I am delighted to share with you a post picked up by Bound4Life. Please take a moment to read the article (link below). It means a lot to me.
Dear readers, please join me in welcoming Kathleen Fucci to my blog. After marrying a widower with three children, she founded Kathleen Fucci Ministries with a passion for bringing the hope of the Gospel to grieving children everywhere. To learn more about her award-winning grief resources for children, visit www.kathleenfucciministries.org.
Early childhood years are formative in shaping a child’s perception of God. This perception will, in turn, determine a child’s intimacy with Him. When tragedy strikes, young children feel confused, hopeless, and angry. They question God’s worth, as well as their own. Their experience will often lead them to false conclusions about both. That is why it is never more important, than in the wake of death and loss, that a child is taught about the goodness of God. And it is never more important to reinforce these biblical truths: God is good. God is with you. God loves you. God has eternally good plans for your life.
As an organization dedicated to bringing the hope of the Gospel to grieving children, we want kids to be certain of God’s love for them, and certain of the eternally good plans He has for them. We want grieving children to be so impacted with the knowledge of who God is, and what He has said in His Word, that they will live powerful, faith-filled lives in close relationship with Him.
Grief Is a Spiritual Dynamic
The Bible says grief is a spiritual dynamic; it’s a force that affects the spirit of a person.
Being broken-hearted is a spiritual state of brokenness that requires spiritual healing.
• “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” Proverbs 15:13
• “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:18
A broken heart and a broken spirit go hand in hand. If left unhealed, grief can shipwreck a child’s faith.
So if a child’s spirit is broken by sorrow, how will we tend to it? Who will fix it? It is here that we will veer from conventional wisdom and methodology because we understand this to be a spiritual issue. Ultimately, examining grief does not heal grief. Jesus does.
• “He (Jesus) heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
When Jesus went into the synagogue in Nazareth, where he had grown up. He was handed the book of Isaiah to read. He found Isaiah 61 and started reading:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind. To set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” . . . And when Jesus had sat down He said, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:18-19, 21)
We are ambassadors of this good news right now. Today. Jesus heals the grief-stricken, devastated, wretched, inconsolable, and heavy-hearted. This isn’t good news for the by and by. Broken-hearted children won’t need healing in heaven. They need it now.
So the short answer to this question of how to tend to a grieving child is this: Reveal Jesus to your sorrowful child. He is their source of healing. They need the kind of spiritual healing only He can provide. Kids are healed by pressing in to know our Healer. Our urgency should be to make the focus of their attention less inward, on self and emotions, and more upward, on Jesus and the hope we have in Him. As kids are tempted to turn away from God, we can help them turn back and seek God’s help.
The Word Heals Broken Spirits
Since Jesus heals the brokenhearted (Psalm 147:3), and Jesus is the Word (John 1:1), the Word heals the brokenhearted.
• Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life.” (John 6:63) In Scripture, we have God-breathed, Spirit-filled words that are able to heal broken spirits and bring kids back to life.
• Paul says that the Word of God’s grace is, “able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32)
• Romans 10:17 states, “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”
Just in these few verses, we see the Word gives life, it divinely influences our hearts so that we are built up and given an inheritance, and it increases faith. We could go on and on, verse upon verse, proving the wondrous ability of God’s Word to heal and set us free. The Word is the spiritual remedy for the spiritual problem of broken-heartedness. It must be read to our children and repeated so often that it is lodged in their hearts.
One of the reasons we do not use the Word as medicine to heal our sorrowful children is that we think it’s beyond their ability to understand. But this is reasoning in the natural, not the supernatural. God’s Words are supernatural; they are spirit. They are truth. They tell the truth about who God is, and who we are in Him. Even an infant is edified by God’s Word spoken over him.
In order to counteract the trauma of childhood loss, which often leads to bitterness, depression, anxiety, delinquency, and most of all faith-less-ness, we must lead bereaved kids to Jesus, the Word, their Healer.Read More
Since my last blog post, I’ve celebrated my wedding anniversary and my birthday. Both are wonderful reasons to celebrate, which I certainly did. My husband and I try to eat at Chili’s on our anniversary. If you’re not familiar with, it is somewhat of a TexMex restaurant. The tradition began on our honeymoon when we had Chili’s delivered to our hotel room. (I’ve never seen that before or since!) With the exception of a couple of years when there was not a location near by, we have continued this tradition over the past 13 anniversaries.
We got married on August 23, 2003, two weeks before my 22nd birthday. That means I just turned 35. I decided to throw myself a party for the big day. My family and I bar hopped…from salad bar to potato bar to ice cream bar to candy bar. (I think that joke is funny. To be clear, no alcohol was involved.) We had a fun “Frozen” themed party at my house. I have forced my nephews to watch “Frozen” so many times that as I was prepping food in the kitchen, my oldest nephew yells out “Laurel, hurry, or you’ll miss your favorite part!” My dad got to experience the movie for the first time that day. My job was done. And, ironically, a week later I ran into Elsa at the local Chick-Fil-A. Week made.
Both of these special occasions were reminders of how blessed I am. I have a wonderful husband who loves my unconditionally. I have family who share my love of rainbow chip cake (or put up with it, depending on the family member) and don’t mind attending a Disney themed party for a 35 year-old. And it wasn’t about the gifts, but I sure was spoiled…
Yet, if I am honest, this year’s celebrations were bittersweet. I never imagined I would celebrate my 13th wedding anniversary and 35th birthday childless. We have invested so much time and effort exploring ALL of our options for children, and are stuck waiting. We know we are waiting on the Lord, but the wait is still hard. On one particularly tough day when we were wrestling with a decision related to all of this, I walked into my bedroom. For the first time, I paused to read a Bible verse on a beautiful sign my secret sister from church gave me. I loved the beautiful cross on the artwork, and it matched beautifully with the color of my bedroom walls (hmmm…has she been in my room?), so I went ahead and hung it up on a nail that was already in place. I would be embarrassed to admit I had not read the scripture, except for the fact that when I did finally read it…I was literally stopped in my tracks by the impact it had on me.
Yes. Yes! The Lord will fight for me. I need only be still. I immediately snapped the picture above and texted it to my husband. I also posted it on Facebook because it was too powerful not to share. Listen, friends, I don’t know what battle you are facing or have faced or will face. But I know battles are all around us. Like Dr. Frank Page says, “We are living in a battle ground, not a playground.” So, yeah, we’re facing battles. But God, GOD, is fighting for us! It gives me chills to think about the fact that I don’t have to do any of this fighting. I don’t have to stress or worry or fret. God is in control.
From Got Questions Ministries (www.gotquestions.org):
In Exodus 14:14 Moses tells the children of Israel, “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” At that moment, they were standing at the edge of the Red Sea, hemmed in by the sea before them and the Egyptian army behind. The Israelites are in a seemingly impossible situation, but it was a situation brought on by the Lord Himself.
Did you catch that? God brought the Israelites to this situation. Surely, He would carry them through it. I think of the old saying “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.” It may sound trite, but it’s soundly true. At the moment of crisis and terror that was faced by Moses and his crew, God did fight for them. He made a way for them to survive and for their enemies to be destroyed. God used Moses in this scenario. I don’t know what or who He will use for us in our journey to parenthood, but I know He is fighting this battle. I know He is fighting your battle too. We need only be still.
YOUR TURN: What battle have you been facing that you want to turn over to God?Read More