Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Mourning Ministry - You Never Let Go!

Monday Mourning Ministry

Searching the Bible on Behalf of us Bereaved Parents
as we Grieve Our Great Loss…

“May your heart be held tenderly in those nail-scarred hands to bring you comfort and peace.”
~Lynn Mosher,
(written to me on Twitter this week)

(Jesus said,)

"I will not leave you as orphans;

I will come to you.

Because I live, you also will live.

Peace I leave with you;

My peace I give you.

I do not give to you as the world gives.

Do not let your hearts be troubled

and do not be afraid.

I am going away and I will come to you.”

John 14:18,19b,27,28a

The Lord is my shepherd,

I shall lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in

green pastures,

He leads me beside quiet


He restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of


for His name's sake.

Even though I walk

through the valley of the

shadow of death,

I will fear no evil,

for You are with me,

Your rod and Your staff,

they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my


You anoint my head with


my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love

will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house

of the Lord


Psalm 23

You Never Let Go

by Matt Redman

Even though I walk

Through the valley of the shadow of death

Your perfect love is casting out fear

And even when I'm caught

In the middle of the storms of this life

I won't turn back I know You are near


And I will fear no evil,

For my God is with me.

And if my God is with me,

Whom then shall I fear?

Whom then shall I fear?


Oh no, You never let go

Through the calm and through the storm

Oh no, You never let go

In ev'ry high and ev'ry low

Oh no You never let go

Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming

For the heart that holds on

A glorious light beyond all compare

And there will be an end to these troubles

But until that day comes

We'll live to know You here on the earth


And I will fear no evil,

For my God is with me.

And if my God is with me,

Whom then shall I fear?

Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go

Through the calm and through the storm

Oh no, You never let go

In ev'ry high and ev'ry low

Oh no, You never let go

Lord, You never let go of me

You keep on loving, and you never let go!

Oh no, You never let go

Through the calm and through the storm

Oh no, You never let go

In ev'ry high and ev'ry low

Oh no, You never let go

Lord, You never let go of me

Yes I can see a light

That is coming for the heart that holds on

And there will be an end to these troubles

But until that day comes

Still I will praise You

Still I will praise You!


Oh no, You never let go

Through the calm and through the storm

Oh no, You never let go

In ev'ry high and ev'ry low

Oh no, You never let go

Lord, You never let go of me


Oh! Lord, You never let go of me!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Part Two - How Can a Friend Come Alongside You in Grief?

How Can a Friend Come Alongside You in Grief?
Part Two

Part Two
of my letter to Vicki about how to help us grieving parents in our grief:

Dearest Vicki, (continued)

…That is why I thank you so much, because

your tenderness is a rare “commodity” in this world, even in this Christian-world, believe-it-or-not!

I think many of our churches have dished out too much “prosperity gospel,” so that when someone IS completely flat on his/her back, the spoon-fed Christians get intimidated with the lack of “quick success” out from under the turmoil.

So they choose to get mad at us victims instead of reaching out to love us "in it"!

I think they want us to hurry up and get over our grief so THEY won’t have to feel bad. AND if we would hurry up and get over it, THEY could continue to tell themselves,
“Yup, there’s Victory in Jesus; he really is an insurance policy for having-a-life-that-is-always-‘peachy-keen’!”

Hebrews 11* makes it clear that ALL those wonderful children of the faith, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, etc. (despite the fact that they were the devoted, faithful followers of God here on this earth)

1) "did not receive the things promised" this side of Heaven,

2) but "they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance . . .

3) (while) they were longing for a better country -- a heavenly one."

That "always-peachy-keen-life" expectation some have is downright cult-like thinking because our Lord warned many times that

1) We will suffer,

2) We will have trouble here, **

3) We are to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,

But like Him we can endure our cross (giving a slight clue, that yes it will be painful, very painful), while

5) We are to hold on to the joy that will come – some day. ***

(Sorry, thanks for letting me “preach-it-sister!”)

So, Vicki, please rest assured, you do not have any of those toxic features to your comfort:

1) You are not cold-hearted toward us nor our precious child,

2) You are not crass regarding our child who is very near and dear to our hearts,

3) And you are well aware that there's a lot in a grieving-mother's-world that you would have no way of understanding without going through it yourself (God forbid!).

4) That’s very healthy of you in my opinion, that you are well aware of your limitations in the situation,

5) YET you don't let those limitations intimidate you into silence;

6) You just love-us-where-we-are, pray for us, then reach out and lovingly touch us in our pain.

You have no idea how incredibly healing that touching-us-in-our-pain is.

It’s like we grieving parents are living in a lepers’ colony of sorts, and someone lovingly dares to enter our colony, look into our eyes, see our brokenness, yet reaches out and touches us anyway.

It is an unbelievable phenomenon that when a person lovingly risks touching my pain, as heavy as my load is, it feels like that person has reached out and helped me carry the pain awhile. It actually lifts my load awhile! It has that kind of impact.

So thank you again, sweet sister! Much love and thankfulness for you!


**John 16:33

33"I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

*Hebrews 11:13-14, 16

13All these were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.

14People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own….

16Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

***Hebrews 12:1-3

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

In Honor Of
Another Precious
"Twitter Friend"
who ministers to me

Victoria Thomas Gaines
Vicki's Blog: "Light for the Writer's Soul"

Thursday, August 27, 2009

How Can a Friend Come Alongside You In Grief?

How Can a Friend Come Alongside You in Grief?

Below is a portion of a letter sent to me by a precious "Twitter Friend," Vicki.

Dearest Angie, Thank you for such a beautiful note and prayer; I really appreciate it and love hearing from you. I usually feel grossly inadequate to know how to respond to someone in grief, and yet you're always so gracious to me. I find it hard to face the thought of losing any of my own children or grandchildren - but when I do, I think of you and Merry Katherine, and how unfair it all seems.

How can a friend like me come alongside you? ....

I will answer Vicki's letter in two parts. Today's post is Part One:

Dearest Vicki, Thank you! I always love hearing from you too. You are always so gentle, tender, and edifying. . . . I think the main negative thing one coul
d say or imply that would get under my skin would be along the lines of

"You need to be over it! Don't you have God?! Then you need to be over it!"
That expectation is totally unrealistic and out-of-touch as it has absolutely nothing to do with any parents' reality of their living nightmare that haunts them daily.

It also drops a load of expectation on you that you can in-no-way measure up to. So, now add to your grief this unrealistic expectation that now adds

you're-a-failure-as-a-Christian-if-you-can't-get-over-it nonsense

to pile onto your burden of grief that was already-too-heavy-to-bear!

So, it's really pretty simple - when people speak down to me from their "Ivory Tower" ("Church-Steeple Ivory Tower"?) of naivete, happiness, and i
ntact-family-ness to say, "You just need to come on up here with US (into happy land again) and put your pain behind you," it is painful.

But if they can climb down into MY PAIN, even if just a little bit, to COME ALONGSIDE for a moment like Jesus did, that is what is sweet and helpful.

(I am thankful Jesus didn't just yell down to us from Heaven and say, "You just need to get up here with US!")

I love the words of Diane Langberg, a wonderful Christian psychologist up in Pennsylvania who teaches how Christians can minister to those going through pain, grief, or trauma:

"We are to be like Jesus:

1) We must first leave glory. (No preaching down at anybody with our "advice.")

2) We must "become little." (We must be as humble as a child.)

3) We must "enter the darkness." (We must climb into the griever's painful darkness.)

4) We must bear the character of the Father, full of Grace and Truth.

5) We must not abandon those in need.

6) We must not lose our perspective and allow our thinking to be distorted.

7) The body of Christ must choose to be a sanctuary to the hurting."

By coming into our pain with us and loving us where we really are, Jesus demonstrates to us His love and compassion that starts the healing process that helps to put us back together again!

As Diane says,
"You cannot 'instruct' a person out of their grief and trauma. You must climb into it with them, and let them teach you what it is like."

And that is what you do, Vicki! You are very kind; you know at some level that I am living in a kind of hell - a parent's absolute worst nightmare, a very complicated grief.

And you come alongside and show the sweet love and compassion of Jesus and THAT is always needed, and I can always respond to that sweetness!

So thank you!

To be Continued . . .

In Honor Of
Another Precious
"Twitter Friend"

Victoria Thomas Gaines
Vicki's Blog: "Light for the Writer's Soul"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Those Nail-Scarred Hands

Those Nail-Scarred Hands

@AngiePrince Hey, sweet Angie! May your heart be held tenderly in those nail-scarred hands to bring you comfort and peace.
Love ya!

I received the above "tweet" from another "Twitter Sister" Lynn Mosher yesterday that touched my heart deeply, and left me in a tender pile, weeping...

So later in the evening, I read her post from her blog, "Heading Home," and it too touched my heart deeply, stopping me in my tracks. So I asked and received Lynn's gracious permission to include her post here for you! You can find her blog at

Lynn Mosher's Blog post from yesterday along with my response to her:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Not a Day for Words

Today is one of those days. You know. You’ve had them. Your heart is aching because life aimed its fiery darts at your heart and set it on fire and you need to hear some precious words of comfort from the Lord.

Maybe you tossed all night, kicking off the hot covers, turning over the tear-stained pillow a thousand times, hearing nothing but the beat of your own heart.

Maybe you watched for the first glint of dawn, as the clock seduced you to check it every fifteen minutes.

Maybe the words you need to hear are not for yourself but for someone you love dearly who is hurting, deeply hurting.

You yell out, “Lord, where are You?”

Then comes this whisper from the Still Small Voice…

“Today is not a day for many words. Just believe and sit quietly before Me. Open your heart and be aware of My Presence.”

After that, no more words. Nada. Zilch. Zippity-do-dah!

But then, verses bubble up from within…

*“Be still, and know…” (Ps. 46:10 NKJV)

*“But He answered her not a word.” (Matt. 15:23 NKJV)

*“She came and, kneeling, worshiped Him and kept praying.” (Matt. 15:25 Amp)

*“And behold, a woman…stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.” (Luke 7:37-38 NKJV)

How often do we sit at the feet of our Lord just to feel His nearness, His heartbeat, His love? How often do we seek a handout rather than to hold His hand? Do we open our hearts and pour out upon Him that precious perfume of our love…without saying a word?

David wrote, “What a blessing is that stillness as He brings them safely into harbor!” (Ps. 107:30 TLB) When you experience His stillness, may it be a soft resonance within you as harmony, safety, and peace.

Oh, Lord, when in the blackest hours of my pain, when adversity attempts to overwhelm me, and there is no word from You, I will believe You are still near. I will believe You linger by my side, though unnoticed, holding my hand, though not felt. I will believe You gently wipe away all my tears. I will believe You lovingly hold my heart in Your nail-scarred hands. I will believe You soothe all my hurts. Lord, may I sit adoringly at Your feet to seek Your Presence rather than Your hand, to seek Your heartbeat rather than Your words. Amen!

My Response:

Grieving Mother/Therapist, Angie Bennett Prince said...

Dearest Lynn,

Tears. Truth. Your words penetrate my heart and all my self-centered prayers. Such a tender Savior; instead of celebrating Him, I allow myself to get caught up in "the worries of this life" that can snuff out the sweetness, the tenderness, and yes, the still, small voice of our Beloved.

Thank you for your tender soul that points me back to what is most important, to what I could so easily miss by allowing the uproar of my demands to drown out the sweetness of His love . . . His sacrificial love that called Him to give His very life for me! How could I be so blinded, deafened by my own neediness when He stands there quietly . . . ready to give me His all . . . indeed, He already has.

Thank you so much, sweet sister, for leading me back into His arms where I feel no needs, no demands, and find . . . His love . . . is enough. It is everything. I weep. In His arms. Engulfed in His love. Humbled, thankful for His forgiveness. Finding what I needed all along... for He IS love!

He leads me back to verses He showed me earlier this week:

Psalm 46:
God is our refuge & strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah (translating-via Wikipedia- Selah = "Stop and listen").

(And how can we not fear with the very earth caving in?) . . . Because "The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress....Be still, and know that I am God....The Lord Almighty is WITH us; the God of Jacob IS our fortress."

Thank you dear sweet sister for helping me to "stop and listen," "to be still and know," to remember "He is WITH us!"

So thankful for you, I love you dear sister!


8/26/09 12:52 AM

I will rest now . . . in those nail-scarred hands,

In Honor Of
Another "Twitter Sister"
Who Ministers to My Heart!

Lynn Mosher