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44: Interview with Suzanne Weldy from GriefShare

Crossroads Connection / Pastor Andy George
The Truth Network Radio
December 9, 2020 4:00 pm

44: Interview with Suzanne Weldy from GriefShare

Crossroads Connection / Pastor Andy George

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Welcome to crosses connection to show all about having conversations running life ministry culture is a quick thank you Truth Network for airing this program and Merry Christmas and thank you for listening on Tyler and I'm joined by Jamie Jamie to have the Christmas yeah all is good and you joining me as well. Andy how was your Christmas best Christmas ever. Absolutely, you know, here's the thing I love Christmas time. I love the whole lead in the Christmas time.

I love everything about it and one my favorite things about Christmas is just what we get to do with candles. I love candlelight Christmas and I pushed so hard for that this year because this year is such a weird year with all things cultural. Talk about a minute, but I fixed your house is hundred mining all the show. I don't like angels singing in the background you live to be seen in the front yard as a whole, the whole 9 yards, but knows great meal for us in ministry and there's probably a lot of pastors and people ministry right now listening to this, you know Christmas is different for us to just as you both your ministry and you get it right now. Mrs. the different you don't you don't get the luxury of just taking off those days that night versus Eve were working Christmas Eve, but it is so worth it and I love seeing everything about it. And there's something magical about that night. So yes, it was great. We had a great season across its fellowship. You know it's weird right it's I was. I was tempted to call her Christmas Maricopa Christmas, but I figure I will go that direction, what it felt like a little bit because we had a shift as we been doing at crossroads and and every listing has had to shift their governments. How do you know of what's going on and where you can go and what you can do to such a unique time but also grateful for our team and for the effort that they put in you.

We did a Christmas special which was, need and how you guys a fantastic job with the Christmas special.

By the way you want, however, would you get what you dedicate the mist.

By the way if you missed Christmas special. You can go to crossroads YouTube channel. Just fellowship and you should watch the crossroads Christmas special which is a three night special on location and tells what you know what didn't you enjoy that Yemen is a lot of fun. We went out to a barn in Lake Forest and filmed, performance of some custom Christmas on arrangements and just kind of filmed and perform the songs in the barn and it was just a lot of fun. Yes, setting all up and going through it. Our team did a great job in yeah yeah is awesome. So as the next year.

That's what you know we did that and then we did the advent the season of Advent being the last Sunday in November. We did that all the up through Christmas Eve, and our kids ministry did a very very hands on at home version of a Christmas Advent for all the kids, which was pretty amazing. And of course Christmas Eve and Jamie you you historically have not Christmas out of the park. You did, you did the surprise Disney trip for the time mom and I mean you know I set the bar so high that you can Disney was at the height of it surpasses me when he bought a house this year so the peaks of this is your first Christmas in your house so that you really see the receipt. We love our new house. The fireplace on all day every day for all files that it was it was appropriate. So is good and you know I think every suggested a little bit and we don't know what's going to happen in January, I got an email today. Actually there this recording. I got an email from summary from our church that was just expressing how how reading to the Bible and the sheer transformation is helps her. She's a teacher and you know I get shut out all the teachers I hope you're enjoying your break over the over Christmas break because as much as it is awkward and hard and difficult for me with a teenager trying to navigate school at home.

I can imagine what all the teacher to try to navigate trying to teach from home and so this teacher was saying that that we read the canonical plan which is basically from Genesis to revolution. Rep revelation in order in order of how the books are in the Bible and him and she is expressing how much that is really helped her and so your transformations coming to an end, though, transmission 2020s is just about over, as they can't believe it. I really did, but I think I think for us as a church. I'm such a good groundwork and just good level for everyone to work off of that we were not look sweet and no codes get ahead in March and continue through December as we are now in its next year, so having a foundation of giving getting everybody back into the Bible and it's the word of God I think was so critical and all the servers reprieved by the way, again a little a little plug in promo because well because our program can do whatever one do it, but the plug-in promo is if you missed any of the series that we did this last year you can go to once again go to YouTube channel crosses that are/process fellowship or YouTube/process, fellowship, and you will find all the sermons and/or because we literally preached our way through the entire Bible and and that was really helpful. That transformation was so impactful way speak of. That's good.

So we we have a very special guest Suzanne well because can be on the program today with Greek Sharon of the reasons why we asked her to be on is as were working through the holidays. We understand a lot of people struggle through the holidays and so was a great conversation with Suzanne. Well, the with Scripture before jumping to the interview, though, let's have a quick word from our sponsor. Perhaps you've asked yourself this question. Are you running the business is the business running.

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It takes courage to learn how to create a culture where your people are truly empowered on their seats, my name Cheryl Scanlon business and executive coach working together will go straight to your court challenges to sort through competing demands and realigned to your highest priorities for measurable results visiting three at sea number three and we are back from the break with our very special guest Suzanne Welby with grief share Suzanne, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to be with us on the program absolutely will listen, this is the holiday season and I know for sure is a big component and a big help to a lot of people during the holidays. But before we jump into grief share Is it about Suzanne Welby and really you know what we will file about you talking about today 24 years and we have one son, Jack, school, and we also have one child in having a miscarriage and that this happened in 2008 and it's what God used actually to call me to grief share which really was not something I was expecting from my originally.

So New York girl that's gone southern college in Virginia where I met my husband and that his job brought us down here to Raleigh so we have been here for seats 23 years while long time.

It's great to have an area and I think you would be the second Long Island person. I think we talked to recently on the program. I think Kristin Gruber is also the Allentown roots and so but similarly you don't have that Long Island expected can you turn it on like you to keep you needed to my original to New York so strong in college. Once I got down and laughed with Jan that we been here going on 16 years and I think often tell each other you know if if God wants us to move back north than God himself is a come help us move physically musician hope like hell and hope y'all move back north. Because, yeah, like the no snow zone or very little snow here but it's a pretty wonderful and you are big part of Crossroads Fellowship, which is where we are all part of his welds with this program is coming out of your husband Todd is one of the elders and you are very active in the church.

Somehow if you guys been at crosses fellowship. We started in 2010 well and they just played a bunch of different roles there and so primarily rent talk a little bit about grief share and you briefly mentioned that your miscarriage has brought brought you into grief share some before we talk a little more about that. Please define what exactly grief share is that ministers sure grief share is based support program for people who have lost a loved one to death, and so the purpose of grief share is funerals all over your family members and support group has kind of gone back to their everyday life.

This is where we share picks up a long-term grief ministry to people who are hurting and so these people do not have to walk through this alone. Yeah, that's a great ministry because I think a lot of times when the when people are experiencing a loss. Typically I find what happens is a lot of support. Maybe on the front end.

What you need. How can we help you know people are around with us to church or small group were just friends in the neighborhood but then after the facts does seem like it's, like, okay, read on to the next thing yet somebody still there and in the grieving status that green place in life. So what can you expand a little more on your heart for grief share and really what drew you into that well discovered over the years is that I have the gift of mercy and sell. It's a double-edged sword. It's a blessing and sometimes not so much because I often feel the deep pain of other people's pain, but I also have the joy of celebrating the things in your life that are intensely joyful, so it's it's great but there's a lot of feeling going on when you have that gift my own personal pain due to our loss is what gave me a heart really and the ability to do this because I want to be able to serve and comfort others. You are experiencing experiencing something similar. Yeah yes I think sometimes when we talk to a lot of our partners in J mentality has come to test this to you because you been on this from the beginning with me is that a lot of times the best ministry leaders of the ones who they themselves have experienced the very thing they're trying to minister foreign to you like in Scripture speaks about. Don't let your sorrow go to waste and and how do you actually allow things that happened in your life to actually help somebody else who's actually going through those things you can really speak to somebody that even as a pastor I can't speak at the same level as the loss achieve experience to somebody who's experiencing that loss as well. And so what a powerful powerful role that is and what exactly is your role in grief share my role now director Crossroads for grief share which if you would've told me several years ago I never would've believed and actually is really neat about Crossroads we share is that we are blessed with many leaders and because of that were able to break into like loss groups and the majority of our leaders have lost themselves came to grief share went through a couple of cycles felt God calling them to serve and now they are serving for 10 years now. I Crossroads.

That's how it's worked and so it's very unique where we are able to have women who have lost their husband together in one group led by women who have lost their husband gone to great share. So this particular cycle we had 10 leaders and out of 10. Eight of those leaders had a loss and went to grief share and then dodging them to lead.

I'm one that is not in that eight how God drew me back to that typically works and he has been faithful and every time it's a different dynamic as to the participants and what their loss is in the leaders that God has given us and then how we decide to break out into groups and so after that first registration night.

We kind of sit and look through all that info and pray and ask God to show us how to how to break people up there is power.

When you have lost a child to be with someone who has lost a child and they where you are and are little bit further down the road right now you mention going through your share so you talk about how his griefs are structured so if if I've experience some sort lost my life and I'm looking to have some a journey with me through that is in the program is that cycle is that you know is a curriculum or is it smog or basil just to walk us through what is the actual bones of grief share sure everything you said is part of great share. It is a structured program is 13 weeks of curriculum and one week of registration orientation night so I Crossroads we go for 14 weeks and then break and then we start another cycle all over again and so anyone can join the group at any point, and they're able to jump in and we look at as an emergency room situation and turn anyone away, so wait 13 weeks of your week one you not like a catches in three months from now your time, I gotcha. The key elements share there's three key points we have video seminars so when you come to grief share your watch a video and there is a place in the workbook to take notes that corresponds and then we have our discussion group. So after that video and you will break up into your like loss discussion group to go through the content that you just viewed as well as work that you do on your own. During the week and the third portion is your personal work which is in the workbook. It's very short usually passages in one or two questions and answer time alone with God where people really think that will experience the most healing. During that time because it's when you're being honest with what's happening and you're talking to the Lord and just receiving his guidance is a great program and honestly was started. I think in 2010 and wants, through cross researcher to church member that was part of another organization that really created the curriculum so it's really near and dear I know to the heart of Crossroads Fellowship so Susan let's talk a little bit about surviving the holidays as we are recording this and when this errors is going to be during the Christmas season still and I can imagine our families been fairly blessed in the and that would never really had anybody really media in our family experience loss or organ loss may be an uncle or grandparents you know in years past, but I can imagine that holiday season is pretty tough. One of the uncles adjustments and passed away just a few weeks ago, my mom's brother passed away and I could see that leading into Thanksgiving and the holidays how that's really affected her and the family, not just the loss but on top of that it's the holiday season right so how important is that surviving the holidays and what exactly is it what surviving the holidays sure surviving the holidays is just a one-day seminar, usually two hours. It's just like a great share night would be where you come and you watch a video with everything directed at the holidays and how do you navigate this time.

What does dinner look like what do traditions look like two things change in and how do you get out of parties politely or back out of invitations. Those kinds of things and so there's a lot of really good tips. It also comes with its own booklet and so there is a place for notetaking as well as a lot of good information and resources with navigating the holiday and that something where it's really a trigger for people, especially if your loved one died around this time of year is also a trigger when you don't have someone sitting in that chair that has always been there for years and years before and so it's a helpful thing. It is also a great way for people who have never attended to get introduced to what we share is like we actually have someone dated 10 last year year ago for surviving the holidays who came as a result of feelings so comfortable there and comforted did join grief share and that's just one way to introduce people to it, which is not threatening because people here 13 weeks no way Coming once for a holiday session gives them a good way to just be introduced to the program and to the church and absolute makes sense for the holiday season to have that impact on people and those triggers I just mentioned so you been in this for a couple years now several years now. I'm sure that you seen a lot of great stories coming through the door. People who are experiencing that loss and the pain and will the minister to and so I know that something to be careful with some some confidentiality but are you able to share story or two that has this impacted you to review share. Sure, the one I was just mentioning permission from from both of these women to share a little bit. Her name is Sean and she came on a Sunday think it was her first time to Crossroads to church and heard about surviving the holidays. It was announced and said we had a table set up in the hallway and she came and spoke to us and she's like yeah I'll be back and she's an only child and she lost her mother, and a year later her grandmother who was her mother's mother and so she was really overwhelmed with the grief and just kind of navigating the holiday since she did come and felt very welcomed there and was really positive and and gracious in thanking us and came back to church and continue coming back to church and was questioning July stay here at this church. And then you preached about the year of transformation and that was what sealed it for her. She like we can read the Bible.

Over the course of the year, and she jumped into church and came to know the Lord in a really personal way and continued with grief share now the story for us in March we had registration and then the next week we had COBIT so dynamic of grief share change drastically. But church initiatives came to the forefront and converted all that material digitally and Crossroads provide us with the zoom account and so every leader said yes and we move forward. And so Sean enjoined us online virtually just like you were doing now and she continued with grief share and then decided that doing this in a virtual way was difficult and I decided to step out but she's been really faithful in attending and being plugged in and that's just one story where surviving the holidays led to share which were grateful for.

Then another story that I think of is Patty and when Patty started grief share.

I was just coming back from a break I was going through breast cancer battle and so I was in the easier portions of my treatment when I returned, and so I came in. Patty was there and she couldn't speak because she was so heartbroken.

Her son had died of an overdose's name is Mike and so Dave and I were her leaders and Dave has lost a son and she for the whole cycle could barely speak without crying and she was just so broken and just trying to process the reality of how he died and to be honest and truthful when she took her a while to get that place and so she came back again and she came back again and she felt God calling her to this ministry with the intent to starkly share her own church and so she continued to comment and then she started to co-lead and then she started to lead and so to see her. She started a resume. Grief share group this past year without her church and she came back to our surviving the holidays this year so was really good to see her and she was so excited when I asked Matt share your story because she is a testimony of what grief share can do so not only did she receive healing and comfort and hope she's now extending to someone else and there's just so much power when someone who is a little bit further ahead of you can can show you that I could be at this place one day like this person has. Well, those are two very powerful and very real stories, things are happening all the time so for people who are listening right now as we begin the rep up this program would be people listening from all over the triangle in the car and I'm sure some of them cannot a lot of them have experienced loss to the recently over the years and maybe there's an ongoing you know, I could probably use something like creature was the best way for people to start to get a hold of creature one thing to note is that grief share is worldwide its nationwide and its worldwide and so you are relatives who may be in another state can go to great share grief share currently is offering groups virtually also in person, depending on your church in their ministries so you can go to grief and Henri there is a group locator you put your ZIP Code in the locator and it brings up every single church in your area that's offering it, it will say whether it's online or in person. It will give you the date that that cycle starts or has started and you can get the contact information get hooked up with the church that way and it's very powerful. Also be sure offers free daily encouragement for a year so you sign up for that by giving them your email address and you receive a grief related devotion every day for a year. So when someone passes that's what I like to do to help someone is to just point them to grief to tell them about the locator but also to point them to that daily email because so many days people get wind that that was the one they really needed that day will soon will be thinking so much for your ministry to the hurting, you know, it's a job with an uncomfortable thing for a lot of people uncomfortable for people to sit with Lawson so grateful for you. If you have four minutes review, share, and for all those wonderful leaders who they themselves most all the are probably still journeying in their own loss still try to get back. I'm sure that's part of that healing cycle 12 Suburban listening.

Please make sure you go to grief and find out publication. There you find out more about it and said thank you so much for sharing the story. Thank you for joining and listening to our program today and thank you Crossroads Fellowship and the Truth Network for making this show possible. You can find out more information about Crossroads Fellowship if this show has impacted you. We'd love to hear from you. You can contact us at

Thank you to C3 Advantage for sponsoring this program. We look forward to having you join us on the next shell, your success as a leader hinges upon buying from your teams clear and consistent communication from you and strategic delegation. My name Cheryl Scanlon C3 Advantage helps you steward your most valuable resource. Well, improve retention grow employee engagement and generate higher team and individual ownership.

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