Every day for the past several years, I have read about, interacted with, or encountered a mother who has lost her child. That is what we signed on for, and it is one of the great privileges of my life to walk with these mothers. I believe Holly Haas feels the same, as well as my husband Tim, who offers his advice and support (although he rarely attends our meetings!). Becki is a great support as a fellow board member, as well as a team of ladies who offer their time to meet many of the needs SGM faces, as we reach out to hundreds of mothers and families each year.
On this blog, I am vulnerable, pouring out my heart about the most precious things…my family and the way God has worked in our lives to make beauty from ashes. I believe that’s the way we can allow Jesus to shine through us…when we are open, approachable, real, honest about our own weakness, and allowing His love and grace to pour from us. The most of Him we can give to others is to share the ways He teaches us in our own lives.
I wrote recently that I didn’t want to look away from those who are hard to love. I want to live in such a way that others would want my Jesus. We are here to love the lost and broken. This week, as often happens when I open my heart on a topic He is working on in my life, we were challenged on that very topic. The truth is…there are all types of broken. And, when we say no one is too broken for Jesus, we must believe it’s true. Even when we don’t see it or feel it.
I want to continue to be real.
But, we also must be wise. Wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove, I believe His Word admonishes. Anyone can read these words about my family…from the deepest places of my heart. Anyone behind a computer screen. Unlike a ministry that meets face to face with those we are reaching out to, we are often ministering to someone we cannot see. As a wife and mother, I need to be wise and cautious, counting the cost of being so open. Some changes are necessary to protect my family.
We have offered Dreams of You items to hundreds of families each year, sending them all over the United States and beyond to all who request them. Daily, grieving mothers are writing to us. We have mentioned that as I juggle working full time in addition to family needs and overseeing Sufficient Grace Ministries, we are working as a team on ways to help continue to minister effectively as the needs grow. We want to continue to send materials free of charge to all who are in need. We want to work more on hospital education/seminars to offer compassionate care for families. We want to continue to offer online support.
However, due to some recent events, we are prayerfully considering the best ways to minister to those in need. It has come to light that there are some forms of brokenness and illness that are hard to comprehend. Some individuals are impersonating grieving mothers and creating fictional accounts of losing a child, when they in fact did not lose a child. I know that’s hard to read, hard to understand, and truthfully hard to even imagine for those of us who have walked this path…those who would never make a mockery of something so sacred and painful. But we must remember that anyone who would do such a thing is quite broken, and in need of the healing of Jesus.
We are supported through donations, and do not take the gifts given to us lightly. The cost of the materials we send to most families is about $50 plus shipping costs of about $10-$15 and much more internationally. We want to make sure that the families receiving these items are indeed families who have experienced loss. With so many requests coming weekly, each one sent takes time and resources that we want to use effectively. Please pray for the protection and provision of the time and resources that we are using to help these families. And, thank you for those who have supported SGM in any way.
My dear friend, Pastor James is always encouraging me to take a Sabbath. I rarely do. With working full time and caring for my family, it seems I am often up late working on SGM and squeezing every last drop out of most days. I’m not complaining. It’s what we signed on for, and it is a great privilege. But, it is time to start scheduling a Sabbath. Some days my family needs more of my focus. I need to sit at the feet of Jesus. We can’t give to others unless we spend some time getting re-filled by the Lord to do so. You may occasionally receive an automated response from our shipping request email until we can get back to you, as the volume is increasing. Rest assured every email will be read and we will respond. Please allow at least 4 weeks for shipping in some cases. (We are a small group, ministering to a large number of those in need….good thing we have a BIG God!)
We are not quitting. Definitely not. We are passionate to continue the work He has laid on our hearts to do. But, in order to continue effectively, I need to step back…and seek Him.
Will you please pray? Pray that He will replenish our hearts when we are weary. Pray that we will minister effectively. Pray for provision for our funding needs as we grow. Pray for protection for our families, time, and resources…that we will be able to minister to those truly in need. Please pray for those who are broken-hearted with grief….and for those who are just broken.
Holly and I will be traveling to Tennessee this week to hug some mothers we have met on this grief walk in person. We will also be visiting the National Memorial for the Unborn, and possibly checking in with some hospitals in the area. Please pray for that trip as well.
For now, stepping back, and sitting at his feet for awhile. Thank you for walking with us, in whatever way you have.
(Please note, we will continue Walking With You as scheduled.)
Love to all…