DO YOU NEED HOPE?

I have the honor and privilege to be on the Book Launch Team for a new 28 day devotional that will be available on Amazon January 1, 2021.  Bright Hope was written by Erin Cushman, the founder and former Executive Director of Hope Mommies (hopemommies.org), a gospel-centric nonprofit ministry that serves the infant loss community. 

Although, it is written with those families in mind, it ministers to anyone suffering loss and grief.  I am a great-grandmother and by God’s grace, I have not experienced the loss of a child, but I have had more grieving times in my life than I like to think about.  During those times I would have loved a book like this. 

You can’t ask someone who is grieving to focus and absorb big chunks of words, no matter how encouraging they might be.  With that in mind Erin has written this book for mourners who can grasp a little at a time.  During my times of grief my attention span shortens and my focus blurs. During those times, if you handed me five pages of encouragement to read, I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. Even Scripture that I love, I have to mustard all the concentration I can to read and absorb it. This is the beauty of Bright Hope. It gives me small doses of hope and comfort for 28 days.  That is a goal I can accomplish. 

But that is not all I love about this book.  It is filled with Scripture and theology and put together with grace and love. 

Let me give you an example.

“Grief makes us desperate.  Desperate for answers, for time to reverse itself; desperate for one last moment with our beloved.

Impatient to escape from the constant pain; frantic for understanding; desperate for good.  Grief is all consuming, taking over the heart, mind, and body.  It feels inescapable, and depression deepens.

David, the psalmist that penned Psalm 143, understood that all-consuming desperation… David didn’t spend his time problem solving for himself, taking endless counsel with others, or ignoring the pain until it passed.  David was not waiting on the passing of time to mitigate the pain.

David’s first response was a heartfelt appeal to the God of steadfast love to act.”

Erin then shows us how to come before the Lord, to behold the Lord, to find Bright Hope and to walk in Bright Hope.

On December 1, Giving Tuesday, if you make a donation to Hope Mommies you will receive a copy of the Book.  Not only will you be contributing to a vital ministry, but you will be blest with a gift of the book. Then on January 1, Bright Hope will be available on Amazon.

If you know anyone who has lost a child or is grieving for any reason, Bright Hope would be the perfect gift for them. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

As Erin says, Jesus’ offer to come has no expiration date. Be blessed!

If You Have A Sister, Hug Her!

Photo by Rikonavt on Pexels.com

Today would have been my sister’s birthday. In 2011, she passed away from a brain tumor.

Life’s losses are hard and grief is something we all have to deal with sometime in life.

I haven’t written about her death before. Even after nine years I miss her terribly. No matter the circumstances, I knew my sister would always be there for me.

Having no husband or children, I was her care giver and it was an honor and privilege to serve her the last 3 years of her life. The support she received from my husband, children and grandchildren were precious to her and me. Thank you.

Because, I walked with her so closely during those three years, I had to deal with regrets, guilt, all the what ifs, as well as the grief from her death. So, the moments when those painful memories surface, and they still do occasionally, I roll them onto Jesus’ back, because he cares for me and shoulders my burdens, so that I can remember her sweet smile, her spirit of fun and her love for us, her family.

Here are a few things I have learned first-hand about grief.

Time does not heal. Death is a rift in how life was originally designed to be. However, it does allow for process. The grief process should take as long as it takes. You can’t rush someone through it. Time gives us space to envision our life without the lost one and helps us see the future with the void in it and prepares us for it.

And we should embrace that. I am reminded of Solomon’s’ wise words in Ecclesiastes. 3:1-8.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

A season is planned for every event in life. It was her time to die, and it was my time to weep and mourn. Later, I found a time to laugh, but my dancing is still coming along, because, although we mourn and move on, there is a loss and void left where they used to be. I don’t think that ever goes away. I don’t think God meant it to. Death is an ugly reminder to us of sin and its consequences.

There are now long periods of my life when I don’t think about my sister, but when something sparks a memory I am more apt to remember the good times and not the sorrow. She would be pleased.