From the Children’s Ministry (04.01.21)

Have you ever found that the difficult times in our lives often bring about opportunities to minister? The thought came to me as I talked with a neighbor whose husband was hospitalized with Covid. It wasn’t the first time since my illness that I was able to offer encouragement to someone else going through the disease. It wasn’t a ministry I would have chosen, but it has reinforced the belief that God can bring good from hardship and pain.  I couldn’t help but think about other people who have used their difficulties to minister to others.

I think about Denise Huddlestun and Lorie Gaskins who found ministry while going through the pain of a parent’s journey into Dementia/Alzheimer’s. Denise continues to lead the support group at our church for others who are going through this with their parents, even after she lost her mother to the disease. Lorie found a ministry working with other patients at the facility where her mother resides.  Now that I am going through this horrible disease with my mother, I am in awe of their strength in being able to hear the call to minister in this area. 

I remember my Aunt Patsy who gave support and comfort to others going through biopsies and treatments for breast cancer after going through that herself.

 My mother was the first in her family and among her friends to lose her husband. Her journey through that pain led to a ministry that helped many others who joined her in widowhood.  A circle of friends was formed that probably would not have existed otherwise. Those ladies not only survived.  Together, they thrived.

I could name so many others  who also found ministry after going through difficult situations.  These are on my mind and in my heart because we recently made the decision to admit my mother to a Memory Care facility.  Watching my mother decline over the past year has made me forget how strong she has always been. Having others who have gone through this with their parents has truly been a ministry to me.  Sometimes the best way to minister to someone is to let them know that they are not going through their darkness alone. To everyone who has gone through the “long goodbye” with their parent, thank you for the support you have given and continue to give me.

While preparing for a recent Sunday School lesson for the children I ran across a book that explained that a problem should really be looked at as an opportunity. God is the master of taking the problems we encounter in life and turning them into opportunities for ministry.  We just have to be willing to say yes.