Walking the Lonely Road


There is a lonely road we must walk, none are excepted. We don’t know the day or the hour but we will travel this road.

It is the way of sadness, no birds are singing, we notice no beauty, just a lonely road we must travel along.

It is the way of tears, anguish of heart, and all hope almost escapes us. Some of us are going this way the first time and others know the way quite well, but for every traveler this road goes in a direction none would choose.

Some walk alone, and others believe they are alone, but are not. It is better to walk a lonely road with a friend, even if he seems distant and doesn’t speak a word. Just knowing he is walking that way because you are gives a bit of comfort.

I have learned many of the twists and turns, the hills and valleys, for you see I have been a too frequent traveler this way. Several times I was on the journey for myself, and many times I chose to walk a while with someone else. I couldn’t walk for them, or carry them, or make it more pleasant, but I could be there and so I have.

Tonight Carol and I, and John and Maggy Dobbs, will become acquainted with some lonely travelers, and the best we can, we will encourage them on their way. We’ll say the road gets easier out there somewhere. We’ll tell them we want to go with them as far as possible.  And we will promise that as they start to cross the hill, some hill, around some curve, the sunlight will break through the clouds and inspire the birds to begin a chorus of praise to the Creator.

I wish we could say to them “It’s too painful, there is too much heartache, you don’t have to go”. But we can’t, so we will give a hug, a reassuring smile, and walk a piece down the lonely road with a sad friend. We can tell them for sure that God cares so much more than we care and He will be there too….every step ’til they get to the Light.

Grief Support Group
2nd Tuesday of each month
6:30 p.m. Forsythe Church of Christ
Monroe, Louisiana

Can we walk along with you?

Royce

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Can you hear the music yet?…


December 9th 1997 was a crisp night in north Texas complete with a star-studded sky. It was the annual Christmas party for the large auto dealership I where I worked as a manager.

My wife and I dressed in our best and drove out west to a beautiful country club where we visited with friends and started to make new ones. A good meal was shared by all, it was indeed a good evening. J had picked out a Christmas present for me to buy her the following week from the club house gift shop. (A custom I still follow…)

The night was so beautiful we decided to take a longer route home to stretch the time of holding hands like newly weds and good conversation. We talked of our future and how blessed we were to be debt free, have a new job with a $12,000 annual raise, and only a few short miles from home. I will never forget that Tuesday night…

Wednesday afternoon I received a phone call from a neighbor, “Hurry home, the paramedics are with Jeanine”. I drove the 6 miles home knowing somehow that J was gone. My fears were confirmed when later that evening, a doctor came into the room and said, “I’m sorry Mr. Ogle, we couldn’t bring her back”.

Seventeen of the happiest years of my life ended with a gapping hole in my life that was loud and glaring and couldn’t be avoided. When I came home from work a deafening silence overwhelmed me. Late at night I waited for her boisterous laughter as she watched “I Love Lucy” or some other old sit-com. ….Only silence.

I’ll never forget the day I finally removed my wedding band. Inside was engraved our initials and the date of our marriage. I had never had it off for over 17 years, but I was not married now. She was not coming back….it was….final.

In the providence of God I met and married Carol who had lost a husband a few months before I lost J. Not very long after we were married she mentioned to me that she would like to reach out to people in grief, to walk along side them, to listen, to encourage, and to bring hope.

In September we will begin the last part of our eighth year of hosting grief groups. We have met some wonderful people, hurting, confused, angry, desperate, hopeless, and helpless, but each one precious to God, and hopefully to us. There have been great victories, healing has happened over and over again, and we have seen wrinkled brows and sad mouths change to warm smiles and tears of joy.

Along the way we met John and Maggie Dobbs. They lost their son, John Robert, just before he was to graduate high school. Even while they were and are still grieving the loss of their son, and John’s step-father, they care for others deeply. So, we are now a team. Carol and I are delighted to minister alongside John and Maggie as we continue to reach out to hurting people who have lost loved ones.

The date is the 2nd Tuesday of October. The place is Forsythe Church of Christ in Monroe, between Oliver and 19th St. on Forsythe. We meet at 5:30 p.m. If you want more information drop a note to RoyceOgle@gmail dot com. (sorry, have to keep the spammers on their toes!)

Have you lost a friend, a spouse, a parent, or other family member? Know someone who has? The way one person described the loss of a loved one was that it was as if the music had gone silent. The music of life is the joy of family and friends. Death stops the music.

Our only goal is to love people as they walk the dark path of grief until one day we can ask “Can you hear the music yet?” and hear the reply, “Yes, I hear it again”. That is our joy, to bind up the broken-hearted and send them on their way hearing the music again.

Agape’

Royce

The Journey of Grief


Have you walked that lonely road, desperately missing a loved one who has died? Perhaps you have recently lost a family member or a dear friend and the pain is still raw and sharp. Or, it might be that even though your loss was several years ago the hurt never seems to heal like you expected it would.

Welcome to GriefShare.

“GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone.

GriefShare seminars and support groups are led by people who understand what you are going through and want to help. You’ll gain access to valuable GriefShare resources to help you recover from your loss and look forward to rebuilding your life.” (from the GriefShare website)

My wife Carol and I became vividly acquainted with grief and grieving in 1997. Her husband Terry died suddenly in the summer and my wife Jeanine died the same way just before Christmas and her 44th birthday.

Because we knew first hand how difficult it is for survivors to go through the grief process we decided to offer a hand to those who are hurting  as we did. In just a few days we will begin our 8th year of facilitating GriefShare groups. Our experience has been a mixture of sadness and joy as we have walked along side many wonderful people with broken hearts. We have seen some amazing transformations through this ministry of love and mercy.

Last year we were joined in our GriefShare ministry by John and Maggie Dobbs. John is the pulpit minister at the Forsythe Church of Christ in Monroe. John and Maggie lost their son, John Robert, several months ago, a few days before he was to graduate high school. John is a prolific writer and has chronicled much of his personal journey of grief at his popular blog “Out Here Hope Remains”.

We began having our groups meet at Forsythe last year after several years at Whites Ferry Road Church in West Monroe. The Forsythe Church is centrally located on Forsythe west of the Oliver and Forsythe intersection.

On Monday, January 11th at 6:00 p.m. we will have a time of greeting and registration for the upcoming series. We will meet weekly for 13 weeks. Each week we will watch a DVD (30 to 40 min.) and then have a discussion time.

You can expect the following:

  • Very helpful information. The series includes ministers, Christian counselors, famous authors and other experts on grief, and people just like you who share their stories of hope.
  • People who really care about you. Our only goal is to love and nurture hurting people in Christ’s name.
  • Tears are welcomed. Tears are the beautiful expression of a hurting heart and God’s unique way of cleansing a troubled soul. Don’t be fearful of crying, all of us do cry, or have, it is normal and expected.
  • A safe place. Your confidentiality will be respected and honored. What you choose to share in a GriefShare group will not leave the group. “What happens in GriefShare stays in GriefShare”.
  • You don’t have to talk. It’s really up to you. Often people are not ready to talk in a group setting. That is OK. You will be expected to talk only if and when you feel comfortable doing so.
  • Christ centered. Our resources are biblical in nature and we readily say that our ultimate comfort in times of trouble comes from a vibrant, authentic, relationship with Jesus Christ. Our mission is not to have you change your church membership or to pressure you into anything you don’t want to do. We only want to love you in Christ’s stead and point you to him.
  • You will get better! I’ll make you a promise. If you attend each week and take advantage of the resources available to you, I assure you that you will realize that you have found comfort, peace, and a new hope that makes daily living without your loved one much more bearable.

Remember! Each Monday at 6:00 p.m. at Forsythe Church of Christ, 2101 Forsythe Ave. in Monroe. Put it on your calendar now so you can’t forget, you’ll be glad you did. I look forward to meeting you!

Questions? Call Carol Ogle at 318.348.2291

Agape,

Royce

Surviving the Holidays


surviving-the-holidaysOnly 40 days until Christmas! Where does the time go? What do you have planned for Thanksgiving Day this year?

I love this time of year. Even I, a Scrooge, am already thinking of doing some Christmas shopping. I was thinking today that soon I’ ll be putting up some lights along the edge of my house. The air is crisp and I can almost taste the turkey and dressing.

For many people the holiday season is not something to look forward to. Thanksgiving and Christmas are anchors for family in almost every American home. It is the season each year when almost every family member will be around the table. The intimate family time with those we love most is a happy event.

For some people the holidays only make the sadness more profound and the darkness even blacker. While most of the family is busy planning family meals and which parties to attend others are trying desperately to figure a way to avoid the crowds, even family, and just be left alone.

For the grieving, birthdays, anniversaries, and especially Thanksgiving and Christmas are very tough to handle. These times that should be so much fun are only reminder of what was, or rather “who was”, and is now gone. There are likely members of your family, or a neighbor, co-worker, or someone you know well at church, who is in intense pain now and as the days tick off toward the holidays the hurt only intensifies.

There is help. You or your friend or loved one can Survive the Holiday season. Here in the Monroe/West Monroe area there will be several opportunities to participate in a Surviving the Holidays group in the next few weeks. Tomorrow, November 14th at 2 p.m. the Forsythe church of Christ in Monroe will be hosting a group. There will be a DVD to watch, a beautiful song by a soloist, a candle lighting, and people just like me and you who have lost someone they loved deeply. After the DVD there will be a time to talk, or listen, and friendly, caring people there to help.

The minister at Forsythe Church, John Dobbs, and wife Maggie, and my wife Carol and I, are facilitators for Grief Share and invite you to come. If you can’t attend this time there will be another session at White’s Ferry Rd Church in West Monroe on Dec 12th and First Baptist West Monroe will have one a few days later. If you want more info visit the Forsythe Church website or call Carol Ogle at 665-0569.

Don’t go it alone, please accept our offer to walk the lonely road with you. Beginning the 2nd week of January the first of 13 weekly sessions of Grief Share will begin and you are invited. You will be glad you came. Do it for yourself or someone you love.

for healing,

Royce