For those walking the path of grieving the loss of a baby or child, we offer grace for the journey and a friend to walk with you... There are moments on this walk when we feel we cannot go on. Moments when a friend comes alongside us to point us again to the One who sustains us. A friend to lift us in prayer. A friend to allow us to lean on her as she leans on Him. A friend, who is not afraid to walk through the valley in the rain, with a storm mounting. She is not afraid, because the Lord is her strength and her shield. She is not afraid because she doesn't walk alone. And because He has walked with her through the valleys and the storms, He has sent her to walk with you. And He will carry you both through the rain, through the storm, through the unknown dark alleys to secure, dry ground. Whether you are a newly bereaved mother or a seasoned mom who has watched the Lord make beauty from ashes in your life. Whether you need someone to lean on or you are the shoulder that can bear the burden, we hope you will walk with us as we are walking with Him. We hope you will join us with our broken umbrellas, with all our little quirks and imperfections in our various stages on this walk, as His grace washes over us in the pouring rain.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Walking the Walk...

When we were led to form Sufficient Grace Ministries in 2004, I had reached a place of restoration. God had spent eight years healing my grief...carrying me. He still carries me, but my wounds were not so fresh in 2004. I was able to begin to start reaching out, offering comfort and hope to others. And, He led me to do so...drew me, pushed me, stretched me, and equipped me every step of the way.

But, in 2006, my mother breathed her last breath.

My foundation was shaken. It's a foundation built on Solid Rock, so it did not crumble or break. But, I shook under the weight of the blow. I've shared before how difficult it was for me to watch her suffer and slip away, and how agonizing it has been to ache for her these four years. I am still healing. God is still faithful.

After she passed, I felt what I have referred to over the years as an Ecclesiastes moment (those moments in life where we wonder "what is the point...everything is in vain"). I felt like a hypocrite offering hope to grieving mothers, while I wept on my face every night, begging Jesus to help me see.  I only shared those feelings with my pastor and a couple close friends. But, when my grief was fresh and the pain so great, I didn't want to get up and speak pretty words about the hope we have. It seemed so trite, so inconsequential to reach out with small gestures of comfort and hope in the face of such terrible pain. I still believed God's promises, knew they were true...but in those moments all I felt was the pain. In the midst of that great sorrow, I wondered about the purpose of our ministry. Could we really even do anything to make a drop in the bucket to comfort hearts that hurt this much...brokenness that feels this broken? My words tied up in a neat bow seemed to paint a different picture than all the ugly we had to walk through to come to that point of grace and healing.

But, I did keep writing and speaking of the hope we have in Him during that time. As I said the words, my heart remembered the truth of those words. And, they didn't seem so trite. After all, our God is bigger than the greatest canyon of sorrow.

This morning, I am here this place of great sorrow and loss...fresh, raw grief. I just watched one of my closest friends, my second mother, my mentor...a woman who has walked and prayed with me through my marriage, sat beside me at the grave of my babies, wept with me as I missed my mother, laughed with me, and loved me as one of her own...die the same way my mother did. Monday, I will sing at her funeral about His amazing grace, while Tim plays his guitar. My beautiful, larger than life, snarky sweet, horse-loving, dog-loving friend.

I know she is laughing and having a big time in heaven with her beautiful, sassy mama and probably my mom and babies, too. I know she is free from cancer, and the images of her suffering still fresh in our minds are forever erased from hers.

In this moment, I will continue to proclaim His grace and the hope we have in Him...knowing that it's true...knowing that those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. I've both sowed and reaped again and again. But, I also want to give a full, honest picture...because I know there are others on their faces weeping...asking Jesus to help them see...torn and weary. What it really looks like to cling desperately to the hem of His garment cannot be wrapped up in pretty words. It is a gut-wrenching sight...the faith that clings from desperation.  I'm going to share what fresh grief is like for a moment as I'm in that place right now. The purpose? Not for pity or to wallow in the sorrow (for we have great hope), but to be be honest and so that you who are walking this beautiful-ugly path will know you are not alone. Please know, there is a blessed assurance, an undercurrent of steadfast truth girded at my waist, even in the brokenness. I know He will carry all those who grieve the loss of our sweet Dinah, just as He has faithfully carried us through every other good-bye.

But, what it feels like...

Waves of sorrow
Weeping that comes from the depths and heaves the body with it's force
Aching, missing, agony....
Poured out and exhausted
Grateful...for the precious gift of life...for the faith of those who go before us
Joy and laughter remembering a life well lived
Tears mixed in

What it looks like...

On our face in the wee hours of the morning, in the middle of the night...
Dreams we'd rather not dream
Consciously reminding ourselves that He has already had victory over death...even as we feel the sting of it brushing close
Tear stains on bible pages
Prayers that hurt too much to grace lips...but moan out in cries that cannot be uttered.
Clinging and letting go...

Please pray for Dinah's beautiful family and for all the people missing her...and clinging to Him.
And, please pray that His grace will fill us, carry us, and meet us there as we honor her beautiful life the next couple days...and beyond.


  1. Kelly, You are in my thoughts a prayers as well as Dinah's other friends and family. Sweet friend, you are only human and can only handle so much. No one would or should expect you not to grieve and suffer just like we do. It is so alright to support others while being in a valley of your own. That is only real. You have gone above and beyond for so very many people and there will be rewards for you because you have answered the call of God to use your life in that way. I am praying for God to carry you ever so gently as you are walking this path of loss yet again and still remain a guiding light to so many. Love and hugs my friend and many, many prayers.

  2. I'm praying for you & the family and all those friends that she is leaving behind. It's hard to let go. I remember in the days before my Father passed away from Cancer. So hard , I wanted God to take him no more hurting but at the same time I didn't want to let him go. I remember as you said clinging to him ( God ). I pray Kelly that God will carry all of you through this and give you that peace that comes after every storm.
    I love Psalm 23 it is always calming to me and we as God's children have the Hope of one day seeing Dinah in Heaven along with others , forever.
    {{HUGS}} my friend & lots of love.

  3. Kelly, my heart is aching for you. It has been a rough time with Dinah I know and this "ending" isn't easy either. I know you are doing the 1000 Gifts book with incourage and wanted to share with you a passage that I'm sure you have already read: page 61, Ann is quoting Julian of Norwich: "God only desires that our soul cling to him with all of its strength, in particular, that it clings to his goodness." Anyway, that word CLING I remember is special to you this year and I thought of you while reading this chapter. :) Hugs to you tonight.

  4. Praying for you, Kelly. I just wanted to know that you've always given me so much hope, because even after everything you've been through, you are still praising His name and telling it like it is. This life is hard and we need Christian women to let us know it's okay to walk these hard roads and that He will still be there for us to cling to. Praying that the Lord will comfort you during this time.

  5. Praying both for you and all those who knew and loved Dinah. I think your words have described it well and anyone who has been in that place would agree. It can hurt so much even as you cling.

  6. Grief runs so deep......... kind of like love.