Okay! I was planning to include all of this in my last post, but decided it would be better to make them separate, in the interest of keeping things managable.
I mentioned that I was going to be participating in a workday at a perinatal hospice ministry on Saturday, and that I participated with a pregnancy and infant loss support ministry. Here’s the deal:
Saturday morning, I got up stupid early to drive to Deshler, Ohio (way West of where I live) to head over to the offices of Sufficient Grace Ministries. (You can check out their website and blog at: www.sufficientgraceministries.org ) They were meeting from 9-11 AM to work on their Comfort Bears, which they distribute, free of charge, to bereaved families. As a babyloss mom, I got a bear and a memory book, as well. (Thank you, Kelly!) Kelly Gerken (founder/director of SGM) sat and talked with me for quite some time and then I was able to sit and help stuff some of the Comfort Bears that they were working on.
My mom went with me and we had a sweet time of fellowship. It was great to sit down and talk to someone who understands what it means to be a babyloss mom. It was also a huge blessing to be able to talk to someone who has been down the road of starting this kind of ministry. We had a lot of questions, a lot of things to talk about, and a sweet time of prayer before we left.
It was hard, too, in some ways. There were some questions that Kelly couldn’t answer for me…there will always be questions that no one can answer. It also brought up some emotions that I hadn’t seen in a while. Honestly, I didn’t realize how empty my arms have been, until she handed me that bear. Wow.
Anyway (sniff)…a prayer request. Kelly’s ministry (Sufficient Grace) is looking to expand, opening branches across Ohio, and even into other states. They are already working with someone in the Ashland area, to open an office near here. We are all praying fervently for the Lord to lead, none of us wanting to limit what He wants to do, but partnering with them is a very real possibility for me. I would ask for your prayers, as well. I want to go where He leads. I have reasons for joining SGM and reasons not to, but I want the Holy Spirit to give me guidance, not a list of reasons that aren’t that important. I may be going back over to SGM (soon!) to discuss the possibility in a little more detail. “If any among you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally and does not hold back” (James 1).
In addition to my time at SGM, I had a few other things to rejoice about this weekend. On Saturday, I received permission from Focus on the Family to reprint a booklet that they used to print (I don’t have permission to distribute copies online, but you can find it at www.Heartlink.org It’s called “Permission to Grieve.”) I was also able to talk with a man in our church, Doug Knox, and get permission to use an excerpt from his book “Faith, Hope, and Grief” for a brochure. I am hoping to be able to post the brochure as a pdf file in the next few days, for anyone interested in looking it over. It’s targeted at people who are trying to relate/minister to the bereaved. For more on Doug’s ministry, you can check him out at www.DouglasKnox.com (Here on Word Press!)
I think that’s most of the relevant info from this weekend. Thanks for your prayers…I’ll let you know if I think of anything else!