Our Newsletters and Posts

We’re putting together a whole new website for our families and friends. We’ve included some of the newsletters and announcements from our previous website, but until we completely transition to this new website, you can use the links below to view past newsletters and announcements.

To view the newsletters and posts on this section, just click on the title in the Newsletters & Posts section on the right-hand side of this page.

Please note that the previous website has not been updated for quite a while, so we ask that you use the forms and contact links in this new website going forward (i.e., please do not order bricks or plaques using the previous website.) Thanks!

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LINKS TO PREVIOUS WEBSITE INFORMATION

Site Map – This link will take you to the page on the previous website and the links to ALL pages on that site.

Grief Support Information – This link will take you to the Grief Support Information Page on the previous website.

Personal Stories – This link will take you to the Personal Stories Page on the previous website and its links to all of the past personal stories submitted.

Poetry Page – This link will take you to the Poetry Page on the previous website and its links to all of the past poetry that was submitted.

Sibling Grief – This link will take you to the Sibling Grief Information Page on the previous website and its links to all of the past articles that were submitted.

 

Sibling Grief Articles and Posts

We’re building a whole new page for our Sibling Grief articles and posts. To view them, just scroll down to the one you want to read and click on its title.

We’ve also included a link in this post to the Sibling Grief articles still on our previous website. Please note that the previous website has not been updated for quite a while, so we ask that you use the forms and contact links in this new website going forward. Thanks!

Sibling Grief – This link will take you to the Sibling Grief Information Page on the previous website and its links to all of the past articles that were submitted.

Our Children’s Memorial Walkway

Our Children's Memorial WalkwayOur Children’s Memorial Walkway (OCMW) was established in the heart of Uptown Charlotte to allow for families of all ages, denominations, and races from across the area to have a place to come together in memory of their children. Our Children’s Memorial Walkway is made up of bricks, many of which are engraved honoring the memory of children. The garden houses cherry trees for shade, benches to rest on, sculptures of children at play and an inscribed monument. Surrounding Our Children’s Memorial Walkway are greenways, swing sets, a field for play, and a playground. It”s truly a place of life and hope in memory of Our Children. Click here to visit the OCMW.org website!

Footprints Ministry Highlighted

Grief is a normal part of life and everyone will experience the pain and loss of a loved one’s death at some point, but they don’t need to experience it alone. MastersInCounsleing.org recently highlighted Footprints Ministry. To check out their site and other helpful resources, please visit the link below.

http://www.mastersincounseling.org/loss-grief-bereavement.html

There is healing in your tears

(Newsletter ~ March/April  2003)

A few months after losing Samuel, I was told by a dear friend not to be embarrassed by my occasional tears. She’d read tears contained healing chemicals. That began my two-year search for evidence of this fascinating information. Later a hospital chaplain loaned me the “Care note” (by Abbey Press) about tears by Mildred Tengborn, which mentioned an article in Psychology Today, which I finally located at the library. It’s amazing how we are created!  All tears moisten the eye, protect it from infection and wash away irritants.  Whether caused by chopping onions or saying farewell to a precious Loved One, all tears would appear to be the same, but scientists have found emotional tears have special value.

Most people report that after a good cry they feel better. Scientists have found emotional tears release chemicals which stress has accumulated in our bodies. Biochemist William Frey explains our lacrimal gland, which regulates tear secretion, concentrates manganese, a necessary mineral involved with our moods, and tears remove this concentrated mineral from our body. The concentration of manganese is 30 times greater in tears than in blood serum.  Emotional tears contain 24% more protein than irritant (onion slicing) tears.

All tears contain 3 chemicals released by the body during stress. They are: 1) leucine-enkephalin ~ an endorphin believed to modulate pain sensation 2) ACTH ~ a hormone considered to be the body’s most reliable indicator of stress 3) prolactin ~ the hormone which regulates milk production in mammals. Women tend to cry more frequently (studies found 4 times more often) than men. This may be due to the fact that women have 60% more prolactin than men. Knowing this, let us be more understanding and realistic about the response of others to loss. Mom, don’t demand your husband use as many tissues as you need. Dad, it’s hard to sit by a person who seems to cry continually, but remember tears will decrease with healing. American men have been taught that tears were a sign of weakness. Instead, they signify strength. Tears testify of our love. If we didn’t love deeply, we’d not hurt so deeply. Tears originating from love promote healing.

Tears can make you aware of problems you need to deal with. If you cry excessively after loss, it’s good to ask what activates your tears. Is it anger? Who or what causes the anger? Is it fear, exhaustion, depression, helplessness, or guilt that starts you crying. Are you getting adequate rest? Are you attempting to do more than you’re capable of?  Remember: working through grief is the hardest work you’ll ever do, so be realistic about the demands you place upon yourself during grief. Quite simply, you’re not capable of working long hours or producing as much as you did before adding grief to your daily load.  Are you eating properly, or just snacking on foods, which do not provide your body with proper nourishment? Maybe junk food sustained your energy levels before loss but you need a balanced diet to survive working through grief. Is part of your depression caused by seclusion? Finding a support group or caring friends may help alleviate your depression.

There are times when tears make things worse. Co-workers, bosses, some family members and others may have zero-tolerance for your tears. Knowing this can add to your stress, but if you plan times for your tears, the pent-up emotions will be released into healthy tears, making you less apt to spill them out in front of those who are least sympathetic. Some find crying in the shower a great release; others plan a block of time to be alone or with sympathetic people for purposeful grieving. Journaling–writing your thoughts in a personal notebook–may be one of the healthiest keys to releasing your storehouse of emotions.  Putting events down on paper to open floodgates–healthy floodgates. At a later date when you read through your journal you’ll find further healing, for remembrance of our tears helps us see how much healing we’ve experienced.

Studies have shown healthy people tend to cry and have a more positive attitude towards tears than those who suffer from ulcers or colitis, two conditions considered to be stress related. If you’re one who is unable to shed tears due to the way you were raised, plan to spend time alone with special items of your child, recalling how deep your love was, or look through a picture album or visit the cemetery. Hopefully, you’ll find tears are a healing balm for your broken heart.

One further fascinating aspect of God’s tender care when He created us is that even people who have “dry eye syndrome” (which is caused when the lacrimal gland does not secrete enough tears to lubricate the eyes adequately) may lose other tearing functions of the eyes, but the very last function to be lost is the ability to shed emotional tears. God knew that all through life there would be times when we’d need to relieve pent-up stress by shedding tears prompted by our emotions.

II Corinthians 1:3,4 in which God is referred to as “the God of all comfort” is the theme verse of our paper. The word “comfort” in the original Greek language means ” a calling alongside.” Our English word for comfort comes from two Latin words which mean “to strengthen.” Thank God He truly is a God of Comfort–He comes alongside of us and strengthens us. He’s touched with our sorrow and grief; He feels our pain and strengthens us. His presence and strength assure us that healing and joy will come.

Our Last Newsletter

October – December 2013
(Bringing hope to bereaved families)

Our Last Newsletter

After over 20 years of this Newsletter, we’ve decided to retire it. Jerry started out with 2-4 pages to about 15-20 bereaved mothers. At one point we were mailing out roughly 600 copies by mail. A few years ago, we settled on the quarterly format by e-mail. Now that I’m almost 80 years old, Jerry is in her early 70s and we’re moving to a senior retirement center, it’s time to ‘hang it up.’

We’ve built up quite a library which you can find ou our website: We’ve covered loss from almost every conceivable aspect, always trying to show how God is the source of all comfort and hope. A vital part of this ministry has been the cards and e-cards of encouragement that we’ve sent out on the birthday or anniversary of your loved one. Our prayer has been that the Newsletter would always be an encouragement to you.

However, if anyone would like to take over, we’ll be glad to work with you! Why not   subscribe to Carol Ranney’s Newsletter? 

http://www.brokenheartslivinghope.com/

Broken Hearts, Living Hope is a free 34 page (postal) newsletter for bereaved families who have lost children of any age, pre-birth through adulthood, to any cause. It is issued bi-monthly and is supported by donations in memory of our beloved children.

There is no e-mail version. To subscribe to the newsletter, please go to the link below on her website and sign up to get them., or e-mail her at ranneyclan.bhlh@comcast.net. Please donate to her ministry to help with the cost of printing and mailing them every other month. If you send her your child’s name and date of birth and death she will remember them in her newsletters.

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BRINGING HOPE TO BEREAVED FAMILIES

This has been our motto from the beginning of this Newsletter. As we complete our last Newsletter ever, let’s remind ourselves what this means. Simply put, by repentance toward God and faith in Jesus (Acts 20:21), we and our loved ones have the surety of eternal life.

This is why it is so important for us parents to lead our children to a saving faith in Jesus. Then later, if their lives are taken from them, we know where they are.

Let’s do a mild exposition of 1 Corinthians 15, the Resurrection Chapter. I’m not going to try to untangle all that’s involved in End Time Studies: the 2nd Coming of Christ, Rapture, White Throne Judgment, Millennial Reign of Christ, the new heavens and new earth, etc. All of these have been done far better than I ever could. No, our focus is 1 Corinthians 15 and our resurrection body.

[1]   The Resurrection is Real (v. 1-11)

By resurrection we mean that there is a point in which we come back from the dead to a real body. We’re the same person but the new body is transformed; it’s not an exact replica of the one we have now.

1 Corinthians 15: 1 -11 verifies that Jesus Christ came back from the grave in a real body, and so will all of us who believe on Him. Just in case you need a copy of 1 Corinthians 15, I’ve connected a PDF version for you, just click here.

Paul verified the Resurrection in these steps:

  • The Resurrection was according to the Scriptures
  • Christ appeared to Peter
  • He appeared to the 12
  • He appeared to 500 brothers at one time
  • He appeared to His half-brother James
  • He appeared to all the Apostles
  • He appeared to Paul

Wow! Just look at the number of people that the resurrected Jesus appeared to; especially over 500 at one time. It’s real folks!

[2]   Resurrection is Essential to the Faith (v. 12-19)

Paul list all the effects if there were no resurrection of the dead, i.e.,

  • Christ is not risen
  • Preaching is empty or a waste of time
  • A Christian’s faith is empty & we’re still in our sins
  • Paul and others are false witnesses
  • Those who have already died have just perished – that’s it
  • If we have hope only in this life, it’s a bad bargain

[3]   Christ’s Resurrection Guarantees Our Resurrection (v. 20-28)

Then once again, Paul briefly compares the results of Adam to that of Christ (by the way, asserting Adam was a real person):

ADAM

CHRIST

Death came through Adam

Resurrection comes through Christ

All people die

All people can be made alive

Then Paul briefly discusses the End Times:

  • Christ delivers the Kingdom to God
  • Christ puts an end to all authority & power
  • Christ reigns until He puts all enemies under His feet
  • Christ destroys death

[4]   The Nature of the Resurrection Body (v. 35-49)

In trying to clarify what the resurrection is like, Paul compares it to a seed, which must die, in order to bring forth a new plant, for example, an acorn itself dies to come back as an oak tree. Therefore we die in our present body, but are resurrected with a new body.

[as a side note, Paul refutes one of the beliefs of evolution in just a few words: “Not all flesh is the same flesh, there is one flesh for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.” When I took a college biology course back in the mid-1950s, we were taught about protoplasm, i.e., that all flesh was the same. DNA had just been discovered but the full ramifications of that discovery were yet to come.]

Maybe Paul is hinting that our resurrection bodies will be able to do things we can’t even dream of doing today. Look at what the resurrected Jesus could do! He could suddenly appear; He could suddenly disappear. He could walk through doors or walls. He could   go from earth to heaven at will! Hey, maybe we’ll be able to fly like Superman – I can only imagine.

Now there are several comparisons between our current and our new bodies:

(a) A new Perfection

OLD  BODY (sown)

NEW  BODY (raised)

Corruptible

Incorruptible

Dishonorable

Glorified

Weak

Powerful

Natural

Spiritual

(b) A New Design

OLD  BODY

NEW  BODY

Natural

Spiritual

Made of dust

Heavenly

Bear Adam’s image

Bear Christ’s image

[5]   The Resurrection is a Life-Changing Hope (v. 50-58)

Paul then describes the day when we are changed. Our new bodies shall be:

  • Incorruptible
  • Immortal

THEN DEATH SHALL BE DESTROYED!!!

Let us conclude as Paul did: We should persist in serving the Lord through thick and thin – we know the reward will outweigh the costs, no matter how deep the trials. I have to admit that I swiped some ideas from the booklet, “Is There Life After Death?” For a free copy, write:

RBC   Ministries
PO Box 2222
Grand Rapids, MI  49501

Today’s “Hope for the Day” Message — August 12, 2013

Where do you go when life comes crashing down like a heavy weight on your     heart? Most often we try to hide from the pain, or we try everything in our power to make the pain go away as quickly as possible. Nobody enjoys pain, but the truth is that it’s not always possible to make our pain vanish! This is especially true when going through the pain of child loss.

Sometimes the best we can do is to just make it through one day, one hour, or one minute at a time. At first the pain is so hard to carry that we often collapse from exhaustion — mentally and physically. Grief requires every ounce of energy we have!

Little by little, though, we begin to understand that the hope that was snuffed out so suddenly is still residing deep within our hearts. It might only be a small flicker of hope, but it’s still there. Look around you right at this moment and find one blessing –just one blessing — to focus on.

Keep your heart and mind fixed on that one bit of hope and allow it to bathe your heart in the warmth of God’s love. You’ll soon find that the one blessing you’ve focused on will give you a much-needed boost of hope!

Every day that we do this — just focus on that one blessing — we will feel that small bit of hope begin to grow until finally we find ourselves in a place that realizes that we haven’t been alone through this storm after all. God has been by our side the entire time! — Clara Hinton

“Though the entire world might fail me, God never will!” –Clara Hinton

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. — Jeremiah 29:11

S O U N D   B I T E S:
Something to chew on that is good for the soul™

 THE JEWELS OF REMEMBRANCE

The death of a dear one is the most profound of all sorrows. The grief that comes with such a loss is intense and multifaceted, affecting our emotions, our bodies and our lives. Grief is preoccupying and depleting. Emotionally, grief is a mixture of raw feelings such as sorrow, anguish, anger, regret, longing, fear, and deprivation. Grief may be experienced physically as exhaustion, emptiness, tension, sleeplessness, or loss of appetite. ‘Grief invades our daily lives in many sudden gaps and changes, like that empty place at the dinner table, or the sudden loss of affection and companionship, as well as in the many new apprehensions, adjustments, and uncertainties. The loss of a dear one throws every   aspect of our lives out of balance. The closer we were to the person who died, the more havoc the loss creates. Love does not die quickly. Hence to grieve is also ‘to celebrate the depth of the   [relationship]. Tears are then the jewels of remembrance, sad but glistening with the beauty of the past. So grief in its bitterness marks the end … but it also is praise to the one who is gone.’  — Judy Tatelbaum in The Courage to Grieve

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 Two Years After Megan
 [by Sherry Porter, a few days after her marriage to Michael Magliocca]

As I sit here in our hotel room with the most gorgeous view of Atlanta, I reflect on my day yesterday and how  far I have come from so much tragedy in such a short period of time. I am truly amazed!

About four years ago, I was sitting on top of the world! Megan was graduating from college and made the Dean’s List the entire time she was there, I had the best boyfriend in the world as my companion, I had a great paying job, I had a big house that I purchased on my own and felt as though everything was perfect.

About two and half years ago, I lost my job of 28 years due to the economy, as a result, I lost my house and what little money I had left. Megan had gotten engaged a few months prior to me loosing my job and was in the process of buying her first home by herself at 20 years of age. So the day after I left my office for the last time and it was also Mike’s birthday, I am sitting with Megan closing on her house. I was helping her plan a wedding on my very fixed income, helping decorate her new house, assisted her in moving, remodeling the house that Mike and I were moving into and assisting still in closing the company down that I worked for.

Mike had also lost his job, house, cars and money as we worked at the same company. Whew!!! It was hard, emotional and exhausting but we did it!! We moved into our place, Mike started his new job, Megan got married 2 weeks later, we celebrated her 21st birthday a month after that which was also my 45th birthday…yep, she was born on my     birthday…and then I got engaged the next day!

I am thinking at that point, okay, now you can relax!! You overcame all the bad and good that was going on at the same time and you are still standing. Your daughter is taken care of. She’s happy! She just got a job promotion! Mike and I are adjusting to our new living arrangements. Everything is good! Now I thinking nothing bad can happen. This was my test from God and I felt like I aced it! Nothing else bad could happen to me or Mike, right?

Then out of nowhere, my life took a terrible turn. Worse than anything I had experienced in my life let alone what I had just gone through in 6 months! I got the call that no parent ever wants to get. My daughter, my life, my only child, was dead. There are no words to explain what I was going through and how I felt. There still isn’t. So now, I am planning a funeral just 2-1/2 months after watching her get married! Give up? Throw in the towel? Surrender? That would have been the easiest thing to do, but something deep inside me, a force that I can’t explain, would not let me take the easy way out. My life changed. Mike’s life changed. How can this be happening to us? Have we not been through enough?

The sad part is, it still didn’t stop there. Mike and I endured so much along with every other person that loved Megan in the two years to follow. Our relationship had been tested to the max. There were times I am not going to lie to you, where I thought, we are not going to make it. How can we! I could not have blamed him it he said I can’t take this any more. I am done! But he didn’t!! He watched me helplessly day after day as I deteriorated. What could he do or say that would make me feel better? Absolutely nothing. We have been through it!! Most people don’t go through this much in their lifetimes let alone a few short years! I know with all my heart that God above had his arms around Mike and I.

Yesterday, as I stood there with Mike, I was at peace! I was relaxed! I was happy! We were surrounded by family and a few friends and were being married by the most wonderful pastor in the world, David Snow! He had married Megan and also did her funeral. He     loved Megan, and had been there for me as well as Mike. I am so thankful that he was a part of this beautiful day for Mike and I! Everything was perfect! The wedding was short and sweet! The day continued to be a blessing! Our room was awesome! Our dinner at Sundial at the top of the Westin was awesome! I have always had bad luck on Friday the 13th! This Friday 13th was different! I could not have asked for a better day! Thank you so much for the blessings and well wishes! Thank you for all the people that made our wedding a success! God has carried me through and I owe Him all the glory! My faith has been tested but is stronger than ever!! I am grateful for the wonderful man that he put in my life that I am so proud now to call my husband! I pray that we have many years together full of happiness!

If Tears Could Build a Stairway

If tears could build a stairway
And memories were a lane,
I would walk right up to Heaven
And bring you home again.
No farewell words were spoken,
No time to say goodbye,
You were gone before I knew it
And only God knows why.
My heart still aches in sadness
And secret tears flow,
What it meant to lose you,
No one will ever know.

~ Author Unknown

National  Children’s Memorial Day Service

Saturday, December 14 @ 4:30 PM @ Our Children’s Memorial Walkway
Luminary Service — $10 donation per luminary

Pray For These

 BIRTHDAYS  ANNIVERSARIES

Mitchell Childress (s. Vicki Howell)
10-10

Stewart Scott
10-05

Steven Dotson
10-20

Germaine Barnhardt
(s. Frances Leonard)
10-09

JJ Randall
10-25

Matthew Douchette
(gs. Susan Lumpkin)
10-10

Michael Carico
10-27

Andy Dunbar
(s. Sharon Bryant)
10-24

Matthew Douchette
(gs. Susan Lumpkin)
10-30

Maggie Dawson
10-24

Ray Wood
10-30

Leon Jonas Jr.
(s. Jerry Mudge)
10-26

Lisa Ferrell
11-02

Wayne Jonas
(s. Jerry Mudge)
10-26

Kate Gaddy
11-03

Matthew Barto
10-26

Lt. Thomas Francis
11-04

Michael Barto
10-26

Brian Garlock
11-06

Stephen Puckett
10-28

Jodie Moss
11-06

Cynthia Shelton
(d. Daisy Fisher)
11-02

Calvin Ranney
11-10

Jeff Mudge
11-04

CMSgt Bob Fisher
11-19

Michele Greever
11-05

Stephen Puckett
11-19

Mary Hicks
(d. Mary Goodwin)
11-06

Mary Hicks
(d. Mary Goodwin)
11-21

Bridget Hoover
11-11

Brenda Stevens
(d. Daisy Fisher)
11-25

Matthew Cole
11-24

Shawna Hawk
(d. Dee Sumpter)
12-02

Brenda Stevens
(d. Daisy Fisher)
11-26

Susan Stanley
12-04

Michael Carico
11-27

Nicholas Laskowski
12-05

Ray Wood
11-29

Kathy Hoover
12-06

Billy Taylor
12-01

David Koepp
12-09

Brittany Runyan
12-07

Andrew Hooker
12-10

Nicholas Runyan
12-07

Kelli Owens
(d. Linda McHone)
12-12

Dagen Holden
12-20

Cynthia Milton
(d. Joan Sheridan)
12-13

Kelli Owens
(d. Linda McHone)
12-27

Jason Ranney
12-15

Lymaris Mejias
(d. Gina Ramseur)
12-27

Steven Amato
(s. Pat Kusila)
12-20

Paul Lundstrom
(s. Paula Moran)
12-27

 Matthew Wright
(s.Kathleen Turner)
12-30

 

I WILL BE THERE
Sharon J. Bryant

Mom, tomorrow I will be there
Though you may not see
I’ll smile and remember
The last Christmas, with you and me

Don’t be sad mom
I’m never far away
Your heart has hidden sight
My memory will always stay

I watched as you touched the ornaments
Sometimes a tear was shed as you did
I touched you gently on your shoulder
And on tiptoes I proudly stood

I’m only gone for a little while mom
I’m waiting for the day to be
When God calls out your name mom
We’ll be together, just you wait and see

But until that time comes
Carry on as you did when I was there
I tell the angels how much I love you
There are angels here everywhere!

I stand behind you some days
When I know that you are sad
I want you to be happy mom
It would make my heart so glad

So on this Christmas Eve, Mom
Think of me as I will be thinking of you
And touch that special ornament
That I once made for you

I love you mom and dad, also
I know you know I do
And I’ll be waiting here for you
When your earthly life is through

Love,
Your child in Heaven

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Posted on March 1, 2013 by John Rabe

Just before Christmas, we were visited with another painful reminder that we live in a fallen world full of sin and suffering, as a man opened fire at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 26 people—20 of them small children.

In the wake of such massive suffering, our hearts cry out with questions that are not easily answered. God does not choose to give us the “why” of every individual bit of suffering. But He does provide us with the amazing promise that in His infinite love, wisdom, and sovereignty, “…[a]ll things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 nkjv).

This is no glib or pat answer to the problem of suffering. Perhaps if God were merely “watching us, from a distance” (in the words of a popular song from the 90’s), the promise of Romans 8:28 would be thin comfort. But God is not merely watching us from a distance, nor is He mindlessly orchestrating suffering like a boy burning insects with a magnifying glass. Our God, in the person of Jesus Christ, has entered into our suffering and experienced it alongside us. Indeed, our Heavenly Father knows exactly what it’s like to see an innocent son murdered. And in Jesus Christ, we have a great high priest who is able to sympathize with us in all our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15).

As Joni Eareckson Tada puts it, “When I hurt, He feels the sting in His chest; He resonates with my pain; He identifies.”1

Joni knows that of which she speaks. Wheelchair-bound since a diving accident left her a quadriplegic more than 40 years ago, and wracked by pain each day, Joni also recently suffered the rigors of chemotherapy after a 2010 breast cancer diagnosis. Yet she is a hero to millions of Christians because of her steadfast perseverance in the face of suffering. Like the rest of us, Joni can’t account for every instance of suffering that’s come her way, but she presses forward through faith in the promises of God.

“I know that everything … I do down here on earth and the stewardship… I have of this paralysis, gives me the chance to increase my capacity for joy and worship and service in heaven. And I don’’t want to lose steam in that fight; I want to keep on,” says Joni.

Her striving is not merely a stoic attempt to complete a task. Instead, it’’s a profound faith in the promises of God, which have been sealed and validated in the death and resurrection of Jesus.

In the final analysis, while suffering is the result of humanity’’s fall into sin, God does not always reveal to us the reason for each specific bit of pain we experience, and often there is no obvious cause-effect correspondence. We can become disheartened when we see the unrighteous prosper while God-honoring people suffer greatly. The writer of Hebrews observed that, while a few of the great heroes of the faith saw earthly success, many others were tortured, flogged, and even sawn in two (Hebrews 11:32-38).

So what do we, as Christians, make of our own suffering? The Apostle Paul experienced extraordinary suffering in his own life. As he traveled the world preaching the Gospel, he was persecuted, beaten to within an inch of his life, shipwrecked, and eventually executed. Yet he could say that “…this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17 esv).

Paul was not playing some mental game or engaging in the “power of positive thinking.” Rather, he consciously chose to view his very real suffering through the lens of eternity and through faith in the promises of an all-good, all-wise, all-loving Father— whose Son shared our afflictions. Paul knew that all his suffering was purposeful —that it was achieving something on his behalf. We do not always know why suffering comes, but we do know that Christ redeems all of it, and that each bit of it will affect and enhance every moment of the eternity we will spend with God.

1 Interview with Truth in Action Ministries, Feb. 20, 2012

Overcoming Life’s Problems: Grief

Posted on March 1, 2013 by Truth In Action Ministries

I’’d like to talk to you about the problem of grief. Now grief is that pain that we feel when we lose something we love. And what could be more excruciating than grieving over the tragic loss of a loved one? It may be a husband or wife, a child, a mother or father, or a friend. But it could also be the loss of a home, a pet, or a job that you loved. Anything that you have loved deeply and lost will bring feelings of grief to you, and they can be extremely painful. And dealing with grief is far more difficult than people think. In fact, a tragedy in 1942 taught us about grief and how dangerous and life-consuming it can be.

This knowledge was brought to light during a terrible tragedy at the famed Coconut Grove restaurant in Boston, when a fire broke out and five hundred people were burned alive. Many others lost loved ones and were also seriously burned.

The victims were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital where numerous skin grafts were performed. And then something was discovered— some of the people who had lost a loved one in that fire and also suffered grievous burns were healing nicely; others with the same experience were not doing well at all. Their bodies were rejecting the skin grafts. The wounds would not heal.

Dr. Erich Lindemann began to probe the situation. He discovered that the group that was healing had confronted their loss and grieved over their loss, while the people who were not healing had refused to face their loss and weep or mourn.

Another doctor discovered that when people will not face the loss of a loved one, this refusal almost shuts down the autonomic system that allows the body to heal.

They also discovered when grief is not properly dealt with it can produce all kinds of psychological problems— such as terrible dejection, a loss of interest in the real world, a loss of capacity to love, an inhibitive curtailment of all meaningful activity, feelings of self-reproach, and fear of punishment for what they did not do for the loved one while he or she was still alive. In addition, they have discovered all kinds of physical problems, such as shortness of breath, muscular weakness, inner tensions, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, colitis, and many other problems, which stem from grief that hasn’’t been dealt with.

So, if you want to get through this life with less pain and suffering, you need to know how to deal with grief properly, and that means you must learn to face the loss, acknowledge it, and express your grief in mourning and tears.

When it comes to grieving, it’’s a good idea to remember these two simple words: “Jesus wept” (John 11:35 nkjv). Jesus wept. He knows our pain and He endured the grief and the pain, and the agony and paid for it all.

*From a sermon delivered by Dr. D. James Kennedy on April 28, 2002,at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Grieving Mothers Memorial Garden

By:Judi Walker

The path we walk is hard and long.
We have shared our tears and sorrow,
WE have given encouragement to each other,
Given hope for a brighter tomorrow,
We share the title of grieving mother.
Some of us lost older daughters or sons,
Who we watched grow over the years.
Some have lost their babies before their lives begun,
But no matter the age, we cry the same tears.
We understand each others pain,
The bond we share is very strong,
With each other there is no need to explain,
The path we walk is hard and long.
Our children brought us together.
They didn’t want us on this journey alone.
They knew we needed each other
To survive the pain of them being gone.
So take my hand my friend,
We may stumble and fall along the way
But we’ll get up and try again
Because together we can make it day by day.
We can give each other hope,
We’ll create a place where we belong.
Together we will find ways to cope,
Because we are bereaved Moms and together
We are strong.

The Grieving Mothers are starting a Memorial Garden for our children at: Kosair Charities, 982 Eastern Parkway, Louisville, KY 40217-1568

Grandparents’ Remembrance

I had my own notion of grief. I thought it was the sad time that followed the death of someone you love, and you had to push through it to get to the other side. But I’’m learning that there is no other side. There is no pushing through, but rather, there is Absorption, Adjustment,Acceptance. And grief is not something you complete, but rather you endure. Grief is not a task you finish and move on, but an element of yourself ~ an alteration of your being. A new way of seeing. A new definition of self.

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Grandparents’ Remembrance

We are the grieving grandparents, the shepherds of our children and grandchildren’’s lives. Our grief is two-fold and at times we feel powerless to help. We seek to comfort our children in the depths of their grief and yet we need the time and space to face our own broken hearts. We have been robbed of the special tender touch a grandparent shares with a grandchild and we have lost a symbol of our immortality. As we walk by our child’’s side, we both give and draw strength. We reach into their hearts to comfort them, and when they reach out to us in their distress, we begin the journey to heal together. We continue to be their guardians.  We allow traditions to change to accommodate their loss. We support the new ones which symbolize the small steps on their journey. It is in their healing that our hearts find comfort.  ~Susan Mackey, TCF, Rutland, VT

Used with permission from Broken Hearts, Living Hope Free support for bereaved families- Download subscription form at: www.brokenheartslivinghope.com