Posted by: kathyhugs | September 1, 2009

Healing Through God’s Grace: A support Group for those affected by Homicide, Suicide or other sudden traumatic deaths

I have been praying and thinking about the future recently. Pastor Matt gave me a CD with a talk by Wess Stafford who started Compassion International. His talk was titled “Leveraging Your Past”. Matt used this talk as part of his sermon this past weekend. He was talking about Joseph in the book of Genesis. The line from Genesis that always catches my heart is: You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

How does God intend to turn Tonia’s death into good? I don’t have an exact answer to that but I do have some ideas. Tonia’s friend, Karla, is back in our lives and she is using her pain to sing and to talk about Tonia to others. This is a sweet relationship. Look for future details on a special event soon!! Other friends of Tonia have also reconnected with us: Wade, Daphne and Josh. We love each of them and they add so much to our lives.

I have also made some sweet new friends: Kathy, Nancy, Belinda, Joy and Julie among others. They have shared tears and laughs.

What I have been thinking about is how important friends and the support from others has been to me. I have kicked this idea around before and instead of it going away it continues to grow. The question I get asked the most is, “where does your strength come from” and then “how do you continue on after Tonia was murdered?”. God’s grace and His strength are the answers to both of these questions! Sharing our story, our frustrations and pain has also been a huge part of our healing.

Here is what I am thinking about: Healing Through God’s Grace: A support Group for those affected by Homicide, Suicide or other sudden traumatic deaths.

My thoughts so far:

What I would like this group to offer:
• direct support to those bereaved through homicide, suicide or other sudden traumatic deaths
• people who care, enabling you to meet with people who can understand your pain, to share your fears, to know that it is ok to cry and to realize that it is also ok to laugh; knowing that you won’t be judged by your actions
• healing & grace through a relationship with Jesus Christ and with other believers
• tools to enable you to forgive, when you are ready
• To raise public awareness about the effects of murder and manslaughter on families and friends through speaking, writing and seminars

What we will not offer:
• Professional counseling services but I would like to have a list of counselors available
• to Petition courts about stopping paroles from happening, there are others organizations that do this very well
• to Seek revenge, retaliation or punitive damages

Why am I writing about this now?
I would like to hear from anyone who has ideas, feedback, or suggestions.
Have you been in one of these positions? What helped? What did not help?
Where are you in your walk with God now? Has your relationship with God changed? How?

I am seeking guidance and wisdom for the future. My prayer is that God can use our loss to reach out to others in whatever way He chooses. For now I will continue to write in my journal and my blog, I will continue to reach out to others and I will continue to Praise God!

With much love and hugs!



  1. Our church has a Friday night group called Celebrate Recovery, where people meet to talk about their addictions, co-dependency, and life struggles (anger, unforgiveness, etc.). Richie & I enjoy going to CR because it's a safe place to talk about our struggles, we hear about others going through similar situations, and we hear testimonies on how the Lord has set people free. There is no cross-talk allowed in small group (sometimes it sneaks in 😦 ), and anything said there stays there. They also present info on a 12-step element (like at AA) and 8 principles based on Jesus's Sermon on the Mount and other teachings. Maybe you might want to look at CR to get some ideas for your group.-Daphne C.

  2. Dear Kathy, God bless you for thinking of this….had you not mentioned a support group in your blog, I would have never found you 🙂 Your writing is an inspiration to me as it is, and I'm grateful for that. Close friends that just sat and listened helped me immensely….it's those opportunities where I could just let everything out that I had bottled up inside that made all the difference. After all that is said and done, praising our Lord provided renewed strength. It's undescribable and It never fails. Love you! Kathy M.

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