Happy, Childless Widow
To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, February 17.
atnamaya got married in Nepal when she was 13 years old.
Many years passed, and she did not have a child.
Townspeople called her unkind names. Friends and relatives looked down on her as cursed.
Her husband blamed her and drank heavily.
Ratnamaya felt very sad. She wanted more than anything in the world to have a child. She tried everything that she could to get pregnant.
But nothing helped.
When it seemed that life couldn’t get worse, her husband suddenly died.
Ratnamaya’s sadness multiplied. Now she had to live with the double pain of being childless and a widow. She felt so lonely. She saw other people living happily with children and grandchildren.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and she was stuck in lockdown for months. She gradually lost her will to live.
In was then that a nephew stopped by her small house. Lockdown restrictions were easing, and he invited her to visit his church.
“Come to my church,” he said. “You will hear many new things, and you can also get a gift.”
The church was distributing rice and blankets to needy people during the pandemic.
Ratnamaya decided to go.
The Sabbath worship service surprised her. She had been raised in a non-Christian religion, and it was the first time that she had observed a Christian program. She was especially drawn to the hymns, and she felt peace in her heart as she listened to people sing about Jesus.
Church-goers greeted Ratnamaya and spoke with her.
She was astonished that no one called her names or looked down on her. No one said that she was to blame for being a childless widow.
Instead, everyone spoke kindly and lovingly to her.
After that Sabbath, several women from the church began to visit Ratnamaya at her home.
They taught her the Bible and prayed with her.
Ratnamaya started to go to church every Sabbath.
She felt good every time she went to church and spoke with people at church. She was especially happy to learn that Jesus loved her very much.
She stopped feeling lonely and sad. In Jesus, she found the joy that had been missing her whole life.
She felt like the happiest person in the world!
“The Lord has given me His peace in my heart,” she said. “I always will be thankful to God for His love and for everything that He has done in my life.”
Today, Ratnamaya is 65 years old and still growing in her Christian faith.
She never went to school, so she cannot read or write.
But she is studying the Bible with the women from church and by listening to a radio podcast produced by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
“I want to grow in the Lord even more, so I ask everyone to pray for me,” she said.
One of Ratnamaya’s favorite Bible verses is Philippians 4:4, where Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (NKJV).
“I don’t have husband nor children, but I never feel lonely because I can rejoice in my Lord and Savior,” she said. “My Lord is always with me, and He loves me more than anything.”
Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help establish an elementary school where children can learn to read and write in Nepal. Thank you for planning a generous Thirteenth Sabbath Offering on March 30.