A note from Kelly King: Recently, I’ve watched several women discuss how they are processing different kinds of loss—loss that might be physical, but also emotional and in the realm of spiritual leadership. These are difficult issues with complicated answers. Yet today Kaye Hurta begins to address this subject by learning how to begin the process of grief—because it is a sorrowful subject.
This month I will remember the 27th anniversary of the death of my mom. For that reason, the articles for the month of March will be devoted to the sacred process of grieving. Let me begin by saying, if you are grieving the loss of someone you love and who loved you, I am so sorry for your pain.
That said, the invitation to grieve today is not around the loss of a loved one. This is an invitation of a different kind. If you keep up with the news, specifically the news of the church and her denominations (and non-denominations), then you have read some very hard and painful things recently. Whether it is the fall of respected leaders or the revealing of abuse both of power and of person, the church and her people are hurting.
As a community of Christ followers, we have experienced loss. Today’s invitation is for us to acknowledge that loss and accept the invitation to grieve, collectively and individually. What have we lost? What is there to grieve? I wish we were in a small group together and could listen to each other’s answers to that question. Take a moment to consider your answer to that question. We have lost respect for people we have trusted, and we grieve those lost relationships. We grieve the loss of the dream of what our churches or ministries were supposed to “look like.” We grieve for the many who have been directly affected by abuse in any form. We grieve.
Perhaps the initial response of many to painful reports is anger, and understandably so. There are multiple feelings on multiple levels around these issues. As important as those are, this is your invitation to simply grieve.
We, the Body of Christ, have experienced loss. I pray we are gathering together to cry, to pray, to share our stories. In other words, to enter the sacred process of grieving. Jesus was the Man of Sorrows, acquainted with grief. He joins us in our sadness and is the only anchor of hope for our souls. Stay anchored to Jesus, friend. In difficulty, in pain, in sadness, and in our storms. He is ever powerful and ever present.
If you have been directly affected by abuse in your church (or anywhere for that matter), please tell your story to a counselor or someone trusted. Please. You are loved and seen. There is help and hope.
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. They live in the Chicago burbs where they are both on staff at Willow Creek Community Church. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.