God knows the power of companionship. There are many scriptures that speak to the importance of supporting one another. Having people who stick closer than a brother (Prov 18:24) who weep and rejoice with you and who sharpens you.
In Hebrews 10:25 we are told to not neglect meeting together to encourage one another, but, meeting people in those dark moments is difficult. It’s often inconvenient, uncomfortable and it can be exhausting. But we are called to love. John 15:13 says Greater love has none than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
In this week’s episode, we talk all about the power of standing with people who are struggling with Kari Bartkus founder of Love Does That.
- Blue Christmas Planning Guide
- Love Does That Website
How our life experiences enrich our ability to support others (13:25)
Having gone through your own personal suffering or consequences of poor choices provides a new perspective of grace and we are more likely to offer that grace and compassion to others without judgement.
The story behind the name “Love Does That” (20:07)
- Kari provides spiritual direction through letters/emails for women who are going through difficult times. Together they seek out where God is in the midst of their story
- Gift Shop: hand made encouragement and sympathy gifts; with an audio recording of prayer and support
Why is it important to stand with people who are struggling? (26:11)
- Even though we want people to overcome we can’t rush or force people to heal.
- Joining with people in the heartbreak and grief can be very healing for someone. Offering support without the pressure to talk or explain.
- While it’s hard to be a caregiver and stand with those who are suffering it is so important to acknowledge it.
Supporting others requires intentionally letting go of the responsibility of healing to God because it can be a very heavy burden. (26:46)
How can we walk with people through the holiday season where the world is celebrating, but people may be mourning or grieving? (30:54)
- We are all bringing some grief into the holidays and it’s possible to hold two emotions at the same time.
- Blue Christmas Services acknowledges the loss people have experienced so that they are able to celebrate.
- It’s important to allow people to choose how they grief, be it privately or at a Blue Christmas service.
- Grab the Blue Christmas Planning Guide
What is a Blue Christmas Service? (37:17)
- A separate service apart from the Christmas ee service that acknowledges the losses that people have experienced throughout the year.
- Provides a space to grieve together as a community.
- Often the use of symbols to remember people by are used (ie. lighting of a candle or an empty chair)
- Songs and scriptures of encouragement and comfort are given.
CONNECT WITH LOVE DOES THAT
- Love Does That Website
- Tear bottles
- Let’s Encourage One Another Podcast
- Socials: Reboot Facebook Page/ Instagram
CONNECT WITH HOPE MADE STRONG
Join the Church Mental Health Facebook Group! In the Facebook group, we chat about how to care for others, what are your challenges as well as share tons of resources. This is a great community of pastors, clinicians, and those with lived experience and we want to get to know you.