Decision-making is normally a challenge for grieving hearts

Gary Roe: What's realistic for you? I think of Solomon's words from 3000 years ago, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the spring from which the rest of your life flows" (Proverbs 4:23). What would "guarding your heart" look like over the holidays?


Our family has experienced the death of loved ones in 2023. First, my brother-in-law Paul Rogers died in a farm accident back home in Minnesota in June. My heart aches for my sister Deb and her three daughters, son-in-laws and grandkids. Breaks my heart as I write this……. our sweet ministry puppy Daisy passed away in October. Daisy helped us so much in sharing the love of Jesus to all. Daisy was our sidekick for 8 years, so very loyal and loving. It is so different now. I mourn, I weep and God helps me and Sharon. Tomorrow I will be officiating the funeral of a young man. My heart aches for the family. I am blessed that funeral homes and families call on me. It makes me very sad now that some Pastors have a price list to officiate funeral services. That makes me mourn for God’s Church. Last month I was called to help a Church, I served for 2 weeks. I also got as call this week from a precious soul asking me if I could help fill in for their Pastor who had a stroke. She shared with me that some Pastors turned her down because they would not do it without being paid. That certainly is not how God has taught me. I do not do what I do for the Lord and people for money. Sometimes people give a love offering, if they are moved to do so. I mourn about this whole situation about money in the Church, it surely turns off many people to God’s Church.

I do not know if a lot of people know how tough it is out beyond the walls of their Church. Too many are out of touch with the spiritual battle. Failure to hit the streets and byways and carry out The Great Commission has hurt Christianly in America so very much!

Oh Yes! I want to mention that I am going to on KDOM Radio in Windom, Minnesota around 7:20am this Saturday to share on grieving. Why Windom? It is my hometown, where my Christian foundation was built! I love Windom!

I love Gary Roe! His writings are so loving and powerful!

From Our Dear Freind Gary Roe

Decision-making is normally a challenge for grieving hearts. Over the holidays, making decisions can be overwhelming or seem impossible.

In my previous email, we talked about the importance of managing our expectations over the holidays – the expectations we have of ourselves and others.

One key way of managing expectations is by making some proactive decisions.

Here are some quick suggestions…

Don’t let others make decisions for you.

They are not inside your mind and heart. They cannot fully understand what you’re feeling and experiencing. They don’t know what is helpful to you and what’s not.

Grieving hearts often feel like victims. After all, we didn’t ask for or want this. Letting others make decisions for you can lead to feeling powerless and helpless.

Tell yourself, “I get to decide.”

You get to decide what to do, how, when, where, and with whom.

Scary? Yes. Good? Yes.

What do you want to do? How do you want to do it? Where do you want to go? Whom do you want to be around?

What’s realistic for you?

I think of Solomon’s words from 3000 years ago, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the spring from which the rest of your life flows” (Proverbs 4:23).

What would “guarding your heart” look like over the holidays?

Handle invitations well.

When an invitation comes, you get to decide. Don’t let the past or a sense of obligation make the decision for you.

Ask yourself, “What would it mean to guard my heart in this situation?”

If you sense you need to say “no”, how you communicate can help you feel better about it.

“Thanks so much for asking me. As you know, I’m grieving the loss of ___________ this year. I’m trying to take care of myself and do less. I hope you’ll understand if I decline this year.”

If you want to say “yes” but wonder how it will turn out, you might say, “I would love to come. I’m grieving, and I might get emotional and have to excuse myself sometimes. Is that okay with you?”

Or perhaps you could say, “Yes, I would like that. As you know, I’m grieving the loss of ________________ and I never know how I’ll feel on any given day. Is it okay if with you if I need to bow out at the last minute?”

Have an exit strategy.

If you decide to accept an invitation or go to an event, guard your heart by having an exit strategy.

For example, if you feel a grief burst coming on you might…

  • Take a moment, breathe deeply, and see if you can manage it.
  • Excuse yourself to the restroom or another safe, more private place.
  • Step outside and take brief walk.
  • Excuse yourself and leave.

Thinking through these things can help you feel less vulnerable. You are proactively making decisions to guard your heart.

Don’t let others make decisions for you.

Tell yourself, “I get to decide.”

Handle invitations well.

Have an exit strategy.

Guard your heart. Be kind to yourself. Breathe deeply.

These holidays will be different, but they can still be good.

Until next time,

P.S. Stayed tuned. I have a free Christmas gift for you, if you’re interested. More on that in my next email.

Gary Roe – Amazon Bestselling Author, Speaker, Grief Specialist

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. (Luke 2:4-7)

Gary Roe

P.O. Box 4358
Wichita Falls Texas 76308

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