My dear Friends,
I was given a group of questionnaires concerning grief tips that our FNF members filled out. After reading and organizing them I felt there was more I should be getting from the information the ladies had shared. I reread them again and again. At last I prayed/asked the Holy Spirit to please show me what I was supposed to see. All of a sudden the meaning was so clear. There it was right in front of me, the questionnaire was all about how each person dealt with their own grief.
Their answers fell into seven categories:
1 The first was their faith. Whether reading the Bible, quiet time praying, singing songs of faith or simply keeping their Bible close to them even when they slept, their faith was what they turned to the most.
2 The second was keeping busy. Whether helping and/or comforting others, seeing people socially, entertaining, or just getting out for a cup of coffee, staying involved and occupied was a great help.
3 The third category was caring for yourself. This included eating healthy, getting exercise, having a manicure, a visit to the hair dresser or just being still and letting yourself go through the process of grief.
4 The information shared about songs was varied and included all types of music. Most of the songs were faith based or had special meaning.
5 Blessings received and recognized by the ladies were mainly acts of kindness and caring. In many different ways they acknowledged that God was in charge and sending exactly what was needed. The ladies responded that family and/or friends were what really touched them. A small kindness was as vividly remembered as was larger kindnesses.
6 Our Friends Needing Friends sisterhood along with support groups were counted among the most helpful blessings.
7 A caring hug was physical contact that meant so much and gratefully remembered.
So what did I really learn from this? Well, I realized that it is a blessing to know these ladies. That their Christian courage and love is something I could feel as I read through their responses. That no matter what they were going through, they came to understand and know that our loving God is in charge and will always be with each of us.
REAL ADVICE FROM THE WIDOWS OF
FRIENDS NEEDING FRIENDS
Stay close to the word of God and believe that God will protect and provide for me. Sometimes when things would get rough for me, I would take my Bible to bed with me and put it on the pillow next to me. D.A.
Allow yourself to grieve and trust in the Lord to ease the pain. R.B.
Prepare something special for a meal and invite another friend. Even though you don't feel up to it. D.B.
Tip #4 Lots of prayer warriors that were also close friends. Also share my needs. T.B.
Seek out female friends to help you stay active. Be willing to visit a senior center and accept invitations to lunch, a movie or other activities outside your home. Use any resource available to you. Stay active! J.B.
Don't be hard on yourself if you feel down or cry. There is much strength to be found in tears. Remember, Jesus wept for Lazarus. God comforts us when we cry. J.B.
Let go and let God. Trust in God to help you. Turn to family and friends and take care of yourself. Fix yourself up, do not stay home and become depressed. Share your grief with God and others. Join a support group like Friends Needing Friends. S.D.
Keep busy, keep in touch with friends even if you don't feel like it. Look for joy each day. Enjoy loved ones and let them know it. B.D.
The love of God close to my heart. M.D.
Being with children. A.F.
When I am feeling lonely or low in spirit, I get out and do something for someone else. If I can't go in person I make a phone call or write a note. In the process I end up feeling better. T.G.
Encourage a Friend who is grieving and invite her to FNF meetings. J.H.
I had my time of morning. I then kept myself very busy. I knew in my heart he was in a better place and I would join him someday. P.H.
Call on Jesus. Pray and Bible reading with different devotionals. R.H.
Be Still and know that I am God is a Bible verse that helped to keep me centered in my blessings. D.H.
Believe that God will never leave you or forsake you. He is with you at all times. E.K
Knowing that I was never alone. For Jesus promised that he will never leave me, nor forget me.
Paraphrasing Hebrews 13:5. D.K.
Help and support others by listening and comforting. M.K.
Pray without ceasing. Keep busy. Get back to church as soon as possible. J.K.
Help my neighbor and others when needed. M.M.
If I feel down, I get on my knees and ask for His help. He lifts me up and I can always feel his presence. E.M.
Being with friends and family. Get out and go for a cup of coffee at the nearest restaurant. R.P.
When feeling sad and alone, I stop at the local nursery and look at all the beautiful flowers God has made for us to enjoy. It lifts my spirits and makes me feel happy. B.P.
Exercise even if you only walk. It really helps relieve the stress. L.R.
Getting up and thanking God that I can stand up and walk. S.S.
By Terry Gibelli