These Words Gave Me Hope

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Almost a decade ago I had three important people in my life die within 2 months. Mixed with a stressful job situation, I found myself unsettled, upset, and lost in my grief. And, unfortunately I was not in the company of people who saw value in the gift of presence. Instead, my work colleagues shared what they would do to fix me with unhelpful quips like, “Just shake it off.”

Grief, in my experience, is not just shaken off.

Then a friend gave me a small book entitled Grief: A Month of Meditations from Forward Movement, a collection of short essays written by clergy and laity alike. Each morning I would sit on my back porch with my coffee and read the meditation for the day. For the first few days, reading the meditations took a while – as reading while crying does.

But I read. I read that grief didn’t need to be fixed or shaken off, but experienced and even welcomed as part of the holy experience of love. I read the words of others who felt crushed and overwhelmed by grief, and I read their words of life and hope.

At the end of the month of reading those grief meditations, I rediscovered my self and soul. I will always consider that small book a great gift that in many ways, saved my self and soul and helped me enter a new place in my life and ministry.

I wonder if the people who wrote those essays about grief, the staff at Forward Movement, and those who have supported the ministry of Forward Movement with their donations knew the way the words they offered would have impacted and changed my life? I hope so.

Because they did. And they do. From their Forward Day by Day, which is a central part of many people’s daily devotions, to their ubiquitous tracts and their online ministries like Lent Madness and 50 Days of Fabulous, Forward Movement offers their ministry to tens of thousands, and that ministry changes lives. From 50 Days of Fabulous, I’ve read comments and received emails with statements saying, “I needed to read this today,” or “These words gave me hope.”

If you would like to support the ministry of Forward Movement and the words that give people hope, I invite you to make a donation. Forward Movement is a ministry, and as such, strives to provide its offerings either free (like Lent Madness and 50 Days of Fabulous) or at low cost. Donations of any amount are welcomed and appreciated.

You can donate via text message (because we’re cool like that) by texting the keyword 50days to 41-444. When you do, you’ll get a prompt and a link to the donate form.

You can also donate via this secure link:

If you enjoyed 50 Days, if you’ve encountered words that gave you hope through the ministries of Forward Movement, and if you want to make sure words that give people hope are available to those in need, please donate.

Invest in the words that give others hope.




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