A Scripture Verse

Jesus said, "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted", Matthew 5:5, King James Version (Cambridge Edition)

About Our Ministry

Naomi’s Ministry is Christian blog designed to provide encouragement, strength and prayer to individuals who are experiencing loss, grief and recovering from traumatic experiences.

This blog site is to encourage, pray and support persons experiencing a wide range of losses that anyone of us may experience in our lifetime. The parting of a special loved one by death; divorce; the loss of job and financial security; the loss of limb(s) or debilitating illness or disease; the loss of a home or opportunity, are all "losses" and at varying degrees, may catapult you into a grieving cycle or traumatic event. However, we may not be on the road to recovery, if the right resources are not available to give us perspective on our feelings and the changes that happens in one’s life when a loss of any kind occurs. We need courage to grieve and to wait before God for the healing that comes, sometimes, one day at a time.

This is "first" a ministry of encouragement:

Know that what you are going through is normal for anyone who has experienced what you have experienced. Knowing how to go through the process, recognizing when you are grieving and seeking the help you may need will aid in the recovery process.

Know that it is okay that you are hurting. No explanations are needed. Admitting that is a first step toward your recovery. Recovery does not mean that you will forget the one or object of your loss. This also does not mean you will not forget the trauma of your victimization. Emotional healing will allow you to live authentically, freely, victoriously in spite of the event. God wants you to have His Victory through His Son, Jesus Christ who won it on the Cross of Calvary for you and I.

Know that you are not alone. Jesus Christ promised never to leave us or forsake us (The book of Hebrews, chapter 13, verse 5). This promise found in the Holy Scriptures is a promise from the Lord Himself that He is always with us, even during our darkest nights. Jesus also said, “I will not leave you comfortless” (The book of the Gospel of John, chapter 14, verse 18).

Know that “The Comforter will come” (The book of the Gospel of John, chapter 16, verse 7). The Comforter that Jesus Christ is referencing is God the Holy Spirit, (part of the triune Godhead). As you call out to God in faith during this time of tremendous emotional and sometimes physical pain, the Lord will send His Spirit to minister to your mind, body, soul and spirit. He alone can heal the hurts of loss, grief and trauma. The Holy Spirit will wipe away "your tears". Jesus "is willing" to heal you if you but ask and trust Him in the process of recovery.

Know one day you will be able to smile again. The sun will shine in your heart again. You will laugh again. You will have more good days to come. The Lord knows the thoughts and plans he has for us (Jeremiah 29:11), even if you cannot see it in the midst of this defining moment. If you will trust the Lord’s plans for you, you will come through this season, whole and able to continue on in your life’s journey.

Search out a safe and Word-filled church home or fellowship, counselor/support group. God’s Word is the answer. Read Psalms 34, 41, 42, 91, 103, 107, 112, 119, 121, 123, 140, 145. Depending on our needs, we may also need some assistance beyond what a blog, book or cards offer. Professional help is available. Pray and ask the Lord to direct you to a place of healing and confidentiality. Check out the resources at your church or another Christ-centered congregation. Please do not grieve alone.

The time for recovery is NOW. Just like you would go to the hospital’s emergency room if you were physically in need of medical treatment, so during high levels of emotional crisis, you should not wait to seek help or assistance. DON’T WAIT TO GET HELP. This is the time to admit that you are hurting and it is okay.

Keep talking to God the Father, the Father of ALL Comfort. He knows your grief and the journey ahead. Also believe that He loves you even when you are sad. This ministry is reaching out to you with Jesus' love. We are praying for your total healing and recovery.

If you are interested in receiving prayer, please write me at: jesusislord14@outlook.com. Please do not request money - request prayer.

God loves you. We are praying you will feel His love and comfort every time you reach out to read the messages.

Jesus THE SON OF GOD is Lord!


Sister Birdsong

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanking God in the Midst of Suffering

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.....

On the eve of the day we take an "emphatic rest" to mention a word of "Thanks" to the one who is so good to us throughout the year, He is the Lord, I wanted to write a word of encouragement after so many months of following other writing pursuits, a season of warfare and transition and upheaval and re-direction.

You know, I am learning as I get older to really take it "one day at a time". When I was young, it was about being busy, so busy that life went by me in a blur. Many mistakes and fast decisions (and rough consequences) were birthed during these times. The emphatic "repose" has become a delicious "delight" to my soul, especially in adversity, loss and transition. I'm not becoming an "old fogey"....but I'm taking the time to realize that major life decisions and transitions cannot be overcome in the hurriedness of life. I (you) don't have anything to prove - and that is becoming more of a reality and relief for me. Taking the time to live one day at a time, gives me more time to spend with the Lord, to wait on the Lord, to ask questions, seek counsel, rest, get more sleep and the list goes on...reflecting and being still is better than "always moving".

Just because you are busy doesn't mean you are accomplishing anything, you know? I want my life to have meaning, even when I suffer a loss, the death of someone close, a job upheaval or just a calm day. I want to take notice of my life, my decisions and to hear what God is saying about how to turn this way or that way. You can't get that in the hurry.

Things, loss, death, torn relationships, disappointment can happen so quick! And then as C.S. Lewis, that great English theologian says, "God has to use the mess to be megaphone" about what He is saying to you about who you are in Him. No matter what happens, whether "we die or live" we are In Christ.

I want you to know that you have a fellow-laborer in the Lord with you today. Walking it out my soul salvation step by step. I decided that I would enjoy the Lord for the next two days in the midst of my adversity in prayer, praise and rest and meditation. I plan to get some reading and writing done. To clean up my home and enjoy the blessings I have. To cry a little when I want to...and to laugh as well. I will make a few phone calls and just say hello to some folks and then I'm going to go to bed and watch a couple of good movies.

In the last week, I've been studying the book of Esther (again). This is a DVD "book by book" series you can order. It's been wonderful to hear the commentary on this great story on how God is never mentioned in the story, but "His name" is interwoven in the pages and background of how He works in the life of this young woman and her uncle, Mordecai.

Today or this holiday due to you own personal pain, you may not be able to hear God's voice, or feel compelled to read the Bible or listen to a tape on the Bible. But He is there, always there. Whether you have turkey on the table or not, praise Him, love Him and He will bring His own supper to your table.

He is indeed that great "table in the wilderness" of our lives. That's why I love HIM so...He is always there.

Thank you Lord for being YOU and watching over us all of appointed days through.....

In Christ's Majestic Name.....

Saturday, June 26, 2010

To Know God in Affliction.....

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. II Corinthians 1: 3-4 (The Holy Bible)

Hello.....I haven't been out here in a while as I have been very busy with various transitions, trials and temptations....but God is so good and Faithful! I give Him the highest praise - Hallelujah!

Today, I wanted to send a note about the God who comforts us in all of our afflictions, not just some.

As I continue to walk through my grief journey with the death of my grandmother a couple of months ago, I have had to endure yet another loss...and I have had to say to myself by the Holy Ghost: "This is my comfort in my affliction, that God understands all about it". Does that sound familiar? Jeremiah states in Lamentations 3:5, "He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship", but  yet to endure he also stated this: "I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 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 say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." (Lamentations 3:19-24). This lament, or weeping story ends in victory because He remembers the Lord...he remembers that though he is bitter, hurting, afflicted, there is comfort that comes from God who comforts us in ALL are afflictions, hardships, sorrows and griefs.....Jesus carries our griefs....thank God.

So go to HIM and receive Comfort from the Holy Ghost who is our HELPER in the time of trouble.

Remember HIM...in all that you go through.

Love you,

Sis Verinda

Saturday, May 15, 2010


For those of you who may have requested materials, I have changed my email to: Wordlot674@hotmail.com. Please write me at that address. Someone hacked my other email, so please send any comments to me or just say hello at the Wordlot email address.

Also, a Happy Mother's Day to those I didn't get a chance to reach out too!

God has been good and faithful this week - a stressful week of several work items that were under deadline. But "I can boldly say that the Lord is my Helper and I will not fear what man will do to me". God is faithful and wonderful....God is truly "I AM" and He does not need my help (remember that song?) God helped me, so I give HIM the glory AND the credit for His work in me....it is marvelous in our eyes.

I'm also thankful to the Lord for opening up doors....Does anyone else besides me wants to be used by God for His Glory? I do....and I want HIM to get the glory. True humility is recognizing that God has placed spiritual gifts in you and talents; that we are to use them to the best of our ability but to remember that it is not us - but God in us, doing the work. And He gets the Glory by our GRATITUDE (I heard Joel Osteen teach this last night).

Be blessed today...You are loved!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Jesus is Victor

The older I get the more I realize the price we have to pay to be Christ followers....truly. It is not about being perfect or holier than thou...there is none holier than the Lord. But even God says, "be holy as I am holy". So we should be striving to maintain a lifestyle of holiness; striving to be transformed from within and getting some help when we need to..and knowing that through it all, Christ is the Victor through us and in us. He is the One that gives us victory over our enemies (both human and spiritual); the One that gives us the authority to speak TRUTH to authority; the One that gives us our abilities, talents and gifts so we are to be more faithful to HIM than we are to MAN about how we use those gifts. Bishop Thomas said recently: How many times does God have to prove that He is with you and for you? We can have boldness in Jesus Christ to speak to the issues at hand and to tell the truth and to deal with the vissitudes of this life. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but power, love and a sound mind (1 Timothy 1:7).

GOD KNOWS THE PLANS HE HAS FOR ME AND HIS THOUGHTS AND PLANS ARE GOOD AND NOT EVIL (Jeremiah 29:11). God uses man to speak to us, work with us and assist and support us so we can become whom God wants us to be. But outside of that, we should ever be looking at the Lord because we can trust God's plans; He does not lie; He does not deceive and He does not change. Man changes his mind....and then, if you put your trust in man....your life will be life unstable with the fickleness of fickle, unloyal, sometimey persons....My eyes are on the Lord. I TRUST IN THE LORD......

I am doing reasonably well during this Mother's Day celebration, knowing that this Mother's Day will be a rough one for my mom and for us as we remember our grandmother, Prince Ella Silas. But God is STILL GOOD and God is teaching me that I do not have to be afraid of people; I fear HIM not people. He will give us the victory through every situation. We will laugh and cry at the same time; God will resurrect from every circumstance and God WILL open doors that NO MAN CAN SHUT!!

Do you believe this? I do....I will never wholly trust folks....but I am learning to trust the Lord more to take me through this life and to be my Jehovah-Nissi --The Lord Our Banner.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's Mourning Time

Today I mourn.

After much prayer and last steps to provide additional medical care, my dear grandmother, Prince Ella Silas, at the age of 97 passed away on Sunday, April 11, 2010.

After a high time of church services, refreshed and empowered by God's Word and the songs of the psalmists, I left church to be hit with numerous calls from family that she had passed away.

I went numb.

I couldn't cry because I was pumped with the joy of the Lord.

I went into shock.

I went into automatic pilot.

I called my boss to let him know that I would be late getting into work due to her death. He was kind.

I called his boss. I won't express here what I received from his interpretation.

I called two dear sisters in Christ - they both encouraged me to rest. Good advice.

I went to a favorite restaurant; had a Reuben sandwich; worked on a work project.

I went home and pulled out the pictures I was saving for the Obituary I had planned to create (Still not done).

I rejoiced that the Lord had so filled me with His Word and His preparation that I did not fall out.

Two Days Later: I screamed......and I screamed...and I screamed....and decided:

It's Mourning Time......

It's my time to do the "grief work" that I talk about. To rest, to remember, to forgive, to be angry, to mourn, to grieve, to scream, to shout, to cry, to laugh and to rest in the loving care of my heavenly Father.

I was also given wise counsel:

The elder friend told me to: Rest, get some sleep, ask Jesus to help me sleep and to check my car out before getting on the road; also to make a list of things to pack; and to know that she loves me. She also reminded me to use the name of Jesus.

An elder in the church told me: to guard my heart from insensitive comments; stupid remarks and the devil raising his head in the family (he reminded me that the devil always use one person to act like the devil). He also told me that he and the church family were praying for me and to use my spiritual authority.

I worked two days and decided, "It's mourning time". I took 61 hours of leave time thanks to the State Benefits package. I don't feel a bit of remorse, guilt, regret or angst. What's the point of working if you can't use the benefits? The salary is one part; the leave time is the other. The world definitely does not evolve around me. And I don't want it too! I have asked the Lord to restrain me from checking work email. There is a TIME TO BE SILENT AS WELL AS A TIME TO MOURN!!

I am hiding in the refuge of God. Reading the material I have sent out to so many others. I am giving myself permission to grieve, mourn and have time to do so. I am going to enjoy this time as an opportunity to get closer to the Lord.

God makes no mistakes. There is no coincidence if you are in Jesus.

I'm looking for the Rapture in response to my grandmother leaving this world.

Are you Ready? Get Ready, then......This life is passing by...the greatest miracle Jesus gave us is Salvation and the loss of the fear of death! Hallelujah. If we are found in Him; we cry, scream and mourn - that the human. But the spirit rejoices!

I'm going to Heaven, what about you?

Goodbye Momma Ella. I love you. I forgive you. I miss you. I remember you.

It's mourning time.....but my total joy will come......

Love you all...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Agony of Victory

Greetings friends.....

May the Lord make His face to shine upon you today. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Please feel free to forward these blog "bursts" to friends and family members who you know are grieving or going through loss (divorce, the passing of a loved one, unemployment, job transition, promotion,etc.) We want to encourage everyone who may need a Word from the Lord and a co-laborer's experience.

I want to give an update that my grandmother has survived yet another surgery. To God Be the Glory. He is and has always been in charge of life and death. Before we were in our mother's womb, He knew us (Psalms 139). So He knows when it's time to go and our work OR witness here on earth is through. I am still grieving because I don't know when; but I am grateful that God is in control and the things that I don't understand and the struggle that goes along with that - HE UNDERSTANDS. That gives me comfort. HE KNOWS ME AND UNDERSTANDS ME. You know, nothing is more frustrating than misunderstanding and being misunderstood.

Jesus experienced that as we walk through this Holy Week. He is going through a betrayal of a friend who betrays Him with a kiss. He goes through a betrayal of friends who said they knew Him but walked away from Him when He needed his friends the most; He is going through false evaluations as Bishop Walther Scott Thomas, Sr, Pastor of the New Psalmist Baptist Church shared with the saints on Sunday of religious people who are insecure and jealous of the power He has by the Holy Ghost, the authority He brings to the answers that people need and the "crowds of people" saying Hosanna, Blessed Is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord. He is then questioned by a poltical authority who doesn't have the courage to do the right thing and condemns knowinlgy an innocent man due to his fear of the opinions of others and the fear of loss of his own power (not realizing that his abuse of power has lost him his power). Jesus goes through the mockings, spitting, hittings with a whip with little pieces of metal in it. And then in sheer agony, has to carry His own cross through a crowd of people to the place where He would be nailed to a cross that He has to carry. He forgives a sinner while suffering His own pain. He ignores the taunts of persons who want Him to prove who He is. And then the final moments of death: when God abandons Him seemingly and He is left alone to die with the weight of the world's sins, every sin, upon Him.

And He survived it all!

He paid it all!

He got up! Just like He said He would.

He took the keys of death and hell from the devil.

He reconciled the world back to God - He paid Adam's sin debt forever.

He came out of the grave and the power of His resurrection, resurrected many other dead souls that had been in the grave (Matthew 27:51-52).

The curtain that once separated people from the direct prescense of God was torn by God Himself.

My Jesus Today - What a Mighty God we Serve!

So I celebrate my grandmother's recovery and all of the things that I have lossed in the life because Jesus is the Resurrection. He said so Himself. And He will resurrect me (and you if you have made a decision for Jesus Christ in your heart) at the last day. This gives me hope, because what appears dead in my life can be resurrected again. It may not be "returned", but the Lord will give me another life and give me the power to live it unto Him.

I'm celebrating today the Risen Lord and the Power of this Holy Week, this holy time......

I also by the way decided to take some time off this year to enjoy this great time in the Lord. To enjoy and commerorate what Jesus did just for me.

Please don't forget to worship this week. Go out to a mid-week service this year. Go and enjoy a resurrection play. Talk about what Jesus did for you on the cross to family and friends. Read the gospels for yourself and re-enliven you faith in Jesus and the cross. Carry your cross - and get your victory through Him who showed us the way.

We are MORE than conquerors through Jesus Christ who loves us......NO FEAR in love....ALL LOVE and ALL JOY.

We praise You Risen Lord!

In the Master's service,

a servant and worshipper.......of the Greatest!

Sis Verinda

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Anticipatory Grief

The grief of expectation.

This week has been a struggle....and the end of the week an even greater struggle. My grandmother is very ill; dying as the doctor said with either 2 days or 2 months to live. The family, having to come together did not really come together as we all grappled with the serious decision to take my grandmother off of life support. We all fought the doctors and I could not help feeling angry by the process of finding out from the doctors what was what; the lack of empathy from people from work; the varying degrees of misunderstanding between the family members, not to mention the headache of denial that this is really happening; and the pending doom that no matter what is decided in terms of additional health care, my 97-1/2 grandmother may expire anyway. Her extension could mean a lesser quality of life though it keeps her in the land of the living. Or God could miraculously heal her from double pneumonia Or she could pass away in her sleep with the tube in her mouth. The uncertainity of death is exasperating and I am tired, angry, sad and grieved all at the same time.

Twice I yelled at some contractors doing work on the house on yesterday.....
I laughed a couple of times at silly movies on TV with a tear in my heart
I cried and screamed myself to sleep on Thursday night...
I went into work for a couple of hours on Friday and didn't want to be there, but also didn't want to lose my momentum on a project I"m working on...and angry that I care so much....
I went to church today and was somewhat encouraged but not really comforted...

I have tears in my soul.....where words cannot be expressed.

And Yet, I keep singing "Great is Thy Faithfulness".....because God is faithful no matter how I feel....feelings are not facts you know and yet they are so real...

And I have to still do warfare against our enemy, the devil who always looks for an opportunity while you are down to tempt you to do, say or think something you have no business doing...

Pray for me today. And know, that anticipatory grief feels just like real grief....it is the grief of "watchfulness"...the waiting for the call; the finding out when will it happen - where will I be....and all of that kind of stuff....But I believe that God is faithful and will keep my heart doing this season of "new" grief....

I am praying for others who have lost loved ones today as well...My heart goes out to you.

Today, I must encourage myself in the Lord.



Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Song for Your Soul

Hidden Valleys
Recorded by: Steve Green

Words and music by Kelly Willard

Copyright 1991 Willing Heart Music. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

In a hidden valley just over the hill

A young shepherd boy surrenders his will

As he lifts his voice in praise to his King

Only the lambs will hear and follow as he sings

In a hidden valley a faithful one leads

No one looking on, he cares for their needs

For he knows the One who tries the heart

So he is steadfast and content to do his part


Hidden valleys produce a life song

Hidden valleys will make a heart strong

Desperation can cause you to sing

Hidden valleys turn shepherds to kings

In a hidden valley a leader is born

He has faced the fierce and weathered the storm

So with humble heart and love for his God

He becomes royalty with just a staff and rod


Hidden valleys produce a life song

Hidden valleys will make a heart strong

Desperation can cause you to sing

Hidden valleys turn shepherds to kings

Sung by Verinda Birdsong over 18 years ago and still rings true today.

Friday, February 12, 2010

God's Timing For Deliverance

Greetings Saints:

God bless you. I pray those of you who are located on the East Coast have endured the weather. It is a blessing in disguise. I pray you had an opportunity to get some work done, rest, spend time with family, spend time with the Lord or just read a good book.

I want to encourage you and myself about God's Timing of Deliverance. Yes, I know this is a grief recovery ministry; but this message is apropos to your grief journey. I want to outline key points:

1. God's Timing - We say that with the understanding that God, not us or man determines the time for our deliverance. God opens doors that no man can shut; and He closes doors. I heard a great Bishop say that we should not concern ourselves with the ending of things....some things, relationships and even the time when we have to stop grieiving a loss, must end so we can move forward. Concentrate on the "middle". Not on the divorce or the relationship or the job loss; but concentrate on all the blessings and good that God has done. The bible exhorts us to, "forget those things that are behind and to press forward to those things that are ahead". That is the first step of deliverance. Knowing when a thing is over; knowing when to move on; knowing when to let go and knowing how to let go with peace.

2. God is going to deliver you. I don't care what the devil says, what people say, plan or plot...God is going to deliver you. He is completely trustworthy. Do not put your trust in man, princes, kings or queens. Put your trust in the Lord. He never fails. He never breaks promises. He is always there....As you go through your deliverance process hold on to that by faith.

3. The enemy will try a trick or two to make you believe that you are not going to be delivered. He is a liar!! We are not going to give him any glory on this website. He is defeated and his plans against you and me are cancelled in Jesus name. God is watching everything and they are not "equal in power". God is Almighty. And He will get us the victory in every area of our lives. We cannot be stopped and I want be denied. Speak that today.

4. Rest in your deliverance. Sometimes the enemy will try to disturb your peace as you wait. But I am going to laugh, rejoice on the days that I can do so. When I have to cry, I'm going to do so in prayer and God will dry my tears. And then, back to laughing and rejoicing because this one thing I do know: God is the best chess player I know! Everything will work together for good......

5. God has promised that He will deliver and I have decided to believe that...Do you believe that? Trust Him today for deliverance.

I love you...I just had to write that for my own soul's sake today....God is good, faithful and I know that He loves me. He understands who we are and understands our struggles. He has a perfect plan and it shall come to pass.

Blessings and peace,

Sis Verinda

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Why the name, "Naomi's Ministry" for a Grief Resource/Recovery Ministry?

Hello Friend:

I pray today finds you well. A pastor I know always ends with this benediction: "May the Lord give you peace in your soul, peace in your mind and peace in your spirit". I pray the Lord is doing that for you today. Ask Him to give you His peace “that surpasses all of our understanding".

A colleague of mine suggested that I tell my readers of why I named this ministry "Naomi's Ministry". You may have already read my story of why I founded the ministry: a job lay-off that caused a series of material losses in the course of a few years; the death of my father and brother during my graduate studies; and other losses, including a devastating physical illness that resulted in surgery. My own journeying with grief, complex grief (multiple losses at one time; overlapping losses) caused me to search out more information for self-healing. The Lord was also healing me; and directing me on which books to read on grief recovery. They blessed me tremendously. As the Lord began to minister to my heart about grief recovery, I had to overcome quite a few hurdles of well-meaning persons who did not want to see me in pain, or crying or moody...there were several times that I did not feel comfortable in grief; or persons (family members, friends, etc.) thought I had "cried enough". "Move on", "you can adopt children", "its okay", "I understand". Many times I did not understand where this well of tears was coming from; or the anger I felt, even toward the Lord about the losses I experienced.

The Lord is faithful! He began to speak to my mind and minister to my spirit...at the same time, He opened my eyes to others who were going through what I had gone through; I began to see the pain of people who did not have permission to cry, be sad or angry or depressed. I began to send out books instead of cards so my friends and acquaintances would have "permission" to grieve...

The Holy Spirit then began to impress upon my mind to read the story of Ruth, found in the Holy Scriptures. I knew the story: of a young foreign girl who follows her mother-in-law back to her homeland after the death of her husband and the kinsman related to the woman (Naomi) who is kind to the young woman Ruth and marries her, bringing happiness to the old woman Naomi with the birth of a son, who is King David's grandfather (Obed, the father of Jesse the father of David). But I read the story with different eyes now; not just a love story of young woman; but also of a woman who had lost a husband and two sons in a foreign country. A woman, who had left her homeland during a time of famine just to return back to her homeland, "empty”, she blames the Lord for her losses (Ruth 1:13b). "It is more bitter for me than for you, because the LORD's hand has gone out against me!" (New International Version).

She then internalizes this bitterness. She returns home to Bethlehem with one daughter-in-law (Ruth) and her former friends, excited about her return, calls out to her and proclaiming that "Naomi has returned". Now Naomi means "pleasant". But her losses had so destroyed her faith, she believed that the Lord had purposely made her life hard with losses and her bitterness caused her to think of herself as a bitter person. ""Don't call me Naomi,” she told them. Call me Mara, (which means bitter) because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me" (Ruth 1:20-21).

As I began to ponder on this, I understood the feelings and attitudes that can come with a loss of any kind. The bitterness can be so real, so life-changing, so debilitating, we can forget the goodness of God in the midst of our loss. We can forget that God is good; life is not always good and bad things, even evil things can happen to good people. But God is ultimately good, bountifully faithful and all love. God is the personification of love. He is love. (1 John 4:8). There is another thing here: God has a purpose for our lives and He can bring good out of evil. God can and does use evil, bad things and even losses for a purpose; sometimes unrevealed to us. Different from the man called Job also in the Holy Scriptures, he lost everything but did not blame or curse God. He questioned his faith, but he did not blame God. Job questioned what he had done to deserve his losses or pain, but he did not accuse the Lord. However, Naomi does accuse God.

Thankfully, the Lord did not hold it against Naomi. He did have a plan to restore Naomi. And His plan was realized through the faithfulness of a daughter-in-law who cared more for her mother-in-law then her own grief due to the loss of a husband. God restored Ruth with a wonderful man called Boaz. They had a son. And that son was nursed by Naomi brining joy to her in her old age. Hear how the Lord's plan for Naomi ended, "Boaz married Ruth, and the LORD blessed her with a son. After his birth, the women said to Naomi: Praise the LORD! Today he has given you a grandson to take care of you. We pray that the boy will grow up to be famous everywhere in Israel. He will make you happy and take care of you in your old age, because he is the son of your daughter-in-law. And she loves you more than seven sons of your own would love you. Naomi loved the boy and took good care of him. The neighborhood women named him Obed, but they called him "Naomi's Boy" (Ruth 4:13-17). Naomi's life became pleasant again. God had a plan even after the death of her husband and two sons. Another son was coming, and this son would restore her; and change her bitterness to pleasantness once again.

This is what the Lord does for all of us. I have and am still learning that the Lord never means to hurt us or harm us. He may allow pain to come into our lives, but not to destroy us. But to make us stronger. He does not purposely afflict the sons of men....but He can take our bitterness ....He took our bitterness upon His son's Jesus cross. He has, can and will make our lives worthwhile again in spite of the loss and give us the strength to endure and overcome the pain of loss; the death of a loved one; the loss of material possessions or a job or a love or an opportunity, or dreams that never seem to come to fruition. God is faithful and if we get in step with Him, He can make us new and bring new and exciting opportunities and relationships to our lives in spite of the loss, with Jesus. Jesus is also called our Kinsmen Redeemer. He can save you and redeem you.

I hope this gives you a better understanding of the title of this ministry and the purpose of the ministry. I want you to know how much Jesus loves you and that He wants to redeem and restore your heart during your season of grieving.

Sis Verinda