My friend Lisa invited me to the Lifeway Women’s Forum 2017 in Nashville a few weeks ago. She sent me a message a couple of months prior and said that God told her to invite me. We have been friends through social media since 2014 when I first shared her blog here but we had not yet met in person. She said she was hesitant to ask because she thought I might think it was weird. But when she did my immediate thought was YES!
I had been praying for something to get me out of my funk. I didn’t know it was going to be a conference when I prayed, but God answered. He answered even before I asked.
I have been dealing with depression this year y’all. I am sure you already know that if you’ve been following me for a while. I take medicine and it helps to an extent but the depression I have been feeling is caused by a void that only God can fill. I allowed distractions to muddy up my mindset and in turn I had become spiritually weak. Sometimes I wondered, “Is this it?” Is this what my life is going to feel like forever?
Lisa and I attended a class at the conference led by Robin Marsh of KWTV-9 in Oklahoma City. (She is amazing by the way). She talked about witnessing in the marketplace (which is my thing), but she also talked about the importance of learning to respond emotionally in our intimate relationships. She asked us to turn to our neighbor (a stranger) and practice our responses for a couple of minutes.
Being the introvert that I am, the idea of self disclosing to a complete stranger created immediate panic. But I turned to my neighbor. She was a bit older…I thought to be in her 60s or so. Her hair was perfect and she had a pleasant aura. We introduced ourselves and then she asked me if I was okay. I asked her how she knew something was wrong and she said she saw it in my eyes. I told her that I have been dealing with depression and I was beginning to worry I might not ever get better. She looked at me with loving eyes and said, “I am 80 years old and I am living proof that it will get better. You’re going to be okay. Believe it.”
Tears began to flow and we laughed and hugged and I felt instantly relieved. THAT was the reason I was to attend the conference. There were other amazing reasons but that two minute conversation with Miss Coretta reminded me of God’s promises. I mean it hit me over the head. I officially became a born again Christian almost two years ago when I was baptized and confessed my faith publicly. I felt so much relief when I came up out of that water that day at church. My soul was cleansed from sin and new life was born. But being a Christian doesn’t make life easier. In fact, it becomes HARDER. But what I need to remember is that no matter how much or how little I believe, God’s promises are STILL true.
Genesis 12:1-3 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
I am no Bible teacher. I am just learning and sharing what I am learning and how it applies to my life. I hope I somehow inspire you to think about your own life and remember that no matter how difficult things might seem at the moment…God is not finished with you yet. Listen for His voice so you don’t miss out on your blessings.
This Thanksgiving Eve I am thankful for my friend Coretta for reminding me that I am going to be okay. God is good!
Stacey ~ iamalive