I have had this matter on my heart for some time. I have prayed about it often and honestly I am hoping I am not running ahead of my Lord in expressing these things. I have had to work through my own personal anger, feelings of rejection, bewilderment, and probably some moments of self-pity in the process. I don’t know that I have accomplished all of those items on my list, so please forgive me if any of them raise their ugly heads in my writing.
I first want to clarify that this is not a ‘complaint’; this is a request. There are a handful of Ladies, all but one a Bereaved Mom, that tirelessly serve others on some of these grief sites and ministering sites. Some are writers like myself, some are artists. We are all in different stages in our grief. I’m not sure how long it takes other writers to complete a single article; I know it takes me approximately two hours for each one. None of us are paid financially. Rather, our reward is of a different sort. When we do whatever service we have been called to do, utilize whatever ‘talent/gift’ we’ve been given, we do so out of our brokenness. Our God has turned our ashes into beauty and has excavated ‘Gifts from the Ashes’.
I have observed these servants for some time now. The first I will mention is the Mom that is not Bereaved, yet faithfully writes the 1-Minute Bible Love Notes. Her name is Gail Burton Purath, and I know it does not take her one minute to write them. She seeks God’s guidance, she takes time to pray, she researches the Scriptures and different sources to put together what others can breeze through in a minute. She does this out of her love for God and a burning desire He has placed in her heart to get His Truth out. Then there are the Bereaved moms. Jessie Fleming has a site on which she and others work tirelessly to put together frames for Bereaved Parents for their children that have gone ahead. They customize these frames to express something specific about one’s child. They do this all at no charge and then mail them out. Audrey Dayton and her crew are always making graphics for all of us. I don’t know when these folks find time to sleep. They are always coming up with something new in which they place our child’s photo to bless grieving parents. I don’t want to not mention Narin Grewal whose beautiful photos and sayings have touched the broken hearts of many.
As for the writers, there is Melanie DeSimone who runs a couple of sites and writes almost daily of her ebb and flow on this grief journey. There is Janet Boxx who writes less often, however, it is quite apparent that she puts an abundance of time and effort into each of her articles. Another is Kim Nolywaika whose love for the Lord flows through her words with such sweetness. There are many, many more that are attempting to share their brokenness from broken hearts and are finding God’s redemption in doing so.
Some of us have been, at times, viciously attacked. Some have had our hard work stolen by others who place their name on it to take credit. Some have been hurt deeply by being on the front lines; being ‘out there’ places a target on our backs. We don’t do this for fun. It does, however, help us work through our own personal grieving process. We honor our children in doing so. We don’t want them to be forgotten.
So, no complaining or bemoaning. We are all honored to have the opportunity to serve others on this very difficult journey. We cry with you. We feel our own pain as we embrace yours. We don’t always agree on all things and there have been times when there has been some misunderstandings and some friction. However, we all do love the Lord though some of our beliefs may vary, at times.
Proverbs 27: (NIV)
17 As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.
I am honored to have had our paths cross at different times, even if we don’t always see eye to eye on all matters. At times, I have seen some of these Service Moms get exasperated and discouraged. I certainly have had my moments. I’ve kicked against the goads and have thrown up my hands and quit. I had to chuckle a bit when one sassy Momma posted that she refused to do any more work for complainers. That deepened my love and respect for her.
To the request part of this. All any of us ask is that we don’t get spit upon. Please don’t steal our work. Please don’t criticize unduly. We are grieving, too. We do what we do for a number of reasons, we work hard, and we do it expecting nothing in return. What we certainly don’t expect in return is to be attacked, taken for granted, gossiped about, falsely accused of things, or have demands placed upon us in the process. I encourage all to utilize the gifts God has given you. We are all different parts of the Body, but we are also all One in Christ Jesus. Our ‘styles’ and talents may differ, but our love for all of you and our dedication of service does not. We struggle daily, too. We have found our little niche and our own personal way to honor our children. We all make ourselves available as much as we can to walk alongside you on this horrific journey. We are far from perfect and we do make mistakes and step on toes, at times. Hopefully, we are quick to rectify such things whenever possible.
A little dab of appreciation from time to time goes a very long way. We don’t expect it, but greatly welcome it. I hope I did an OK job in expressing all of that. If not, I’m sure I’ll hear about it. LOL!
My love and prayers for all,
Jude Gibbs (((HUGS)))