So delighted! At last, my devotional, Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache, is out! This book has opened many doors for me to meet with others who are in pain due to the many sorrows experienced in life. I am speaking on the book's themes (forgiveness, anguish, anger, praise) on radio shows and at groups around my state and the country. I wrote this devotional from my own anguish after losing my four-year-old son Daniel to cancer.
I feel many Christians tend to brush over the impact loss has on our lives. Acknowledging a person's pain is key in order to be able to walk with him/her in their sorrow.
How do you help those you know who are suffering now with loss (financial, health, death of a loved one, broken relationships) in their lives? What have you found to be effective when you have been the one having a tough time getting out of bed in the morning?
Kim, so sorry to hear about the death of your mom. Please check out my devotional, Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache. There are some helpful tips and scriptures in there. Here's the link: Getting Out of Bed in the Morning
Thank you so much for setting up this discussion.
At first I thought, well I haven't had any hardships lately (Thank you Jesus) and then quickly thought of those I love most and the struggles they have had. Love is key and very much important. don't reach out to someone just to be in the know, that is just silly and it doesn't help. I have found myself just listening helps a great deal. not to say a single word and just be there for the person(s) to vent in love. That to me seems the best way to show your sincerity and your love. Allow them to know that you are there. I find myself relying on that because half of the time I just have not clue what to say. There have been times when I concern myself with not DOING or SAYING anything, as if listening just was a cop out. Later I find that that was what they most valued about me.
Last summer a very good friend of mine's mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, my heart broker for her, she was so distraught I truly had no words, I just stood there and tried not to look like I was freaking out for her. This time I was able to share scripture and supported her with cutting my hair short (her and her sisters decided to cut their hair in support of their mom loosing hers) although I didn't cut it as short and we did laugh when she saw me and I said to her, "this is as short as I will go for you". It made her beam.
I am going to enjoy reading your devotional Alice
Again, Thank you
A listening presence. Thanks for that, Janny! And the hair cutting anecdote is precious! Thanks for making me smile.
How can we help those who suffer with loss? Sometimes a hug says a lot more than words. Or bringing a home-cooked meal. Or cleaning their house.
I've been in a wheelchair for the past three months due to a ruptured Achilles tendon followed by surgery on the opposite knee. Exhaustion sweeps over me like a tsunami every day. I've lost my independence, my ability to sleep well, and much more. Having friends tell me that they're praying for me has been encouraging. But having practical aid has helped me cope with every day necessities.
Practical aid. It sounds like that is what you really need, Grace. Poor you. Just saying that we will pray for a person in need is often not enough. I think God expects us to be creative in ways that we can reach out to others. Perhaps we need to ask Him how we can creatively meet the needs of others instead of just asking Him to bless a person or help a person.
My experience has really opened my eyes re helping others in practical ways. The options are endless.
One friend came over and planted spring bulbs in a pot outside my sliding glass door so I can see and enjoy the blooms. Her simple act of kindness enables me to enjoy signs of spring even though I can't step outside when no one's around to help me.
One neighbor lent us a metal ramp so my husband can help me leave the house in my wheelchair.
My husband is leaving today for two weeks of overseas ministry responsibilities. An aunt and uncle will bring dinner on Friday and stay to eat with me.
My prayer is that my experience changes me forever--making me more sensitive to the needs of those who suffer and willing to take the time needed to show that I care.
What dear friends and family you have, Grace! I pray that my experiences also will cause me to be more sensitive to the needs of others. Thanks for sharing!
Our adult son has suffered mental illness since biochemical imbalance at puberty turned our happy, outgoing child into one beset by a host of problems- obsessive compulsion, acute anxiety and panic attacks, distorted perception, depression and more. I think that had his problems been physical rather than emotional, others would have been better able to understand him and our needs. There is a tendency, especially among some Christians, to think that if we had just prayed enough or been more obedient, he would have been healed. I assure you, prayer and faith or anything we did didn't cause this---although as his mother I have driven myself near crazy with "what ifs" and "if I had onlys". We have been blessed with many friends and church family who chose to just love him and us and not judge. We have been hurt by others-- our own parents never really "got it". We have found that God has led us to so many hurting parents of children like ours who have felt so alone and just wanted to share and vent with people who really did understand.
Chris, I have an ex-husband and a daughter who both suffer from depression, anxiety, etc. So hard to watch. People have a long way to go to "get" and understand mental disorders. It is easy to put the blame on ourselves because that's what we mothers do. (And sometimes we are just so good at it!) I'm sorry that you have been hurt. I'm glad you have friends who love you!