When Vonda Holloway shared with me several years ago about the Lord calling her to a grief ministry, I immediately knew how perfectly suited she was for that calling. However, at that time, I had no idea what was in store for my life and how incredibly important GriefShare would become to me personally. The day Marc passed away, the Holloways could not be with me right away because they were holding their final meeting for the GriefShare session that April. Of course, they were at the house immediately following to love and minister to me. They began to share with me “tips” that are taught in GriefShare to deal with death, grieving, and the process. Vonda shared with me the DEER acronym (drink water, eat, exercise and rest) and I have thought about it almost every day!
This ministry at LVCC is truly special and so incredibly helpful to anyone who is dealing with grief. Over the many weeks I attended the GriefShare meetings, I watched people from different backgrounds and with different types of loss come to share, open up, and grow to love each other through Christ. I made friendships that I have continued to nurture and grow, and have also seen people from GriefShare begin to visit LVCC because they are curious. I remember driving home from work feeling a little sad and tearful the first Tuesday after our session had ended because I was missing my people. Connections are made with others going through the same thing that cannot be made with anyone else simply because of what each of us is dealing with. I recall the first meeting and watching the video and sharing….and just the peace God brought to each of us in showing us we were not alone. I always have known I was not alone in that Jesus is always with me, but there is additional comfort in seeing and experiencing the feeling of loss with others who have been touched so personally.
I share info about GriefShare at work with patients whenever I have an opportunity. And, on a recent girl’s trip to Dallas, I was able to minister to a man we met who had recently lost a son. He and his wife had separated because of the loss and grief they had, and were not addressing. We prayed and I shared with him about GriefShare. That is the beauty of it…..it is not just a “Lake Valley” thing. It is God touching lives everywhere through this organization.
A new session of GriefShare starts this week and I plan on attending again, as I am still dealing with rough days on this grief journey. This ministry is truly amazing; Vonda, Claude, Don, Jami, and Michele are touching many lives. Their commitment is whole hearted and God is using them in a very special way.
– TINA OTWELL