Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"I am a widow; my husband is dead." 2 Samuel 14:5

Please visit us at our new home:

*How you can help at the bottom of this post*

Our marriage isn't perfect. 
If someone were to tell me their marriage is perfect, I'd be happy for them that they're experiencing this sweet time of peace and unity...

... And I'd think, "just wait." 
Inevitably, hard times will happen. It's what you do in those hard times that matters most.

When my sister died, my world stood still for months and I experienced a whole range of emotions that I didn't even know I was capable of feeling.

As imperfect as my marriage can be, I cannot imagine being told that I will never again experience the ups and downs of matrimony with Eric. 
That my husband is dead. 

But that's exactly what happened to my dear friend Ricci.

We danced at their wedding.
We couldn't have known it would end like this.

Our thoughts keep going to what we could have done differently to stop this from happening...
To stop him from taking his own life...

Our friend Matt disappeared without a trace days before Christmas, 2012.
Months later, Ricci finally received news that they had found Matt's body.

She is a widow.

While she's still reeling from the news, and grasping to find a new normal, Ricci now has to play both mother and father; caretaker and provider, for Matt's three very small children.

I. Cannot. Imagine.

Which is exactly why we're told to look after widows in their distress. (James 1:27)

This is may sound strange, but I assure you it's with the deepest compassion that I write this: 

As desperate as her situation so obviously is, Ricci is one of the lucky ones. 

She and her three kids live in the US in 2013, surrounded by family and friends.
She doesn't have to worry about her babies dying for lack of food or clean water. 
She doesn't have to send her babies to live with relatives so she can move to the city to work in a sweatshop, or worse, to send money to her kids.

Not all widows are as lucky.

Ricci and I have a mutual friend, Stephanie, who made the decision to do something to help women such as these: 
She became a Trades Of Hope Compassion Entrepreneur

Creating jewelry and wares for Trades Of Hope gives the Artisans dignity and hope for a future for themselves and their families. Many of these women are widows who would be forced into unthinkable circumstances without Trades Of Hope helping them become respected entrepreneurs. 

Knowing Ricci's situation, our friend Stephanie has generously offered to hold a Trades Of Hope fundraiser for Ricci, donating all the proceeds to her.

This is what I call a Win/Win/Win:
  • Rock James 1:27, knowing that all proceeds are going to help Ricci and the kids.
  • You get to own fair-trade, conversation-starting jewelry, scarves, and more. I was honestly amazed by how much more beautiful the pieces are in person. The photos don't do them justice!
  • Help save lives by empowering women out of the sex trade, sweatshops, and poverty, by purchasing these stunning, hand-crafted items by Trades Of Hope Artisans.
  • Trades Of Hope, in turn, also gives back through Gifts Of Hope.

How You Can Participate:

Wherever you live, you can order through THIS LINK:  http://www.mytradesofhope.com/parties/1085
Your order will be delivered to your door within days, all proceeds going to Matt's widow, Ricci.

Please share THIS LINK with your friends and family, allowing them the chance to give, if they're called. 

"We must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus himself: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:35

Be part of the "Trades of Hope" adventure! from Holly Wehde on Vimeo.