Comfort, Grief

Grief Support

Your friend loses a parent to cancer. Your classmate loses a sister in a drowning accident. Your church member has a miscarriage. Your cousin loses her husband to a heart attack. Your coworker loses her son in a car accident. Many of you have likely had an experience exactly or similar to one of these examples. What do you do? Likely, you want to immediately offer some comfort to the person impacted whether by offering words of solace or doing a nice deed. But have you ever considered just letting the person grieve?woman-friends-grieving-consoling-mdn

Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days.  All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” So his father wept for him. (Genesis 37:34-35 NIV)

The Israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days, until the time of weeping and mourning was over. (Deuteronomy 34:8 NIV)

These scriptures indicate that it takes time to grieve and that grief has a season. It is human nature to want to come to the rescue of those we love and care about even if the situation is something we can’t control or fix such as the death of a loved one. This EmpowerMoment is to encourage you to think before you act and to imagine yourself in the person’s shoes who you are attempting to help. Ask yourself, “would what I’m doing help me if I were in their situation?”

As Christians, we can quickly go into “bible mode” to “comfort” those in the throes of grief. We say things like “I know you loved her, but God loved her best” or “He’s no longer suffering, he’s with Jesus.” The list goes on and on. You may have heard it or you may have said it. The truth is depending on where the person is in the grief process those words are futile.

Having had significant experiences with tragedy and grief, here are a few helpful points:

1. It is ok to let a person grieve and it is ok for you to not try to “fix” it because you can’t. A lot of times silent presence is the best support you can give. You don’t have to fill the time with chatter and “comforting” words. Grieving a loved one is not something you can put a Band-Aid on and though the words coming out of your mouth make you feel better, it likely (at that time) has no impact on the person you are “comforting”.

2. Use the art of distraction. If you are searching for a way to help a grieving person, try taking them out to dinner or inviting them on an outing.

3. Provide them with resources for support such as books, support group information and bible verses without being pushy or overbearing. This allows them to look at the information at their own pace.

4. Let the griever lead the way. Let them set the pace for discussion. Let them cry if they want to cry, scream if they want to scream and so on while you be supportive and not try to quell the emotions.

5. Intercede on the griever’s behalf. This is probably the best and biggest way you can support the person and they don’t even have to know you are doing it. A lot of times the griever may have trouble praying through the despair or may be angry with God about what has happened. It is during these times that you keep them lifted and when they “come back around,” they are thankful.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for allowing me to comfort someone in need as they are grieving a loved one. Guide me to do what is most helpful for him or her. Allow me to be a vessel of strength, faith and prayer for them during this most difficult time. Help me to understand that even though I can’t bring back their loved one, You are sovereign and know the plans for all of us. Keep him or her in Your arms of protection and salvation as they go through this difficult time. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I EMPOWER you to reassess how you comfort those who grieving. I EMPOWER you to be patient with those who are grieving. I EMPOWER you to be the best support person you can be. Most of all, I EMPOWER you to keep the griever before the throne of Christ.

How can I be a better grief support person?

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Mrs. Coretta Collins is a wife and mother who enjoys reading, writing, movies and spending time with family and friends. She is avid about health, healing and helping which serves her well as a Family Nurse Practitioner in a hematology and oncology practice. Striving to be led by the Lord throughout life and having overcome significant challenges, her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Coretta is a member of St. John A.M.E. Church, Birmingham, Alabama. She resides in Calera, Alabama with her awesome husband and two wonderful sons.

Anxiety, Evangelism, Grief, Relationships, Salvation, Self Forgiveness, Word of God, Worry

Kicked Even When You’re Down

When I saw my ex-boyfriend’s number pop up on the caller ID, I was prepared to tell him that I would call him back after I completed my homework. However, I was not given that opportunity. After saying hello, I realized that it was his sister calling to tell me that he had passed away a couple of hours ago. At that very moment everything around me seemed surreal including the phone call. I just knew that it was a cruel joke and in a second someone would jump out and scream “GOTCHA!” Instead, my heart instantly grew heavy because I was uncertain as to how to handle a loss of this magnitude.

I told the story last year of dealing with the losses of both my grandmothers five months apart, but for some reason dealing with the death of someone that I grew to love was totally different. The pain seemed to be a thousand times stronger and I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why. Was it because at points in our relationship I loved him more than God and myself? Or maybe because I told him on many occasions I would pray for him and didn’t? Perhaps, I felt guilty that I didn’t discuss God enough with him? Or better yet, I was uncertain of where he would spend eternity…

All of these questions, concerns, and emotions came to surface over the next couple of days after hearing of his death. I would go from being so happy to feeling so defeated in my Christianity because I lost someone I loved and was so confused about what lied ahead of him. The devil began attacking my thoughts every chance possible by forcing me to question who I was in the body of Christ to allow something like this to transpire. I mean how can I, an intricate part of the intake of new members at my church, fail to offer salvation to someone that I have known for years. From that Sunday until that following Saturday at the service, I went back and forth with the enemy giving in to those outlandish thoughts on many occasions because it was hard to immediately cast those thoughts down. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2Corinthians 10:5 NIV)

It was at the home-going, that I received confirmation from my ex-boyfriend’s aunt that I would indeed see him again in eternity. During her words of encouragement, she stated that she prayed with him before he passed and he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. I was extremely overjoyed and found myself screaming “HALLELUJAH” and weeping hysterically. The very thing that the enemy was using to place me in a state of mild depression over the past few days was canceled immediately as she declared those words in the atmosphere. Not only did I feel better knowing that he was present with the Lord, but I was instantly released from the bondage that the enemy was attempting to attach to me. My praise session ended up having a dual meaning that gave God all the glory that He was due! For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love. (Lamentations 3:31-32 ESV)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for showing up right when I am at my breaking point. Things that take place in the natural can cause me to give into the enemy’s ploy, but that is when You show me that You are always in control. Help me to stay aware of the attempts from the devil when I am in my most vulnerable state. Keep my ears, eyes, and heart alert at all times, but most important, keep me guarded with Your Word, love, and grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Women of God, I EMPOWER you to be aware of the devil’s efforts to take us out every chance that he gets or better yet every chance we give. “The thief (devil) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV) Times of trouble, distress, mourning, etc. are the game winning moments for the enemy, but it is up to us to declare a victory for Team JESUS! Have a BLESSED week! ☺

Share with us your God-led victories over the devil’s tricks, traps and plans to derail you in any way.

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Ms. Latasha Sampson is an accomplished writer who is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management. She resides in Nashville, Tennessee where she is a faithful member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. She serves tirelessly with the Evangelism Team there. Latasha also works at Mt. Zion as a member of the Administrative Support Staff. Her favorite scripture is “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.” Isaiah 54:17

Black Music Month Series, Comfort, Death, Grief, Spiritual Therapy

Not a Good-Bye, but a See You Later

June is Black Music Month! To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month. This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers. Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!

Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow. (Psalm 144:4 NIV)

This is for my peoples who just lost somebody
Your best friend, your baby, your man, or your lady
Put your hand way up high
We will never say bye (no, no, no)
Mamas, daddies, sisters, brothers, friends and cousins
This is for my peoples who lost their grandmothers
Lift your head to the sky ’cause we will never say bye

Bye Bye by Mariah Carey

This past week I have learned that three young parents under the age of 30 have recently died.  Most of the deaths were unexpected.  At 25, I am not faced with the thought of death often.  So to experience death this many times for those who seemed to have so much life ahead of them has been difficult.  It makes me appreciate life more because we truly don’t know when our time is up.  One thing that brings me comfort is the fact that I know that these individuals died in Christ so I will see them again.

This EmpowerMoment is to encourage you ladies to remember each day you have here on Earth is a gift.  Do not waste time holding onto grudges or wait too long to reconnect with someone that has been on your mind.  I recall having seen one of the individuals that passed just a few months prior.  We talked about our children and how we should get together soon; unfortunately we never made the time to do so.  I admit my attention is spread pretty thin.  I am a full time single mother, part-time graduate student, full-time employee, but at the end of my life I doubt these will be the things that will catch my attention.  My relationships with others will be at the forefront of my mind.  I know this to be true because when one of these young women passed all I could think of was all the times I could have made more attempts to spend time with her.

She was a person with a sweet spirit who was always willing to help the less fortunate.  My friends and I have decided to do something for her young daughter and I made a promise to myself to call, write, text or see someone that has been put on my spirit.  I don’t want to have another regretful memory.

RIP LaChant Kelly, Mudi Mafemi and Peaches. Gone, but not forgotten. We will meet again!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for each day that You have given to me and my loved ones.  Forgive me for any time that I have not used my time and resources wisely.  Help me to be loving and kind to those around me so I may properly glorify Your name.  I ask for a special outpouring of Your Spirit for those currently grieving.  Give me the strength and courage to handle each task You have set before me.  Help me to not get caught up in the lie that I will always have more time.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to make each day the Lord has given you count. Go after dreams deferred, reconcile broken relationships, and take risks. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us, but make sure you remember, “It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

Please keep the families of LaChant Kelly, Mudi Mafemi and Peaches in your prayers.

Listen to Mariah Carey’s “Bye Bye”:

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Ms. Renee` N. Chaffin is a single mother who has a heart for helping those less fortunate. She has been active in the non-profit sector, whether through volunteerism or professionally, for the past six years.  She is passionate about sharing the love of God, her testimony and empowering people to discover their true potential that was bestowed on them by King of the Universe. Renee` is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration. While on her pursuit of higher education, she is on a seven year journey to challenge God to do ‘exceedingly and abundantly above all she can imagine’ in seven areas over the next seven years. Check out her journey at http://radical7even.wordpress.com. Her favorite scripture is I Peter 5:6: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

Comfort, Death, Encouragement, Grandparents, Grief, Inspirational, Spiritual Therapy

Death, Where is Your Sting?

Death can be something that takes your breath away, especially when it’s unexpected. Even though it’s a part of life and we all know it is an appointment that we cannot avoid or reschedule; it’s pain is like no other. Unfortunately, I experienced this last week. My Grandma passed unexpectedly while visiting someone out of town. Because it was unexpected, there was a surreal feeling that caused my mind to be in a zone for a week. It was as if my whole day would pass by and I couldn’t really tell you where it went or what happened. Then during the week, the Comforter (Holy Spirit), did His job that He does so well. He reminded me…

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4 KJV)

For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. (Romans 14:8 KJV)

So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe.  This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. (Hebrews 4:14-15 NLT)

I was encouraged to know that Holy Spirit will comfort me in this time, even in death we belong to the Lord, and Jesus faced grief before as well. God let me know through the Holy Spirit, He would help me get through this painful time if I allowed Him to. It’s nothing wrong with mourning; however, we have a choice to move on or park in it! I had a choice to dwell on my Grandma being gone or I could think about the things she taught me, the great times we shared together, or how much she has impacted the lives of others!

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8 NLT)

I take joy in thinking about how my Grandma influenced and impacted so many people in a positive manner. Everything said about her at her homegoing celebration told of how much of a servant, encourager, and selfless woman she was! I rejoice and thank God for allowing our paths to cross! Today, I’m better knowing and focusing on the great work she has done on the earth! Death doesn’t sting because I’m thinking of the lovely, admirable, and praise worthy things, not her absence!

O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?  (1 Corinthians 15:55 NLT)

Dear Daddy,

I thank You that death does not have victory in my life because it did not have victory in Jesus’ life! I thank You for spiritual eyes to understand death is the beginning for those who are in You. So right now in the name of Jesus, I bind up the spirit of heaviness, grief, deep hurts, and sorrow. I loose peace, comfort, joy, praise, and healing! I rebuke any unclean thing that will cause my joy and peace to be stagnant or cause my heart to dwell in a state where I can’t receive Your healing and love! I thank You, Father, for divine healing. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to release any past hurt, pain, sorrow, or grief from the past or present and walk in your healing TODAY! God was not caught off guard by what happened! He wants to heal and comfort you. I EMPOWER you to make a declaration today that you will allow the Holy Spirit to do His job!

In Loving Memory of My Grandma:

Esther M. Griffin
October 24, 1932 - April 23, 2012

If you’ve experienced grief or deep hurt, how did you move past it? Share your story to encourage others.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: No Grandmothers on Grandparents’ Day

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 Ms. Rodnisha L. Anderson resides in Chicago, IL and serves as an elder at Life Redeeming Ministries. She works diligently with the Singles and Intercessory ministries. She is married to the Lord and becomes whatever she needs to become to reach the people for the building of God’s kingdom. Rodnisha truly desires to witness successful single women thriving in the kingdom of God.  Her favorite scripture is 1 Timothy 4:12: “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.”

Death, Grief, Growth/Maturity, Pain, Praise/Worship, Spiritual Therapy

When It Hurts

I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”  Psalm 34:1 NKJV

If you have been around Christians for any length of time, I’m certain that you’ve heard this statement at least once if not many times.  It’s a powerful statement, for it declares that regardless of what may be occurring in life, you will continue to praise God.  It’s an easy declaration to make when things are going great, kind of sort of good, or okay, but what about when it hurts?  When you are disappointed, broken, distraught, delayed, empty, and seemingly defeated, can you still bless the Lord?

Saturday our congregation found itself in mourning as we lost the life of a wonderful teenager, Miles Blackwell.  When I arose on Sunday, the first thing that came to mind was, “What will worship be like?”  For the past several months, worship has been indescribable.  The presence of God has been so overwhelming that members hate missing service and Sunday worship has become a hot topic for Facebook (also referred to as Spacebook by our pastor).  How would people worship after suffering such a loss?      

As I pondered the possible shift in worship, God reminded me that worship is in order even when it hurts.  Worship is not something that we do only when “we feel like it.”  Instead, “Praise is what I do, EVEN WHEN I’M GOING THE THROUGH, I’ve learned to worship You.  I vow to praise You, through the good and the bad.  I’ll praise You, whether happy or sad.  I’ll praise You, in all that I go through, because praise is what I do.

Praising God in spite of hurt can be seen through two great characters of the bible.  In the first chapter of Job, we find that Job loses ten children and all his earthly possessions, yet he bows down to worship God (Job 1:20).  In Genesis 22, Abraham similarly worships God after being instructed to sacrifice his only son whom he loves (Genesis 22:1-5).  Here we have two men, broken, mourning, hurt, but still worshiping.

Through these men, we come to understand what Jesus means when He speaks of true worshipers.  “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” John 4:23 NKJV.  True worshipers bless the Lord even when it hurts!  It’s not enough simply to praise God when things are well.  True worship requires that we sacrifice our feelings, emotion, pride, and yes, our very lives to bless God (Romans 12:1 NLT).

Unfortunately, in this life we shall encounter mountaintops and valleys.  There will be days when blessing God will come with ease.  But, there will also be days when praising God may seem hard.  I pray that when the latter days come you remember Abraham and Job and continue to worship even when it hurts.  We certainly did!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for giving us the strength to worship during hard times.  When it hurts, help us to remember the One whom we worship, rather than the things that we endure.  Teach us how to bless You at all times, understanding that You are worthy of praise even when it hurts.  Father, we bless You for the wonderful God that You are.  May Your name be exalted throughout the earth.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to worship God when it hurts.  Practice blessing God not only during good times but also during times of difficulty.  God is seeking true worshipers.  I urge you to let your worship be real.

In Loving Memory of Miles Blackwell

 Read a related EmpowerMoment: Praise the Lord Anyhow!

Ms. Latasha McCrary is an active member of St. Luke Christian Church in Huntsville, AL where she serves as a Young Adult Facilitator and is training as a Life Skills Coach. She is passionate about the practice of law and views her profession as an extension of her calling to serve. Latasha firmly believes that “Service is the price we pay for the space we occupy” and is grateful for God’s continuing favor evidenced in her life. “By this I know that you favor me, because you have not let my enemies triumph over me.” (Psalms 41:11)

Abortion, God's Love, Grief, Self Forgiveness, Sin, Spiritual Therapy

No Title Necessary

I took one last glance at the clock before the doctor instructed me to start the countdown.  I did as I was told and began 10…9…8…7…6…5… The next thing I remembered was waking up in the recovery room.  The procedure was over and my anesthesia had worn off yet only twenty minutes had elapsed.  It wasn’t until the nurse came to check on me that I remembered exactly what I had done… I had just aborted my unborn child! 

I found out that I was pregnant a month prior and that very day I made up my mind that I was NOT having a baby out of wedlock.  I was of age where I could have taken on the responsibility without a doubt but I was too selfish to do so.  I was in a relationship with the father but I refused to go through this struggle with a man I had only been dating a few months.  Basically, I came up with every reason as to why this was the best solution to my problem but truthfully the real battle was yet to come.

“Jesus replied ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom.’”(Luke 9:62 NIV) I was certain that I had handled my business but I was having the hardest time forgiving myself and forgetting it ever happened.  The enemy used the un-forgiveness in my heart to infect every aspect of my life.  I was still in a dead end relationship because I felt as if I owed him something because I never told him about the abortion.  I was finishing my last semester in school but I was clueless as to what was my next move would be in this game called life.  To top it off, I let God down and went against His Word in more ways than one.  However, as the above scripture stated, being consumed with looking in the past promotes missed opportunities to do kingdom work.  It is imperative to remember that we must not misconstrue the underlying message of the Word–our past does not dictate our future but we must NOT intentionally disobey God because of His promises. 

“No, brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.” (Philippians 3:13-14 NLT)

Ladies, I allowed the devil to control my life for years because I was afraid to forgive myself when God had already forgiven me.  I prolonged my walk into my destiny because I was determined to dwell on a bad decision.  Once I was able to shake the stronghold the devil had on me I was able to rejoice in the fact that I am not what I have done or the situations I’ve been through but rather I represent where I am headed- PROSPERITY!!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for forgiving me even when I found it hard to forgive myself.  You have always been there for me and words can not express the joy that alone gives me.  Please help me keep my head forward, not looking back, so that I may be certain that I am doing the work needed to advance Your Kingdom.  No longer will I be a prisoner to my past but rather I am victorious because of YOU!  Thank You Daddy!!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

I encourage you to EMPOWER one another to leave the past behind and walk BOLDLY into your future!  Ladies, put your chin up, stick your chest out, and keep your back straight for the time is now to accept the calling on your life. No more pity parties with the enemy because its time to celebrate Jesus!!!  Be Blessed!!! 🙂

P.S. Since today is my last day as an EmpowerMoment writer,  I just want to thank all of the readers for allowing me to share my testimony with you. This experience has probably helped me just as much as I endeavored to help each of you. Being transparent has allowed me to walk into my destiny and completely line up with God’s will. Thank you for being apart of this journey. MUAH!

Create your fall haiku for our monthly contest. Click here for more details.

Ms. Latasha Sampson is an accomplished writer who is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management.  She resides in Nashville, Tennessee where she is a faithful member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.  Her favorite scripture is “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn.” Isaiah 54:17

Death, Family, Grandparents, Grief, Inspirational, Spiritual Therapy

No Grandmothers on Grandparents’ Day

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV)

I checked my e-mail the other day only to find several reminders for upcoming holidays with an option to send greeting cards to celebrate.  Labor Day was the first notification to be deleted followed by Patriot Day.  The last notice was for Grandparents’ Day.  I instantly remembered when I set the reminder way back in 2006 so that I would be sure to contact my grandmothers.  I clicked on the subject line only to find that this year the holiday fell on my 26th birthday- September 11th!  Normally, I would probably be ecstatic but instead my heart grew heavy because both of my grandmothers passed away a few years ago.

“We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8 NIV)

I had been to a multitude of funerals in my life but I had never experienced the loss of someone that I LOVED dearly until one week after I graduated from college.  As I drove home for the Christmas break I never thought that I would be celebrating Jesus’ birth the same week I buried my maternal grandmother.  She had been sick for quite sometime, being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis ten years prior.  She battled with the disabling disease until lung cancer took her final breath in 2007. 

Even though my paternal grandmother was in great health before she passed, I tried to spend as much time with her because I had witnessed God take someone special away before I was ready to let them go.  However, no one could have guessed that a small fall in the kitchen would cause her to miss her annual trip down south that she was in the midst of packing for.  We definitely did not think that the Lord would be ready to call her home at the first sign of a blood clot as a result of her stumble. But in May of 2008, God took her away without letting anyone say goodbye first.

“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up.  You will increase my honor and comfort me again.” (Psalms 71:20-21 NIV)

Ladies, at that point I was hurt beyond belief.  God had taken away two people that I loved dearly without any notice.  I had watched my ailing Grandma cheat death on many occasions. We would pray hysterically until the enemy would release his grip but this time there was nothing we could do…God had His hand out waiting for her to grab a hold.  As for my Granny, I never saw it coming.  I felt like someone had stabbed me in my back because I was still recovering from my first loss only to loose again.  But who am I to question God’s work?  I did not understand then but what seemed like chaos to me was an opportunity for us to grow closer. 

As much as I hated to experience that pain, God was ready for them to spend eternity with Him.  He gave me twenty-two magnificent years with them and in that time I had created and stored life-long memories to help me when times got rough…and trust me, it does get rough!!!  Sometimes I reminisce and can’t stop smiling and others I can’t stop crying. Regardless of the emotion, when it’s over I feel God’s love surrounding me even more. 

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me for those ill feelings I expressed when I lost my loved one.  Thank You for restoring me when the enemy tries to make me feel that I have lost apart of myself because they died.  Please continue to comfort me in my time of sorrow for I know that my strength comes from You.  Allow me to focus on the wonderful memories rather than the pain from their absence.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to allow God’s love to mend your broken hearts.  Your loved ones are absent from this world of sin but are spending eternity with a world class Master!  Be Blessed Ladies! 🙂 

This is dedicated to my two personal angels in the sky: Johnnie Elizabeth Horne and Margie Sampson — Happy Grandparents Day!

Ms. Latasha Sampson is an accomplished writer who is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management.  She resides in Nashville, Tennessee where she is a faithful member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.  Her favorite scripture is “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn” Isaiah 54:17

Grief, Growth/Maturity, Obedience, Relationships, Trusting God

Life After Death

Last month a very close aunt lost her short battle with ovarian cancer. As expected, it was an extremely difficult time for the family. Her son and daughter, 13-year-old twins, were left motherless. During her sickness, she asked one of her sisters to care for them in her absence. The day after the funeral, I remember having some “heated fellowship” with the newly elected caregiver regarding the daughter. She explained that she was going to need some help raising the 13-year-old because she had a bad attitude. In the heated moment, all I could think about was how this little girl must be hurting on the inside having just lost her mother and here was someone fussing about how bad her attitude was. At some point, I remember explaining to her that I truly believed the situation was less about her niece’s bad attitude and more about her developing her own patience and tongue control. Many times things (or people) have to die for other things to spring to life…

God created everything with a seed so that it would have the ability to self perpetuate. In other words, everything can produce itself over again.  One of the greatest self-pollinators is the wheat seed. When describing His death, Jesus used this seed as an example.  “Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over.” John 12:24 MSG There are some areas in our lives that MUST be buried.  Only then will new and better opportunities be produced for us over and over again and it goes much deeper than that. Our sacrifices are divinely connected to so many other people’s destinies.  When we allow our selfish desires to die and the true purpose of our lives begins to flourish, so many others will be set free to begin to walk into their purpose.  What if my aunt told her sister, “No, I have enough kids; I can’t handle yours as well?” What if Jesus decided that He didn’t want to endure that horrendous death? What if He used the power that we know He had to remove himself from that cross? We would not be able to live out the rights of John 10:10 and have LIFE and that more abundantly. His death brought us freedom!  Likewise, I’m so convinced that although my aunt’s death deeply hurt us, it can bring life and freedom to many family issues. As I stated before, my aunt can use an ounce (or two) of patience and learn to make her words a bit sweeter—and that’s bringing her dead situation to LIFE! Similarly, my young cousin can definitely use an attitude adjustment –and that’s resurrecting her dead situation as well!

1 Corinthians 15:35 says “What you sow does not come to life until it dies.” (NIV) The harvest which is to come is far greater than the tiny wheat seed that will be sown.  Choose today to take survey of the things and people in your life which require eulogies and burials.  Go ahead and cry if you must, but fret not—it’s about to get better! After many funerals, tradition calls for the families to feast on a spread of food at the repast.  Get ready—after you bury what MUST die, a bountiful harvest will be spread before you!

Dear Daddy,

I ask that You show me the areas in my life that You are trying to forever bury. Give me the wisdom to know that these situations are dead and the will to lay them to rest. I don’t want to stifle the reproduction opportunities in my life. I thank You for giving me self-perpetuating abilities and I never want to take them for granted. I praise you in advance for the harvest that I am yet to experience! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Today, EMPOWER yourself to be honest and identify dead situations that you are trying to hold onto. EMPOWER your future harvest by finally laying those dead situations to rest!

Written in memory of Rachel A. Nelson, one of my loudest cheerleaders!

Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant.  She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments.  As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible more than anything. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and two lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.

Grief, Inspirational, Spiritual Therapy

Dear Mama

My post today is a little different. As Mother’s Day approaches this weekend, I would just like to send a letter to mine:

Gennell,

It’s hard to believe that it has been 10 years since you lost your battle with cancer. I was sitting here the other day thinking about us. I recalled something special that you told me and I smiled. I then began to think of all the great times we shared together. The lessons you taught me have stuck with me. Everyone tells me I’m just like you. I take it as a compliment and tell them that I can only wish to be half the woman that you were.

So many things happen in my life day in and day out that cause me to want to just pick up the phone and call you but I know I can’t. I remember being angry with God for a while. I was so upset that He allowed you to die. We had been through so much together for over 20 years. I needed you and I didn’t understand why He would take you away from me. I guess I was just being selfish. After holding all my anger and grief inside I finally let it go.

 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”            Matthew 5:4 NIV

I’m sorry for waiting 9 years to visit your grave. I just couldn’t do it. My heart was hurting so bad. I could not face the fact once again that you are really gone. Standing over that grave again made it all too real for me. With God’s help though, I am making it through! My heart will forever yearn for you. I will never let you go. The bond between a mother and her daughter is something that not even death can break.

I think perhaps the best thing you gave me is a foundation to build my life on, which is Christ Jesus. As I close this letter I am allowing the tears to fall, not in sadness but in joy knowing that one day I will see you again. You will forever be my hero. I vow to continue to live by the principles that you taught me and to live and love life.

I love you forever Mommy.

Your only daughter,

Shawna Rena’

Dear Daddy,

I ask that You continue to work on me. Continue to heal my heart. Please remove the veil of sorrow and sadness that seems to creep up on me. Cover me with Your love and provide comfort for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to find the strength to ask GOD to HEAL your heart from the sadness of a loss. May He provide COMFORT to you and bring PEACE to your life.

Shawna Dix is a mother, educator, and all around child of God. She is passionate about God, her son Jalen, family, friends, and her students. She loves teaching because it allows her to shower our youth with love and guidance. She resides in Pentagon City, Virginia and works hard educating inner city youth in Washington DC. She prides herself in being a realist. She exclaims that she is in no way, shape, form, or fashion perfect but she has accepted that she serves a perfect God who is able to do ALL things!