Hey, my friends. Welcome back to Let’s Encourage One Another.
We are only a couple of days away from Thanksgiving, and if there is one thing I know about the holidays, I know that they can be hard. Not only might you be grieving the loss of someone you love, but there might also be conflict or difficult memories that rise to the surface as you gather with your family.
I want to remind you that you don’t have to walk through this holiday season alone. If you know it’s going to be hard, if you want to invite God into your healing, if you are ready to write and journal to help you process what is stirring in your heart and soul, then I encourage you to sign up for the Journal Gently program.
Journal Gently is an 8-week program designed to help you process your grief and trauma together with God through writing. And more than just receiving the training, you get to have me there with you to provide direct, private support through email and audio messaging. It has been such an honor for me to watch God meet these women where they are and speak into their hearts. I absolutely love it.
In fact, one participant said, “It has already been so healing and it’s only week one! Just the act of setting aside intentional time to journal creatively and prayerfully with the Holy Spirit has been so refreshing.”
My friend, you don’t have to wait to experience that for yourself. You can sign up for Journal Gently and begin right away.
And don’t forget that as a podcast listener, you can save $30 on the Journal Gently program by using the seasonal code [listen to podcast to access the code 😉 ]. That is my gift to you. You can go to lovedoesthat.org/journalgently to learn more and to sign up.
Introduction to Renee Leonard Kennedy
Now, my guest today knows a thing or two about grief, particularly around the holidays. Renee Leonard Kennedy wrote a book called After the Flowers Die: Encouragement for Walking Through Life After Loss. Through her writing, she shares with both honesty and some humor about various aspects of grief that she has experienced through the loss of loved ones.
Renee and I talk about the difference between coping with grief and processing it, we talk about what it might look like to postpone grief and how to find the time to actually grieve our loss. And we also talk about what Bible reading and prayer might look like for someone who is in that place of hurt and mourning.
At one point in our conversation, Renee references a podcast episode she had listened to earlier that morning, which was actually just a couple of weeks ago—episode 91—so if you missed that and want to listen, you can go to lovedoesthat.org/91 and do that.
And there’s one more idea she talked about that I really want to emphasize before we get started, and that is that there is a time to process grief on your own with God and there’s a time to start sharing it with others. I truly feel we need both. So as you sense God leading you to share with others, to tell your story, trust Him, too, to lead you to the right person to share with, whether that’s your spouse, a best friend, a counselor, or spiritual director. God will help you find that safe and sacred space to be heard and to have another bear witness to your story.
And know that I am praying for you this holiday season. If you have a specific prayer request, you can email me at email@example.com, and remember my name is spelled K-A-R-I. I would be honored to support you in any way I can.
Okay, without further ado, here is my conversation with Renee Leonard Kennedy.
Renee Leonard Kennedy’s non-fiction debut, After the Flowers Die: Encouragement for Walking Through Life After Loss, is a loving and practical guide through the turbulence of grief and legacy. Renee has made it her lifework to strengthen the bonds of community through shared stories, empathetic understanding, and a healthy dose of humor. Renee lives on a farm in North Carolina, where she draws inspiration from her brood of blended, birthed, and adopted children, and her faith in God.
CONNECT WITH RENEE:
- Episodes 9 and 10: Supporting a Friend Through Grief (And Walking Through It Yourself) with Karen Altizer
- Episode 50: Gritty Faith in the Midst of Grief with Prayer Artist Jessy Paulson
- Episode 55: Reflection and Journaling as a Lifelong Practice with Business Strategist Elizabeth McCravy
- Episode 91: When God is Silent: Experiencing His Presence in New Ways
Learn more and register for Journal Gently, an 8-week program designed to help you use writing as a way to process hurt, grief, and trauma with God.