Thursday, August 29, 2013


What do you say to a friend who is going through an extreme time of suffering or grief? 

We often avoid seeing someone who has experienced a traumatic event because we don’t know what to say. Or some of us say the wrong thing while we are trying to console our friends. The greater the suffering, the less you need to say.

As we write this letter, we are praying for some friends that just lost their grandson to cancer after a nine year battle. Is there anything that we can say to make them feel better? No. We can share our love for them. We can pray for them, share the burden of their soul, but we cannot say or do anything to take away the pain.

Our desire is to minister to each of you. On this blog, we shared with you some ideas on how you can face grief, adversity, or suffering. [Facing Adversity - I am not Alone, Facing Adversity - Remember]We will also share some thoughts with you on how to comfort a friend in that situation on our next post.

October 22! Save that date!
We are having a birthday!!!! On October 22, we are having a 10-year-old birthday party. We started Living Well 10 years ago. A lot has happened in 10 years. We want you to celebrate with us. Save that date!!

Summer is always a slow time for us in the area of donations and in counseling appointments. People go on vacation, their schedules are disrupted. After Labor Day, we usually receive more requests for appointments as kids get back in school. Please pray for our donations as we finish the summer. And pray that the Lord will give us discernment and wisdom with new appointments. Your support of this ministry in prayer and giving are essential to us. [to donate]

We are able to meet with people who cannot afford to pay much, if anything, because of your donations. We are able to spend time studying and learning more about what how to give guidance to couples facing a crisis in their marriage or their finances because of your support. We are able to advise churches on building marriage ministries as you give to our ministry.

We love doing premarital preparation with couples. We encourage couples to come as early as possible before the wedding. Couples benefit from starting premarital preparation before a formal engagement, so that they have time and opportunity to decide if this is “the one.” Each couple gets at least nine hours of guidance/teaching to prepare for their marriage.

Wisdom Community School is now on one of their breaks. They are on a year-round school calendar. They attend for three months, then take a month off. They have two new teachers who are going through some teacher training at this time. We were able to provide the funds for this training because of your donations. You are an important part of the education of these 170 children living in a slum area.

Thank you for your continued support! We could not continue this ministry without you! We love and appreciate you and your support of what God is doing!

Our love in Christ,
Donna and Ed Edwards

P.S. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, October 22nd, to celebrate 10 years of Living Well!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Facing Adversity - REMEMBER


This too shall pass.

It won’t last forever; it just feels like it will.

Peter wrote to Christians who were being severely persecuted for their faith:
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. [1 Peter 1:6]
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. [1 Peter 5:10]

God gave us this verse to keep in perspective the brevity of life.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. [James 4:14]

Acknowledge your pain.

Most pain comes from loss.

Your loss can take many forms. You could lose a possession, through financial problems, weather, a fire, or a burglary.

Your loss could be a person – a failed marriage, a child that dies, the untimely death of a spouse, the passing of a parent, a broken relationship, a friend that moves away.

Your loss could be your job, your career, or your reputation. Your loss might be your health.

Maybe your loss is the loss of a dream or aspiration – somewhere you want to live, something you want to accomplish, having a family, or a hobby that you don’t have time or money to pursue.

You are not in control. 

Surprise! When something painful happens, we often get angry too because we can’t do anything about it.

I can’t control other people or most circumstances. When I try to control my circumstances totally, I have to try to control others too, because they often determine my circumstances.

I can’t control the weather, the economy, my boss or the place where I work, even if I am the boss.

It’s okay to cry.

Crying doesn't make us weak. Crying is a valid expression of pain. 

However, I have to be aware that usually it is best to cry privately, alone or with someone that can comfort me. Crying often puts other people in a difficult situation. Husbands, co-workers, and children don't know what to do when we cry. My husband may withdraw. My co-worker may dismiss me. My children may feel insecure and/or very sad.

We often get angry when we are in pain. Anger can be dangerous for me and those around me. Anger is a mask to disguise the pain. Anger usually makes the situation worse, not better.

Everyone is different. 

Not everyone reacts the same way to the same situation. Losing a job may be devastating for one but not for another. Comparing my loss or my reaction to my loss to another person can create more despair. It takes some people longer to get over a  loss than others.

Everyone grieves differently. No two people are exactly alike. No two situations are exactly alike.

Grieving a loss is vital to healing the heart. Grieving can be healthy or unhealthy for our emotional state. See our next post on Healthy Grief.

Facing Adversity - I am not Alone

God had one Son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering.   Augustine

Adversity is common to all people in all cultures.

Difficult times are part of life. Whether we call them adversity, trials, suffering, loss, grief, or afflictions, they are part of life. None of us like those times. That’s okay. But we can’t escape them; we can’t protect our kids from them.

It doesn't mean that I have done something wrong. It doesn't mean that God is punishing me.  Job's friends insisted that God was bringing catastrophe on Job because of sin that he was hiding. They believed that Job's suffering was a consequence of his sins. Job's friends spoke wrongly about God and Job. [Job 42:7]

I am not alone. We all go through bad times. Problems are inevitable; peace is optional. Jesus told us that we would all have trouble in this world. But He promises that He will give us peace; He has overcome the world.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

I am not alone. God is with me. I don't have to go through my times of suffering by myself. It's comforting to know that His presence is with me all the time. Grief or adversity can make me feel isolated and misunderstood. Others can't know how I feel. But He knows and He cares.

He will never leave me or forsake me. God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” [Hebrews 13:5b]

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.  [Deuteronomy 31:6]

As I suffer, God is sad with me, He has compassion for me.

The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. 
[Psalm 116:5]

The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made. 
[Psalm 145:9]

As I go through my own personal trials in life, I am comforted by His Presence and His care for me!