Advancing Grace :: In the Midst of Tragedy


Advancing Grace :: In the Midst of Tragedy

God’s Grace Gives Us Hope in the Midst of Tragedy

Family Matters encourages people to allow God’s grace to bring beauty from ashes.

  Julie and her husband John first encountered Family Matters at a “Weekend to Remember” event in 2011 and it was there that they purchased copies of the book, Grace Based Parenting, for all of their children.  Julie’s youngest daughter Elizabeth embraced the concept of Grace Based Parenting with unusual passion and read the book five times as she was raising her young boys.   It was in July of 2012 that Julie and John got the phone call that every parent dreads- their daughter Elizabeth and their three grandsons had been killed in a tragic car accident.   It’s hard to imagine planning a funeral like that, but in anticipation of a few hundred attendees, Julie called Family Matters for 250 copies of Grace Based Parenting to be given out to the young families attending the funeral.  

Elizabeth with sons, Fischer and Ben.  Photo courtesy of Julie Diem.
Elizabeth with sons, Fischer and Ben. Photo courtesy of Julie Diem.
  As this young mother and wife was eulogized to close to 1200 people that day, Julie shared what God’s grace had meant in Elizabeth’ s life and how she had tried to live out that message with her children. Although they ran out of books that day, Julie has since then been sharing Elizabeth’s passion and legacy with so many others who could use a touch of God’s grace.   A year after the loss of her daughter and her three grandsons, Julie blogged:  “And so, here I am.  Starting the second year of this journey tomorrow.  My thoughts are this:  I have grieved every single day for 365 days.  I have cried every one of those.  With God’s help, I have leaned in and felt and faced the winds of pain, suffering, and adversity.  It has taught me that when we are weak, God is strong.  God is faithful.  God shows up with what we need at the right time.  His grace, his wonderful grace is sufficient.  And always to HIS GLORY!”   In 2013, Julie became a trained Ambassador for Family Matters. She feels God has given us an example through His Son on how we should handle pain and suffering and she wants to be an instrument of hope to others who have experienced tragedy in their life.  Julie discovered that through faith and God’s grace, tragedy can be turned into triumph.  As a Family Matters Ambassador, Julie is facilitating Grace Based Parenting classes in local churches and ministering to military families at Fort Hood in Texas.   One of Julie’s favorite verses is Isaiah 61:3:  “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”   When asked how the message of grace has been instrumental in Julie’s healing, she said: Family Matters and the opportunities to share the message of Grace Based Parenting is the beauty that has come from the ashes of my grief….and may it always be for His Glory!   Julie honors the memory of her daughter and grandsons through the Elizabeth Dowdy Scholarship Fund at Methodist Children’s Home and on her blog at:   Ministering to hurting families is one of the many things we do at Family Matters. Won’t you please join us in sharing with these families the restoration found in Christ and his love for them?   Your tax-deductible gift will enable us to reach more families with the liberating message of God’s grace.    

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