Navigating the Grieving Process with Rev. Kate Meyer

September 29, 2022 00:55:59
Navigating the Grieving Process with Rev. Kate Meyer
Lavish Hope
Navigating the Grieving Process with Rev. Kate Meyer

Sep 29 2022 | 00:55:59

/

Hosted By

Rev. Liz Testa

Show Notes

Rev. Liz Testa talks to Rev. Kate Meyer about grief and moving forward in a healthy, life-giving way in the season 4 premiere of Lavish Hope. Kate is an ordained minister, licensed professional counselor, and hospice chaplain. She is also an author. Her latest book is Faith Doesn’t Erase Grief. Kate discusses hope, resilience, and overcoming as we navigate grief in today’s complex world. She also offers inspiring stories, tips, and practical insights to help us all embrace the process.
This episode is brought to you by Faithward.org, an online learning community where you’ll find ideas for living out your faith, reflections on Scripture and church, stories about how other Christians are following God’s call, and resources to bring your own faith community along for the ride.

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:01 Welcome to Lavish Hope, season four. I'm your host, Liz Tesa. In this new season, I'm joined by Reverend Kate Meyer, an ordained minister and licensed professional counselor and hospice chaplain in West Michigan. She's passionate about bringing grief into the light so that all grievers know how to move forward in a healthy life-giving way. Reverend Kate is also an author whose latest book Faith Doesn't Erase, Grief, Launched in the summer of 2022. In this episode, Reverend Kate joins me to talk about hope, resilience, and overcoming, especially around navigating grief in today's complex world. She offers inspiring stories, tips, and practical insights to help us all embrace the process. Let's jump in. Welcome to season four of Lavish Hope. I'm your host, Liz Tesa, and I'm so excited to be here with my good friend and colleague, Reverend Kate Meyer. Kate, welcome. Speaker 2 00:01:12 Thank you, Liz. I am excited to be here. Speaker 1 00:01:15 Yes, and you know, we've been friends and colleagues these past years and recently I think, uh, God has been doing, uh, some similar work between the two of us given, uh, this podcast, Lavish Hope, Stories of Resilience and overcoming, and your brand new book that has just been published this summer called Faith Doesn't Erase Grief, Embracing the Experience and Finding Hope. I just love that. So, um, yeah, so we're both about hope, right? <laugh> Speaker 2 00:01:50 Yes. Always, always about hope. Our Speaker 1 00:01:53 Question. Yes. So, Kate, can you just tell our listeners just a little bit about yourself, where you are, um, and then we'll get started on our Speaker 2 00:02:01 Question. Yeah, yeah. So I am a hospice bereavement counselor and chaplain. I've been a medical chaplain c since graduating from seminary and then, uh, Ed on a license in professional counseling in Michigan. I have found that my work as a bereavement counselor was this beautiful and kind of, um, at long last merging of these two degrees that God said I had to get. But I didn't know why <laugh>, I, you know, I, I fought against seminary. I didn't wanna go to seminary cuz I didn't know why I was or where I was going. And so it's fun to, to see how these roads have happened and to now be in this place where it's all come together and I see why both degrees were needed and, um, you know, along the way have come to know myself a lot better and see how all of this blends into a calling that I never could have dreamt. Speaker 1 00:03:14 Hmm. That's so beautiful. I just think about that Jeremiah 29 and 11. Right. For sure. I know the plans I have for you, and we like to think that that just is for an individual person, but actually that was the whole people Israel, that God was speaking to, Right. That the, that that, that, that the prophet was interpreting. And so thinking about how the work of one blesses many, right? That it's part of this work in community. And so I'm just thinking ca you know, we're coming out of pandemic, it's still around C's around, we've got other illnesses now that are lurking as well. I can just imagine that your sense of purpose has been even accelerated perhaps in this last season. Speaker 2 00:03:56 Absolutely. Covid has raised grief more to the forefront than I think it has been in a lot of years. So many people grieving simultaneously and then the secondary grievers who are grieving because there's so much death around them, even if they've not been personally touched by the death of someone. And, and just the complications of have, you know, the, the sheer volume of people who died from Covid, but also the people who died during Covid and yet not from it. And some of those griefs that have been, um, kind of lost in the shuffle or not seen as much. And so we just have this, this large and vast group of people who are trying to grieve and trying to continue to live and then having these non death grief that we all experience together too, when our world shut down and we had to learn how to live together differently and to communicate with each other differently. Uh, so yeah, there, when I was sitting down to write Faith as a new race grief, it was amid this awareness and almost this, um, almost an anxiety of sorts to just get it out there feeling like people are, are grieving at a, a higher rate and in a way that's unavoidable at this point in time because there's so much, it's so pervasive that we have to know how to do this and we need to do it better. Speaker 1 00:05:41 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And how do you think that, how do you think that related into, like, the church, so like the past church, the present church, the Future church, How does, how does that impact like that, that system of church, do you think? Speaker 2 00:06:03 So the book itself, the concept for it, um, why it felt so important to me is because I continued to see and today continue to see grievers who identify as Christian, who whisper their grief to me because they feel shame for it. Mm. And so I think like a lot of things in the, in the church, Capital C Church, uh, it, it has ebbed and flowed throughout the history of the church where, um, you know, a season of, of wearing black or the arm bands or, um, and, and obviously there are places and there are cultures where those things still remain. And yet in a lot of ways, I I think that the church today in general, generally speaking, doesn't do a great job of creating space. We, we have the funerals, which is another thing Covid stole, uh, I think for many, many, many people at, at bare minimum it delayed it. Speaker 2 00:07:18 Um, but in a lot of ways that was stolen mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and we, we maybe give people funerals, but now we call them things like memorials or celebrations of life. And while there's a lot of beauty in that, a lot can be lost in those things too. Where if we can't call it a funeral and we don't give it a, give people a space to, to mourn, that's an impaired way to kick off their journey with grief, um mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so, and then, and then the, I think the church kind of falls into this societal pattern too, of, okay, it's been a month, the meals are done, the cards are done, the, the constant checking in is done, and slowly but surely everybody reverts to their daily life. And there's suddenly questions of, how come we haven't seen you in church in a long time? Why are you crying? What's the matter? And, and there's, there's not room for where is your faith in the midst of this grief? How is your faith holding up? Are you struggling? Other challenges? Um, yeah. So I, I began to see it in such a, in such a deep, pervasive way that too many people who identify as Christian were kind of being silenced in their grief. And it was heartbreaking Speaker 1 00:08:59 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I think it's so important, just, you know, that we're also in the age of technology. I mean, there's so many layers of where people are sort of becoming separated from themselves and from their communities of origin where those rituals where customary. And so I just love that you're providing some framework for people to be able to travel in a healthy way, um, in a god honoring and self honoring way. Right. Sounds, sounds like, um, something that the church needs now more than ever. Yeah. So let me ask you, Kate, a question I love to kick off my interviews with is, what does resilience mean to you and how has it been shaped by your past and maybe changed or deepened and been changed or deepened, um, by your experiences? Speaker 2 00:09:50 Resilience to me is being able to keep going when there are continual barriers, roots in the ground that trip you up, uh, setback voices that say, no, voices that say you are not deserving or worthy or qualified, or you are not original enough to speak into what's happening. Um, to me, resilience is, is being able to say, despite all of those things, I'm going to clinging to who I know God created me to be and to focus on living into that, regardless of what the other voices say, regardless of what the other, uh, yeah. Opinions are that, or barriers that that come to. So for me, this road of becoming an author has been, I don't even like that word. Uh, not becoming, but claiming, claiming I like that better. Um, claiming my call and role as author, I think is a really great image of how resiliency has applies within my life, through the other areas of my life as well. Speaker 2 00:11:19 You know, um, I, I'm also the author of a fiction novel called The Red Couch, and that process was really long, I mean, like more than 10 years, um, from the time I started writing to the time I published. And the reason for that is nothing other than fear I would start to write, would get into it. And then the fear of what will other people think? Is this a story worth telling? Uh, am I qualified? You know, all of those voices would keep me from pursuing it. And so the, then the domino effect would be, well, if I'm not gonna publish it, then I might as well stop writing it. So I would start and stop certain stop, start and stop. Speaker 2 00:12:09 And what happened is, I felt this weight from the spirit saying, You have to write faith as a new race. Grief. You can't put that off anymore. It had kind of been simmering. And so that's when I said, I have to get the red couch out there. If I put it off longer, it's, it's never gonna get out there. And it was done at this point. It had been done for a good year. Yeah. I just sat with it in, in a drawer, essentially. My goodness. Um, I mean, I'm a, you know, on a flash drive there, it's that done. And, uh, so I said, This is it. You have to do it because that's what clears the space to write this next book. Speaker 2 00:12:57 So to me, resiliency is, even with all those bits and stops, it was knowing that pull inside saying, you have to write this. This isn't, you're not doing this. Don't, don't worry about the other people. Do this because this is something you feel the need to do. And so overall, those years doing it and, um, dealing with the rejection emails and dealing with all the, like, no, we don't, there's not value in this. We don't see this story or change the story, do it differently. I think we, resiliency is about, I see it now as about being able to continue to clinging to who God created me to be without giving into what other people say. And recognizing that that is always changing as I get to know myself more than I get to see more, more clearly the depth and the layers of, of who God is calling me to be as that continues to grow and change as well. Speaker 1 00:14:06 That's a good word. That's a good word. Because I think so many people, they just think it's kind of a one and done Right. Because it's such a hall to get to the done the first time. Right. Yeah. It's like, okay, here I am. But just that grace Right. Of being able to create space that it's, it's an i g Right. That it's an ing Yeah. That it's an it's an ongoing ever unfolding journey. Speaker 2 00:14:32 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:14:32 And that also the adaptability, you're saying something here that resonates for me around being adaptable to circumstances Speaker 2 00:14:40 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:14:42 Will just help, help with that sense of, you know, it's gonna keep unfolding and you have to adapt to what comes Speaker 2 00:14:50 Mm-hmm. Speaker 1 00:14:51 <affirmative> that what perhaps worked back then for this new season is gonna have to take form in a different way. Speaker 2 00:14:59 Yeah. And so part of that process for me, in a different area of my life, um, included coming to acceptance. I found that I continued to fight against a reality. Um, and the more I worked towards acceptance, and when I finally got there that this, this is what is right now, and God may change it someday, but you know, to this point, regardless of daily prayers and all of these things, this isn't being changed. So I, I need to accept what is. And the moment I did that is when I was able to adapt is when I was able to make that shift and say, Okay, so who am I in this moment with this reality that isn't going away? Um, and how do I, how do I adapt to that? How do I shift my understanding of self, my understanding of God, my understanding of my calling, knowing that this just is the way that it is. And right now it's not changing. Speaker 1 00:16:18 Would you say that that is where you find resilience when you don't have it? Or is there, is that something different for you? Speaker 2 00:16:28 I find resilience in the darkest moments. I find resilience looking back and saying, The last time I was in this place, I made it through. And so I'm going to trust that I can do that again. So for me, it's just this part of the resiliency is looking back and saying, I've been carried through. I've pushed through, I can do that again. I will, the strength will come when I need it to come. And so part of it too for me is, is trying to be in the moment and know that I don't have to force it. Speaker 1 00:17:13 Hmm. Speaker 2 00:17:16 It will come when it needs to. Speaker 1 00:17:19 That's so tricky, I think, for people, especially in our western society. I mean, you know, for us here on the east coast and the New York City area, right. We say in the New York Minute, um, but it's like, you know, in my first career was in show business, so it's like louder, faster, funnier, but it's like, you know, everything's like, you know, you needed to have it yesterday. <laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. So one of the jokes about, you know, like, what's the buy when yesterday? Um, but, but just thinking about, you know, how do we kind of build in that as a practice, Right? Uh, and, and seeing the value that that's actually, when you're thinking about resilience and overcoming, that's an important foundation for that to create space for that to not get stuck. Speaker 2 00:18:01 Right? Right. Yes. Yeah. I, I think there is, I've been stuck. I've been stuck before. And so learning to, to say, Well, this <laugh>, this stuckness in this darkness, I can't thrive at all here. This isn't, this isn't serving me, this isn't serving my family, this isn't serving my community. I'm not myself here. I would like to stay here because then I don't have to face all of the realities, but I can't. And so on sticking myself, uh, you know, looking for the smallest pinprick of light to head towards, to clinging to is that resiliency to say, I, I can do it again. I've done it before, so I'll do it again. Speaker 1 00:19:09 You know, I'm thinking some of our listeners, um, might be wondering, how do you do that? Speaker 2 00:19:18 Mm-hmm. Speaker 1 00:19:19 <affirmative>, like, what are the practical, like, do you have any tips for somebody that just hasn't had this opportunity? And certainly, I mean, you've got had a lot of training obviously, and, and are very learned in, in, you know, strategies for how to do this. But would you have like a tip or two that you could share with our listeners of like, how do you actually practically find that light? Or how do you create that space? Speaker 2 00:19:45 My most transformative moment for this was, uh, I, several periods in my life, I have said, I'm done praying. I can't right now. I've, I've hit a wall, I <laugh> like, it, it appears God's not listening to me anyway, so I'm just not doing it. So my first step in that was I gathered a community of people who could be in prayer, even when I couldn't be. So knowing that there were still people praying for outcomes that, you know, I don't know what God might do with when I couldn't. And so that was my first step was knowing that I don't think prayer is futile, it's just that I'm angry, so I can't right now. Um, my second thing was what I call taking God to the mat of just being real. Uh, you know, being just very much calling God out and saying, I feel this way because these are the promises I read in scripture, and this is the reality. Speaker 2 00:20:53 And those two things aren't merging. And so I'm hurt and I'm angry, and I, I feel abandoned. And so, uh, I'm just gonna pour it all out. And those two things, those two steps, having that community who can pray the raw when I can't mm-hmm. <affirmative> and being able to feeling the freedom, the ability was always there, but feeling the freedom to pour it all out transparently and in his most raw form to God, not in this pious way, but just in a really gritty here it all is show up and do something with it. Right. Kind of this demand that God do. Um, those, those were life changing for me as far as resiliency and being able to come out, because when I could truly pour that out before God, that's when I was able to feel God again. Mm. So in my inability to pray, I really was putting up this wall and not able to see or feel God anywhere. Um, and so being able to take those moments where I just put it all out there allowed me then to again, begin to see God, if not in the way that I was wanting to at least other ways. And then the light would slowly come and I would feel the spirit return and feel connection again. And that would allow to, Speaker 1 00:22:51 That's so, there's something so beautiful about that healing. And I just wonder, I'm just listening to you and what's coming up for me is I think that there's a lot of folks who, like they were taught that God, uh, can be a punishing God and that God, uh, that there, that there is a reason to, to fear that God won't love you or God won't, won't be with you. God will fore q even even though we know in scripture that's not true, but there's still a lot of folks that carry that around, that if you do push back, did you take on to the mat? Right. <laugh>? Yeah. Speaker 3 00:23:26 I always, I call it like wrestling. I'm like, Jacob, I'm gonna get Speaker 2 00:23:28 My blessing. Yes. Yes. But Speaker 1 00:23:30 Like that, that's, you know, and I know when I, you know, sit with folks that are in, you know, going through some things, whatever it might be, I always say, you know, God can take it. God can hold all our anger, all our frustration. Um, you know, you gotta try to keep your hearts soft as you can. You gotta try to stay humble, but even if you're not, God can hold that. And it sounds like that's something that you're inviting people to consider that that is indeed possible and that you don't have to feel badly for that. Speaker 2 00:24:02 Right? Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, God, God doesn't go anywhere when we do those things. I think in fact, that's when more of, um, the clay chips away, Right? Where, because if we're not being that real with God, we're not being that real with ourselves. And if we can't be that real with ourselves, then we're not going to continue, uh, to be shaped if, and, you know, if we're talking about the potter and clay image with God as the potter, it's, it's not, it's not like we're these beings that are just done. You know, There's, there's more. There's always something that we're growing into becoming transforming as we work through foundation shaking things in our lives. Speaker 2 00:24:53 So yeah, I think we need to be, uh, raw and real and just know and trust that God doesn't go anywhere when we do that. And the biggest, my biggest argument for that is if we are created beings, if we're gonna start with that foundation that we are, have been created by God, then our emotions are implanted in us. God, God gave these emotions to us. God knows what these emotions are, and they, they aren't positive, they aren't negative. It's emotions are neutral. They're just realities within us that help us understand what we're experiencing and what's going on around us. And so we have to be able to express them fully. And, you know, I don't know, one of the ways I look at it is if God created us and gave us these emotions, why would God ever ask us not to share them? Even even in our conversation with God? I think that's how we're most transparent and real <laugh>, It's not the word I wanted, but cuz at the point, Speaker 1 00:26:07 Well, there's a thing around the authenticity of it. Right. And I think I'd love that you do spend time in your book talking about emotions. And I think there's also, right. We, we had mentioned this bef bef when we were chatting before the interview began, of the importance of context and of culture where emotions are concerned. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I, you know, I think in western culture especially that's comes from a northern European Protestant, you know, Christian culture. There's this kind of lockdown on emotions. And, and also there's also sometimes gender implications too. So like, as a woman, and then if you happen to be Latin or Mediterranean right, then there's extra Right. Of like having too much emotion. Right. And I mean, we do wanna mediate it to some degree, but, um, you know, there's lots of global culture where this kind of expressive, especially where it comes to grieving the, the, the whaling women, Right, Right. The, the, the, the, the western wall in Jerusalem, it's called the, the, the whaling wall for a reason, because that's what, that's what, you know, people of the Jewish tradition do when they go, they wail, they cry, they dive, and they, you know, they go back and forth, um, know, kind of lean back and forth as they're praying and sort of finding a place where it's okay to express those emotions and seeing that as part of the process and being godly. Speaker 2 00:27:30 Right. Right. Speaker 1 00:27:32 And I love that you're inviting people to really think about what that means. I mean, we don't wanna stereotype and we don't wanna lock people into any kind of box around how they're supposed to be feeling or what their emotions are to be Speaker 2 00:27:45 Right Speaker 1 00:27:46 In the same breath that we are wanting to invite them into the, the converse of that, which is to consider what it is. And, and I think there's a whole lot of folks, especially in North America who don't know what their emotions are, who are, who are fearful of them. Is that what you found as you were Speaker 2 00:28:06 Yeah. I mean, I, I to Speaker 1 00:28:08 Write, Speaker 2 00:28:09 Yeah. I think people grievers in particular have this idea of what they quote unquote should be feeling. Um, and so a lot of my, my work with clients, it's to say it's not don't, it's not about manufacturing a certain emotion at a certain time. It's about letting your emotions be what they are in the moment and not stuffing them and not avoiding them. Um, you know, if grief amplifies what's already true about ourselves. So if you are a person who cries at Hallmark movie and, um, you know, seasonal commercials, you're going to be a crier in grief. So just accept that, stack your water, get your clean. If you are not naturally a crier, if you don't just haven't throughout your life, Ben, a crier, you're probably not going to cry much if at all, in grief. That's okay. Because you have found throughout your life, very likely other avenues of just spelling your emotion. And so it's not about following a pattern. There isn't a pattern. Grief doesn't have one. It's about noticing and honoring and releasing what you naturally feel in your grief and, and in life in general. Speaker 1 00:29:44 That is so like, what a beautiful, It's not like a tip or a tool, it's like permission giving. You know, it's a beautiful offering for folks to just be able to consider that. Thanks for that, Kate. I'm wondering, where is a place that you find hope? Speaker 2 00:30:07 I find hope in the continuing. So I have people, especially since the grief book came out. How do you do that? How do you talk to Grievers all the time? Isn't that depressing, <laugh>? Um, absolutely. There are stories that I fit in that I do struggle to take, you know, to not take home and, and all of that. The hope for me is in the transformation that I witness with everybody as, as I walk alongside of them and see how they come to relocate the person in their life as they come to discover a new layer of relationship with God as they learn what it is to have a continued relationship with the person who has died as they, uh, find their new role and their new identity after this person's death. Speaker 2 00:31:12 Hope for me is the thing that sustains us. It's the cushion that sustains us. It doesn't remove any of the pain, any of the struggle, any of the challenge. It keeps us afloat amid, that's what hope is. So any time I'm in a challenging spot of life and feel that peace that passes understanding that to me is hope that I'm, I'm, I'm on this cushion of hope that's letting me keep my head above water and look out, trusting that somehow I'll get to the next thing. I will make it through this, this moment, whatever this moment might be. Speaker 1 00:32:06 So beautiful. That image, I'm just thinking of that image of just sort of like, there you are on this water, this body of water that seems like it's got no, you know, no end in sight or there's no shore in sight and there you are on this cushion that's just booing you along and you know you're safe. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, things can still be difficult, but you've got this sense that things are gonna work out. Um, that's really powerful image. So then, um, do you have a favorite verse or quote that inspires you to embrace hope and be resilient? Speaker 2 00:32:43 I have tried to pull, I'm terrible though. <laugh>, as an author, people always ask, What do you read? What's your favorite book? I'm terrible. That I'm terrible at, um, what are quotes that capture what hope means for you? Um, and so hope in the things we cannot see is what it comes down to for me. Um, yeah. Well, Speaker 1 00:33:11 I, so not to cut you off, but just to sort of <laugh> help you out a little bit, you know, so in your book, of course, this is a podcast. So I'm, I'm standing here showing you your book <laugh>, because we're recording this via Zoom so we see each other. But, um, but uh, just to say for those who haven't had a chance to get the book, I mean really do yourself a favor and get it. But, um, but there's these pages that have quotes that I'm assuming are yours mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so I'm, I just wanna read a couple cuz I think they're beautiful. Um, grief does not go away simply because your faith is a central component of your life. Speaker 2 00:33:51 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:33:52 I think that is, that is life giving right there. That just your faith is not gonna expunge grief. Like your faith will help you work through it. Right. Right. So I love that. And then I love this one. Doubt can be an essential part of faith. Say that again, and then I'm gonna ask you to say something about what you mean by that. Doubt can be an essential part of faith. And we know in scripture it talks about, you know, when you're doubting and such, and we, uh, we talk about the doubting Thomas. Right. Um, but can you say a little bit about how you interpret that? Yeah. Doubt being an essential part of faith. Speaker 2 00:34:40 Yeah. You know, the faith life, our relationship with God is as filled with hills and valleys as any other relationship we have. And that includes moments where we start to wonder in this all be true, is this all real If, especially when we have situations where, like I was talking about before, where what we read in scripture where these promises of scripture are not matching our understanding of what's happening. And yes, God's perspective is, is is broader and bigger, and yet here we are as the humans living on this earth, unable to see that. And so for, for our limited human site, it simply is a way that God's word in my life don't match up. So that can lead to conflict, which often includes doubt. Another piece of that, specifically related to grief though, is that, uh, you know, we all know kind of in this abstract way one day, yes, we're going to die. And so we know that in our brain, when you're confronted with it though, it, uh, it causes you to really think about what do I believe? What do I believe about death? What do I believe about what comes next? And do I truly believe it? Or is it something that I have simply continued to recite and live into? Um, Speaker 2 00:36:24 And, you know, we have to, it's word outs. The only way we get to the other side of doubt is again, to face it and work through it. So I think it is essential. Speaker 1 00:36:36 Yeah. So good. Thanks for that. I'll also say, I'll just commend people too when they get the book to take a look at the emotions chapter because you do, uh, refer to some great biblical stories, Jonah being one that really resonated for me. But there's plenty of great scripture in there that people can mind. Yes. Um, that is really helpful. Uh, yeah. Especially around the emotions. But you also, you talk about Joseph's story and things as well in there. So there's lots of good nuggets, uh, from scripture, um, to be correlated with, uh, with our practices Yeah. As humans living today in the 21st century. Right. So I'm wondering, how are you cultivating hope today? And that could be today, this minute, this moment, these 24 hours, or today in general, however you wanna interpret that. Speaker 2 00:37:28 For me, cultivating hope means continuing with what I understand to be my calling on a, a very private personal level up to, uh, a community level and pursuing it, fighting for it, without giving in, without, uh, falling to those times when it appears that the fight is futile. And I'm not talking about optimism. I think hope is, is beyond optimism. I think it's so I'm not, you know, like rose colored glasses looking at life, but more saying, I don't quite see it. I don't see the how at the moment, but somehow I know and I trust that this is going to get worked out. And so I'm going to continue to work towards that as best I know how, the way that God is leading me to do so. So fighting, uh, fighting for justice at, at every level, every interpretation of that, uh, writing intentionally in a way that creates space in a way that, um, validates in a way that gives permission and is free instead of kind of this, um, condescending or judging or shaming way that I think a lot of times is done. Speaker 2 00:39:17 Uh, and, and for me, it celebrating victories of all kinds that fill that kind of, fill that whole bucket for myself so that when it's hard, when I'm in a dark place, when I'm in a challenging time, I can look and see, okay, you can have hope that God's gonna show up in this because God has shown up in all of these other places in your life. Um, so there's no reason to think that for whatever, you know, that God wouldn't show up. Now God has continued to show up and God will. And so I, I find that I have to do that personally in order to do that in, on larger spaces to cultivate hope for larger groups. Um, but there are times that speaking hope into a larger venue restores that hope for me. Right. When I, when I'm not feeling it within myself, speaking it to others can restore it, then within me, Speaker 1 00:40:28 That's a really deep concept. Can you, can you say that, can you say a little bit more about that? Cause I'm thinking there's probably people out there that are like, I'm an extrovert, I could be good for that <laugh>. Cause you know, That's right. Like, how do you Yeah. You know, because I, I love this, the whole, like all the things you've just said about that, they really have that sense of chilling the soil of the cultivating, Right? And then what you're talking about now is kind of finding hope and having hope like rekindled almost or kindled from being engaged with people. Am I, am I understanding that correctly? Speaker 2 00:41:05 Yeah, it's, um, it's an interesting, I think this is one of the reasons when people find out I'm an introvert or a little bit like what you're Yeah, yeah, yeah. Speaker 1 00:41:13 Introvert with extrovert qualities, perhaps Speaker 2 00:41:15 Introvert who can deal with extroverted moments, <laugh> Speaker 1 00:41:21 Well, you're with an extreme extrovert. I just wanna say, you're doing a great Speaker 2 00:41:24 Job. The balance is out. Um, but when we're done, I will then shut down. Um, so yeah, I not in a fake until you make it kind of way, but inevitably as a chaplain, there are days that I have to step into people's as a hospice, hospice chaplain, I have to step into people's end of life when I am not in a good place. And I have to check that at the door because they don't need that on top of what they're dealing with. And I have to step into their story and I have to speak hope into them for their last weeks, days, hour moment. Right. Sometimes in that, in that last moment and speak hope to their family that is surrounding them. And I leave those situations in a more personally hopeful place than when I walked into the room. So speaking it to them allows it to be returned to me. Um, I mean, those are, those are really holy moments that as a chaplain, you know, I, and you know what those are, you know what those moments are like mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but being able to witness that mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, that's what I mean when I say that speaking into others can remind me mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that it's not only true for them mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but it's, it's true for me too. Even, um, even in the times that I don't necessarily feel it, Speaker 1 00:43:12 I'm just thinking of that saying, Right, You're blessed to be a blessing. And so just that circle of how we, on this human journey where we have these commonalities, right? You were talking about that, right? We're all gonna die one day. That this, this concept of death is such a real thing and it's true for all of us, but that there is this kind of opportunity that we have to be in a cycle of life and of death and of hope together and find strength from that. I love that. It's powerful. God bless you, sister. That's an important work that hospice chaplaincy end of life chaplaincy, palliative chaplaincy, um, is so important. And I can just imagine how much it really undergirded. I see why God was like, You must write this book. Yeah. Because all those experiences, just this little taste you've given us today, all those experiences are just have created such a, a foundation for you, uh, wisdom, right. Speaker 1 00:44:11 Wisdom and experience to be able to create this resource. Um, so this is the part in the interview when I ask my guests, is there a project or product that you're working on that you'd like to share about, uh, or that is part of your story? And so what's so beautiful is, uh, you've been sharing about it from the get go as we, the interview you, you shared, you know, how God put it on your heart to do this and sort of gave us some perspective why, but just would love to create a little space for you to share. Anything else you wanna tell us about this journey of writing the book? Um, anything upcoming about the book, any of the experiences? You know, we, we love it when authors come and tell us a little bit about like, how has it been to like, send it out into the world and see what comes back? How are people responding to it? So anything like that that, that Yeah. You wanna share? We'd love to hear. Speaker 2 00:45:02 Yeah. Faith Doesn't erase group. When I set out to write it, I was trying to fill a void in the market, um, in the grief book market, <laugh>, uh, what I had found, if there was a Christian book about grief, it was focused on heaven or it was a devotional type. Um, and, and again, rushing towards heaven, I wasn't finding anything that spoke responsibly about psychology and let people fit in the journey however long they needed to be in the journey, um, without just kind of, it's okay, they're in heaven, everything's fine. Well, you know, and there's, there's truth there. Your person is in heaven. Not that we really know what that means, <laugh>, but, but you are still here. Your world has been shaken and you have to figure out how to put it back together. Um, and so that's why I wrote the book, but I also wrote it intentionally weaving scripture and psychology. Speaker 2 00:46:19 There, there are many branches of Christianity that live kind of from a, a scripture only point of view. And, um, you know, therapy is based in scripture only. And I wanted to take this, um, you know, dual degree that I have and put it to what I think is the most responsible and best use of it, um, to show, look how, look at these examples. Scripture give, scripture gives us of people enacting their grief, living their emotions and, and wrestling. And, um, you know, I, one of the, one of my favorite reflections from the book is when I ask, What must Hannah have been doing to appear drunk? Right? Well, how must she have been praying to come across as drunk? And that, I mean, there's, there's something there about that just shows how, uh, in touch she was with her emotions and with pouring them out to the one person who could receive them and not judge her for them. Speaker 2 00:47:34 Um, so, uh, it was, it was a really amazing process to let, I didn't map this book. I had a, a, a vague outline, uh, to let the spirit kind of guide the choice of the scriptures that were were used throughout the book. Um, I, I proposed three phases of grief. Um, phases are more fluid, they're more, more open. Um, Googler Ross is as beautiful as she is. Her work has been, um, a little wrongly interpreted for a lot of years. And so I wanted to to, to break those, those walls a little bit. Um, and so that third phase that I talk about is lasting grief and, uh, was unsure what in the world I was going to use for that scripture wise. And, um, the spirit delivered the disciples to me, um, and the women. And, uh, you know, what comes out of their lasting grief is what we know as church today. Speaker 2 00:48:42 Um, and you know what more beautiful transformation is there? I think so, um, yeah. It's, it's for helpers and for grievers alike, whether you are currently grieving, um, or, you know, anticipating going into a season of grief or if you are walking alongside someone who is grieving, it is, it is for you. So it is, my, my publisher calls it a must have for your mental health get toolkit. Um, yeah, I think it's, it's for anybody and everybody. I have a, uh, a bible study in the works, a correlating bible study in the works. So Nice. Yeah, Speaker 1 00:49:27 That's, so that's fantastic because I, you know, in the work that I do, my day job, uh, as the visionary leader for women's transformation and leadership in the Reform Church in America, we have identified this need for, um, to just raise biblical literacy around women's stories in the Bible. So when you're naming that, um, that story of lasting grief that you're including the women, um, we know that women and men were both disciples of Jesus in terms of who was traveling around with him, uh, and who witnessed his death and then his resurrection as well. Um, and just thinking about how important it is for us to be able to connect the Holy Text with our lives today and, you know, how is it relevant, right? I mean, this is critical for Christianity for future generations, right? I mean, Right. So what you're doing is a gift to current people of the way, Right. Speaker 1 00:50:25 People on the journey, um, Christians the journey, but also there's a future hope here that you're offering as people are wanting to engage with the holy text in relevant ways. And that's what this book is full of that, and now you're gonna have this bible study alongside it, Kate, that's fantastic. Yeah. I'm, I can't wait to see it. Cause I have a feeling we're gonna have to do a little <laugh> virtual master class with the author, uh, once that That'd be amazing. Available. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Wonderful. Great. Well that's, that's so fun. And, um, so just tell us quickly, how do we, how do we, how do our listeners get hold of this book? Of course, I've got my copy. I know it magically showed up in my inbox because I had the honor of providing a little, um, little testimonial about it. Uh, but just yeah, tell our, tell our listeners how they can get a copy of it. Speaker 2 00:51:21 Yeah. It is on, uh, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and bookshop.org. Um, Amazon and Barnes and Noble both have a Kindle and or no version available as well. Should that be your fancy? Um, you know, I, I will just say, uh, as a plug for the paper back, um, there is a little section at the end of each chapter called Paused for Whisperings, um, where I encourage people to reflect. And so, you know, if you get paperback, you can do it right there in the book, should you desire to do so. Speaker 1 00:51:55 I'm so glad you mentioned that, cuz I had wanted to say something about that. But I just love the way you invited that. It's not just like notes, it's Speaker 2 00:52:02 This Speaker 1 00:52:02 Springs. I love it. I love it. Yeah. Just that we're being attentive to this spirit as we're going through the process right. As we're reading it. Wonderful. Well, fantastic. And then do you have a website that might let people know when you'll be doing upcoming events or when there might be other podcasts or just anything that you might have upcoming? Speaker 2 00:52:22 Yes. Kate j meyer.com. M e y e r is, uh, my version of Myer kate j meyer.com. Um, if you subscribe there, you get a monthly newsletter that really keeps you up to date. Um, I, I do work at keeping the website updated as well. Speaker 1 00:52:44 Great. Wonderful. Well, thank you so much, Kate, for being here today for this gift to all of us, this beautiful book. I'm excited to see how God is gonna continue to use it and to grow it and to get it into lots of people's hands. And so, so delighted that you could come onto the podcast today and share a little bit with our listeners so that they can be availed of this wonderful resource that you've created and also just hear your story and all of your, um, your wisdom, uh, in the, in the area of lavish Hope, resilience, and overcoming. So thank you so much. It was fantastic to be with you today. Thank Speaker 2 00:53:20 You. Thank you for having me and just for putting out this podcast with this theme. You know, hope, resiliency, overcoming, We need it. Yeah. We need it. And, uh, I'm grateful that you're at the helm of it. Aw, Speaker 1 00:53:36 Amen. You know, it's something that God put on my heart, much like your book in the Middle of Pandemic, that this is what people need and I mean, we all need hope, right? Yeah. And so the more that we can be engaged in it together, the better. So grateful we're on the journey together. Speaker 2 00:53:54 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:53:55 Thanks again, Kate. Speaker 2 00:53:57 Thank Speaker 1 00:54:05 Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Lavish Hope, season four. I hope my conversation with Kate has offered insights for what lavish hope, resilience, and overcoming can mean for your life's journey, as well as those around you. If you'd like to connect with Reverend Kate, she'd love to hear from you. Just to confirm, her website is kate j meyer.com, that's k a t e j m e y e r.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter, find out about how to order her books, and learn about upcoming events. If you've enjoyed this Lavish Hope podcast, please subscribe, leave a review and reshare any place you're on social. You can also connect with me [email protected]. This episode is brought to you by Faith word.org, an online learning community where you'll find ideas for living out your faith, reflections on scripture and church stories about how other Christians are following God's call and resources to bring your own faith community along for the ride. The Lavish Hope Podcast is produced by Lorraine Parker, Grace Reuter and Liz Teta, with Sound Design by Garrett Steyer. We thank Reverend Anna Radcliffe, most sincerely for her wonderful executive producing support in our first three seasons. Until next time, may you find ways to cultivate lavish hope and build resilience each and every day. God bless you.

Other Episodes

Episode 0

January 12, 2022 00:47:35
Episode Cover

The Best Is Yet To Come Phil Assink & Dwayne Jackson

In this Part 2 of a 2-part final episode of Lavish Hope Season 2, Rev. Liz Testa hosts Rev. Phil Assink and Rev. Dwayne...

Listen

Episode 0

January 21, 2021 00:46:30
Episode Cover

Mario Sprouse on Being Faithful in the Arts

Join Mario Sprouse and Rev. Liz Testa as they talk about overcoming by way of the arts and creativity and “trying to make it.”...

Listen

Episode 0

February 11, 2022 00:59:23
Episode Cover

Resilience Through Change with Crystal Wright

Welcome to Lavish Hope, Season 3! In this first episode, we dive deep into what resilience and hope look like when life throws a...

Listen