Friday, May 13, 2011

Hope in The Storm: Suffering/Grief Resources

I share with you last week a prayer request for our family. It leads to a good thought:Where do you go for comfort when someone you love is sick or dies? What about seasons of suffering that go on and on and the end seems so far? Who will help us grieve and suffer authentically and yet draw us nearer to God in it? I want to share in some specific Scripture God has used in my life throughout in the next few posts, but first let me suggest a few resources to turn to:

-Plant yourself in His Word: Only God can comfort us and He will fully comfort those who seek Him! His Word is our truth, our rock, and our firm foundation. Trust Him for your full peace and comfort as you crack open His Word. Pray and ask Him to guide you as You read. 
If you don't carry your Bible with you daily, the best Bible for download i know is the ESV version. It's completely free to download-yay!!!! You can put it on your Kindle, iphone, etc and have it with you anywhere you are.

-Counselors are such a blessing when we fall into great despair. I used to feel awkward about counseling because I saw many Christian counselors use worldly resources and have people I love look inward. No real lasting fruit came of it. But there are some amazing counselors who counsel through the Word of God to draw out your heart and help bring healing. You can find them through NANC and CCEF. And what a prize it is to have friends and family who will counsel you through His Word. Seek out others who know His Word and have genuine grace and truth. Let them be a shield of faith and anchor to you in your grief. This is how we live out loving one another. Let them do it!

- Listen to sermons. I found great comfort in listening to passionate preachers share about suffering and grief and the hope we have in it (I'd suggest John Piper, Matt Chandler, and Josh Harris as my top three). There is something so comforting in knowing others have suffered before us and have wisdom to share as we endure.

-Read a good book written to draw us to His truth. My favorite author to turn to in suffering is Nancy Guthrie. Several of her books meant a lot to me in seasons of grief. 
1)Be Still My Soul: This is my favorite because it's collected wisdom from the Word in suffering/grief from great preachers and teachers of the Word (a few are John Calvin, Tim Keller, and Joni Earickson Tada)

2)The One year Book of Hope- This is a year of devotions to walk through as you grieve. it is SO incredible to have someone daily acknowledging how hard this suffering is and point you to hope in Him. And she tackles some hard questions in it.

3) Holding Onto Hope: This is her personal grief story. She shares losing her daughters to rare disorders. A quote that sustained me in grief is this:
 "The day after we buried Hope, my husband said to me, 'You know, I think we expected our faith to make this hurt less, but it doesn't. Our faith gave us an incredible amount of strength and encouragement while we had Hope, and we are comforted by the knowledge that she is in heaven. Our faith keeps us from being swallowed by despair. But I don't think it makes our loss hurt any less.'"

1 comment:

Virginia Knowles (Come, Weary Moms) said...

Ginny, if folks are looking for a Christian counselor in the Casselberry area, I recommend Roger Shepherd of Florida Counseling Foundation.