If you subscribe to my website, then you’ve been receiving the “Weekend Reiding” newsletter in your inbox (if not, you can subscribe to receive it for free…just enter your email address in the subscription bar here at katiemreid.com). In the newsletter, I highlight what we’ve been up to, share some behind-the-scenes info., and let you know about books that can help you unwind.
I’m delighted to introduce you to Donna. She and I met at Carol Kent’s Speak Up Conference and she is a sweet member of my prayer team. Donna is encouraging, wise, and recently released a book.
The holiday season can be a blend of joy and loss and Donna’s book, Every Mourning, lovingly validates our grief and points us to God’s faithfulness, even in pain and the unknown.
By, Donna Fagerstrom
You get that unexpected call, someone close to you just died. You go to what you thought would be a routine exam with your physician and suddenly your world is turned upside down by a startling life-or-death diagnosis. Your boss calls you into his office and you are thinking it might be for a raise or a promotion. But, out of the blue, you’re told that the company is down-sizing and your job is now eliminated.
The stories are endless. In this broken world, we will all walk a journey of deep grief or significant loss.Unfortunately, there is no advance preparation for grief. Click To Tweet
We all process loss and grief differently. In our current culture, there is a lot of information and opinion on how to walk through a journey of grief with various steps and expectations of “how to” grieve. I have read many of them. I am sure you have as well. Some may have found great solace from them.
And then, the people in our life show up with advice. Some will share their story and expect your experience to mirror theirs. Others have advice for you that just doesn’t fit. You are often left feeling guilty or that something is wrong with you, because you are not grieving in the way or in the time-frame others expect.
I have personally discovered there’s no universal formula to manage grief. We all grieve differently, depending on so many variables. In death, our age, stage in life, and relationship to the person who has just died factor into the grieving process. With the loss of a job, finances, a divorce or the loss of a dream or ambition, grief will affect everyone in a different way due to how we are wired, physically, emotionally, our system of personal support and our hope of recovery.
In this journey of grief there’s no prescribed timetable. Click To Tweet
Grief is a garment to be worn for a season as a cloak, but in His time, as a garment of grace. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. We should never stand in judgement of how another grieves, nor live in another’s judgment of unrealistic expectations.
Give yourself permission to grieve—God’s way, in God’s time.
Every Mourning is designed to walk with you through your loss and grief. Often the very thing another Christian encourages someone in grief to do is to spend time in God’s Word and pray. While that is great advice, the personal pain is so great that reading and praying is hard. Finding a verse from the Bible that encourages and helps can be a lengthy labor. Praying can be confusing with too many distractions to focus on the love and grace of a compassionate God.
Every Mourning has carefully selected verses from the Bible that are uplifting. The short prayers allow the one hurting to eavesdrop on the prayers of another. Short insights will give new perspective, hope, and healing.
A songwriter penned these words, “You’re not the first to be acquainted with sorrow, grief or pain, but the Master promised sunshine after the rain.” Every Mourning will bring you in close touch with the promises and person of a Savior who loves you and has much more for you in love and in life.
Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I will say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for him.’ -Lamentations 3:22-24
Donna was born an identical twin in Holland, Michigan, and came to personal faith in Christ at the age of six. Donna is an encourager, worshiper, speaker, writer, and author and has used these gifts in every area of ministry. Having served for 31 years in the local church, she also has a commitment to pray for leaders.
From 2003-2009 Donna worked in leadership and support roles at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, where her husband Doug was the President. In 2010 Donna received “The Woman of Influence” award from Cornerstone University. From 2010-2015 Donna was the women’s ministry leader for Converge Worldwide, a national and international church planting and church strengthening movement in Orlando, Florida. In the fall of 2015 Doug and Donna moved to Dallas, Texas where Donna servers with her husband, the President of Marketplace Ministries.
Although they miss living near their daughter, Darci and their son-in-love, Jay Irwin and their granddaughters, Kyra, and Arlie, Donna would be quick to say, “There is joy in serving Jesus and others.”
Donna’s book, Every Mourning, is published by MPACT Communications and is available on Amazon.
If you are a subscriber to my website, I’ll be sending you details this week about how you can win a copy of Donna’s book, Every Mourning. If you aren’t already subscriber, sign up to stay in the loop!
You might also like:
Letters to Grief by Kate Motaung
Unraveling Grace: Out of Control (Guest post by Kate Motaung)