Saturday, October 28, 2006

An upward swing

Yesterday's Living Room group was wonderful! I was so pleased with how it went that today I'm riding a high - quite a difference from where I was only two days ago.

We had six new people, making a total of ten around the table. After we had a chance to have a bite to eat and go over business stuff, we opened the meeting with prayer. Then we read Psalm 139, paying special attention to verses 7 - 12. In fact, I had typed copies for everyone so they could keep them handy when they need to be reminded of God's constancy. Then everyone made a list of things they were grateful for. After a while we each discussed the things we are most grateful for. After a break, we each took turns telling what brought us to the group and how things have been going for us. We responded to each other's stories.

The reason I'm going into such detail about what we do at our meetings is because I very much hope that other churches will start such groups. I am seeing a real need for faith-based support groups for people struggling with anxiety, depression and bipolar disorders. After only about a month in existence, we have a list of 25 people who have shown an interest. Eleven people, plus myself and my co-facilitator have attended. Our pastor also likes to sit in on the devotional part of the meetings.

There are a lot of secular support groups. But there is a real difference when the spiritual aspect is part of it. Yesterday, the atmosphere was warm and comfortable. Everyone shared freely, feeling the supportive atmosphere. The co-facilitator closed the meeting with an uplifting piece of scripture and prayer for each individual there.

When I was ready for bed last night I did something I seldom do when I pray. I got down on my knees and thanked God. I didn't know what else to say to Him. I just thanked Him over and over. I feel blessed to have this work to do and I'm learning to love my new acquaintances.


Anonymous said...

i'm so happy for you!

Tracy said...

Wow this group sounds like a wonderful group! I got out my bible and looked up this psalm. I think My favorite part is 11 and 12. "I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night-- but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you." How comforting is that!

Thank you for sharing. I am so happy you are doing this group.


Bleeding Heart said...

I am so happy for you. It must be so great to be able to put your feet up per se and let loose about your feelings with others who are going through the same thing.

Great for you!

chalexa said...

I have been thinking of you a lot in the past couple of days. Whenever i think of you i am inspired and encouraged. I pray that you have allowed God to walk by your side in every situation. Praying for you, my new friend.

Dobro said...

I'm so glad your support group went great and that you had the support of your pastor.

marja said...

Thank you misha, mysti, dream writer, chalexa, and dobro, for your wonderful comments.

I truly feel this is the kind of thing God wants churches to do for people with disorders like ours. I feel Him at work in this group. And without God in my life I could never be doing what I'm doing.

As I said in my post, I'm very grateful to Him for giving me this work to do.