In It for the Long Haul
It's human nature to jump into action during a crisis. The act of helping out and being a stabilizing force for a friend, family member, or fellow church member who has experienced a loss is gratifying. We cook those casseroles with fervor, we write meaningful cards, we send our heartfelt condolences, commiserations, and best wishes. Those physical, visual representations of our best intentions are on display and tangible. Then, as is human nature, we eventually move on with our own lives but that isn't the case for someone who is grieving or hurting. There isn't a set timetable for grief to end and healing to properly begin. There's no off switch. Perceived prolonged grieving is uncomfortable for most people. At about the 3 weeks post crisis, people are already drifting back to their lives. They'd be happy if the grieving person would just move on as they have and everything can go back to normal. Nice and tidy. Grief, struggling, healing just doesn't work like that. At about the 3 month mark there's been time for the grieving person to have experienced a birthday, anniversary, or other special remembrance date that will trigger that grief all over again but there isn't the outpouring of support as when the crisis happened. What happens then? This is where Stephen Ministry is uniquely helpful. Contrary to typical human behavior, Stephen Ministers have been trained to walk with the grieving or hurting person for as long as they need someone to lean on and talk to. There isn't a set time frame in which a person must "feel better" so they don't need a Stephen Minister anymore. There's no plan and no end goal except that the person in need has someone to rely on and talk to until that person and their Stephen Minister determine together that they are ready to tackle the ups and downs of life without that weekly support. If you, or someone you know, could benefit from having a Stephen Minister, please contact Pastor Scott or any member of the Stephen Leadership team for more information.