By Nancy Virden (c)2022
Living Grace is the title of the group I lead at my church for community and church members. Because we use the curriculum provided by Grace Alliance Mental Health, Living Grace runs for 8-16 weeks at a time. The fourth group since November 2020 is now in its third week.
Attendees of Living Grace come with surprises. Of course, it is unethical to divulge any identifying information, but let’s only say some issues are more surprising than others. Last night was no exception.
As I looked about the room, I saw that four of the people are those whose lives have changed drastically since meeting me. I have changed since they entered my life, too.
It is in the context of community that we find our needs met. In 2017 I was beginning to battle one rare disease that kept me nearly homebound for about two and a half years. Yet joy was a tangible part of each day. Much of that joy came from investing in the lives of others, some of whom now attend Living Grace. Isolation would have kept me lonely, without much sense of purpose, and missing out on some dear people. Instead, I invited them into my house, and others as well, and I thrived.
Last night, an attendee said that it was me who taught her it is okay to love herself again. Talk about surprises – that was unknown and unexpected.
It also filled me with joy! It is in the context of community that we find our needs met.
Today’s Helpful Word
1 John 1:2-4
We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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