Step One: PREPARE yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually to face your suffering.

Below is a video from the “Taking the Journey of Grief with Hope” seminar of The Summit Church (Durham, NC). For the various counseling options available from this material visit

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. Summit members can pick up a copy of the notebook in the church office. For those outside the Summit family, you can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

 “Living in denial about my loss would be more costly than anything God would take me through in the grieving process.God is good for bringing me to the point of addressing my suffering.Therefore, I will put myself in the best physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual position possible to face my suffering.”

For the “Memorial Service for an Unborn Child” resource click here

For the “Applying the Grief Seminar to Losses Not Caused by Grief” document click here: Appendix B — Other Causes of Grief

For the “Small Group Care Plan for the Whole Journey” document click here: Appendix C — 12 Month Care Plan

Memorize: Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV), “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “Come to me” – Jesus wants to give you more than an answer or a process. He offers Himself.
  • “Are heavy laden” – Times of significant loss are intense. God recognizes the weight of this season in your life.
  • “I will give you rest… for your souls” – God wants to give his children rest at the deepest part of our being.
  • “Learn from me” – Jesus is well-acquainted with the journey ahead of you (Isaiah 53:3). He knows the way.
  • “I am gentle” – Jesus will travel this journey at a pace you can bear. His concern is for you, His companion, more than the destination (lessons you may learn or ministry for which you are prepared).

 Teaching Notes

“Death is so deeply emotional and stunningly final that there is nothing you can do ahead of time to sail through your moment of loss… Don’t feel guilty or embarrassed if you feel unprepared to face it. There is no way to prepare for what you are going through. But just knowing that may help you (p. 3-4).” Paul Tripp in Grief: Finding Hope Again

“Grieving cannot be completed in a lesson, a lecture, or an appointment. Such structured commitments can be useful parts within a whole helping relationship, but grieving takes place over a long period of time, and helping must also be a process over time. Grief does not usually happen on a schedule (p. 29).” Judy Blore in “How to Help a Grieving Child” from The Journal of Biblical Counseling (Winter 1998).

“You don’t need to be fixed (p. 1)… Cars and refrigerators break down; people don’t. We shed tears, cry, or weep. We were created to cry. It’s a fitting response to sorrow (p. 32)… Grief brings you into the world of the unknown (p. 4)… Grieving is a disorderly process. You won’t control it, nor can you schedule its expression (p.12).” H. Norman Wright in Experiencing Grief

“Everyone who loves will experience [grief] sooner or later, and the greater the love, the greater the grief when the time of loss arrives (p. 143)… The loneliness of grief is one of the worst and most draining things about it – and, be it said, one of the most dangerous too (p. 145). ” J.I. Packer in A Grief Sanctified

“Many people find that the hardest part of the grief journey is simply getting started (p. 31).” Bob Kellemen in God’s Healing for Life’s Losses.

“There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me (p. 1)… In grief nothing ‘stays put.’ One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats. Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral? (p. 67).” C.S. Lewis in A Grief Observed