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Professor Lyle Dorsett shares his real life story of how he and his wife dealt with the sudden death of their 10-year-old daughter – and how they battled for their faith and marriage through tragedy.

Video Highlights:

  • There is a tendency in loss to push away a spouse or other loved ones because we don’t want to face anymore loss. This is why the divorce rate jumps so high for families who deal with a tragic loss.
  • When tragic loss occurs, you go through a period of time where you feel numb and then the reality of the loss begins to set in. For Lyle and his wife, John 14 brought them comfort to know that God was with them and would not forsake them. For them, it was turning their broken hearts toward God and trusting that he would lead them through it.
  • Each parent experiences the loss in differing ways. For moms, there is an intimacy with her children, especially if they are stay at home moms. For Lyle, he had the distraction of work to help him.
  • God uses those who have experienced loss to help minister to other families who are in the same situation. They have empathy, not just sympathy for these families because they understand what they’re going through.
  • Lyle’s suggestions for pastors dealing with families in crisis: 1. Try to find other families who have been through the same type of tragedy to come alongside the family. 2. Don’t just throw Bible verses at them but just hug and cry with them. There are no words that take the pain away. 3. Help meet the basic needs like food, childcare, and laundry.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. What are some unhelpful things people say to those who are grieving?
  4. Share a time when someone truly ministered to you in your grief. What was most helpful?
  5. “People who have been there can be helpful.” Do you agree? Explain.
  6. Make a list of some verses that can be helpful to people in their grief. Why is it not helpful to share these verses in the moment of grief?
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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