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What SCSM means to me

An instant, a measure of time that can turn your world upside down and change your life forever.  When you experience a devastating loss and have thoughts like when will the hurt stop? When will I stop crying? I just don't know what to do.   SCSM provides a friendly, comfortable environment to seek help to understand loss and how to deal with it.  I know, I lost my wife, the love of my life, my partner and my best friend, the one person who truly understood me.  In that instant, suddenly I am alone – even with hundreds of friends and family I still felt alone.  You realize things will never be the same again.  SCSM helped me, I saw their passion in what they do and I continue to see that passion today because I volunteer my time to help them so they can help others.  I have never seen an organization that cares more about others and works so tirelessly to help others as they do. Thank you SCSM – you are a blessing to our community!

Jim Presley

Several years ago I heard the commercials for GriefShare on our local Christian radio station and knew right away that it was a ministry I wanted to be able to provide to our community. Little did I realize that there were some areas in my life that I hadn’t completely walked through relating to grief, and I soon found myself in a position as a student, too. In addition to personal growth in my own areas of loss, I quickly recognized how differently each person grieves and it’s helped me to be far more empathetic towards others who may deal with grief differently than me.

I have suffered much loss over the course of the last 10 years. I lost the only grandparent I ever knew. Shortly after that, unbeknownst to me, my wife no longer was interested in marriage, and she chose to leave the relationship. Then in 2009, I lost my brother-in-law to cancer, followed quickly by the birth of my son and the unexpected death of my father to a massive heart attack.

Each of these life events brought on a large variance of emotion and struggle as I tried to figure out how my life would change with each one. Although I never sought professional counseling, I was surrounded with an amazing group of friends who loved, prayed, and counseled me when I needed them. I attribute so much of my recovery to their faithfulness to support me with a godly kind of love.

I would say that the initial hardest blow I received was the decision of my wife to walk away from our marriage. Not only had she been by best friend but also my ministry partner. Like everyone else, I thought I would be married to her for life. When I got the news I felt about as lost and confused as anyone I’ve ever known. Despite all my attempts to woo her back she had already made up her mind to start her life over which meant a new chapter would begin in my life. To the glory of God, I have been blessed abundantly more than I could ask or imagine as God not only gifted me with the greatest wife, friend, and helpmate, but in these midlife years that I’m living in He also gave me a miracle son. If I could encourage anyone through this, please know that although I didn’t walk through everything perfectly, I did my best to honor my covenant before the Lord. Through the process I can say that He has more than restored to me everything that had been lost as He does for each of us that put our hope in Him.

My next season of loss came 7 years later, in 2009, when my 49 year old brother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer that rapidly spread throughout his body. Not only was it hard watching him go through the process of dying, but it was difficult knowing that he was going to leave behind two preteen boys and a wonderful marriage to my sister. His cancer came about as a result of smoking. I have been angry for a long time at how that one addiction led to the loss of a great husband, father, and friend, and it all could have been prevented by one important decision. My sister and her two boys are doing well, but each time we meet there is still the emptiness of his presence.

My son was born the same month that my brother-in-law passed away. In a season that ordinarily would have been exciting for the family, it was the daily reminder that a great family member was gone. Then, in October my dad suffered a massive heart attack doing what he loved to do most, bowling. What I’ve found in my own experiences to date is that whether someone close to you dies unexpectedly or not, the grieving process is difficult because someone close to you is gone. My dad was the guy that I would go to for counseling on certain matters, and I was looking forward to him being a grandfather to my son. Not having that person anymore has certainly left a hole in our lives.

After 10 weeks of going through Grief Share with Chaplain Liz and Susan, I found that there were areas that God needed to do some chiseling on in my own life. I needed to hear from their experiences and from the testimonies of others in the video series and in the class. I am grateful for the work and ministry of SCSM and all the staff and volunteers that make it possible for this ministry to be in the community.

Pastor Steve Weber
Freedom Church Assembly Of God

In August 2011, Reverend Liz Danielsen and Susan Amato came to New Day to do training for our GriefShare facilitators. Liz and Sue went above and beyond what we expected of their ministry to our church. The training was very well-organized, understandable, and helpful. Their knowledge of the subject materials and subject matter is apparent. However, their hearts for those who are grieving is what most impressed me.

I would recommend Spiritual Care Support Ministries, Inc. without reservation. We are entering this GriefShare Group with a sense of confidence and preparedness that is much greater since having their training and encouragement.

Pastor Angel Adams
New Day Christian Center Assembly Of God

Recently SCSM partnered with The Lake of the Woods Church to help us launch a Chronically Ill Support Group at our facility.

Rev. Liz Danielsen spent several months training our volunteers to lead and assisting them in launching a much needed Chronically Ill Support Group. Her skill and dedication in training these leaders was outstanding. We now have a team of capable and confident leaders who are carrying on this new ministry. It is a real blessing to the church and community.

Thank you Rev. Liz!

You really came through for us.

Pastor Tom Schafer
The Lake of the Woods Church

Liz,

I want to thank you personally for the incredible training that you offered our life group leaders. I believe this will add years of effectiveness and tenure to our leadership core because they have been equipped to minister to those walking through seasons of grief. I would recommend this to anyone or any pastor who is trying to build a team of caregivers around themselves. I believe your ministry will help change the stigma in the years to come that the church is not equipped or unable to minister to people walking through grief. I so appreciate ministries outside the church that support the church.

Denny Nissley and I were talking last weekend at the CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management) training. After taking both courses in less than a month, we came to the conclusion that he should ask for your permission to recommend to those who take his CISM training in this region to follow up his training by having you come and train in grief counseling. I find these courses to work hand-in-hand. I hope that works out because you truly have a ministry of equipping God’s people for every good work. Why? So that people may see HIS light through us and give glory to our God in Heaven (Matthew 5:16).

Pastor Mark Jenkins
Mountain View Community Church

I’m a pastor who believes that my calling is not simply to minister to hurting people but also to equip people to minister as well. When the opportunity came to have Chaplain Liz Danielsen come to help with this “equipping”, I was delighted. Chaplain Liz shares very real-world, rubber-meets-the-road strategies for dealing with grief. I found that several of my church members not only learned to deal with the grief of others, they also gained the tools necessary to deal with long-standing grief issues of their own. Her Powerpoint slides were well organized, easy to understand, and helpful. Her presentations were engaging, energetic, interactive and never seemed to drag. The acid test as to how successful her 4-week session was is this: We had the same number of people attending the first session as we did the last. There was no attrition at all. People grasped the value of what she brought to the table.I would give my whole-hearted recommendation to any church or group considering hosting Chaplain Liz Danielsen as a speaker or teacher.

Rev. Jason Stickles
Trinity Assembly of God

I have gained invaluable insights that I have used to help others in my role as Pastor....The GriefShare ministry of Rev. Liz Danielsen is a tremendous resource for our entire region and I wholeheartedly encourage participation.

Rev. Jeff Light, Pastor
Novum Baptist Church