The Secret of Dealing with Grief and Loneliness

The Secret of Dealing with Grief and Loneliness
The Secret of Dealing with Grief and Loneliness

Grief comes to all of us.

Grief is an intense sorrow or something that causes keen distress or suffering.

This is the stuff of life. We will all have grief over loss that we suffer.

There is the feeling of losing something dear when change happens, when a loved one dies, when we move, when a season of life comes to an end, or when a relationship dies.

Grief carries with it the pain of loss. Loss of life, loss of the familiar, loss of dreams.

We want to know life as it was before the loss happened. We want to continue as normal. We don’t know if we will ever be happy again. And then, in the middle of it all, there is the loneliness.

Loneliness is a painful feature of grief

In her book, The Path of Loneliness, Elizabeth Elliot says:

The pain of loneliness is one way in which He (that is, God) wants to get our attention (for) our hearts are lonely till they rest in Him who made us for Himself.

Loneliness is a hurdle of grief, especially when you are grieving the loss of close family.

Elizabeth Elliot who lost her first husband to martyrdom on the mission field, and her second to cancer, says:

Our loneliness cannot always be fixed, but it can always be accepted as the very will of God for now and that it turns into something beautiful.

Consider the musings of Job in his grief, “My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me” (Job 17:1, ESV).

At the end of the book of Job, he eventually comes to know that whatever had happened to him would work out for his benefit, for our benefit. As Romans 8:28 assures us,And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, ]for those who are called according to his purpose”(ESV).

Job is able to say to God, “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).

Consider also the words of the man of sorrows who was well acquainted with grief: ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ and know that because he was forsaken, because he took on our sin on himself, and the Father turned his back on Jesus for a moment of time, we are NOT forsaken. No, never!

Not forsaken in our grief, not forsaken in our loneliness, for we know that God is for us, God is with us, God is in us.

God is with you in your grief, in your loneliness. He is the one who wants you to rest in Him who made you for himself.

May I add, let’s remember those among us who grieve, and keep reaching out to them. They need you to remember, to identify with their pain, not to ignore their grief, or make light of it with ‘feel better’ statements.

How are you able to see Christ in your grief and loneliness?


Let the Called Women Preach!

Let Women Preach!
Let Women Preach!

I believe women should preach.

I believe women should preach and teach provided they teach truth, just as a man should teach biblical truth.

I believe that if you do not expose your people to women in the pulpit they will not be rounded in their exposure to biblical truth as women have a different perspective or way of putting across truth.

I am neither a complementarian nor a feminist.

I believe in biblical, New Testament ministry.

I believe that it can be dangerous for a congregation to only be exposed to a man preaching and teaching if that man has a deep rooted problem with half of his congregation, that is, the women.

If he is a chauvinist or a mysogynist his congregation is catching measles while he is preaching mumps, if he has the measles. He will communicate his heart in the pulpit whether he wants to or not.

His jokes, his teasing in the pulpit will be subtly aimed at putting down women and this will anger the strong women, even cause them to leave the church. There must be a healthy balance that checks the pastors’ motives too.

Women are excelling in the workplace and the marketplace today. If they enter a church that puts women down, and I am not talking about unhealthy ambition, but calling, they will not stay.

There are women with gifts and callings to serve the church in upfront ministry.

The unfortunate thing is that these women are not encouraged to develop as men are and thus kept suppressed and immature in their gift, thus when they do get to preach or are exposed to public scrutiny they have not been mentored and developed as the men are, and they easily fail or fall prey to emotionalism or prophetic indulgences.

Yes, women are the equals of men in the church according to Galatians 3:28. They can and should operate in their gifts and callings, just as the men should.

Yes, they can be pushy, but then, men can be too.

Yes, they can operate in the flesh and draw people to themselves, but so can men.

Yes, they can rebel or be prideful, but so do men, all the time.

I say, take the strong, gifted, called women and train them, mentor and coach them, take them under your wing, Pastor and guide them.

 They will be forever grateful, for being tutored, for being seen as worthy, for being honored as worthy of your time and effort.

They are a mighty workforce in the church. They are loyal and committed. You will have an army of loyal soldiers, willing to go to battle with you and willing to give their lives.

But don’t put them down with sly jokes against women and subtle innuendos about their weakness, nagging or emotions. You have just lost half your congregation, man of God!

If a woman is called to preach, she is called to ministry to the body of Christ. Women’s ministry is only one part of the body. The whole body is all the members, functioning together. Let them hear the word of God expounded by well trained, well equipped, women with sound bible knowledge and understanding.

That is your job, Pastor to recognise, acknowledge, and equip such women. Believe me, they will take it seriously!

Comment on this blog post and join the conversation!


10 Life Lessons I Want my Daughters to Remember

10 Life Lessons I Want my Daughters to Remember
10 Life Lessons I want My Daughters to Remember

Now they are all grown up and are wives and mothers themselves, I want my daughters to remember some life lessons I have learned:

1. You will make mistakes– I made mistakes as a mother and so will you. Learn to live with a life that is not perfect, but do the very best you can, repeatedly, every day.

2. Remember whose you are– Never let any one of your roles as wife, mother or woman-at-work define you. You are greater than any of those roles you play, you are a woman of God firstly and will always be, long after your children are grown and even after your spouse dies, and your work changes.

3. Always build for the long term– Don’t throw away all you have built into your character for a current, flash-in-the-pan, instant gratification episode, no matter what it is or how tempting it may seem. Keep eternity in mind in your daily actions.

4. Develop resilience– Life will throw you curve balls- learn to be resilient enough to play them. Resilience is the stuff of the strong women of the Bible. Bounce back from hurt, bounce back from defeat, bounce back from pain; you are worth it.

5. Keep reinventing yourself– you can do lots of things – you are creative, multitalented and ever able to keep growing in skills. Never put self-limiting thoughts between yourself and the future. You are up to the challenge. See your life as an unfinished painting, a masterpiece in the making.

6. Regrets may be unavoidable– but hold them with an open hand and allow them to blow away like leaves in the wind. Regrets may be the greatest teaching tools in our lives, and the best guides to staying on the narrow path, having to trust in God’s grace rather than our own achievements.

7. Never say ‘if only’– God holds your life in his hand and he determines your times and seasons. There are no other roads you may have taken that may have been better than this one. You are on God’s journey and he holds your hand, he lights up your way and makes straight your path.

8. Hold on to LIFE with a capital L– it’s God’s gift to you. It may be messy at times, chaotic and crazy, but life is what you have and it’s the most beautiful present you will ever receive. So, plunge in and appreciate what you have and what you do, and the people around you, because they are all part of this gift. God has put each one in your life on purpose.

9. Fight like a girl warrior– fight for your family, fight for your mission, fight for what’s right! God has put fight in you, you are strong willed for His purposes, not for control, not for stubbornness, but so you may fight the good fight of faith! You will have to act in the presence of fear, not wait for it to go away.

  1. Keep dreaming– but with your feet firmly on the ground. Does that sound like a contradiction? Possibly, but dreams are meant to come to fruition, so put shape and plans to your dreams and never give up on them.

I pray that God’s love will overtake you, joy will flow from you, mercy will be your watchword and his grace will make you a truly gracious, remarkable woman.

What life lessons do you want your daughter or other women to remember?

Please leave a comment on this blog post, and let’s start the conversation!

Coaching as a Means of Growth

Coaching as a Means of Growth
Coaching as a Means of Growth

Coaching stimulates growth!

Think about your most valuable learning moments.

How did they happen?

Through a book, or a speaker when you were searching for an answer? At a time we are seeking change in our personal or professional lives coaching is a powerful tool to aid us in reaching our goal.

Coaching is a way of working with a leader that leaves her more competent and fulfilled, so she can contribute more to her calling.

Adults learn from solving their own problems, and applying this learning to their lives, which is why coaching with a person who desires growth is effective.

Leaders want growth, but they struggle with how to achieve it amidst the hurly burly of normal, busy life.

Christian leaders want to do God’s will in their lives and so fulfill their calling as Peter entreats: “therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall” (2 Peter 1:10 ESV).

A Christian coach can help a client to reach goals and keep growing with biblical understanding.

Transformation (The Purpose of Coaching)

 Transformation often takes place through significant events that happen in our lives. Christian coaching uses these events, which may be anything from discomfort to pure frustration in the workplace or our relationships.

To face the need for change the client must have freed up energy, and must pay attention to habits and practices needing transformation.

Mary Beth O’Neill says, “Coaches are colleagues to leaders at exactly those times when they may flinch-or fight back, or dig in, or any number of responses.

Coaches bring their unique relationship to the leader as a tool of growth.

The client is the subject and the object of the coaching conversation.

The coach brings skills including the courage to enter into powerful conversations. The coach endures the discomfort of the anxiety the client may feel at the topic in hand, while at the same time empathizing with the client, staying connected to her for the purpose of hearing her fully.

Coaches enable clients to move forward in their performance as a result of the transformation of their hearts.

A new heart generates a new behavior.

As the scriptures say, “the good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good ” (Luke 6:45 ESV).

The power of coaching lies in the heart posture of the Christian coach that is genuinely for the client.

Coaches should also ensure they have the necessary skills to help the client bring about new learning, reflection, realization and insight. Therein lies the power of coaching.

Seeing Gold Mines (The Possibilities in Coaching)

When we do not know what to make of circumstances beyond our control… “many of us are sitting on personal gold mines that a coach can enable us to reclaim for the fulfillment of our calling and destiny”(Joseph Umidi).

Transformation takes place through adversity. The boss we are clashing with, the person we cannot get through to, the colleague who brings out the worst in us- these are relationships that can serve to open our eyes to better ways of relating.

A Christian coach will know how this scripture applies:

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7 ESV).

The skilled coach, using listening skills, can create moments of connection for the client. The coach uses powerful questions to create conversations where epiphanies may occur.

Coaches ask questions such as:

  • If you had to state a purpose for your life, what would that be?
  • What options do you have for changing things?
  • What bothers you?
  • And what else? Tell me more.

This causes reflection the client might not normally pause to do, and may lead to the awakening of a hunger or a dream long forgotten and then the epiphany moment.

Transformation is something the client must do.

The coach does not rescue the client by taking on the client’s burden; rather the coach strengthens the leadership of the client by encouraging the leader to develop new skills and behaviors.

The Apostle Paul said: “But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load” (Gal 6:4-5 ESV).

Christian coaching follows the biblical pattern of leadership of each one taking full responsibility for his life and leadership.

As a coach can help you get to a goal quicker, so a coach can also draw out of you what is in your heart.

There is great benefit in Christian leaders receiving coaching for continued personal transformation.

Join the conversation on the power of coaching by sharing this with your friends and leaving a comment on the blog.