Recent Stories

  • A Valley Girl: Yolanda Stith's Story

        I was born and raised in Southern California in the San Fernando Valley, a suburb of greater Los Angeles.  It was there that the term “Valley Girl” became popular.  It held special significance to me, not only because I came [more]

  • Roller Coasters – Emily's Story

    Brent and I had been married for 16 years. We had been through quite a bit. In the midst of many physical illnesses, we had two wonderful children who really have been a blessing. We were ministry minded and when we were turned down to move overseas to work with some [more]

  • Where is God in My Suffering? – Kit's Story

    My name is Kit Danley and I am the president here at Neighborhood Ministries. I come from affluent America. I come from a background off the lake, say in Milwaukee, both parents and grandparents were prominent Milwaukeeans. And as my parents tried to do adult [more]

Emotional Healing

Just yesterday it happened again! The tears. When will they stop? Why was I still emotional? I thought I had experienced the peace that comes with prayers for emotional healing. Now I am not so sure. I had had a bad week with feeling depressed and discouraged. I wanted to give up, to crawl into a hole, to check out. In my despair I reached out to friends who prayed for me and I felt better, but then a few days later, I realized I wasn’t healed, yet.

All it took was one question from my friend, Gary and the tears began to flow again. He asked how I was doing and I told him about my week. I had felt under attack, but had friends praying for my emotional healing. I thought I was doing fine. But then, I started to cry. Realizing I was still pretty emotional about my week, I then admitted that I wasn’t fine. Not an easy thing for me to admit. There was no sense in pretending, I needed more prayers for healing!

So, that’s just what Gary did. He prayed. I don’t remember what exactly because I was crying. I do know, though, that his desire was to help me, point me to God and ask for the emotional healing I needed. I have learned over the years that when the emotion is raw around a situation, there is more healing that needs to occur. I can think I am fine, but once the tears begin to flow, it’s a sure sign I am not. What’s best for me at that point is to call on people who will pray for my emotional healing. They don’t have to know all the details, just have a willingness to share the load.

Healing

OK, I was hoping for 100% healing right away. But 50-70% is phenomenal. And it reminds me of Jesus’ only GRADUAL HEALING recorded in the Gospels, in Mark 8:22-26. That encounter was very interesting. 

Once again, it was the FRIENDS of the afflicted man who brought a blind man to Jesus and implored Him to touch him. The faith of our friends in our behalf is a huge encouragement to us. Through pain, fatigue and nausea Ian often refuses TV, movies, games, and music. But he almost never refuses listening to new greetings from friends on his website. And tonight he asked me to get the prayer map up on his wall.

Once again, Jesus looked for a PERSONAL FAITH RESPONSE from the blind man to be healed. Commentators suggest that this is why Jesus took the man outside the village by himself, and that this is why he only partially healed him at first. The partial healing gave the man an opportunity to respond to Jesus himself. I continue to watch for this in Ian. Until now his job has primarily been to survive, hoping that what others have been doing would help him. Now his progress is increasingly in his own hands. He must choose to work on physical therapy. He must choose to press through pain to be active rather than asking for more narcotics to knock him out. Please join me in asking God to fill Ian with increasing resolve and courage and faith.

And once again, it was Jesus Himself who worked the COMPLETE HEALING. I don’t know if you’ve taken a closer look online at what doctors have experienced with alveolar rhabdomysocarcoma. But a quick look will make it clear that the healing we are seeking is just as miraculous as the healing of a blind man.



Seeking Support for the Death of a Child? You Are Not Alone.

Sometimes you just want to escape don’t you? Where can you go to get away from the pain you are feeling over the death or loss of a child? Sure, there is always busyness to fill your time so you don’t have to think about your pain. There’s medication to numb your feelings of depression, anger or guilt; but does that really do anything to help you deal with the death of your child? If you are like me, I think you really want to find others who are also seeking support for the death of a child. You truly are not alone in your pain.

It is very important to understand some of the common emotions experienced by bereaving parents. All of the following emotions are natural and normal responses to the death of a child and you may have experienced them in varying degrees. Guilt, despair and anger often inflict the grief stricken. In their guilt, they ask what they could have done differently; they don’t understand why they didn’t foresee the future and blame themselves and/or others for their child’s death. Despair and loneliness creep in even if you are in a support group. It is necessary to share these feelings, no matter how silly it may seem to you; don’t isolate yourself or become a hermit. Support is available, necessary and extremely helpful.

Don’t expect to ‘get over’ the death of a child right away or at all. It will take time. Your friends and family can emotionally support you just by being there, listening and encouraging you in your pain and grief. Although it is tough to let others help you, it is part of the healing process. No one likes being vulnerable and needy, but if you can admit to yourself and others that you are hurting, there is absolutely nothing wrong with letting others help you.  In fact, it will bless them to be able to feel like they are doing something beneficial.

There are many websites dedicated to helping people deal with pain in their lives. I recommend checking out http://DontWasteThePain.com where you can read blogs and articles, watch video testimonies and join a cyber discussion group with others who are seeking support for the death of a child, dealing with divorce or some other kind of loss and suffering. I believe nothing happens without having a reason and without good coming from it. Even in your pain you can begin to see God’s blessings and grow closer to him. Don’t waste the pain.

Dependence

Strangely, with Ian home and feeling better today I’m feeling kind of down. Why is that? Maybe I’m just suffering withdrawal of the adrenaline rush from these weeks of constant crisis. Maybe I miss feeling so desperately needed. Maybe now that the urgency of this crisis is receding a bit, I’m facing other life realities again. Maybe everyday responsibilities seem mundane after living in 24/7 “life-saving” mode for so long. Maybe I’m just tired. Maybe the enemy is trying to attack me while I’m weak and seemingly vulnerable. Maybe… it’s all of that.

Lord, it’s as if You are gently lowering my feet to the ground again after carrying me in Your arms since February 4th. Just like Ian’s legs were wobbly after being in bed for so long, so I guess that my every day faith legs may be a bit wobbly. You may soon have to pick me up again Lord. I don’t know what this next round of chemotherapy will bring.

Father, all of this reminds me how I need to depend on You for everything all the time. Times like this help us to see things as they really are, stripping away our illusions of self-sufficiency and self-determination, melting away superficial values, clearing our minds, and invigorating our spirits.

James 1:2-4 (NIV)



2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Books on Grieving: Don’t Waste the Pain

When you or someone you know is suffering and grieving, do you have a favorite resource to offer them? Good books on grieving and loss are hard to find but I have had the privilege of reading a great book dealing with grief that was encouraging to me and to many people I know. I just want to share with you what I learned and liked about this book.

Don’t Waste the Pain is a book that deals with grief through real, true and encouraging words. Sometimes with joy, sometimes in deep pain, but always honest. From the first chapter “Welcome to Oz”, to the last “The Fellowship of Suffering” the authors reveal their hearts, thoughts, feelings, disappointments and pain along with their joy, faith, hope and belief in a powerful God. It’s not always pretty, but like the author of The Psalms, they bear their souls and find peace in the midst of grief. They seek God with astounding resolve and faith that is sure to boost yours as well. They are pointed, humorous and truthful.

I have read books on grieving and loss over the years, but this one stands out to me. I am totally caught up in the relationships and how personally David and Linda share their pain. It has been hard to put this book on grief down as I want to learn more about them and how they are dealing with everything. Strange, huh?

I believe God has a purpose in everything he allows to happen in our lives. Cancer, death, suffering, divorce, abuse, job loss and financial troubles. These are not from God, but he has said in scripture that he will work things out for our good if we commit to him (see Genesis 50:20 and Romans 8:28). It is on this premise that David and Linda journey through their pain and grief, believing in God’s goodness, turning to him not away, and finding blessings along the way.

Can I encourage you to not waste your pain? Press into God. Seek him for answers. He can handle your anger, your questions, and your grief. This book on grieving will help you gain perspective and give you hope that something good can result. For more information, please visit the website at http://DontWasteThePain.com.

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