What the papers say

We had a lively discussion about the press and phone hacking on Wednesday and then Colin posed some really challenging questions.

One of which was something like, how can we in Third Space help people when they are vulnerable and downcast, how can we offer them support and strength?

As part of the discussion that followed this question I was asked how had I remained so strong over the recent months following a diagnosis of cancer.

I have thought about this a lot since I was asked and have concluded that, although I have had my moments of weakness, I have been able to remain strong because I have not felt alone.

I have not felt alone because:

  • I know I am loved by my Heavenly Father.
  • I am not alone in any pain or suffering that I have because I know Jesus went through much more pain and suffering than I will ever have to, and he understands all my weakest moments.
  • I have some brilliant friends at Third Space who have supported and encouraged me.
  • I have a wide circle of friends who have been there for me, making me laugh (and cry) when they showed me such love and concern.
  • I have a special supportive friend, Tony. Who through his wisdom and advice (because he has been through the same) and his love and concern (when things are more serious for him) has been very moving.
  • I have the support of a wonderful husband who has been with me along every step of the way.
  • If all else fails eternity awaits me.

For those who want to support the vulnerable, the downcast be a good friend. I thank God for all my wonderful friends.

5 Responses to “What the papers say”

  1. Colin

    Emotional resilience or toughness was the core theme I raised. Why do some people get straight back up? Appear to roll with the punches, cope with the most catastrophic circumstances? Where do they find the emotional, physical and spiritual strength?
    How can we as individuals and as a church assist those who lack this resilience or mental toughness? Barbara shared her experience, drawing strength in the knowledge that she was not alone. I would like to invite others to share their coping strategies and secrets to building emotional resilience with each other so that we may learn and apply these skills in our practice as Christians.

  2. rachel

    Hope you don’t mind me butting in. I lost my little boy 7 years ago and among other things, meeting people further along the journey through an organisation called the bereaved parents network was a real source of strength for me. That and just people being available and honest.

  3. Wend

    Thanks for that Rachel – we love it when friends from afar ‘butt in’! It is only those who have been really tried who have the right to speak on this type of thing – and those of us who have had an easier ride so far really need to learn from you guys. It is encouraging to hear other people’s stories that are honest, lacking in triumphalism, but testament to survival and to God’s faithfulness. So thanks again to you Rachel and to Barbara and to Tony and to Frances – you are all our teachers and and inspiration to us.

  4. Colin

    Thank you Rachel for having the courage to share this very private moment with us. I can only echo Wendy’s observations and comments.

  5. Colin

    Michele reminded me today about an author and public speaker we both like. Paul McGee the SUMO Guy © http://www.theSUMOguy.com
    Paul provides practical principles for life and overcoming adversity. Today we received his news letter. In it he wrote; I spent some time in prison recently. It was an unforgettable experience. I was there to witness a SUMO session being run with some young offenders. It was an opportunity for them to explore how the principles, along with a number of other interventions, could help them to turn their lives around. My SUMO Associate Roy did an excellent job. During the break I was drawn to a notice board that had the following definition for the word HOPE:
    Helping, Other, Possibilities, Emerge
    He went on to write; I love that definition. What about you? I guess we all need hope at times. Just as importantly though we need some ideas, tools, strategies and support in order to turn hope into reality.
    If you have any ideas, tools or strategies for turning HOPE into reality, for developing emotional resilience and overcoming adversity, I would love to hear about them – Colin


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