced with challenges. Search out scriptures that will lift up your spirit man, keep holding on to the word of God until it comes to manifestation. Sometimes it may look as if it’s taking long, don’t give up! That is what the enemy and negative situation around you want.
Also look at the big picture ahead and ask yourself, what kind of life do you want for yourself and the children? What kind of school do you want them to attend? How do you want to raise the money? Do you think God can beautify your life and that of the Children? Do you want to impact lives? Keep asking yourself questions and you will see why you can’t be depressed and lonely. Negative emotions are not good and you don’t have to be left with health issue because the children need you.
Learn to relax and be deliberate about this. When the bills begin to jump at you from all angles remember God’s word in Matthew 6:27, “which of you with all your thoughts can add one cubit of stature to your life?” And Philippians 4: 6, says “Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayers and supplications, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God and the peace of God which transcend all understanding shall keep your heart and minds through Jesus Christ”. Ask God to bless the work of your hands and pray for destiny helpers to locate you. all these make the stress in this journey lighter.
How have you been coping with the children?
Truth, it’s not easy playing the role of MUMDAD but thank God for blessing me with wonderful heritage (Joseph and Peniel). When they asked questions that am not able to handle, I push them to my daddy in the Lord, Pastor I. S James and when I need fatherly advice and encouragement I call one or two of their late father’s friend and God have used them tremendously which am very grateful. I don’t want to mention names, but they know themselves. For all they have been doing and still going to do (smiles) Heaven will remember them for good. Thanks for helping out, you make bringing them up much easy.
Any plan to remarry
Capital YES! (Laughter) I deserved to be loved and to Love. The Bible also supported me doing that. Check the scriptures. Now I can smile.
What advice do you have for young widows?
Young widows should put all their trust in God, holding on to His promises. One of sure promise is in Isaiah 54: 4-5, “FEAR NOT…” God will make sure that we forget the reproach of widowhood. Whatever your hands find’s to do, please do it diligently, nothing is too small while waiting for the bigger things, there is dignity in labour and also bear in mind that God has promised to bless the work of your hands.
Always have the hearts full of gratitude because it could have been worst, don’t let thanksgiving slip out of your mind. God have been good regardless the pains, also for the gift of life, for the children, for supportive friends’ and relatives, be grateful.
I love the song, “your rose’s will bloom again…” just wait and see, whatever the situation, only God knows how and when but your rose will bloom again 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He Care’s for you”. Whenever you are overwhelmed, remember this scripture and say to yourself, this too shall pass and it will end in praise.
What is your advice to the society and government on widows’ predicament?
Government should enact and enforce a law that will guarantee and protect the rights of widows. And they should ensure the implementation to make it effective. The society should respect the agonies and rights of widows, they should not be maltreated, but create referral atmosphere and environment for them to live. Financial help for widows cannot be over emphasized especially in form of grants. Low cost housing is another area government should look into for widows. In some situation you will find young widows living in pathetic condition. Free education or scholarship should also be consider for children of widows.
What should be the role of the church for widows?
The church has being very supportive from when a man is died and buried but immediately after the burial, the widow is left alone. The Church should have an emotional support system in place to help widows, especially the young widows, as they go through traumatic journey.
Most times widows are left out in all the Church programs, there are no programs to address their special needs, I believe widows will appreciate if carried along and included in church plans.
On a last note:
To every widow out there, RELAX, GOD WILL GET YOU BACK!