Hey friends, this month brings the one year anniversary of my Mom’s homegoing… and I want to thank you for being such a support and amazing community during this whole grieving process. You have no idea how much you have helped me along this road, many sharing your own stories and many reminding me that the process is long and hard. I wanted to put together a resource for those who are going through this journey as well, or for those who will eventually go through the journey. We’ve all been touched by death and I think it’s a good reminder to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and remember that this is not our final destination. While I miss my Mom, I have hope knowing I will see her again… I never really said goodbye to Mom, but more like, “see you later!” This past Easter, I was reminded of this. Because Jesus died and rose again, we get to be with God when we go home. How amazing is that!?!??
While, I rejoice in the fact that I will see her again… there are times I really needed God to bring me out of my slump and I have some resources that helped me do that that I want to share with you.
Illustrated Faith Devotional Kits, Illustrated Faith Collections,
Print & Pray Shop
The process of just spending time in the Word of God, worshiping with journaling and art. They have been my biggest sources of help. It’s amazing that a devotional kit would make me think of Mom and want to add some purple to my page just for her. The resources we have are great for just getting us to read our Bible and look up verses. I love how the collections have ephemera with scripture references on the back of them. The themes of the devotional kits may not be specific to grief, but they are always relevant. The Print & Pray Shop has so many great devotionals and inspiration to help the process too. They are all just great starting points to get in the Word and spend time with Jesus, being reminded of his grace and mercy.
I don’t know about you, but I often feel like God is talking to me through lyrics. Christian music nowadays is so much different than it was when I was a kid. They point to scripture and Jesus… they address emotions so well. My mom loved music, she even asked me to sing at her celebration of life ceremony. She was at every one of my concerts as a kid and she was a huge support when I sang on the worship team at my church. In the hospice room we would be singing worship songs and I would see her with her hands open in worship. I’ve found that journaling some of those songs were so therapeutic for the whole journey from the time she was diagnosed with cancer to her final days. The Praise Book is my favorite for documenting those song lyrics and journaling my favorite songs that got me through the journey.
There are so many Biblical books on grief out there. We’ve read books about Heaven and we’ve read aloud books to our kids about Heaven. I’ve read books on how to grieve through the holidays. My current favorite book is Shanna’s 100 Days of Bible Promises. I’ve been loving how much scripture it walks you through. I love books that bring you back to THE Word. I’ve been loving watching many of you going through this book. I can’t wait to hear where we are all at in our relationship with Christ at the end of the 100 days!!! I know for me it’s been a great comfort spending time in the Word and being reminded of the promises in the Bible.
Who else struggles with prayer? My mind tends to wander, but I’ve found a way to pray that works for me. I find that if I write out my prayers and visualize sitting with God and talking to him that I have a better time staying focused. Creating a prayer journal was the best thing for me to do and it’s been such a great help in going to God first rather than my friends and/or husband. My prayer life has been changed so much by doing this and it’s helped my anxiety and fears. If you struggle with prayer, I ask you to consider trying this, or finding a way that works for you… because it’s so foundational to our relationship with God.
While I consider this community the church, I am meaning your local church pastors and counselors. I encourage you to reach out to your local church for resources. Many churches have GriefShare that meets regularly with others who have been there or recently lost a loved one. My church sent me these wonderful books. Every few months I would get a new one. They have been so helpful for me. I just received the fourth one today and I can’t wait to dive in as the one year anniversary approaches in a couple weeks. I know they say the one year anniversary is the hardest, but I love that I feel prepared for it. I have great pastors and counselors and doctors that I am close to who have helped me so much in this process. You don’t have to do this alone, I encourage you to reach out for help.
Also, thank you for being THE church… I just love this community!!! I can’t imagine walking this road without you. I encourage you to continue to be there for those in our community who are hurting and need a friend and virtual hug and reminder that they are loved by a God who is always with us even in the valleys.