Melanie Cicerchia came to faith in Christ through campus ministry at the University of Florida in 1973. She married Paul Martel, and together they served in the full-time church work for 12 years, in Denver, Cincinnati, New York, Philadelphia, and New Jersey. In 1994, Paul died of a sudden heart attack. Melanie remarried in 1996. Ron Cicerchia is a faithful man who, like Melanie, was quite young when his spouse passed away. Ron and Melanie now reside in the Atlanta area. They have three daughters.
Melanie's losses go beyond losing a spouse. They also include the destruction of her home (by fire), the death of a sister to cancer (as well as the deaths of many other family members), and other painful events, which she shares about in this series.
At the North River Church of Christ in Marietta, Georgia, Melanie facilitates a weekly women’s Bible study, as well as grief support groups. She draws from her personal study and life experience as she teaches women how to grow through adversity. Listen to the first podcast in Melanie's series on Grief Recovery (13 minutes).
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The powerful quote she cited is from Nicholas Wolterstorff, Grief: Traveling the Moral Frontier: “To believe in Christ’s rising and death’s dying is also to live with the power and the challenge to rise up now from all our dark graves of suffering love.
If sympathy for the world’s wounds is not enlarged by our anguish, if love for those around us is not expanded, if gratitude for what is good does not flame up, if insight is not deepened, if commitment to what is important is not strengthened, if aching for a new day is not intensified, if hope is weakened and faith diminished, if from the experience of death comes nothing good, then death has won. Then death be proud.”