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The Ministry of Presence

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

I’ve been reading a book called “Grief Day by Day” by Jan Warner this year. Many of the chapters have resonated with me but not completely because a lot of the people mentioned were experiencing spousal or parental grief. Yes, those are hard things to go through. I have not experienced grief from the perspective of a widow, but I have experienced losing my dad as a young child. I do find that those losses are different to some degree. I’m not saying any less difficult, just different. The only way I can explain it is that when your child dies, a part of you goes with them. This tiny body, formed within your body (if you are the mother) is something you have nurtured from the day of conception until the moment the coffin was shut. It is a startling and devastating feeling when you are no longer able to nurture your child.

Often we parents try to fill that need to nurture and thus remember our child by decorating the grave, making memory items, serving others, and in my case, writing about loss. By writing, I not only share my heart and emotions, but I hope that I minister to others in need speaking the words they can’t find to say. Sharing the hurts that they don’t know how to share. Understanding the pain and not shying away from it. Today, I read a name for that type of ministry—The Ministry of Presence.

The book I mentioned earlier went on to share a few quotes that really hit me.

“𝑰 𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒎𝒚 𝒔𝒄𝒂𝒓𝒔 𝒔𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒍”. -𝑹𝒉𝒂𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒆 𝑵𝒊𝒄𝒐𝒍

I don’t claim I am healed from our loss, but this idea of ministering through being present with others who are hurting calls to me greatly. I will share my hurts, my scars, and my sorrow, so you know you are not alone in yours.

“𝐈’𝐦 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐤𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐟𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐮𝐭, 𝐈’𝐦 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐟𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐤 𝐨𝐮𝐭, 𝐨𝐫 𝐠𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞 𝐨𝐫 𝐥𝐚𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐨𝐫 𝐬𝐮𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐫 𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠. 𝐈𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞. 𝐈𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐮𝐩 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭.” -𝐊𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐁𝐫𝐚𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐩

That’s another important aspect of grief. People are not comfortable with grief. They want to make you better. When someone show up for a grieving friend, they may be expecting to sit in silence or even tears, as their friend recounts their loss. While there are times of that, there are also times of laughing and smiles, stories of good times, and precious memories that flow from a broken heart. I can’t fix a person’s loss or make their hurts better. No, not any more than someone can bring my Millie back to me, but I can give them time to remember. I can, however, make it a priority to let someone know their child, spouse, or parent is never forgotten. To forget the place our loved one held in our lives is to deny our own history. We would not be who we are without their influence on us.

Instead, I can offer you a soft spot on my couch. I can provide a warm cup of tea. I can offer a hug. I can give you a kind word. I can privately message with you. Most importantly, I will pray for your needs. The hurt will be with us until heaven, but together we can carry it easier.

𝐁𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐲𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫'𝐬 𝐛𝐮𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐬, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐨 𝐟𝐮𝐥𝐟𝐢𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐚𝐰 𝐨𝐟 𝐂𝐡𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐭. 𝐆𝐚𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝟔:𝟐

~Telling Christ’s story {Because of Millie}

︵‿︵‿୨☆୧‿︵‿︵ ☆。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆ 。・:*:・゚★ I still believe in Millie’s Miracle ☆。・:*:・゚ Hebrews 11:1 。・:*:・゚☆ ︵‿︵‿୨☆୧‿︵‿︵ #MilliesMiracle #ChildhoodCancer #Neuroblastoma #MoreThan4 #Childloss #Forever3 #WithJesus #WhileWeAreWaiting #AGrievingMama #LifeAfterLoss #siblinggrief

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