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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

God's Healing for Life's Losses - Interview 6

3rdJohn8 friend, Dr. Bob Kellemen (of RPM Ministries), has a new book out: God’s Healing for Life’s Losses: How to Find Hope When You’re Hurting.

Dr. Kellemen writes . . .

You’re tired of quick quips (“Just trust God”) and false hopes (“Time heals all wounds”). You’re ready for real and raw, honest and hopeful conversation about suffering, loss, and grief—from a Christian perspective. You’re longing for real answers, for real people, with real struggles. You’ve come to the right place. When life’s losses invade your world, learn how to face suffering face-to-face with God.

I will do a full review of the book soon, but for now I continue to share to share an interview Dr. Kellemen did concerning the main ideas behind his writing. This interview serves as a very helpful precursor and introduction to this book.

If you have recently suffered through the loss of someone close to you, or know someone who has, you will want to hear his honest, yet comforting words. In the interview, Dr. Kellemen responds to several questions related to the subject of suffering, but most importantly, how one can find hope even in the midst of great pain.

I encourage you to take the time to read his responses, and the book, it will be well worth your time.

Also, if you missed them, you can read the previous interviews by scrolling backwards in the 3rdJohn8 blog.

Today's questions and responses:

15. In the four stages of grieving, you use your own grief experience as an example. Tell our listeners about your grief story.

On my 21st birthday, I entered official adulthood not only because I turned 21, but also because my father passed away on my birthday. And for a year, I lived basically in denial—not really facing deeply the loss of my father. Then on my 22nd birthday, I began to move from denial to candor. I remember like it was yesterday—walking around the outskirts of the campus of Grace Seminary—telling myself the truth about how I felt, how I grieved the loss of my Dad. Over the course of that entire next year, I continued to move through the grief process. Again, walking the seminary campus, I had some long conversations with God. I lamented—I shared my heart about my hurt. During those times I cried out to God, acknowledging not only how much I missed my earthly father, but how much I longed for God as my heavenly Father. During those spiritual conversations I began to find God’s comfort—His hope in my hurt. I tell it now like it was a nice neat process, but at the time it was anything but. God and I had some messy, real, and raw conversations. I prayed my feelings to God. I wept. I surrendered. I asked God for comfort and He came.

16. In your first stage, you walk with your readers on a journey from denial to candor. What is candor, why is it so important, and how can Christians practice it?

Research informs us that people’s typical first response to loss is denial. When suffering first hits; when we first hear the news of the unexpected death of a loved one; when we’re told that we’ve been fired; we respond with shock. We can’t believe it. Life seems unreal. Denial is a common initial grief response. I believe that this initial response can be a grace of God allowing our bodies and physical brains to catch up, to adjust. However, after a necessary period of time, long-term denial is counter-productive. More than that, it is counter to faith, because true faith faces all of life.

God’s Word offers us profound practical wisdom for moving from denial to candor. Candor is courageous truth telling to myself about life in which I come face-to-face with the reality of my external and internal suffering. In candor, I admit what is happening to me and I feel what is going on inside me.

God invites His children to be brutally honest about life. David practices candor in Psalm 42:3-5. “My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’ These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?” The Apostle Paul does not tell us not to grieve; he tells us not to grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). He chooses a Greek word meaning to feel sorrow, distress, and grief, and to experience pain, heaviness, and inner affliction. Paul is teaching that grief is the grace of recovery because mourning slows us down to face life. No grieving; no healing. Know grieving; know healing.


The interview will continue tomorrow. In the meantime you can read the Introduction here: The Introduction

And here are Three Dozen Quotes of Note on God’s Healing

Buy the Book on Sale at 33% Off

Blessings
3 John 8
Bill H.