Stephen Ministry.. Have you ever heard of it? I was in a church to attend a funeral for a friend. While waiting for the service to begin, a question that had been on my mind for over a year came to me again. What am I supposed to do with the rest of my life? I had recently retired after working over 40 years as a nurse. Many of those years were in the field of psychiatry. I had enjoyed the challenge of helping others who thought they were at the end of their rope and help them find their way out of those life challenges.
I noticed a brochure on the seat next to me. It was about Stephen Ministry. I took it with me and read it over a couple times. A few weeks later I was at my son’s wedding and the incredible minister touched my soul with her words and prayers during their marriage ceremony. I “checked out” her church and Pastor Alecia was everything I heard that day and more. A few months later I joined North Liberty United Methodist Church with my husband Mike Nicholls. We were struggling with his son’s diagnosis of cancer, trying to help our aging parents, and keeping up with our blended family of 6 children and 13 amazing grandchildren. The love and support of this congregation has helped me through the death of his son and illnesses of our parents.
How to you give back to those who kept you sane, prayed every day, and just gave you a hug when nothing else would do? I picked up that Stephen Ministry brochure and asked God if that was what he wanted me to do with all the skills and talents he had so generously given to me. “What are you waiting for?” was heard loud and clear!!! I completed Stephen Ministry training and had a care receiver assigned soon after. What a blessing to walk with her on a journey I will never forget. I look forward to the many special women that God will choose to send into my life. He will tell me how to use the special gifts He gave me long ago, knowing the mission He has for me today.