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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Why the name, "Naomi's Ministry" for a Grief Resource/Recovery Ministry?
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.