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Kindred Connection

Liz Neely helped people cope with grief, not knowing it would heal her own.

Tim Rhodes March 4, 2023

After her marriage ended, Liz Neely felt aimless. What could she do with her life? She asked God to reveal His purpose for her. And His answer took her in a direction that she, a self-described timid person, would never have chosen for herself. In the weeks that followed, she joined a prayer team, was trained in grief counseling, and began to facilitate divorce care groups.

Photograph by Jenny Reid

A divorcee herself, Neely initially experienced some healing in helping other people navigate life after marriage. But years later, she felt strangely unfulfilled in this volunteer work. Wondering why God had put her on this path, she began to wrestle with her calling. About that time, she met a new woman at church who was attending with her husband and daughter. Neely became a mentor to the family of three, but just as Christ was changing their lives, Michele’s husband died in an automobile accident. The church rallied behind the family, and Neely stepped in to support Michele during her grieving process. In helping to bear the burdens of others, Neely realized her role in the body of Christ. She knew there was no place she needed to be more than beside Michele, supporting and mentoring her during her time of grief.

The women soon became fast friends, and for Neely, it felt like a reunion with a long-lost daughter. Caring for Michele through her darkest moments, she realized the Lord had been preparing her for this all along. And she’s grateful—for not only the Christian kinship she’s found with Michele but also the sense of purpose and the steadying comfort of God’s love regardless of what life brings. 

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