Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Growing a Movement Lunch - Sharing Dark Days Together

So... Because Paul's message this week was on Compassion: Loving as Jesus Loved, we began our lunch asking the question "how is God breaking your heart?" I threw the question out there because I'm always listening for where God is working and where he might be calling New Hope to join him.

Immediately three New Hopers shared heart-wrenching stories of friends or family members who are going through the darkest of days...days where ending it seems more of an option than living.

If you are reading this post and you have been impacted by suicide, please let me say that I am sorry. I've seen how heartbreaking it can be. May God's peace and love surround you in an amazing way. Please know that you are not alone.

It would be great if none of us ever had to face the dark days, wouldn't it? If I could remove the pain, I would do it in a heartbeat. Since that is not to be (at least not yet), I am so thankful that New Hope is a real place with real people, real problems - no false faces. We spent some time talking about and praying for each situation. It is my hope that some of the friendships fostered that day will continue and we will give each other strength. Our hope is not of this world. What an honor and responsibility to share that hope with those at New Hope and in our community.

If someone in your family has committed suicide and you are looking for support check out these Survivors of Suicide Groups:
1. Third Wednesday of the month - 7pm - at Disciple's Christian Church (565 Boardman-Canfield Rd.)
2. Third Thursday of the month - 11a-1pm - Columbiana Counseling Center (40722 St Rd 154, Lisbon)

If you are helping someone through a suicidal time, here are some resources to check out:
1. Turning Point Crisis Center (330.744.2991)
2. Help Hotline (330.747.2696 or dial 211)

Next week the focus is the Journey: Living as Jesus Lived. I encourage you to pick up some fast food and join us after the second gathering on Sunday. We'll explore what it means to live in Christ's humility, with God's strength, in community with each other.

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