Sometimes words fall short when you have a friend or family member who is hurting from divorce, loss of a spouse, loss of a child, or terminal illness. To bridge the gap, a physical gift is sometimes just the ticket. Life can be hard on our emotions. Gifts of Hope and encouragement for women often speak volumes and continue to say for an extended period, “I care. I feel your pain.”
What is the source of hope and encouragement?
There are many things that can be done to try to “cheer people up”, but ultimately “cheer” and “happiness” are short-lived. If we really want to encourage someone, the source must be based on faith in Jesus. He is :
- the healer of broken hearts (Psalm 34:18, Psalm 147:3)
- the Prince of Peace (John 14:27, 16:33)
- the faithful one who will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:6)
- the good shepherd who carries us when we are weak (Matthew 11:28, Psalm 55:22)
- the one under whose wings we find refuge (Psalm 91:4, 17:8, 36:7, 61:4)
- the light to guide us (John 8:12, Proverbs 3:5-6, John 9:5)
- the bread of life to nourish our souls (John 6:35, 6:51)
- the living water to refresh our souls (John 4:10, 14, 7:37-39, Isaiah 44:3)
The love of Jesus is so deep and so broad that we can get lost in it. He is where lasting hope, joy, and peace can be found.
Gifts of Hope and encouragement for widows
Losing the love of your life can throw some women into a total tailspin. Even for the emotionally strong women, the death of a husband is difficult. Our friend Amy expressed that she is ok when she is with other people. But when she is alone the walls begin to press in. The house is so empty. The familiar is no longer familiar since there is no one to share it with. This alone time is when your gift of hope and encouragement can mean a lot.
Does your friend love music? Consider getting her uplifting praise music which reminds her that Jesus is always with her. There are a plethora of music options available from Christian Book Stores and Amazon. In most cases, you can’t go wrong with praise and worship music. Here is one of the reviews on Amazon:
“This CD is full of pure joy! Every time I feel lost, I play the CD. It brings joy and good feelings back and I can’t help singing along.”
Your widow friend will often feel “lost”. Your consideration of uplifting music can speak to her time and time again.
Flowers can be a sweet and appreciated gift by many widows. While flowers don’t last long, they do convey the thought that she is not forgotten.
If your friend wears jewelry, something that helps her celebrate her husband can be special as she wears it close.
During cooler weather, this hugs blanket is soft, cozy, and a reminder that the widow is loved.
Since widows often feel alone, a gift of your time is almost always appreciated. Take her to lunch, coffee, a movie, shopping for a new outfit.
Gifts of hope and encouragement for the divorced
There is no getting around it. Divorce can be painful. In fact, “Divorce is the second most stressful life event a person can experience, second only to the death of a spouse.” (1)
Divorce often leaves a woman feeling paralyzed emotionally. If her husband left her, she may have doubts about her value and worth. I know I did. Any gift that lets her know that she is loved and still has much to offer the world can be a lifesaver.
KindNotes Glass Keepsake Gift Jar with Friendship and Inspirational Messages is like giving mini “thinking of you” cards for 31 days in a row. When you go to Amazon’s link you will find that there are a variety of gift jars for various situations.
Divorced women need to know that they are still loved and that they are going to be ok. This inspirational book has 52 words of encouraging truths to hold on to.
It may be hard to believe that going through a divorce could be used for anything good, but that is what God promises. It takes time, but there will come a time in the future when she will see how God changed the mess into something good. I have been there and have witnessed this miracle. Max Lucado shares how it all happens.
Here is a reminder that the divorced woman will get through her experience. Through Jesus, she is strong, worthy, loved, and enough.
If your divorced friend has children, it may be hard to get away and just do something for her own mental health. A gift of childcare is something that will help her accomplish this. Self care is so important after a divorce.
Gifts of hope and encouragement for the loss of a child
Words in this situation are totally empty. If you have never lost a child to death, you can’t even begin to understand the pain. It is an awkward situation for many who wish they could comfort the parents. It was never meant to be that children die before their parents. Yet it happens.
These words from the march of dimes give some direction as to what can be said.
“Be simple: ‘I’m sorry for your loss.’ Be honest: ‘I don’t know what to say. I can’t imagine what you are going through.’ Be comforting: “I care about you and your family. Please tell me what I can do to help.” (2)
If you happen to have any photos of the child, make copies, and share them. Grieving parents appreciate that others value their lost child.
The following necklace is a symbol of holding the lost child close to the mother’s heart.
The following are true-life accounts of the loss of children at different ages and how the mother coped. They are sure to be an encouragement to your grieving friend.
Gifts of hope and encouragement for the terminally ill
The greatest gift for a terminally ill friend is the presence of God and the hope for eternity with Him. This of course comes from her personal relationship with Jesus. Your role here is to let her know that she is loved by you and loved by God. It might be through a card, or photo memories, or just your quiet presence. You can also ask her what scripture she loves. She might enjoy hearing you read those passages to her.
Since time may be short for your terminally ill friend, you will need to be sensitive to her needs and preferences. Flowers say “I love you”, but if the fragrance is something offensive to her, she won’t enjoy this gift. Often what someone liked when they were healthy will change when they are ill. You may want to ask the family what her preferences are. Flowers are available from local florists, Amazon, and online floral services.
Because the terminally ill often experience pain, a microwavable, reusable “bed buddy” can be very comforting. Even just being in bed for long periods of time can cause joints and low backs to ache even if aren’t involved in the disease process. “Bed Buddies” come in different contours for different parts of the body.
If your friend has been a pet lover and now is institutionalized, a stuffed animal sometimes brings comfort as they cuddle it. Most facilities will also make arrangements for an actual ‘visit’ from the pet.
If your friend still has hair, helping her wash, dry, and groom her hair is something that usually feels good. If your friend has gone through chemotherapy and has lost her hair, a pretty scarf if often appreciated.
CAKE (3) and Caring Bridge (4) have excellent lists of practical, as well as comforting gifts for the terminally ill: balloons, lotions, a favorite movie, food, religious symbol, playlist, photo album, card or letter, pedicure or manicure, books or magazines, comfy pajamas, bedrobe, prepared meals, housekeeping help, pet care, hold their hand, and a massage.
Use this gift guide as a starting point for when you are at a loss for words, yet want to give your hurting friend something that says “I love you- I care- I am thinking of you”. Gifts don’t have to be expensive. They can simply be your time and presence.
We all go through trials at some point. When God comforts us in our own trials through His word or through friends, we get the opportunity to pass those words on. We can also give physical gifts of hope and encouragement to the women in our lives. That is the beauty of being “sisters in Jesus.”
A gift for you
Since we have this great opportunity to pass comfort on to others, I have a Scripture card to remind you of that. NO EMAIL REQUIRED. Simply click on the image to download.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like this one: 35 Practical Gifts For Senior Women.
- (1) https://www.bridgestorecovery.com/blog/when-marriage-ends-the-impact-of-divorce-on-mental-and-behavioral-health/
- (2) https://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/helping-parents-whose-baby-has-died.
- (3) https://www.joincake.com/blog/gifts-for-terminal-cancer-patients/ (proactive end-of-life planning).
- (4) https://www.caringbridge.org/resources/get-well-soon-gift-ideas/